In the previous piece we looked at how spanking/abuse negatively effects the development of empathy in children. We also saw that any type of physical punishment can cause aggressive tendencies in children and adults. Physical punishment also leads to anger in children and adults due to being hurt intentionally by the very people that are supposed to love and protect them. In this piece, we will see that fear is the main effect of hitting children. We will see that by teaching children that God wants them to be spanked, they often develop a fear of God which either strains their relationships with God or causes them to reject Him altogether. Finally, we will see that spanking “in love” is indeed harmful despite what many pro-spankers claim.
Fear-“That child needs the fear of the Lord put in him!”
We have all heard that line from pro-spankers a number of times. As I pointed out Part 5 in my series, “Spanking is NOT God’s Will,” putting the fear of God into a child is one of the primary reasons people spank children. They use fear and respect as interchangeable concepts when they have no similarities in their meanings. (See Part 6 of “The Christian History of Spanking for more info). Fear is indeed the primary effect experienced by all children who are physically punished whether mildly or severely. Pain is why physical punishment is effective, though only temporally, as most humans are afraid of pain and will usually do everything in their power to avoid it. It usually takes only 1 or 2 times of a young child being hit for him/her to become afraid of getting spanked. Most pro-spankers, especially Christians, view this fear as a good thing, and even a must, in order to teach children to obey them and ultimately God. Yet, 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” And 1 John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love. Fear comes from satan. “Courage comes from God, while fear is what Satan tries to give us” (Meyer, 2011, p. 272). Throughout the Bible God tells His people not to be afraid of Him. [Read more...]