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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spare the Rod, Spare the Child?

A sensitive subject for most parents in this "politically correct" age is how do we punish our children?  Children, though sweet and precious, seem to be inherently disobedient.  I mean, you don't have to teach your child to hit or not clean their room, right?

Personally, I believe that the techniques used by Supernanny and the like are good at temporarily stopping a behavioral problem, and for the minor infractions they work splendidly, but herein lies the problem, when a true emergency arises, will your child be able to respond to you as someone who has their best interest at heart, or as "the guy who puts me in time out?"  As prior military, I tend to be more direct in instructing my children, not to the extent of Georg Von Trapp from The Sound of Music, but I what I find important is that I want my children to know that when I ask something of them, I expect a response.

But more importantly, what does the Word say about corporal punishment, we are to follow the Word after all,  and the consensus of the Scripture is that physical punishment is recommended.
“Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death” Proverbs 23:13-14
You can see further in Proverbs  13:24; 22:15; 20:30 for more on the importance of discipline.  Children who don't receive adequate discipline can grow up to be rebellious and disrespectful and as parents, God has placed on us the responsibility of properly raising up His children how He would have them raised.

How is that?  How should they be raised?  Well, God punished His children time and time again
"Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law," 
Psalm 94:12
Israel went back and forth from slavery numerous times because all God asked was that they love and respected Him and His law, so that is how we are to be as parents, punishing our children when they do not love and respect God's law (which we should be instilling as our own law).
“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” Proverbs 29:15
If we teach our children to love and respect us and our wishes, our children will grow up with the ability to love and respect God's wishes, and how much more so!
"Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" Hebrews 12:9
Was this post about an excuse to hit children?  Absolutely not!  No matter your parenting style, God requires us to discipline children.  Some parents find that time outs and taking things away as punishment is just as effective, if that is your case, then keep on disciplining as it were.  It is a part of their upbringing and our responsibility to see that as stewards of God's children, they receive a proper upbringing, which, at its root, boils down to proper love and respect for God and His Word.

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