Friday, September 18, 2009

Spanking - Grilling A Sacred Cow (Part 7)

The Savior

It has been said that as parents we spend the first two years of a child’s life teaching them to walk and talk and the next twenty years trying to make them sit down and shut up. But spanking done properly drives deeper than external behavior. It realizes that sinful external behavior is the fruit of a sinful heart. And only God is powerful enough to change that sinful heart. Rectifying behavior is a nice byproduct and a superficial goal. But if we approach discipline with an eternal perspective we will see something much bigger.

Every time that you discipline a child and every time that you decide not to discipline a child, you are telling that child something about God and you are hardwiring into that child lessons about God that are going to be there for the rest of the life of that child. (Russell D Moore – The Purpose Driven Paddle audio)

The heart of biblical discipline is to teach our children about God. It teaches them that sin has serious consequences. It reveals that sin is the fruit of their sinful nature and it cultivates a hunger for righteousness. Now we simply aren’t powerful enough to make our children righteous, but our loving discipline done right will point them to the only source of true righteousness – the Savior Jesus Christ.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (IICorinthians 5:21 ESV).

So don’t avoid that sacred cow called spanking. Trust the Maker’s Manual and
take it by the horns!

Go Back To Part 6
Go Back To Part 1

2 comments:

Tim said...

Cameron, this is so refreshing to read a clear Biblical perspective on physical discipline. I believe that psychology and the resulting lack of discipline have affected our world in ways beyond our imagination. God-fearing parents must raise up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is impossible without obeying these plain truths from the Word of God! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am enjoying your blog & videos. However, I have four children ages 6,13,15 & 17 which I have never spanked.

I did homeschool my children & I have always disciplined my children by setting clear expectations & consequences. I am very proud of my children, they are very polite, well mannered & very caring individuals.

My reasons for not spanking is varied. Within the homeschooling world, I noticed that spanking is treated almost like a badge that a good Christian wears. Within homeschooling magazines there were ads for the "rod" we also had the Ezzos advoacting spanking from infancy onwards.

I struggle to imagine Jesus spanking a child. Part of this comes from the fact that the majority of my generation (I'm 43) come from the spanking generation. I look around, & I wonder, would society be on this path if parents had been more involved with children rather than just reacting.

I remember vividly the violation I felt as a child being spanked...often justifiably, but it did not take away from the violation I felt. I also hated the forced "kiss & make up" time. I would inwardly be hurt & angry but outwardly suck it up & pretend all was fine because I wanted things back to normal.

Please understand, I wasn't spanked often. As a teenager, I can remember my parents talking to me telling me their expectations for me. I wanted to please my parents & I was a "good" teenager.

So, what I took from that was my desire to please my parents was stronger when they were clear with their expectations, clear when I had disappointed them, proper consequences for whatever my error was versus a spanking at a young age were your inability to understand why the person you love & trust is hitting you.

I have also discovered that setting clear consequences & expectations takes work on the part of the parent. I was always on top of my children when they acted up. Many times it would have been so much easier to give them a swat or spank them versus being on top of situations that bring out bad behaviour.

As I have said to my Christian friends, they occassional swat on the behind doesn't concern me. What does concern me is when we hold up verses of scripture as the only way to discipline a child.

My main point is my fear that for many, the permission to spank creates an atmosphere of fear in the home, lack of trust & a door that can be opened which leads to even more excessive discipline.

I am no way equipped to debate scripture. In fact, that is why I am on your site. I truly appreciate your mission to proclaim the gospel & to help equip us to watch for a watered down message coming from our churches.

However, at the same time, woman no longer retreat for seven days to the red tent...we no longer cover our heads in church, etc., so I humbly suggest that our understanding of discipline does not necessarily have to mean spanking. Though, in no way do I advocate the permissive, slack parenting that I see today.

I can only go back to me trying to imagine Jesus spanking a child...I just can't.