I Was Wrong to Tell You to Stop Spanking Your Kid: An Open Letter of Apology…

I was wrong. You heard it here first.

That time. At the mall. You hit your kid and I told you it wouldn’t help anything and asked you to stop.

That was really dumb.

Not because I’ve changed my mind and decided we should hit kids, but because I know better. That approach I took almost never works. After all, you were quite young when we had that conversation. I remember when I was young, whenever someone told me to stop doing something, it motivated me all the more to keep doing it. And I could spout off 37 reasons why I was right and they were wrong. I’m sure you did that in your head that day.

What do I wish I had done? [Read more…]

The Prince of Peace vs. The Prince of This World

A while back, a Christian pro-spanker said that I was doing the work of the devil after engaging in a discussion about why spanking/hitting children is neither Biblical nor from God.  When this person learned about my book, Gentle Firmness: Conveying the True Love of Jesus to Your Children Through His Example, he got even angrier and said I was from the evil one.  Others have accused me of twisting God’s Word in order to fit my own beliefs about not inflicting pain on children in order to “discipline” them.  They quote the same verses from Proverbs at me about using the rod to “discipline” children.  They’re so certain that these verses must be taken literally despite the original Hebrew meanings showing that all of the rod verses that seem to advocate spanking/hitting children were never meant to be taken literally (see my series entitled “Spanking is NOT God’s Will” or my book for more info on how to accurately interpret the “rod” verses), that they quickly become accusatory and insulting.  One must ask, “Who is really driving these people?”

It turns out that I am in awesome company when it comes to being accused of being from satan when it comes to teaching and promoting peace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and healing.  [Read more…]

Download Thy Rod And Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy

Click Here to download the book
Great news!  Samuel Martin has graciously allowed me to host his book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy.  This is a FREE ebook which you can download at any time and share with your friends. All applicable copyright laws apply.  For more info about the book, please see these 22 Testimonies about the book.

After reading this book, please send your thoughts to Samuel Martin at info@biblechild.com.  He really wants to hear both your critiques and your testimonies.

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Is Raising Children The Same As Raising Animals?

            Many Christian pro-spankers such as James Dobson and Michael Pearl equate animal training with child rearing.  Pearl claims that training children is much like training “stubborn mules.”  Dobson uses an example of whipping his tiny dog into submission to taming a toddler.  They believe that training children and animals require fear and pain with “love” in order to achieve absolute obedience.  Is this true?  Is animal training similar to child rearing?  What does God have to say about this?

            I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately due to a recent incident with our cat Patches.  Patches is a calico cat.  She has always been a very oral kitty.  She chews cardboard boxes and lightly bites us whenever she’s happy, playful, or loving.  She never bites aggressively.  Recently, my husband got up in the morning and went into his home office to turn on the computer and his ham radio equipment before getting dressed, making coffee, and feeding our two cats their breakfast.  There is a fan in his office door as the cats are not allowed in there due to all of his electronics.  It can get quite warm in there, so the fan keeps the air flowing.  As usual that morning, the cats greeted my husband in the hallway then eagerly waited for him outside his office door.

All of a sudden there were two loud bangs outside his door then the loud sound of our wooden TV dinner table crashing over.  All the noise alarmed my husband and woke me up.  My husband found Patches in our utility room on top of our water heater very freaked out.  [Read more…]

Don’t Make Children Lie

Last night, my husband and I watched, “The Andy Griffith Show,” and it was the one where Opie was having fun pretending to have a black horse named Blackie.  Andy, Opie’s dad, and Barney and Aunt Bea all had fun with this.  Well, Opie goes off into the woods and meets a lineman named, Mr. McBeevee.  Because Andy had played the Blackie game earlier, and well, since Mr. McBeevee is a rather strange name, Andy doesn’t believe Opie when Opie tells him that this is a real man who really gave Opie a hatchet and then a quarter.  When Andy takes Opie out to the woods to meet this Mr. McBeevee guy, Mr. McBeevee just happens to get called away, making Opie look like a big liar.

When Opie and Andy get home, Opie knows he’s in trouble and Andy is prepared to spank Opie.  [Read more…]

Dara Explains Natural Consequences

Note from Hermana Linda: Pam continues to ask thought provoking questions about how one can raise children without spanking. In This comment, she asks,

What do you mean by natural consequences? I think some of those are what I hoped for my children to avoid and why I view some punishment as a necessary part of discipline. Am I misunderstanding?

