Monday, July 30, 2012

now the full story . . .

I'll just jump right in.

Several months ago, February 20th, Gresham and I had been having a little misunderstanding as to whether he had to tell me the truth or not, and that when I asked him a question, whether or not he had to answer it.  On that day, it was a question of where he had gotten a paint brush from in order to paint.

The situation warranted a spanking and I was careful to spank him over his pants, and pause between spankings to give him an opportunity to come clean by asking him where he had gotten it.  He refused to tell me, and even when faced with the consequence of another spanking, he held to his resolve not to.  He acceded to the discipline of being spanked, and I ended up giving him several spankings, one after another, with pauses and questions, thinking at one point he would give in and tell me the truth.  That is when the sheriff was called.

Two sheriff arrived and asked questions concerning me spanking my son.  I told them everything I had done, and they also talked with Gresham.  In addition, they talked with Macy who had witnessed part of the event.  After a little discussion, they asked if I would be willing to go to the sheriff's office to talk and I agreed. While there, I talked with a Child Protective Services worker and then spent the next hour or two waiting for them to decide my fate.  According to the report, I had violated Gresham and was charged with Domestic Violence and taken to jail.  The fact that I used a paint stir stick constituted domestic violence because it was considered a weapon to inflict pain.

I spent the night in jail, and was released the next day on my own recognizance; which meant that I signed that I would show up for a later court appearance, and promised not to do anything else illegal during that time.  With a sheriff escort, I was given twenty minutes to collect whatever clothing I would need, stopped by the farm, got some clothing, and left the property due to a Temporary Protection Order on Gresham.  And, I was not to return to the property until the matter was settled.  The matter was settled July 10th.

I spent 139 days away from the farm, and away from my family.  I did not speak, write to, or receive any correspondance from Gresham the entire time.  I was though able to contact the other children.  I spent the time staying with my mother in her apartment waiting desparately for the case to be dropped.  I missed the end of winter, all of spring, and the first of the summer here on the farm.  And then, like a light being turned on, July 10th the case was dropped!  I was able to come home.  Gresham was with another family for the night so I was unable to see him that day.  But, the following evening, he came home.  He had grown so much, had lost and gained new teeth, and used a whole new slew of vocabulary words!  WOW, was it ever great to be home again.

Tomorrow is the three week mark of my return.  The children have almost forgotten that I had been away for so long, and we are back in the routine of summer here on the farm.  I have a few more weeks before school starts to finish the work around here to get the place back up to speed.

Thanks to all who have prayed for us in this situation.  It has been a rough time, and God has been gracious again. :)

5 comments:

Herrick Kimball said...

Garth,

That is a disappointing story, and I'm sorry to hear it. I'm disappointed with the government intrusion.

I know a man who got angry with his daughter in public, and spoke harshly to her, and it led to a very invasive social services investigation.

I'm glad to know you are back with your family.

Momof4fabkids said...

Child services can often over step their bounds in the name of being cautious.

Of course, I also wonder if Jesus would ever take a paint stick to a child.

foutfolk said...

No, Jesus would never use a paint stick on a child.

We use them to warn the child of the greater danger He has in store for them. Hell. Where there is eternal punishment, not just a momentary infliction.

Charity Hood said...

A better way to guide your children is by example, which may include showing them that people who are bigger and stronger should never hurt those who are smaller and weaker but use kindness and Love instead to guide them. If your child is so afraid of you that he won't tell you where he got a paintbrush, then maybe you should consider where you may end up as a result of your actions. I am sure that God will lead your son down the path of light. Your child is a gift from God, there is no excuse for ingratitude. Your son would not go to hell for lying to you. Think of the greater lesson, brother.

foutfolk said...

If I am to read between the lines of your comment, I would guess that I am not your brother. :(

The Bible is clear on how we are to train children in the way they should go. And unfortunately, somtimes that means they do get some discipline that hurts. A light affliction that teaches a lesson on how they are to respond to their parents.

You are right. People who are bigger should not hurt those who are smaller. Unless the hurting is to help teach them the greater lesson of listening to the voice of God. And at this point, I am to teach him not to lie to me, so that he will not lie to God.

God does use love and kindness to guide us, and He also uses some REALLY stiff consequences to get our attention as well. And if we choose not to listen to Him, in the end, He sends us to hell for eternity. That is what is real.

My hope is that my discipline to my son reminds him that I love him enough to care for his soul, and that I am willing to do what it takes to get him to be a truthful man before God one day. And I hope that he does not follow the "path of light" as you say. Instead, my hope is that he follows Christ. The "path of light" is sometimes a deception.

There is no excuse for ingratitude. Especially concerning our children. :)