Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 TNIV).
Consider for a moment this five stage pattern in the life of a violent criminal:
- His parents neglect and abandon the child in early home life.
- As early as age five or six he hits his mother. He's difficult for school officials to handle.
- He joins a delinquent band by age fifteen and he's involved in criminal behavior. Many of his peers are on drugs.
- He commits a violent crime with a gang and purchases a gun.
- His sixteen year old girlfriend is pregnant. A new child is born, and our nation is in deeper trouble.
Let's go back to stage one — parental neglect. Marriage is vital, and parents must love and nurture their kids in a spiritual as well as physical way. Kids can't teach kids! They need adults who care!