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Thread: A Fresh Look at Spanking

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    A Fresh Look at Spanking

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Brandan,

    Just a quick response. I have recently thought about this issue as well and have come to the conclusion that the emphasis shouldn't be on "spanking" or "beating" with a rod, but on discipline. Now, granted, spanking is one form of discipline, but there are many other ways and methods as well. In fact for some children spanking doesn't produce the desired results: discipline.

    Unfortunately some have used these scriptures that you quoted to justify physical abuse.

    Just my humble ramblings....
    Anthony Lawson, sinner saved by imputed righteousness

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Well, I definitely believe in discipline! I also don't want to be a mamby pamby pc whimp either. I believe we should guide our children; but I honestly don't believe the Bible teaches "spanking" as a discipline method any longer. Spanking as a form of punishment is popular today in many circles primarily due to the puritanical influence in my opinion.
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    I think you are stretching it here a bit Brandon.

    What was the writer trying to get across? What would the audience he wrote to think when they read what he wrote? What did Jewish parents back in the old testament do when they enacted discipline? They used a physical rod for correction.

    But as reformed thinkers we know that the word world (gr. kosmos) does not necessarily mean "all men universally". So does the "rod" necessarily mean "to spank?"

    I would be careful apply the "word world (gr. kosmos) does not necessarily mean all men universally " argument because it is shoe-horned here.

    I can tell you right now that I've never been spanked by my Lord. I've never been punished.

    Just because God didn't come down from heaven and physically spank you doesn't mean that isn't what is meant here. Isn't chastisement punishment?

    chas·tise
    To punish, as by beating. See Synonyms at punish

    I would say it is.

    Ps 23:4, (KJV), Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    The Psalm 23:4 use of rod is used in the sense of protection. The Shepard would use a rod to protect himself and his flock from wild animals or men trying to harm them. But the rod in the other verses are referring to the rod of correction. A disciplinary tool.

    I am His sheep, and He has used His rod to guide me and correct me; but never to beat me.

    I would say that spanking is a shadow/type of what the Lord does do to us.

    Dave


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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoder
    What was the writer trying to get across? What would the audience he wrote to think when they read what he wrote? What did Jewish parents back in the old testament do when they enacted discipline? They used a physical rod for correction.
    Are you sure? Consider that the Jews STONED sinners to death if they disobeyed the law. Would you say that should be done today as well? This is from an article Angie found somewhere on the internet (note: I do not endorse the whole article and found stuff in it that was less than desireable):
    But you might consider a different interpretation of these teachings. "Rod" (shebet) means different things in different parts of the Bible. The Hebrew dictionary gives this word various meanings: a stick (for punishment, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.). While the rod could be used for hitting, it was more frequently used for guiding wandering sheep. Shepherds didn't use the rod to beat their sheep - and children are certainly more valuable than sheep.
    ....
    The book of Proverbs is one of poetry. It is logical that the writer would have used a well-known tool to form an image of authority. We believe that this is the point that God makes about the rod in the Bible – parents take charge of your children. When you re-read the "rod verses," use the concept of parental authority when you come to the word "rod," rather than the concept of beating or spanking. It rings true in every instance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoder
    I would say that spanking is a shadow/type of what the Lord does do to us.
    1 Cor 4:21, (KJV), What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

    Eph 6:4, (KJV), And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    Col 3:21, (KJV), Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

    Here are some NT passages on parenting. Now I'm not saying they are anti-spanking passages. But what is spanking anyway? It's inflicting PAIN on a person in reaction to something wrong that they have done. It is done in order to prevent them from doing it again.

    God does not use wrath as a way to keep His children in line. He makes them willing to obey Him because THEY LOVE HIM and desire to obey Him, not because they are afraid of His wrath. Yes He disciplines and chastises them. Yes He chastens them (another word for chastise which means to censure severely).
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables."



    Here is God using physical pain in the NT.

    My point being is that God does use pain to correct his children.

    Just because you love somebody doesn't mean that you will do all things right without being corrected....

    Let me look into this more and get back to you on this.

    But as far as the main point goes...

    1. The Bible does teach spanking (and spanking is not in the same ballpark as stoning)
    2. The Bible doesn't teach against it

    Dave


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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Yes Yoder, but this was not done on those He loved - these were the enemies of Christ engaged in blasphemy.
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    How do we know there wasn't any of the elect there? If God is immutable and loves his elect at all times then he is beating them.

    Is this arguement flimsy? Sure.

    But so would be stating that saying that the writers in the old testiment didn't mean an actual rod of correction/spanking.

    Wisdom is proven right by her actions.

    Kids that are spanked are less likely to:

    1. Commit a crime
    2. Cause trouble in school
    3. Smoke
    4. Drink

    ect.... ect....

    The fruits of proper spanking are good.

    Dave


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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    I saw this guy speak at one time... very good article: Again... I don't agree with everything here. (Specially the claim that the bible is a manual for mankind)

    The Old Testament
    Detective Robert R. Surgenor


    We've discussed how the Bible teaches us that corporal punishment in child rearing is an important part of parenting. When God created us, He knew exactly what instructions to write in His manual. Not only have we received direct orders, we have been provided with examples showing us the results of man's obedience or disobedience to the rules.

