Posted by: Veroni Kruger | April 3, 2013

Violence Against Women 4: Violence begins at home …

The saying goes that charity begins at home. Actually, everything begins at home!

Those first six or seven years are absolutely formative in the life of a child. Every individual is responsible for his or her own life. Yet it is a fact that what we perceive and experience in the first few years of our lives is determinative of how we approach the rest of our time in this world. Patterns of thought and the resultant patterns of behaviour we learn in the home are hardest to “unlearn.”

I learnt from my father how a woman should be treated. I learnt from my mother how a woman expects to be treated in a civilised environment. Along with their positive input, there were the bare facts of what happens if you transgress either of their two sets of complementary guidelines. Woe betide …!

This cuts all ways. Children who grow up in an environment where there is violence run a great risk of perpetuating the pattern. The little boy who is molested may be so conditioned as to believe that is the way things ought to go, and repeat to other people what was done to him. Boys are inclined to treat the women in the manner they saw their fathers treat the women in their household. The little girl may grow up to believe that the way she saw things being done in their home is the right way.

Of course there are degrees of violence. I like to believe that the majority of people who read this blog will not be perpetrators of extreme violence. But I think we need to realize that even subtle forms of a lack of regard can establish harmful patterns of behaviour.

Respect is at the base of much civilised behaviour. Respect for other people, their property or their person is the best form of prevention of violence in all degrees. Along with love, respect is a pillar of any happy marriage. Respect is an essential part of an orderly society. It is this element that we need to teach our children from the earliest time of their lives to ensure they do not resort to violence of any kind.

The Bible has clear instructions for this kind of teaching.

“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).

What this passage means is “Do not neglect any opportunities to teach your children the way they should live. Realize that even the most mundane events in the life of your family are great training opportunities.”

Yes, true love, along with all its consequences, both preventative and proactive, begins at home.

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Responses

  1. Nice


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