The Straw Man
A “straw man argument” is when an opponent’s position is misrepresented and then argued against. Modern psychology has employed this tactic to great effect in distorting what Scripture says about physical discipline. Heated rhetoric is often deployed in an attempt to portray the “rod of correction” approach to discipline as one of violence, anger, and physical harm. Many churchgoers buy into this lie and shun what Scripture clearly teaches. Author Tedd Tripp sheds much needed light on what the “rod” really is:
The rod is a parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children, undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely, measured, and controlled use of physical punishment to underscore the importance of obeying God, thus rescuing the child from continuing in his foolishness until death (Shepherding a Child’s Heart p104).
The godly parent understands that healthy communication works hand in hand with physical discipline. He never disciplines out of frustration, anger, or revenge and never to inflict physical harm. Famous Bible teacher John Piper had these profound words to say “you don't damage a child. You don't give him a black eye or break his arm. Children have little fat bottoms so that they can be whopped” (http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/104/3594_Would_Jesus_spank_a_child/). Godly parenting sees spanking as a biblically mandated and integral part of lovingly raising children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Better still is the joy of reconciliation that follows the satisfactory punishment of rebellion.
Physical discipline is merely a shadow of the discipline that God metes out to His children. In fact, Hebrews 12 tells us that discipline from our Heavenly Father confirms that we are His children. What better way to reflect this truth to our children than by discharging our God ordained duty as parents who lovingly discipline.
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