    When I first started researching the subject of spanking, I was unaware of how much of God's word dealt with that very subject. I have nowhere near the knowledge that my dad has acquired since he began preaching in 1964, so using him as a resource was a blessing. I began to discover amazing things about spanking children for misbehavior, especially in the Old Testament.
    The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:4. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Even the Old Testament (things written aforetime) contains information about corporal punishment that we should heed. We are given examples of certain parenting methods used by famous Bible fathers, and the results of those methods.

    In First Samuel we read of one of the Bible's "non-spanking" parents, the priest Eli, who felt that he could "reason" with his children. Was his "reproof" effective without any "rod?" In 1 Samuel 2:23 we read of Eli speaking to his sons, "And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress." Eli is rebuking his sons verbally. He asks them why they are acting in such a manner and then advises them that what they are doing is wrong. God then spells out the results of this "rodless" correction in 1 Samuel 3:12. God says "For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." Why did Eli's children turn out "vile?" The answer is loud and clear. The verse states "he restrained them not." Eli failed to punish his children when they misbehaved! Eli had the habit of talking and not acting.

    In 1 Kings we read of Adonijah, one of King David's sons, who grew up with an attitude of no fear. In fact, his lack of respect for authority caused him to attempt to overthrow a perfectly righteous government. Why did he grow up with this type of attitude? 1 Kings 1:6 states "His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" In other words, David did not "displease" his son by demanding accountability for his actions. If you check the meaning of the word "displease" in the original Hebrew text, you will be amazed to find that the word "`atsab" (pronounced "aw-tsab"), means to "be in pain." This verse implies that the lack of corporal punishment, resulting in a lack of pain, caused Adonijah to grow up with an attitude of no fear of authority. David, one of the godliest men in the Bible, was a non-spanking parent. The result was a son who was out of control.

    What about the parent who demands respect for their authority? Is there any place in the Bible that addresses this aspect of parenting? Need you ask? In Genesis 18:19, the Scriptures tell us of Abraham and his parenting skills. God says of him, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment."

    Do you recall the story of Abraham and his son, Isaac?

    Genesis chapter twenty two contains one of the greatest stories of parental authority and the obedient child ever in the human race. Isaac's respect for his father's authority reached to the limits of allowing himself to be placed on an altar to be sacrificed. Abraham's respect for God's authority caused him to do as God ordered, without question. Unfortunately, two major problems I am observing in today's youth are these, no respect for parental authority, and no fear of God.

    How much time do we have to instill these values into our children? Proverbs 19:18 gives us an indication that time is of the essence. The verse says "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Chasten, in the original Hebrew is "yacar" (pronounced "yaw-sar") which means to discipline, instruct, and admonish. We are to chasten while there is yet "hope."

    The word hope, in the original Hebrew is "tiqvah" (pronounced "tik-vaw"), meaning an "expectation of an outcome."

    Experience shows us that a child left to himself during the early years grows up to be unmanageable. We are to discipline our children during the years when we can expect a positive outcome, before they are teenagers, before they reach adolescence, while they are young, "while there is hope." These are the years when the parent can make an impression on the child's mind and soul, and expect a positive outcome. A child should be disciplined the very first time there is an obvious defiance of authority or conscious violation of a known rule. The age doesn't matter. The intent of the child does matter.
    God suggests in this verse that the parent not be swayed by the actions of the child. I believe that this verse encourages parents to spank their child even if it appears that the child is remorseful for their actions and that the negative behavior has ceased.

    Read this verse carefully. The second portion states "and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Spare, in the original Hebrew is "nasa" (pronounced "naw-saw"), which means to "forgive" or "accept." In cases where a spanking is the obvious method of discipline for the offense, a parent should not forgive the child or accept an apology without carrying out the prescribed discipline. What if the child is genuinely remorseful? "Let not thy soul spare for his crying."

    Has God's manual for mankind ever been wrong?



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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Quote Originally Posted by yoder
    Kids that are spanked are less likely to:

    1. Commit a crime
    2. Cause trouble in school
    3. Smoke
    4. Drink

    ect.... ect....

    The fruits of proper spanking are good.
    Fallacy! Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    At times I was spanked, and at other times I was beat...

    I came to a couple of conclusions due to this:

    1) There's a line between discipline and violence;

    2) There are things I still do not do to this day BECAUSE my Mom lovingly whooped my @$$;

    3) From time to time, I would get caught by an adult in the neighborhood and he/she would whoop my backside, bring me home and inform my mother. My mother would thank them, then take me into my room and whoop me for a second time.

    These instances kept me in line, period. They communicated consequence in a language I would understand, and trust me... I got the point.

    I pray to God more people would spank their kids because, quite frankly, I'm sick of Dr. Spock goobly-gook horse-manure that breeds nothing but contempt for authority in society.

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    UGC, spanking may have worked for you. Are you sure nothing else would work?
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    It should only be used as a final means in my opinion. Sort of like the last straw.

    You can't very well sit down with a child and reason with him/her as to the consequences of their action, and the implications of defying authority. It's just not going to work during certain stages of their development.

    They can have their privileges taken way, send them to their rooms, or even make them stand in the corner for a time out, but there will come a time when when one might have to turn them over their knee.

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    A very sound exegetical argument with respect to the topic at hand.