Dara Stoltzfus answered her question so well, I have asked her to reproduce her comment here. (Dara, I think I speak for everyone when I say, please don’t apologize for your many insightful words. ) [Read more…]

Discipline VS Neglect

Note from Hermana Linda: We appreciate getting comments and read every one.  This comment from Pam is so long that Steph decided to respond in a post, so here it is.

Hi Steph,
Though I don’t consider myself to be “pro” spanking, I am pro-discipline, and I do believe that infrequent spanking can be part of an over-all discipline plan, when done properly and with love. I have raised two boys and I have two grandsons. I’ve also, taught children and volunteered to work with children in many circumstances. I care about kids and child abuse is a deep concern of mine. I was an abused child, in the forms of medical neglect, emotional neglect, emotional abuse, emotional incest, and sexual abuse by a predator. I also, found myself in several abusive situations as an adult and I agree that children are born with natural ways of standing up for themselves that shouldn’t be taken from them. We all need to be able to protect ourselves. I also, believe that children can be defiant and they need help in learning to use defiance as a way to protect themselves and not as a means of ending up in prison. Part of the neglect I experienced as a child had to do with discipline. I don’t remember any spankings but I was allowed to eat only candy to the point of having fillings in all of my teeth by the time I was six (I also, had abscesses) and all of my teeth falling out by the third grade. My parents excuse this by blaming it on me and my refusal to eat so, they let me eat what I wanted and all I wanted was candy. I was also, sick a lot and they gave me alcohol as medication, I think it put me to sleep and I was less of a bother. The first time they gave me too much and made me drunk was when I was cutting my first teeth. They’ve always told this as a such a funny story… [Read more…]

Is Defiance Real?

I have been thinking a lot about defiance lately.  Is it real when it comes to young children?  Most parents would emphatically answer, “Yes” to this question.  I am not so sure though.  According to dictionary.com, defiance is defined as “A daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.”  To me, this means being able to stand up for what we believe is right.  This is usually a good thing.  Yet, when people discuss children as being “defiant,” it is always viewed as a very negative thing.  In fact, most Christian pro-spankers tell parents to spank/hit children mainly for “defiance.”

Are young children truly being “defiant” when they refuse to do something we want or say, “No!” to us?  I tend not to think so.  Why?  Because defiance is very subjective.  What one person views as “defiance,” another person views as developmentally appropriate behavior or an indicator that something much deeper is going on within the child.  See, to judge whether or not children are being “defiant,” we must look into their hearts.  Only God can do this.  [Read more…]

John Rosemond: Pro-Spanker?

Conservative  Christian, John Rosemond  “is known for his old-fashioned, Bible-based parenting philosophy and approach” according to Wikipedia.  Because of this, I found was very interested to find out that he does not advocate spanking.  While I do not recommend his parenting advice which I find very harsh and punitive,  I decided to share this information on my blog for the following 2 reasons:

1) If you believe that spanking is Biblically mandated you might be interested to know that John Rosemond disagrees with you on that point.

2) If  you do not spank and someone is trying to convince you that it is Biblically mandated, you can now refer them to well known author John Rosemond.

Note that John Rosemond does not condemn spanking and will defend it from those who argue against it, but he says very clearly in his FAQ that he does not advocate for spanking, does not find it very effective and does not believe that it is Biblically mandated.  He does not go into much detail about how he came to that conclusion, so here is an in depth examination of The Biblical Rod.

Making Sure They Learn Their Lesson

I really believe that most parents get no pleasure out of spanking their children and do so only so that they will “learn their lesson.”  But what does spanking children really teach them?  I have seen many testimonies of adults who were spanked as children who did not learn what their parents meant to teach them.  Some of those testimonies can be found in this discussion at Gentle Christian Mothers.  But wait.  Can a child really learn without corporal punishment?  Here is a memory from David H.  Roper who learned a very important lesson without being spanked or even yelled at.  After reading both the discussion and the devotional, take a while to reflect on this question:  would he have learned the same lesson if the person who heard him say that word had spanked him, yelled at him and/or washed his mouth out with soap?

Dara Stoltzfus has a post about this same topic regarding The Lion King.

