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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is Spanking Biblical?

Discipline, to spank or not to spank, that is the question. I think as parents most of us struggle with punishment and correction. Kids are not born with instructions, I mean really the baby pops out and there is no instruction sheet to be found! Or is there?
I was raised believing that the Bible says we must spank our children, but does it really? Well the answer to that is this: The Bible is interpreted differently by everyone so that is everyone's own opinion. I will preface the rest of this post by saying that what I write is for me and my family, it doesn't mean it is wrong or right for anyone else. It means that my husband I make choices for our little family and I am talking about it here. No judgement on anyone who does it differently.
Okay that said, I know that as a human when I spank my small son or daughter I feel HORRIBLE, GUILTY and BAD! I have just hit my child. I cry every time. I got to where I could not spank my children because it hurt my heart so badly. My son has only had a few swats and when he has gotten them he cried, not a cry where he is hurt, I mean his swats were through a diaper! But a cry of his heart breaking, non understanding of why mommy or daddy just hit him. Utter confusion, desperation and heartbreak. I couldn't take that anymore. 
Look at these little faces! 

So the word discipline means to train, to teach, to correct. The word punish means to give a penalty. Many people have said to me that we need to spank and punish our children because of what the Bible says, there are many verses that talk about training the child with the rod, one in particular says "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him" Proverbs 13:24. I find this verse to be the most used one when others are pushing spanking. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" Proverbs 22:15. Okay so I can list verse after verse like those two, telling me to use the rod on my children. Or is that the meaning? 
If one takes time to study the Word and understand its original meanings, one will find that many things in the Bible are taken incorrectly often. All through the Bible... however I digress. The Rod: the rod is something shepherds use in the Biblical days, NOT to beat the sheep but to GUIDE the sheep. The rod was only used to beat off predators. Are our children predators? I think not! 
So what then is the rod for? Guiding our children! And what exactly is the rod today? Perhaps the Word of God that is sharper than any two edged sword? Able and ready to fight off predators, the principalities of darkness? As I begin to examine this I begin to realize the rod is the Word of God, when my son or daughter begin to act out we turn to the Word as our rod, our guiding tool like the shepherd guiding his sheep, we also use the word to fend off the darkness that bad behavior is coming from. We learn that a servant of the Lord is kind (2 Timothy), we learn what the fruits of the spirit are, we learn that children should obey their parents in the Lord. When Jaxon starts throwing a fit I get nose to nose with him and I tell him "It is written, a servant of the Lord is kind 2 Timothy 2:4" and I do not kid when I say, he immediately stops and becomes loving again. Speaking the word actually works! It really does! 

So for today this is all, tomorrow I will talk about consequences and punishment etc and continue this. 

A special thanks to my sister who first helped me find the answers and through this blog as my first guiding tool to begin exploring this topic. If this interests you go read that blog, it is way more technical then I get!!

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