    THE ROD AND REPROOF

    The Loving Discipline of Covenant Children

    Rev. Steven Key
    "The rod and reproof give wisdom:
    but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
    The living God takes very seriously the baptismal vows which parents make and the responsibility He gives all parents when He gives them children.
    Discipline is the order of God's government, an order given to us because He knows that we are sinners - indeed, that we are conceived and born in sin. Today, the wickedness of the society in which we live has also permeated the church. And it has not left us unaffected. The Lord has entrusted to us as members of the Protestant Reformed Churches a most beautiful truth, that of the covenant. God takes us into His own life of fellowship and love, and causes His own covenant life to vibrate through us His people. And He has directed us clearly how we ought to function as His covenant people in the midst of our families. But there is an unrelenting effort on the part of Satan to destroy our families. And there is an unrelenting effort to destroy the truth of the covenant as it applies in a very practical way to family life and the instruction and discipline of our children.
    In obedience to God, we parents in the Protestant Reformed Churches present our children to God for the administration of infant baptism as a sign and seal of that everlasting covenant of grace. (In the worship service where baptism is administered, parents make vows before God in answer to the following questions in our Baptism Form.
    "First. Whether you acknowledge, that although our children are conceived and born in sin, and therefore are subject to all miseries, yea, to condemnation itself; yet that they are sanctified in Christ, and therefore, as members of his Church ought to be baptized?
    "Secondly. Whether you acknowledge the doctrine which is contained in the Old and New Testament, and in the articles of the Christian faith, and which is taught here in this Christian Church, to be the true and perfect doctrine of salvation?
    "Thirdly. Whether you promise and intend to see these children, when come to the years of discretion [whereof you are either parent or witness], instructed and brought up in the aforesaid doctrine, or help or cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power?"
    For many of us in the Reformed church world, it has been hundreds of times that we have heard these vows of the Baptism Form answered with a simple, "Yes." But how many times have we truly meditated upon the meaning and significance of those vows? For example, we acknowledge that our children are sinners, holy only in Christ. We confess our belief that the doctrine taught in this Christian church is the true and perfect (or more accurately, the "complete") doctrine of salvation. We promise and acknowledge our intention to instruct our children and to bring them up in that complete doctrine of salvation. But do we realize that that doctrine is not only a knowledge of the various fundamental truths of Scripture's doctrine, but that it also involves much more? Do we realize that the doctrine contained in the Old and New Testaments is also all that which God teaches us concerning the way of the Christian life and the way of family life and the way we must discipline our children? Yes, usually contrary to methods of child-rearing proclaimed by the psychologists and "experts" of this world, God Himself gives us clear instruction in child discipline. That is not to say that it is easy instruction. That is not to say that we will even agree with that method of discipline, as far as our sinful minds are concerned. But when God Himself gives instruction, you and I must not only listen; we must obey.
    The Book of Proverbs is filled with rich instruction, also concerning the upbringing of covenant children. Yet, I think any minister who understands the importance of Christ-centered preaching will tell you that to preach from the Proverbs is very difficult. There are not many sermons preached from the Book of Proverbs, certainly not series of sermons. It is not that the Proverbs are difficult to understand. They are often only too painfully clear. But when preaching from the Proverbs it is difficult not to fall into the error of making the Proverbs so many moral homilies that apply to all men. It is easy to overlook the Proverbs as part of that one portrait of the God of our salvation in the face of Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, as we consider the words of Proverbs 29:15, I urge you to heed the call that we have here with respect to the training of our children - not because I say so as a parent who thinks he knows it all, but because the only wise God says, "The rod and reproof give wisdom." And it is exactly when we understand this as something far more important than instruction in child psychology, when we see this as the authoritative instruction God gives us to rear our children in Christ, that we see the importance of heeding this word. I call your attention, therefore, to: The Discipline of the Rod and Reproof


    We consider this theme under three headings:
    I. Necessary Discipline
    II. Twofold Discipline
    III. Rewarding Discipline
    I. The Necessary Discipline of Which the Text Speaks Is That of Training a Child.


