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View Full Version : He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastises him betimes...



nzyr
Mar 18th 2010, 09:28 AM
Proverbs 13:24.

Is this meant to be taken literally? Does the bible endorse corporal punishment? Or is to be taken figuratively?

daughter
Mar 18th 2010, 01:52 PM
Before I had a child I was completely against corporal punishment, partly because I'd seen the overuse and abuse of it myself as a child.

When my son was very little I had occasionally to use corporal punishment, because nothing else got through. He was very very strong for his age, and on one occasion (he was about three) I turned my back for a moment, and looked back to see that he'd pulled the radiator partially out of the wall. He thought this was the funniest thing in the world, and no amount of remonstrating with him worked. After we'd fixed the radiator, he'd still run up to it and try to pull it off the wall.

In the end I took him, stood him in front of me, pointed to the radiator, told him "no", and slapped him on the palms of his hands.

He never tried to wreck the radiator again.

Personally I believe that some parents can get through their child's youth without having to use corporal punishment, but there is still a definite need for discipline, and a clear set of consequences when the child doesn't obey their parent. I've seen what happens to children with no guidelines. I can think of one, in particular, whose "Christian" parents have not disciplined him at all... this child is the single most badly behaved, violent, abusive and aggressive little boy I've ever met. Yet his parents think he's an angel. His behaviour is so bad that when he entered our Sunday school all the other mothers took their children out.

I believe that this boy's parents are destroying him through their refusal to engage with the fact of his bad behaviour. If they understood the Bible's teachings on sin then they would never have allowed it to go unchallenged in their child for so long. I pray that this boy can rescued from what, to me, looks like the worst kind of parental abuse... killing with kindness.

So, yes, I believe that this verse can be applied literally, but only if the parent using the rod does so with love. Never ever hit your child in a temper, that's not discipline... that's bullying.

Frecs
Mar 18th 2010, 02:12 PM
God is not saying to beat your child. He is saying to discipline and yes that include spanking. Spanking should not be the end-all and do-all of discipline. If that's your only form of discipline, you are an abuser not a disciplinarian. I think discipline needs to be appropriate to the offense and to the child. The child needs to know that what he/she did was wrong and should know why they are being disciplined.

Our society has become so afraid of being accused of abuse -- or so afraid of "breaking the child's spirit" -- that we are raising a generation of undisciplined unruly uncivilized human beings. There is no respect for authority because parents either have totally abdicated their authority or they are so wishy-washy in their discipline that their children turn a deaf ear to them.

God disciplines us because He loves us. Sometimes, that discipline is extremely painful but I wouldn't call it abusive. If we love our children, we will discipline them.

Perhaps it helps to define what discipline is: it is teaching a person to be a disciple. What is a disciple? One who follows after, who emulates another. To follow and emulate another requires one to learn to control one's behavior. I want to be like Christ. So, I must discipline myself -- I must be a disciple -- I must follow after and emulate Christ.

If you want your child(ren) to follow the rules of civilized society, to be self-controlled, to be someone others can stand to be around, you must discipline them to that end.

nzyr
Mar 18th 2010, 04:30 PM
But children shouldn't be spanked unless they do something wrong, correct? And what about schools spanking? The proverb talks about a father disciplining his son. Personally I don't believe anyone should spank a child other than the parents. Do you all agree? And Solomon wrote the above proverb. Do you think David spanked him as a child?

daughter
Mar 18th 2010, 04:41 PM
It's a very good point that corporal punishment is something that only a parent should be allowed to do. Because it should only ever be done in an environment of loving discipline, and strangers can't balance corporal punishment against the ideal family background of known love and affection.

Did David spank Solomon? Probably. We don't know. I think Solomon will have seen the fruits of poor discipline in the lives of his brothers, so he'll have been acutely aware of the bad fruits of over indulging children. We know that David's family life was complicated. Solomon will certainly have formed his opinions on morality and discipline against that background.

jayne
Mar 18th 2010, 05:14 PM
The Hebrew word for rod, according to Strong's Concordance, is the word שֵׁבֶט shebet (shā'·vet).

It does mean rod or staff, which would imply corporal punishment. But it also means shaft of a spear, a shepherd's club, and the mark of authority of a scepture.

There are a lot of factors in "chastening" or disciplining a child. According to these definitions in the concordance I can only conclude that keeping the child protected from evil influences, using the weight of one's authority, and the occasional spanking are justified and necessary for discipline.

As an interesting note that I discovered, the word "betimes" in that verse means "seeking early".

It would stand to reason that protecting the child, disciplining from love, punishing, and spanking should be for the younger child's benefit to help him or her become an obedient older teenager.

Sometimes we wait too late to try to correct children. Correction should be for their protection and from our love for them.

I am a school teacher. I've taught for 27 years. I have spanked children on occasion, but only with permission from the parents. I've probably spanked less than 15 times in the entire 27 years.

I guess we could reword that verse as saying, "The parent who will not protect, spank, or discipline their child is a parent who shows no love to his child. A parent who will do these things and do them early is actually loving his or her child. "

Frecs
Mar 18th 2010, 05:40 PM
But children shouldn't be spanked unless they do something wrong, correct? And what about schools spanking? The proverb talks about a father disciplining his son. Personally I don't believe anyone should spank a child other than the parents. Do you all agree? And Solomon wrote the above proverb. Do you think David spanked him as a child?

A child should not be spanked or punished in any way if they haven't actually done anything wrong. I'm not sure if Solomon was spanked...from the behavior of David's other sons, I'd say there was a decided lack of discipline in the family. Perhaps Solomon realized that that lack of discipline was a problem--he certainly saw what a lack of discipline did to his brothers...they turned into rapists and murderers.

It's not always necessary to spank. Let me give you an example that was a good illustration for me. I was working at a group home in Arkansas as a relief houseparent for elementary aged boys and girls. During one of my shifts working with the boys, two of the boys got into throwing rocks from a rock pile and ended up hitting another boy in the face (very close to the eye). I took the two boys up to the Director's office as he was the one to determine punishment for such a serious offense -- spanking being one of his options. The boys and I figured this was a time he would pull out the paddle. After talking to the boys, he made a very surprising statement. He told the boys they were to stand on that rock pile for 30 minutes a day for a week and throw rocks into the nearby pasture. The boys thought this was a great idea -- as if they were being rewarded. I was quite surprised. But, guess what? It was fun for about 10 minutes until their arms got tired. By the end of the week, they never wanted to see another rock again! That's creative DISCIPLESHIP/DISCIPLINE.

ThyWordIsTruth
Mar 19th 2010, 10:44 AM
Proverbs 13:24.

Is this meant to be taken literally? Does the bible endorse corporal punishment? Or is to be taken figuratively?

It is to be taken literally. It is not wrong to cane or spank your children, indeed the word of God teaches parents to use this form of punishment when the need for it arises. However, discipline is not just spanking- it is also bringing up the child in the ways of the Lord and with love.

The modern-day human thinking that it is wrong to use any form of physical punishment on children has resulted in what we see today. God's word is never wrong.