There is No Fear in Love: Why Spanking Doesn’t Work

When I was ten until I was twelve years old, I attended a small non-denominational Christian school in which spanking was permitted. Although such practice is almost unheard of now, even among private schools, it was fairly common a few decades ago. Of course, like most Christians who spank, the rationale for using a paddle as a disciplinary tool was because “the Bible said so.” As has been noted here several times, the “rod” verses are time and again misinterpreted, as is so much in the Bible these days.

My personal experiences with spanking were absolutely terrifying. Every teacher had the power to spank, and the offenses that called for spanking were at the discretion of the teacher. Since none of my peers knew what could provoke a spanking, we went to school in constant fear. The one instance that stands out most for me was being spanked for a dubious reason.

It was gym class, and one rule that was established at the beginning of the year was that students could not wear jewelry for the duration of the class. One day, I was wearing a new digital watch that my mother had given me for my birthday. After we lined up Coach Baker yelled at me, “I thought I told you no jewelry.” I responded, very sincerely, that I didn’t know watches were jewelry. Immediately, my gym teacher, in a fit of rage, his voice raised several decibels higher, screamed, “Don’t you dare talk back to me.” And that was my first experience with spanking. I remember being confused, hurt, and humiliated, and I can say without hesitation that I have never felt like that before or since. But I didn’t learn anything, except that, apparently watches count as jewelry.

Having had a first-hand experience with spanking, I can say with a measure of authority that spanking does not produce results, neither short nor long-term. After leaving that school, I personally left the church, and refused to attend throughout my school years. Why? I felt that if a school like that could condone and embrace abuse, then I did not want to have any part of the religion or God associated with it. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that God is not about punishment, abuse, and humiliation. God is, in short, love.

But there are many children from Christian households who get spanked, and I don’t doubt for a second that a majority of these children will grow up to either forsake religion, or they will become adults who are angry, scared, or both. After all, as the joke goes, the quickest way for a Catholic to leave the religion is to send him to a Catholic school. I can’t tell you  how many of my friends, having equated Christianity with hate and intolerance, stopped believing merely because their instructors in religious practice were angry people concerned only with physically and psychologically subduing those younger and weaker than them.

In the final analysis, then, spanking isn’t just bad for the child. We know that already. But it is bad for the future of our religion. Our Christian inheritance is distinguished from other religions in that it was the first belief system with its radical message of unconditional love. So for those who constantly cite the Old Testament rod verses, consider this, from the book of John:

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” –I John 4:18-21.

Author Bio:

By Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

The Christian History of Spanking Part 1

This page was part of the rough draft of the soon-to-be-released book, “Gentle Firmness,” by Stephanie Cox.  You may read a few chapters from the book  here.

Spanking to Remove Guilt?

Back in October of 2010, Michael Pearl published an article where he claimed that he had never taught that spanking absolves a child of guilt.  He does, however, teach in that same article that they need the spanking in order to absolve themselves of guilt.

It is clear in all my writing that the forgiveness of which I speak is the parent forgiving the child. The two-year-old does not feel guilt before God. When he has willfully transgressed against his parents’ rules and he hides his misdeeds in shame, he has a psychological need to be cleansed of his guilt and restored to fellowship. This the parent can do through the proper application of the rod and reproof.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point.  However, in his latest article of Feb 2011, he says that spanking can heal a child’s very soul. I don’t believe that anything or anyone but Jesus can heal our souls.

What a joy to possess the ability to instantly gain compliance and instill discipline in our children. However, the most mysterious, almost miraculous, fruit of the properly applied spanking is its ability to heal the child’s soul and create a sweetness of spirit.

I have here some quotes from other teachers which show this same doctrine about spanking being taught:

[Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 8

( part 1 ) ( part 2 ) ( part 3 )

What is grace?  This is the question running through my head as I wrestle with a bit of discouragement as children continue to be harmed by well-meaning people who want so badly to obey God in their parenting.  As I continue to hear the same comments from pro-spankers who seem almost desperate to defend themselves for fear of being wrong.  As I hear on the morning news that two teenagers were shot and killed by their own mother because they were being “mouthy.”  As a book that advocates spanking infants may be being used by people that I know.  What is grace?  Who deserves grace?  Is the Bible Truth or something that can be used however we want in order to support our own beliefs?  What does it mean to be Spirit led and to take up our crosses and follow Jesus?  Why do some Christians proclaim, “God hates fags?”  Why is there so much division in the Body of Christ when God commands us to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” Philippians 2:2?