    And, more particularly, when we remember that the Scriptures are addressed to the church of God, and here specifically to covenant parents, then we see that the writer refers to the child of the covenant.
    It is true that this proverb expresses a general maxim that can be applied to all the children of men: The rod and reproof are proper means of discipline for all children to help them best to function in society (if that is how you want to interpret "wisdom"); but a child undisciplined and turned loose brings his mother to shame. That is true as a general rule for all men. But if we make of this text a general rule, a proverb for all, then we fail to see the beauty of the gospel here, and we fail to see its specific application to the covenant family and to the rearing of our covenant children. For we must remember that, in Scripture, the first meaning of that word "wisdom" is Christ. When we bear that in mind, then we recognize that this text gives instruction with reference to the child who is established by God within the sphere of the covenant, and therefore to parents who are members of the church of Christ.
    Who is this child of the covenant of whom the writer speaks?
    According to Psalm 127:3, "Children are an heritage of the LORD." That means that our children are given to us by the Lord Jehovah. Covenant children are His possession. They are not ours to do with as we please. He appoints us custodians of the children He entrusts to our care. And it is necessary that we remember that we are dealing not with our own children, but with God's children. That is a truth that was understood among the Israelites.
    Especially in Israel, among the people of God, there was a tremendous interest in children. This was undoubtedly due to the doctrine of the covenant and the promise which God had given the patriarchs, to establish His covenant with believers and their seed, as an everlasting covenant. Though they understood the history of Jacob and Esau, and the truth that the line of election and reprobation cuts right through the outward sphere of the covenant, though they understood that they could not presume the salvation of their children, the Israelites nevertheless viewed their children as covenant children, children whom God had given them to bring up within the sphere of His kingdom and law. And therefore the lives of the children of God to a large extent revolved around their children. That becomes evident if you take a good Bible concordance and study the words translated "child" in the Old Testament. There are some nine different Hebrew words for "child," each describing that covenant child from the viewpoint of various stages of his development and maturity.
    But we must remember that at the foundation of all these facts concerning the various stages of child development lies the truth that our children are born dead in trespasses and sins, and are righteous only in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Discipline is a necessary part of the life of a child.
    These children, to whom we give our affection and whom we love so dearly, are sinners, worthy of everlasting hell from the moment they are conceived. And even as regenerated children, they have an old man just like you and I have, warring within them. If you are not blinded by their preciousness, you can see them, already in infancy, projecting that wretched sinful nature.
    And most often, the sin that our children project is that particular sin or number of sins that plague our natures as their parents. We must confess that to our children, too, and teach them: We see our sins in you, children. And, boys and girls, because you have the same sinful natures that we have, you too must learn the truth in Jesus. You must learn to put off the old man of sin and to put on the new man, to put on the life of Jesus. You too must be sorry, exceedingly sorry that you have sinned against God. And you too must be taught that true joy and happiness in our lives is only in God through Jesus Christ. For the more you see that, the more you will be thankful that God has saved a sinner like you. And the more you will want to keep God's commandments and to live unto Him.
    To that end God has ordained that there be a relationship of authority which parents exercise over the children God has given them. That is necessary because of the nature of the child. When you think of the fifth commandment, for example, you see that it is perfectly adapted to the character of the child. That is why it is incredibly foolish to talk about the rights of children. God Himself knows the life and development of the child. He has ordained not only the way of physical development, but also the way of spiritual development. He sees that children are sinners, who, if left to themselves, will bring shame not only to Him, but to His church and even to the one to whom that child is closest - his own mother. That is the point of the last part of the text before us.
    The child who is undisciplined, the child who is not brought up with the rod and reproof and then who is let go as a young adult, brings his mother to shame. A clearer picture of misery and ruin cannot be conceived. How often have you not seen a mother laugh off the evil temper of her child? Perhaps we even have done it. A son's or a daughter's wretched nature is passed off as the accident of childhood so that a mother will say to herself, "That evil temper will pass away, as he gets older and I am able to reason with him more. Time will take care of it." God here teaches us that time of itself fixes nothing! Time only strengthens and brings about the maturity of that wicked nature! That is a certain fact.
    You and I cannot project the future of our children. We cannot know what lies in the future as far as health or sickness, height or strength or talents or positions that our children may have. But of one thing we may be absolutely certain, according to God's own Word - that child, without the government and discipline ordained by God, will rush on under the impetuous and wicked impulse of his own will and, left to himself, will bring shame as he runs toward destruction. The sound discipline of heavenly guidance is our Father's blessing. His most fearful curse is to give us up to our own ways, to walk in our own counsels, as we read in Psalm 81:12. A child left to himself will only show in all of his life that hatred of God and his neighbor which permeates the whole of his nature.
    I cannot overemphasize the necessity of exercising Christian discipline toward our children, for the salvation of our children and the reflection of God's glory.
    What do people see when they look at your children and mine? If people can look to the homes of Protestant Reformed believers and see there a God-honoring structure of order and a respect for authority that stands out in contrast to the shallow, man-centered thinking that has permeated the world and the church today, it will be one of the most powerful testimonies to the truth we claim to believe. Is the covenant fellowship of God reflected in your family life?
    Is the loving but authoritative discipline of Christ seen in you as parents, as you exercise discipline toward your children? Without it, without obedience to the precepts of God in the rearing of your children, all your so-called love of the Scriptures and the truth of God will be seen by all those around you as so much hypocrisy.
    The manner in which our children are trained to conduct themselves in the worship service, in school, in the neighborhood, and at home, reflects upon the truth which is revealed in the Bible.
    If we take our children to church, only to give them toys to play with, if we do not teach them to sit still and to be quiet in the worship service and to listen and to bow before the authority of Christ, we make a mockery of God Himself.
    For by such action, we teach our children that church is not all that important, and that the Word preached is something we only have to sit through and bear.
    If our neighbors look at our homes and do not see any greater degree of godliness in our homes than they have in their ungodly home, they will say that our religion is so much garbage, and our Christ means nothing, and the truths that we proclaim have no practical bearing on the way we live and teach our children to live.
    We have a responsibility to order our homes according to the Word of God, so that they bear a positive witness to the truth of God's covenant as we live in His loving fellowship as those redeemed by Christ and who love Him.
    And, I might add, that responsibility is placed upon us not only as individual parents, but also as churches. We all are responsible to help and lovingly to encourage one another in disciplining our children. I say that being fully conscious of the fact that this frequently is an area where we are least free to speak. J.C. Ryle, a 19th century preacher and writer in the Church of England, remarked in his book The Upper Room,
    As a minister, I cannot help remarking that there is hardly any subject about which people seem so tenacious as they are about their children. I have sometimes been perfectly astonished at the slowness of sensible Christian parents to allow that their own children are in fault, or deserve blame. There are not a few persons to whom I would far rather speak about their own sins, than tell them their own children had done anything wrong.
    That attitude seen in the 19th century is no different today; perhaps it is worse. May God deliver us parents from such an attitude.
    Your children as well as mine need discipline according to the instruction of our heavenly Father. Solomon writes in Proverbs 19:18, and I quote literally, "Chasten thy son, for there is hope; and set not thy soul on making him die." That latter is what you do, if you refuse to chasten your children according to the will of God. So necessary is the discipline of our children, that it is literally a question of life and death, all within the sovereign counsel and will of God. When our children do wrong, they must see in us the wrath of God against sin, that they may also see forgiveness in Christ Jesus. II. The Rod and Reproof Is the Twofold Discipline We Are Called to Administer to our Children.


