Richard was kind enough to share his concerns with me here. Dara responded to him with such a powerful testimony that I did not want to leave her words hidden in my comment section. That is why I am reproducing her comment here.
“How interesting, Hermana Linda, that you have determined that there are better ways to guide than those supplied by God’s Word.”
I agree with you that it would be disturbing if someone felt this way. But, I do not see Hermana Linda as doing that. I see that she agrees that the best way to guide children is to do so by God’s Word. The real conflict is among Christians over what God’s Word actually says and should be of utmost importance to all of us.
I was raised being hit with a paddle and carried that over into my own parenting. I took a parenting class at Church that pretty much laid out the plan for who/what/when/where/why/how of spanking. I followed it well, in my opinion. I only spanked for blatant disobedience and they only got 1 whack. Calmly. (With a nasty mean wide paddle so they only “needed” one whack.) Lying earned 3 whacks.
I felt like I was doing what God wanted.
A good friend of mine asked me what I thought about spanking? I told her that as a Christian, absolutely! She needed to do it! And, it was as I was doing searches to try to find teaching on it that I stumbled upon a picture of a shepherd’s rod. I looked into it further and learned that modern shepherds carry something more technologically advanced now instead of the rod – a gun. That revelation ran me over like a train! The modern equivalent to the rod is not a spoon, spatula, switch, paddle, or hand!
If you look into the Bible…there is no instruction to hit children with spoons, spatulas, switches, paddles, or hands! How did I not see this before? How did I attend a class at church that taught me to do this and I never noticed that God’s Word never tells you to do that?
God’s Word also says to strike on the BACK and not the butt?!
And, why?! Why had it never occurred to me that the place I was striking my kids was also a place I’d taught them was not to be touched by strangers? It’s a “special” place (part of the body covered by a bikini!) and here I am hitting them there? And, again! God’ Word says “back” and the teaching of men at church was “butt.” How had I not noticed this?
Further investigation into God’s word then I realized that the Hebrew language, like many other languages on earth right now, use gender specific words for all the phases of childhood like toddler, preschooler, teenager, etc. (An example in Spanish is niño and niña. One is specifically a little boy and one specifically a little girl.)
So! Where our English Bible translates the “rod” verses to simply say a generic all-encompassing word: Child. The language God used to write the Bible uses the specific word for “male teenager.”
God never instructs us to strike a toddler! Never a preschooler! Never a tween! And, NEVER a GIRL! How did I not know this?!
I had 4 daughters at the time I realized this and to realize that I’d been following the words of MEN instead of the words of GOD was horrifying to me. Nothing I’d been doing with that paddle with them was in God’s Word! It was all the words of men!
I have one more daughter now who is currently 6 and has never been hit by me as a form of “training” and wow…if only there was a way for me to draw a picture of how different she is.
We have to be on our guard because that roaring lion knows that the rod…is supposed to be used against HIM. And, if he can convince parents to turn and use that weapon on his prey instead…he will have such an easier job at getting them.
“Stereotypical” pastor’s kids are a great example of how using that weapon on the sheep weakens them and makes them easier prey.
Woe to those who call evil good…