“Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Eph 6:4
We keep being shocked by stories of children killing teachers and other children in school, and then turning the gun on themselves. Two boys, aged twelve and thirteen, beat a man to death outside a convenience store just for the pleasure of watching him die. Another boy shot a man sitting in a car at a stop sign. When asked why, he replied, “Because he looked at me.” What is causing this? Easy access to guns? Hours spent watching violent videos? Those may be factors. But after extensive research, scientists are concluding that violent behavior is often related to early childhood abuse and neglect. When a baby spends three days or more in dirty diapers, or when children are burned, beaten, or ignored, their blood is filled with stress hormones—cortisol and adrenaline among others. These hormones bombard and damage the brains of those children. So for the rest of their lives they will not think and feel what others do. They actually lose the capacity to empathize with those who suffer. The same research has concluded that babies and young children are incredibly vulnerable between birth and three years of age. If their families don’t protect them, love and care for them, society will pay a terrible price for it in years to come. The Bible uses the word “nurture.” It means to love, protect, encourage, compliment, and try to bring out the best in your child.