    Contrary to the well-known teachings of Dr. Benjamin Spock, and the teachings of many who have rejected the Word of God, the rod is a necessary instrument in the discipline of our children. So important is that rod that God tells us in Proverbs 13:24, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son."
    The rod of discipline is not easy to use.
    The world has so corrupted the concept "love," that our deceitful hearts would readily say that it is love to let a child do his own thing, so to speak.
    And I would have you mothers notice that the mother is mentioned specifically in this text. Because the father's calling is to provide for the family, the calling of the early discipline of your children falls primarily upon you mothers who are at home. That is one reason you are mentioned specifically. But I would submit that there is another reason you are mentioned in connection with this calling to use the rod and reproof. If the father's stronger character generally induces him to "provoke his children to wrath," which Paul warns us fathers against in Colossians 3:21, does not the mother's softer and generally more tender nature lean toward the opposite evil? Would you mothers attempt to correct your children with a few harsh words, or with a mild, "If you quit that right now, I'll give you a piece of candy?"
    The Scriptures, however, teach something quite different. Woe be unto you parents who refuse to heed the Word of God in the discipline of your children! For God tells us to love, not hate. "He that spareth the rod hateth his son." Love necessitates correction with the rod and reproof! If we love our children, God says that we must administer discipline and correction.
    The rod is a generic instrument which might take several different forms. It was an instrument that was used as the shaft of a spear. It sometimes denoted a scepter, the mark of authority used by one who ruled. But the rod was also an instrument used to administer corrective and physical discipline. For us it might be a stick or a switch or a firm ruler. But whatever that instrument may be, it is a means to return the wayward child to the right course.
    We must also note in this connection, that rightly to use the rod on our children requires love. All too often, where physical discipline is exercised, it is not done out of love either for God or the child. We who must administer such discipline to our covenant children, must do so under God's authority and with His manner and attitude. That attitude is revealed in Hebrews 12:6-8: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and no sons." God does not abuse us in His chastening. He loves us.
    There is a reason also in this connection that God prescribes the use of the rod. It takes just a little time and effort to get the stick out. And for us to reflect God's attitude of love through our reactionary, impatient, sinful flesh, it is necessary that we slow down and think about what we are doing. Slapping your children around the head and beating on them with your fists, whipping them or beating them with any object close at hand, or anything of the like, is nothing more than abuse of the children whom God has entrusted to your care. And if that has been your ungodly method of punishing your covenant children, you must repent before God and before your children this day!
    God instructs us to use the rod in love.
    The chastisement of the rod, used in love, is a chastisement quickly and mercifully inflicted. Although our children may question it, there is no punishment more mercifully inflicted than the rod. It is God's method, which is quickly over, with no need to look with disdain upon a corrected child for hours and even days. The rod is not a punishment that keeps the child in mom's and dad's "doghouse." Furthermore, God's call for the use of the rod takes into account his or her physical welfare. God created a particular part of the body capable of receiving the impact of the rod without injury. It is evident that God did not create every part of the body to receive the blow of the rod. When we parents administer the discipline of the rod in love, then we do not do so to injure. That means that we are not to strike our children in the back, where we may cause injury to the spine or the kidneys, nor in the stomach, nor on the head or hands; but on the flesh of the backside where, if the rod is used properly, it may be keenly felt.
    And if you ask, what about the older children, the text speaks to that also. We may agree that the rod is good for young children. But how should we discipline our teenagers? Well, you may be surprised to hear that teens are not to be excluded from the use of the rod when necessary. It is striking in the text, that Solomon implicitly calls for the use of the rod and reproof until the child is an adult. The term "child" refers - as is clear in the Hebrew term used - to a child who has reached the age of independence, who is ready to move out of the house and marry.
    You will find, when you administer discipline to your child as God commands and as you nurture that child to receive more and more responsibility and to become more and more dependent upon God, that the rod will not often be necessary with your teenager. As a covenant child matures in the way of loving discipline, under the diligent use of rod and reproof as a child, he learns to experience joy and peace in the home. He grows in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. He realizes that obedience to God is the way of happiness. And the rod is less frequently necessary as a means to instruct. But it is still a means.
    But along with the rod must be reproof.
    "The rod and reproof." When the rod is used, God has ordained discipline to be twofold. Proper Christian discipline is not dictatorship, rule by might with the rod alone. To separate these two is to ask for the chastisement of God to fall upon your head. Eli gave the reproof, but spared the rod; and he had to suffer the torment of hearing that his sons were slain by the wrath of God, and the ark of the Lord was taken by the Philistines. Others, contrary to the Word of God, use the rod alone. Now, there are many times when a matter of discipline can be handled by reproof alone. The indication of Proverbs 17:10 is, if reproof works the sorrow of repentance, then let the rod be spared. If not, use the rod and let not thy soul spare for the child's crying. But never use the rod without reproof.
    Reproof is verbal instruction in godliness.
    The child must not only be steered away from the path that leads to hell, but he must be shown the error of his way before God and he must be instructed in righteousness. Our children must be taught to evaluate their own specific actions in the light of the Scriptures. They must be taught to bow before the authority of God. They must be taught why the thing that they did was wrong in the eyes of God. Biblical discipline requires words. How much do you think you would get out of my preaching, if all I did was stand in the pulpit from week to week waving my arms and making contortions with my face, but never saying a word? The message of the gospel cannot be communicated by mere gestures or by pounding the pulpit. Nor can the instruction in Christian discipline be communicated if all that our discipline amounts to is a painful pantomime with a stick. The wrath of God was exercised toward us, that we might hear those precious words, "I love you in Christ Jesus." And even now, when we experience the chastisement of God, it is to lead us in the way toward heaven.
    When we understand that precious truth, then we ought to express our love to our children especially when we are called to use the rod. We must reprove them, expressing our love for them. We must assure them that the rod is not administered out of hatred, but out of a heavy heart that loves that child in Christ. What a terrible thing it is when confessing Christian parents beat their children, but fail to reprove them and to point them to the love of Christ. How utterly wicked it is for a parent to spank a child only to leave him like a dog to lick his sores. It is no wonder when such children run to their rooms, slam their doors, and mutter under their breaths, "I hate you." Such an attitude expressed by a parent who uses the rod, but never reproves in love, has no semblance whatsoever to the attitude God expresses in chastening His spiritual children. God demands the rod and reproof.
    And we ought not forget that belonging to reproof is prayer, which brings parent and child close to God. The necessity of prayer in the discipline and instruction of our children cannot be overemphasized. For one thing, we parents must repeatedly approach God seeking forgiveness for our failure to exercise discipline as He has ordained. We need to do that today and every day. We need to pray for grace to obey His Word and to bow humbly before His wise instruction. We need to pray for much wisdom in dealing with our covenant children. For we know that if God were to reward us according to our iniquities, every one of our children would walk the way to hell. And we need to pray for our children. We ought to do that not just generally, but specifically, naming each one by name and praying for the specific needs of each child and bringing
    before God the specific problems we face with each child. More than once, I have heard the testimony of a child of
    God, speaking of his Christian father whose discipline fell far short of the biblical standard. But one thing that father did, in the presence of his children, was to fall on his knees to beseech God's forgiveness for himself and God's mercy towards his children. Such prayer leaves on the mind and soul of a child an impression that will never leave him. In prayer also, we are to reflect the love of Christ toward us. He prays without ceasing, serving as our faithful and constant Intercessor by His Holy Spirit.
    in all things the Lord God calls us to reflect Him, also in the administering of Christian discipline to covenant children. And He says to us in Proverbs 3:11, 12: "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD (despise not His use of the rod on you); neither be weary of his correction (of his reproof): For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth (He reproves); even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." III. The Rod and Reproof Give Wisdom - and That Is Rewarded Discipline.


