Spare the Rod – Spoil The Child

One of the scariest memories I have of childhood was when my mother or father would say, “go to your room and get ready because you are getting a spanking”. When those words were spoken, it was as if time stood still and the earth stopped spinning. I would go into my room and think about what terribly violent thing was about to happen to me. I would ask myself, “why, why, why do I have to endure such punishment?” It seemed like the anticipation of the spanking was worse than the actual spanking itself. Sometimes I would hear mom or dad say how bad it hurt them to have to do this. I remember thinking “yeah right”, as they swung away with the belt. After it was over, I would realize that I had lived through it to play another day. I would wipe away the tears, and go back outside to see what other mischief I could get into. But you can rest assured that I was weary of repeating whatever it was that required the need for the “cruel and unusual punishment” I had just endured.
Many parents and psychologists today consider spanking to be cruel and brutal. I must admit that when I was a young boy I didn’t like it, but somehow I understood it was for my own good, and I still loved my Mom and Dad even after they had done it. I look back now and I am thankful that I was raised in such a disciplined environment. Why is that? If being spanked is such a cruel thing by today’s psychological standards, why is it that I still loved and respected my parents so much? Why is it that children who have parents who administer such discipline develop such love and respect for their parents? If spanking children is such a terrible thing, then how do we explain this? The answer to the question can be discovered in God’s word.
God made it clear in His Word that children need to be brought up in an environment where they will learn to respect authority. When parents train children to respect their authority, they then begin their children’s understanding of fearing God and keeping His commandments (Eccl. 12:13). I am in no way saying that all parents have to spank their children. Some parents can discipline children without ever spanking them at all, but I think those situations are rare and unusual. Unfortunately the results aren’t known for years down the road. Lets consider what the Bible says.
“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Prov. 13:24). “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18). “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Prov. 22:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Prov. 23:13,14).
The Bible is crystal clear when it relates to the importance of properly disciplining our children. The writer of Hebrews said, “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten” (Heb. 12:6,7)? He then says, “no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11). The Bible teaches that discipline is one of the greatest forms of love, even though sometimes it’s hard to dish out and even harder to take. -Ed