All Pro Parenting

I was not a Keyshaun Johnson fan. He was loud. He was brash. He was arrogant. He was a hot dog and a hot head. He was a good ­football player but I didn’t like him. ­Honestly, Keyshaun Johnson is that player you like only if he is on your team. I’m now a Keyshaun Johnson fan . . . at least in one area. 

Last week, Johnson pulled his son, Keyshaun Johnson, Jr., off the ­Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. The reason the senior ­Johnson gave was simple: his son needed to mature. As details emerged it ­became clear that the younger Johnson had been arrested for ­possession of marijuana and his father was not pleased. The senior Johnson said that his son would not be on the Cornhuskers team for at least six months (we are yet to see if he will follow through). 

Kudos to Keshaun Johnson. We live in a culture where parents are ­constantly defending the bad ­behavior of their children. It is ­common to see children defended with the attitude of “kids will be kids” or “he’s just going through a phase” or “kids just have to sow their wild oats.” But here is a dad who took a stand against his son. Don’t overlook the public nature of his stand. This father was willing to risk the criticism and shame of exposing his son’s mistake. 

The reality is that if Johnson had not pulled his son from the team, we would probably never know the story. Football players are able to cover up possession charges all of the time. But Johnson didn’t care. He cared more about teaching his son an important lesson. 

Consider some biblical passages that support what Johnson did: 

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Prov. 29:15)

“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”
(Prov. 22:15)

“Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”
(Prov. 19:18)

Johnson used the rod when he removed his son from the team. He determined to drive foolishness out of his son. And he chose to do that quickly while there was hope. 

As parents, it is often easier to overlook our child’s mistakes than to correct them. Discipline is hard. And it is never fun or convenient. That’s why so many parents just defend their child rather than ­discipline. It’s easier. 

But ignoring the poor decisions and foolish behavior of a child is ­dangerous. It will bring shame to you as parents. It will cause them great pain and even bring potential death to them. While discipline is difficult, it is absolutely necessary. 

But there is one more reason. ­Parents who discipline are ­parents who love (Heb. 12:5–8). Let that sink in . . . if you choose not to ­discipline your child, that means you do not love your child. 

Let’s learn the lesson taught this week by an unlikely source . . . ­Keyshaun Johnson. ­Discipline your child.