    God has so ordained that in the way of proper Christian discipline, He will reveal the wisdom of God in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    The rod of correction, administered with reproof, drives foolishness far from the covenant child of God. Such is the promise of God (Proverbs 22:15). That does not mean that you and I by our actions make our children God's children. If you examine your discipline in the light of what you have heard from the Scriptures, you know that that is far from being true. All we have done is give them a corrupt nature. Nor does that mean that God is a debtor to us - that if we bring up our children in the discipline of the rod and reproof, as He has commanded, that He is indebted to save our children. But according to His eternal and sovereign good pleasure, He has determined that this is the way in which we must lead our elect little ones to Jesus.
    There is no greater blessing for our children, as children of God, than to have godly parents who obey this Word of God, who use the rod and reproof when God requires it. Such is a reflection of the love of God in Christ Jesus for us. That love of God is rooted in the giving of His own Son for our adoption. Our Father did more than show His love in the cross. He also constantly assures us of that love by leading us in the way of righteousness. He assures us of His love, not only by chastising us, but by speaking to us in the preaching of the gospel. As parents, we too need to taste that love. We must be prepared to confess our sins one to another within our families, and so to demonstrate in the family our belief that confession and forgiveness of sins is the only way to salvation. May we so love one another for God's sake.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Is the Rod metaphorical in Psalms and Proverbs? Nobody has yet to prove that it is used in the physical context. Again, I'm not advocating "Dr. Spock's" ideas. I'm just saying I don't see biblical proof for physical spanking as a mandatory form of discipline.
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    Re: Darth Gill's Column

    I was spanked as a child, and let me tell you, it wasn't the spanking that kept me in line. I was spanked RARELY. I rarely caused my parents trouble. What I feared more than anything was disappointing them because I loved them. I obeyed simply because I respected and loved them. This is what we should strive for in our children - not fear of our wrath.
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    God does not use wrath as a way to keep His children in line. He makes them willing to obey Him because THEY LOVE HIM and desire to obey Him, not because they are afraid of His wrath. Yes He disciplines and chastises them. Yes He chastens them (another word for chastise which means to censure severely).
    Spanking is about speaking in a language that is understandable to all parties. A young child will not understand all of the implications that are involved in my instructing them using logical conclusions or adult arguments. They understand pain, and they understand disappointment. I believe you commit a great fallacy in terming spanking "wrath". I have NO wrath for my daughter when I spank her, in fact if I do I should not be spanking her at all. Spanking is discipline in a common language that must be balanced by love and gentleness. Using "beat" and "spank" in the same sentence is doing a disservice to the word and the thought of spanking.