Another thing that keeps popping up in my mind and during my Bible study is the following verse:

“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” Zechariah 4:6.

This verse is in context with an angel showing Zechariah a vision seemingly related to the coming of a future Messiah to rescue the people.  Yesterday in church, the pastor discussed the uneventful way that Jesus quietly came on the scene amidst the crowds that were waiting by the Jordan River in order to be baptized by a relative, John The Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17).  Everyone thought that the Messiah would come and mightily restore Israel with a mighty sword.  But instead, Jesus came as an infant and lived in humble settings.  He didn’t even look like a powerful king that everyone expected Him to be.  Look how Isaiah the prophet described Jesus: [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 3

( Part 1 ) ( Part 2 )

I finished Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me today.  Here’s more of what I have learned about God’s Word.

Many Christian advocates of spanking children quote the following Proverb in order to support their philosophy that spanking children will save their souls from Hell.  It says: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.   14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” Proverbs 23:13-14 (KJV). Now, the Hebrew word for Hell is Sh’ol.  However, throughout the Hebrew Bible sh’ol doesn’t always mean the eternal, fiery Hell that we immediately conjure up in our minds.  Look at Jonah 2:1-2 where Jonah is talking about being stuck in the whale’s belly:

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry” (NIV).

Obviously, Jonah wasn’t in eternal Hell or permanently dead.  In Job 17:13-16, Job speaks of his only hope in following his family to the grave, sh’ol is translated as grave and corruption.  Sh’ol is also translated as pit as in falling into a pit.  It is clear that the Hebrew word sh’ol does not always mean the eternal Hell and it’s not used in this way any place in the book of Proverbs.  The new NIV translation shows a bit more accurate translation of Proverbs 23:13-14: [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 2

(Part 1)

After reading and studying more today in this wonderful book by Samuel Martin and doing my own Bible study, here are some things that God has revealed to me.

First, the book of Proverbs is the oldest book in the Holy Bible.  While King Solomon and King Hezekiah wrote most of Proverbs, according to Martin’s book, some of it was also written by authors of ancient Egypt hundreds of years prior to King Solomon and King Hezekiah.  In the Hebrew Bible, The Wisdom Literature which are Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are arranged in a different order than they appear in our modern day Bibles.  Instead of Job,  Psalms, Proverbs; it’s Psalms, Proverbs, Job.  These Holy books were inspired by God to be written primarily for young men.

The Hebrew language breaks up each stage of childhood in the Bible into specific names from birth to adulthood.   I will not list them here at the moment, but what is key to point out here is the Book of Proverbs was written for young men (Hebrew: Na’ar).  Na’ar is the teenage years, 12 years to roughly 19.  During this stage of life during biblical times, young men were considered ready to learn the Law, looking to marry, and able to understand abstract concepts.  This makes sense as reknown psychologist Jean Piaget recognized that people 12 and up were in the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development.  Young children cannot think abstractly.  That is why a young child will run to the window if you say it’s raining cats and dogs.  The young child truly expects to see cats and dogs falling from the sky.  The young takes everything at its literal meaning.  [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 1

I am reading a wonderful book by theologian, Samuel Martin, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me. It’s clear from historic, contextual, Hebrew info on the book of Proverbs that we are NOT to spank (hit) children. The book of Proverbs was not meant for verses to be taken out of context. Even Jewish scholars believe that spankings are for boys 12 years & up and only as an absolute LAST resort. Proverbs was written under the Law of Moses. Christians are under the Law of Christ.  What is the Law of Christ?  Grace, peace, mercy and love.  ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”  Galatians 5:22-23.

Jesus freed us from the Law.  “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”  Galatians 5:18. When we spank, we are parenting under the Law.   We are not accepting the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.  Jesus died for us.  He was beaten to a bloody pulp for us.  Why do we feel we must beat, spank, and hit our young children who do not understand sin nor physical punishment.  “In regard to evil be infants” 1 Corinthians 14:20b.

