To Spank Or Not To Spank
A friend of mine was called to the elementary school where his son was attending. The teacher was calling for help in dealing with his son’s misbehavior. When he arrived at the classroom he pulled his son to the side and reprimanded him for what had happened. At the end of his conversation he told him, “If your behavior does not change and I have to return, I will spank you.” The teacher overheard his threat and said, “If you do, I will call the police”.
Raising children today is a challenge for godly parents. Not only are we faced with the same daunting responsibility of every generation to, “not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph.6:4) but today one of the main tools in corrective discipline is being taken away. The Devil has convinced many of the “experts” in our culture that spanking/corporal punishment is ineffective, teaches a child to be violent himself and must be stopped.
The World’s Philosophy
“There's no reason to get physical with a child when other discipline tactics are more effective," says Benjamin Siegel, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. “The committee’s position is that spanking often involves abuse, which endangers a child’s safety and can cause psychological damage, leading to aggressive behavior, substance problems and acts of delinquency during adolescence.” (The Great Spanking Debate, Parents Magazine, Jan. 2012) Several alternatives are offered such as: “Positive Reinforcement”, “Ignoring the Behavior”, “Time-Outs” and “Logical Consequences”. These tools can also be used effectively in the proper raising of a child but why ban spanking? The deeper problem is a lack of respect for the word of God. Satan is always trying to undermine the truth of the Bible with a lie. Unfortunately, he finds many willing vocal accomplices in the world of the elite in academia.
The truth is, God has told parents for generations, “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly”. (Prov. 13:24) “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him”. (Prov. 22:15) “You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell”. (Prov. 23:14) “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother”. (Prov. 29:15) “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul”. (Prov. 29:17) God even teaches us by example when He says through Solomon, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction: For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights”. (Prov. 3:11-12) These instructions of the Lord have been true since Adam and Eve and will be true as long as fathers and mothers raise children on this earth.
The fads of human philosophy change with the wind and those who follow them will reap the whirlwind. Unfortunately, the character of children raised with these fads will be mal-formed but the parents will not see this until it is too late. Sorrow and guilt will be felt by the parents as a smile forms on the face of the Devil. Only the timeless truth of God gives stability, provides an atmosphere for well-rounded growth and will produce the kind of character that will fill the heart of a parent with joy and bring a smile on the face of God.
The fact is, a child is not capable of being in charge. They do not have the knowledge nor the developed decision-making skills to rule the home. God gave that responsibility to the parents. If the parents are not willing to take on this responsibility, they should not bring children into the world. It’s not fair to the child or the world.
Use the “rod” as part of the whole process of discipline. Curb inappropriate behavior with negative consequences. Promote appropriate behavior with positive reinforcement. Define rules and consequences clearly to promote security for the child. When violated, meet out the consequences quickly, especially for younger children, and consistently (one of the most difficult challenges). Mom and Dad must be unified in communicating the rules and consequences as well as enforcement. Use the “rod” sparingly, primarily when parental authority is being challenged. Meet immaturity and childishness with a stern warning or, at times, encouragement.
The opposition of the world to spanking in our time will be seen by future generations (if the Lord allows this world to continue) as a mistake. The support and practice of the timeless truths of God will always bear good fruit. Trust God and He will direct your path in one of the most precious relationships, raising your child.
Join us this coming Sunday as Jeff Archer presents a sermon entitled "Family Bible Study and Worship." This will be the final lesson in our Spring Series, which is focusing on the theme "God Give Us Christian Homes." Join us at 3:00 p.m. for this important study.