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Can we show our children physical discipline without spanking?
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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Can we show our children physical discipline without spanking?
    You can make them do push-ups.

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    Re: A Fresh Look at Spanking

    Here's an interesting article: http://www.parentingdecisions.com/su...echildren7.htm

    The Rod or Shebet: An Indepth Examination
    by Joan Renae

    A Christian Who Does Not Spank?

    A close examination on the "rod" Scriptures in Proverbs.

    I do not claim to be a Hebrew scholar by any stretch of the imagination. I can only use resources such as Vine's Expository Dictionary and the Hebrew dictionary in the Strong's Concordance, discernment, and comparing the meanings of words by looking over all of the counsel of God. I use the King James Version in this study. Which Scriptures are we referring to when we say "rod" scriptures?
    ------------------------------------------
    Pr 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
    Pr 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
    Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    Pr 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
    ------------------------------------------
    The word "rod" is shebet in Hebrew. This word is defined as following in Strong's Hebrew Lexicon #7626:
    rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe
    a. rod, staff
    b. shaft (of spear, dart)
    c. club (of shepherd's implement)
    d. truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority)
    e. clan, tribe From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, for example literally a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling, etc.) or figuratively a clan.

    King James Word Usage
    tribe 140, rod 34, sceptre 10, staff 2, miscellaneous 4
    Matteh is another Hebrew word for rod. This word can mean branch as a vine and is not used here.
    Maqqel, which has no meaning that can be applied here and is not used in this Scripture anyway.
    Choter, another Hebrew word, is branch, twig, rod and is not used here.
    Therefore, we are focusing on shebet.
    There are 31 other Scriptures using this word, translated "rod" in the KJV. These verses will be grouped into categories according to how the word "rod" (translated from "shebet") is used.
    -------------------------------
    THE ROD OF A SHEEP HERDER OR AS AN INSTRUMENT OR TOOL
    Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
    Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Psalm 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
    Isaiah 28:27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
    Exodus 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

    SYMBOLIZING DIRECT HERITAGE FROM GOD (offshoot)
    Psalm 74:2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
    Jeremiah 10:16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.
    Jeremiah 51:19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

    SYMBOLIZING THE AUTHORITY OF THE WICKED
    Psalm 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
    Proverbs 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

    A ROD TO BE USED ON A FOOL (Fool meaning stupid or silly, literally meaning fat...has a connotation of cocky)
    Proverbs 10:13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
    Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

    SYMBOLIZING MAN'S AUTHORITY
    II Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
    Ezekiel 19:11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
    Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

    SYMBOLIZING GOD'S AUTHORITY
    Job 9:34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
    Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
    Psalm 89:32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
    Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
    Isaiah 10:15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
    Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
    Lamentations 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
    Micah 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
    Ezekiel 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
    Ezekiel 21:10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
    Ezekiel 21:13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.

    SYMBOLIZING THE AUTHORITY OF A NATION
    Isaiah 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
    Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
    Isaiah 30:31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
    Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
    ------------------------------------
    Now we have seen all 36 places where this word is recorded "rod" in the KJV, let us examine the use of this word. There are only a few places that "shebet" is possibly referring to a literal rod in connection with hitting someone.
    --------------------------------------
    Exodus 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
    ----------------------------------------
    The Exodus scripture reference shows us that if this rod were used on a maid or servant and killed them that it was punishable. So, we see that it had to be a heavy duty instrument to kill someone which would be consistent with the idea of a staff or club. We see that if it is ok to spank a child using this instrument, that it is not mentioned here and if it were, then the child could die by it's use.
    -----------------------------------
    II Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
    --------------------------------------
    Here is a lengthy quote from Matthew Henry's Commentary on this particular verse:
    I will be his father, and he shall be my son. We need no more to make us and ours happy than to have God to be a Father to us and them; and all those to whom God is a Father he by his grace makes his sons, by giving them the disposition of children. If he be a careful, tender, bountiful Father to us, we must be obedient, tractable, dutiful children to him. The promise here speaks as unto sons. [1.] That his Father would correct him when there was occasion; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? Afflictions are an article of the covenant, and are not only consistent with, but flow from, God’s fatherly love. "If he commit iniquity, as it proved he did (1 Ki. 11:1), I will chasten him to bring him to repentance, but it shall be with the rod of men, such a rod as men may wield—I will not plead against him with the great power of God,’’ Job 23:6. Or rather such a rod as men may bear —"I will consider his frame, and correct him with all possible tenderness and compassion when there is need, and no more than there is need of; it shall be with the stripes, the touches (so the word is) of the children of men; not a stroke, or wound, but a gentle touch.’’ [2.] That yet he would not disinherit him (v. 15): My mercy (and that is the inheritance of sons) shall not depart from him. The revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David was their correction for iniquity, but the constant adherence of the other two to that family, which was a competent support of the royal dignity, perpetuated the mercy of God to the seed of David, according to this promise; though that family was cut short, yet it was not cut off, as the house of Saul was. Never any other family swayed the sceptre of Judah than that of David. This is that covenant of royalty celebrated (Ps. 89:3, etc.) as typical of the covenant of redemption and grace. 2. Others of them relate to Christ, who is often called David and the Son of David, that Son of David to whom these promises pointed and in whom they had their full accomplishment. He was of the seed of David, Acts 13:23. To him God gave the throne of his father David (Lu. 1:32), all power both in heaven and earth, and authority to execute judgment. He was to build the gospel temple, a house for God’s name, Zec. 6:12, 13. That promise, I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son, is expressly applied to Christ by the apostle, Heb. 1:5. But the establishing of his house, and his throne, and his kingdom, for ever (v. 13, and again, and a third time v. 16. for ever ), can be applied to no other than Christ and his kingdom. David’s house and kingdom have long since come to an end; it is only the Messiah’s kingdom that is everlasting, and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. The supposition of committing iniquity cannot indeed be applied to the Messiah himself, but it is applicable (and very comfortable) to his spiritual seed. True believers have their infirmities, for which they may expect to be corrected, but they shall not be cast off. Every transgression in the covenant will not throw us out of covenant. Now, (1.) This message Nathan faithfully delivered to David (v. 17); though, in forbidding him to build the temple, he contradicted his own words, yet he was not backward to do it when he was better informed concerning the mind of God. (2.) These promises God faithfully performed to David and his seed in due time. Though David came short of making good his purpose to build God a house, yet God did not come short of making good his promise to build him a house. Such is the tenour of the covenant we are under; though there are many failures in our performances, there are none in God’s. (End of Matthew Henry quote)
    -------------------------------
    When we see the use of the rod on fools, this would be adults who are "fools" because they are grown and still have no self control. It would be comparable to a criminal being beaten. This is not speaking of a young child. We see examples of criminals being beaten in Scripture.