Even Jewish scholars forbid the use of physical punishment for children under 6.  The very age Christian advocates of spanking say it’s best for.  Every time you hit a child, even “lovingly,” you create confusion, anger, fear, and resentment which breed sin later on. [Read more…]

I Don’t Spank My Children by Rachel

Discipline and Discipleship

These words (obviously) share a root word. As a Christian parent, I see these words as inseparable. There are, of course, times when I forget that disciplining my children is ultimately an act of disciple-ing them, but overall this is how I view God’s intended role for me as a mother. I believe this is how most Christians see their roles as parents.

Lest we speak past one another, I want to clearly state here at the beginning that when I use the word “discipline” that I do not mean spanking or punishing my children. Many Christian parents use the word “discipline” when they mean spanking, but this is not how I’m using this word.

Every discussion I’ve ever read or participated in that involves Christians and spanking, someone eventually says that spanking is the God-ordained method of disciplining our children. Some people go so far as to say that NOT spanking is sin; others take a milder approach and say that NOT spanking is, at least, unwise.

I have spanked my children (so I’m not coming from a place of unfamiliarity with the practice), but I do not spank them anymore. Why? Because I found spankings to be a stumbling block and a crutch, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me through my experiences. When spanking was an option I allowed myself, I found that I did not parent well. It was too easy to threaten a spanking instead of communicating with my children. It was too easy to spank instead of dealing with their hearts. It was too easy to give into righteous indignation that my children did not fear me so much that they would jump-to the minute I gave an order. It was too easy to become self-centered and expect my children to make my life easier. In short, spanking gave me an out:  I didn’t have to *work* at parenting, I could just spank them.

If you spank, that last paragraph probably resulted in you writing me off. Maybe you feel insulted — “She’s saying I’m lazy because I spank!” Maybe you’ve categorized me as someone who used spanking “incorrectly”; you are thinking “That’s why I never spank in anger and I always pray and hug my child afterward.” Honestly, I’m accusing you of nothing, I’m simply telling you that NOT spanking improved my parenting, strengthens my connection with my children, and allows me to focus on my ultimate parenting goal: Discipleship. Plainly and simply, spanking got in the way.

Parenting without spanking means that I must stop and *think* about all of the issues that are swirling around us when I give my children instructions. (Are the kids tired? Hungry? Are they having a rough day? Am *I* having a rough day?) I must stop and think about whether the instructions are valid. (Am I being unreasonable? Am I parenting strictly for my own convenience?) Stopping and thinking only takes a few seconds, and as I’ve been parenting this way for several years, I’ve found that I’m rarely aware of these as conscious thoughts anymore.

Parenting without spanking means that my children are free to confess to me without fear of spanking. Sometimes there are consequences for what they confess, but their openness allows us to have a conversation about the issue and for now they accept the natural consequences of their actions with a good attitude. Very rarely do my children attempt to hide their deeds from me, and I’ve had the opportunity to coach them about confessing misdeeds to others in their lives.

Parenting without spanking means that I must actively engage my children about their sinful hearts. Spanking isn’t present to cloud the issue, spanking isn’t present to become the focus of their resentment, spanking isn’t seen as a method of atonement for their sins. I want them to understand that Christ atoned for their sins, therefore we forgive others and ask for forgiveness.

So often when I explain to people that I parent without spanking, their response is, “Maybe you have time to talk to your kids every time, but sometimes I need my children to obey me immediately.” This is not a family-specific need. Sometimes I also need my children to obey me without question, and they usually do when we are in such a situation… I can make it clear with my tone that this is not the time for us to have a discussion or to attempt to give their perspective. We’ve arrived at this point because when my children were younger, if they did not obey me, I simply “made it happen.” If I told them to “Come Here,” and they did not, I went to get them. If I told them to “Pick up your shoes,” and they did not, I placed their hands in mine and made them pick them up. They’ve learned that I will “make” them comply with my commands if they are unable or unwilling to comply on their own.

I know that sounds crazy to you. I know this because it sounded crazy to me when I was first introduced to parenting without spanking. The best way I can explain why I no longer think it is crazy can be summed up by two points:

*Children are immature. At first they are able to do nothing for themselves, so we help them with everything. As they gain maturity, they take on more responsibility and we have to do less for them. I no longer tie shoes or dress my girls, though at one time I did both of these things. At one time they were unable to obey me every time without my help, so I helped them with that, too. Now that they are more mature, I have to help them comply less and less.

