Sunday, February 28, 2010
I have done a fair amount of research this morning on spanking and Religion...
Unfortunately, I have found nothing in any religious culture that is against spanking. And I am sadly disgusted.
I found this Sermon preached at Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore, by Pastor Dr Paul Choo

Introduction: We continue in our series of sermons on relationships - with God and with man. In our sermons on parent-child relationships, we have emphasized that parents are God's representatives to their children. Therefore, they must reflect God's characteristics and love to their children and train their children in God's way. In other words, parents must provide an atmosphere of obeying God, love, forgiveness and godly training. And it is in this type of environment that spanking helps in the training up of a child.

Parental spanking has been an accepted means of disciplining from the beginning of human history until the 1960's. Needless to say, parental spanking is often not used as a training tool used by godly parents, but as a means to vent parental frustration and to obtain some peace and quiet. Nowadays, the generally accepted view (successfully promoted by child training experts) is that all forms of parental spanking are "primitive and brutal" methods of disciplining a child used by uneducated, unenlightened people. In many countries, parental spanking is condemned as a criminal activity and is labeled as "child abuse."

Isn't it also true that the world's "experts" have managed to convince this generation that having more things makes us happier, having more education makes us wiser, having more training makes us more useful and having good looks makes us more confident and secure. However, is this generation happier, wiser, more useful and confident and secure? Or is the world's way vanity of vanities (ECC 1:2)? If so, shouldn't we seek a better way - God's way? What is God's way regarding parental spanking?

Spanking is necessary for training a child: "Foolishness is bound in the heart ofa child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" (PRO 22:15). "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (PRO 29:15). The God of mercy and kindness would not advocate spanking if less painful methods were effective. Spanking is reserved for rebellion (ie, "I will not do") and not for childishness, forgetfulness, weakness or carelessness.

Spanking is an evidence of true parental love: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (PRO 13:24). True love desires the best for the one that is loved - however much the pain. Biblical spanking hurts the child much but hurts the parent more! Spank with a "rod": The "rod' is always mentioned as the instrument of spanking in the Bible. The word "rod' literally means: "a branch, cut off as a graft." In other words, parental spanking was meant to inflict intense pain upon the skin without damaging the internal organs (PRO 19:18, 23:13,14). "Hands" are not to be used for spanking because they are for guiding and comforting a child. The buttock seems specially designed for receiving pain without suffering internal damage. Parents who cannot control their temper should not spank their children, until they learn to control themselves. Children are not "punching bags."

Spanking should begin early and should not be delayed: One of the key principles of effective training is to start as early as possible. Proverbs 13:24 says: "... but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (early)." Even a newborn babe can easily differentiate a disapproving tone from an encouraging one. This verse also teaches us that chastening should not be delayed but should take place as soon, as is reasonably possible after the rebellious act. Unnecessary delay leads to yelling and screaming (of unnecessary, hurtful words) and frustration (which leads to violent rather than corrective action). It also gives time for the child to develop bad feelings towards his parents.

Consistency is critical: Consistency is not natural in humans. It only comes with discipline, maturity and much prayer. Consistency implies that there must first be clearly defined and understood standards. In other words, the child must first be clearly informed of the rules and the consequences - and the parents must also adhere to them. It also implies that the punishment must fit the crime - in other words, there must be a consistency in severity of punishment. Parents, who cannot discipline themselves, have lost the moral right to discipline their children. Often, mothers are too emotional to spank their children.

Love must be evident throughout the process: Before spanking, the parent should explain to the child the reason for the spanking (how the rules were broken, and how the child refused to repent and rectify the situation). He must be told that he is loved but his rebellion is hateful to God and his parents. The actual act of spanking should be done with severity but not with violence - and there should be no excessive screaming or crying (which may be an act of rebellion against the chastening). After the spanking, the child should be asked to spend some time in quiet, reflecting on his deed - after which the parent should talk to him and re-explain his actions. In a healthy parent-child relationship, the greatest pain is that of disappointing the parents, and God.

Conclusion: It is not pleasant nor easy to spank our children in a godly way but "correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul" (PRO 29:17).

I doubt that anyone will ever see me in church again ever! I was under the impression that God loved his children, and would not seek to do them harm. I guess, I was wrong. Right now I am faced with a moral dilemma. The Bible was written by man, would God really want this? Would a loving, caring, nurturing God want me as a mother, to DOMINATE my child and to BEAT her. These "scriptures" make sure to say to not beat them to death, but still, my heart hurts.
I cannot and will not believe that a God that is supposed to care for all of us would want that. If He did, well, then I don't want that God in my life.

To raise a hand or "rod" to my child would, in my opinion, be a sin. To hurt her, on purpose, to maintain a discipline that really isn't there, is wrong. I am tearing up thinking about the fear that I would see in her eyes.
I could not live with myself if my daughter was afraid of me!
So, here I must decide... I will NOT beat my child. If that is to send me to Hell, then so be it!


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