    There are no examples of children being beaten with a rod.
    We see in most other instances that the word "rod" is used to symbolize God's authority or the authority of a nation.

    If you read the "shebet" passages in Proverbs , you will see that you can always substitute the word "authority" for "rod". If "rod" can be referring to God's authority or a nation's authority in some of the above verses, then it is referring to a parent's authority in the following verses:
    ------------------------------------
    Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    ----------------------------------
    In the preceding verses, we see that he shall not die with this rod. Yet in Exodus, we saw that a man COULD cause someone to die with a literal shebet. If Scripture were talking about a literal rod here, we would be finding a contradiction because it says he SHALL NOT die. You cannot kill someone with your authority. You can be striking (beating) them with your authority by using your authority to discipline (teach, disciple, educate, instruct) and guide them. I hold to the figurative interpretation of this verse.

    IF this Scripture were referring to a literal beating, taken in context, it would have to be speaking about a grown child. The verses before and after are written by a father speaking to his grown or almost grown son. However, you still have the problem of the contradiction as far as whether or not a "shebet" can cause someone to die.

    Another observation worth mention is the word child used in all of these "rod" Scriptures in Proverbs. This word is "na'ar".
    This word means as follows:
    a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer
    a. boy, lad, youth
    b. servant, retainer

    Concretely a boy (as active), from the age of infancy to adolescence; by implication a servant; also (by interchange of sex) a girl (of similar latitude in age).

    The KJV translates it as follows: young man 76, servant 54, child 44, lad 33, young 15, children 7, youth 6, babe 1, boys 1

    This would mean that we are speaking about boys most of the time when we see this word (since a lad would be a male) here and usually young men.

    Therefore, *if* one took these Scriptures to mean literal physical punishment, than it would possibly only apply to fathers spanking their sons who are older (since adolescence can go through the early 20's). Most Christian discipline "experts" do not mention this. Yet, if you're going to interpret it literally, this would have to be the explanation. Most Christian parenting authors say you should be able to STOP spanking by the time they become 12 or 13, yet according to this Scripture, you would not even START using physical punishment until then. So, we see that these Scriptures, if taken literally, would be referring to this form of punishment as an absolute last resort to save the child (which was possibly a boy only) from hell.

    So many Christians have taken FIVE verses and hung a whole child rearing philosophy on them! Parents are told to use this as a primary form of punishment (what these experts refer to as discipline). Some use the words "punishment" and "discipline" interchangeably when they mean two entirely different things. These people are basing their theology on nothing more than the traditions of men!

    Further, we are told in Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
    19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
    20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
    21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

    So, the parents are told first to talk to their child (he has not heard their voice). Then, they are told to chasten him. Chasten simply means correct with words or blows. It seems they were supposed to instruct then correct him. Then, if this does not work, he is to be stoned.

    If we are no longer to stone, then why do we assume we should use physical beatings to bring about repentance? Shouldn't we make examples of a few children and stone them too? Why were they to go ahead and stone them to death if they would not repent and be oobedient?This was because the Holy Spirit was not actively convicting hearts and they did not yet have direct access to God. Jesus said in the case of the adulterous woman to let him who was without sin to cast the first stone. Parents don't stone their kids because the parents themselves are just as much a sinner as their rebellious child.

    Jesus was gentle with children. He is a shepherd to the sheep. The shepherd uses HIS rod to guide the sheep, not to beat them! Psalm 23 uses "shebet" to describe the shepherd's "rod". I have had people tell me that the shepherd would use his "rod" to break the legs of a wandering sheep to keep it from going away and getting hurt, so this is proof of how we should physically punish our children. However, I think this only proves that we should try to keep our children's hearts and keep them on the right path by praying for God to protect them.He is the GREAT Shepherd and He will work in their lives in a much more effective manner than I can. If He chooses to allow some kind of circumstance or situation (to break their legs) in their life, to keep them in the fold, then so be it! He is much stronger than I am. Our children's "legs can be broken" by natural, spiritual and logical consequences even more effectively than by man made pain.
    P.S. Obviously I don't agree with everything this lady says, but I do like the main points of her article.
    This is my signature.

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