*Children sometimes refuse to obey. When this happens, I “make” them obey and the task is done. They are learning that resistance is futile; Mom *will* make me comply. If I were spanking I would have to spank the child for disobedience and then *still* have to make them obey in the end. (And sometimes this is a loop of give instruction, spank for disobedience, continued refusal, spank harder for disobedience, continued refusal, spank even harder for disobedience, continued refusal… and the parent is left with the choice of spanking so hard that it is physically damaging OR deciding it isn’t worth the battle OR doing what I did in the first step and “make” it happen.)

As I mentioned before, many Christians consider NOT spanking to be sinful; others just label it as “unwise” for not heeding “clear instruction” from the Bible. If NOT spanking works well for me, would these Christians have me spank anyway as some sort of insurance plan just in case my exegesis is incorrect? That makes no sense to me, and my God doesn’t want insurance-plan “obedience.”

My discipline goal is discipleship. I found that spanking distracted me from this goal, and the Holy Spirit convicted me to parent gently. So, I don’t spank my children.

-Rachel



My husband’s arguments

Even if The Old Testament did say to hit children, it also says to sacrifice animals and to stone rebellious teenagers (and other sinners).  So, anyone who spanks (or strikes) their children is living under the Law and therefore, not under Grace.  If we are living by Grace, we must apply grace to our children.

God does not have a rod in His hand to hit us with it every time we don’t obey.  He punishes us by our own consequences.  God says, “Don’t go to your right or to your left, stay on the straight and narrow path which are my commandments and if you don’t, you will suffer the consequences.” Here are some examples. Let’s talk about Adam, in Eden, remember? God told him do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told him the consequences they would suffer if they disobeyed. And when Adam ate the fruit, God didn’t scold him, nor did He hit him with anything. Adam suffered his own consequences for his disobedience. And what were the consequences? He took away the privileges of being able to live forever, so he had to die. He also was no longer allowed to stay in Eden and live a life of leisure. Now, let’s look at Moses’ consequences. When God told Moses to speak to the rock and instead he hit the rock, God told him that the consequences of what he did were that he would not enter the Promised Land, he would not enjoy the land, nor be the one to distribute the land to 9.5 of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Numbers 20:10-12) No amount of begging on the part of Moses could change His mind, he finally refused to discuss it further with him. (Deut 3:23-26) He did not hit Moses, he simply took away those privileges and Moses was remorseful. So what we see here is the discipline of the Lord. And these are only 2 of many examples of God disciplining His children. Also, notice that Adam and Moses were adults. The Bible does not show instances of God punishing little children.

If our children do not obey, we have to explain to them what we require and why.  We take away privileges when they don’t obey, as God does to us.  He takes privileges away from us when we are disobedient.  He only does this with His children.  Here are some examples. The ungodly may prosper, but when God’s children disobey, they suffer the consequences. That is the way that God scourges us. (Hebrews 12:6-8)  Who are God’s children?  The ones who have The Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:14) And who has the Holy Spirit?  Those who have believed in Jesus Christ as their savior. (Acts 2:38)

Let me remind you of what Jesus said when the disciples stopped the children from coming to Jesus.  He said, “Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of  God.”  What happened after?  He blessed the little children.  What we learn from this is that Jesus rebuked the disciples for scolding the children.  Jesus teaches us by this verse that we have to listen to our own children, not yell at  them, nor spank them, nor mistreat them in any way.  We must communicate with them, not just say, “Do this because I say so.”  We must bless our children as well as discipline.  Discipline does not mean spanking or hitting.  It means to make someone our disciples by teaching them.  How do we get disciplined?  By repetition.  We must be patient with our children as God is patient with us.  He gives us our own free will to decide how we will respond, he does not want robots.  Nor should we train our children to be like robots, obeying without thinking.

When the Bible says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) this means to respect your children so that they will learn to respect you.  Because if you don’t respect them first, they will not respect you.  And the training here does not mean that kind of training you would do to animals because it’s the training of the Lord and the Lord does not train us like animals.   Training here means instruction, correction and nurture. And admonition means calling attention to, mild rebuke or warning.

And don’t forget, when your time is up to go face God, you have to give an account for how  you treated your children.  I believe that according to the Bible, hitting them for any reason and with any thing is abusing them.  And if anyone is abusing their children in this way, they are violating The Word Of God in Eph 6:4. We are called to love our children, not to abuse them. The Love of which I speak here is Agape, as defined in 1 Corinthians 13.

-Irbin