My wife and I have been having a bit of trouble with our 6 year old son recently. The boy is just at that stage of life where he's stubborn and rebellious. I wondered how the blessed people would handle such a kid, and so I turned to the Bible for help. My search led me to Deuteronomy 21:18-21.
Verses 18 & 19 go like this:
18. If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19. Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place.
Well so far, this passage seemed to be leading me in the right direction. We had certainly chastened him, depriving him of his gameboy and i-pod for hours at a time, yet the kid had just refused to hearken to us. And so, I figured that we'd have no choice but to bring the boy out unto the elders of the city. This presented a problem though, since I didn't know who the elders were. However, a quick look in the yellow pages cleared that up, for it advised me to look under "Nursing Homes." So, preparing to take the boy to the local nursing home, I read further to see what to do next.
Verses 20 goes as follows:
20. And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
So here is where my questions begin to arise. Do I have to say unto all of the elders at once, or can I just select one or two who don't seem too senile. Also, must I use the words exactly as stated above? I mean, is this like some sort of magical incantation? And what do I do if the boy isn't really a glutton or a drunkard? Sure, he overeats from time to time, but I wouldn't say that it's to the point of gluttony. And the drunkard point would really be a lie. I do seem to have a vague memory of giving the kid a little wine to, let's say, help him get to sleep, but I hardly think that counts as being a drunkard.
Verse 21 tells the punishment required after bringing the boy to the elderly. It states:
21. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
This part may give me some problems with my wife. So, can I use that drunkard part in verse 20 as a loophole? If he doesn't fit all of the qualifications, can we at least wait until he starts drinking on his own. If not, do all the men of the city have to stone the boy with stones? Can any be excused on grounds of illness of prior obligations. If not, it may be a little hard to get all the men together at one time. How long can such a stoning with stones be put off? What do people in large cities like New York do for such all-male stoning activities. Also, where can I find information concerning the specifications of the stones? Is this knowledge of the elders?