Spanking (Part 5): Do You Love or Hate Your Children?

“He that spareth his rod
hateth his son:

but he that loveth him
chasteneth him quickly (early in life).”

Proverbs 13:24

If you are visiting for the first time, please see the disclaimer at the bottom of this post. To read the complete series, click on all the links found there also. Here are the posts leading up to this one:

Training in 1st-time Obedience on Timely Tips on Tuesday
Spanking (Part 1):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 2):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 3):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman

Spanking (Part 4):  My Story

What Is A Rod?
Some definitions are in order.  The rod in Proverbs 13:24 literally means a stick. And hateth means “a foe, enemy, to be hateful.”  To spare means “to refrain, restrain, to forbear, hinder, keep from, or hold back.”

So, with these definitions in place, this verse tells us that if a parent refrains from spanking their children, or keeps their spouse from doing it, hindering the appropriate and Biblical application of the rod, fearful of inflicting pain on their “precious child”…then they are actually demonstrating (according to the Bible) that they hate their child.

Deceived
We are so easily deceived by the world, and often we deceive ourselves. I’m sorry.  Withholding the rod is not showing love–we are actually showing that we hate our children if we do this.  We are actually disobeying God. These are hard words, but only because we have been deceived by Satan, through believing the world’s lies.

Hollering, Wailing and Screaming Are Acts Of Rebellion
I shared with you in an earlier post in this series (Spanking, Part 4) that my daughter exhibited her rebellion by crying (more like yelling) at the top of her lungs when faced with discipline (not because of pain inflicted–we used a wooden spoon, or a paint stick, applied one swat to the thigh or behind with panties on. Then the opportunity for repentance, and prayer, Scripture read, and if no repentance was found, one more swat with the spoon, and repeating of the process. There were a couple of seconds between swats, when there were more than one or two. This stung, but did not leave marks, or do damage. Her rebellion had nothing to do with the discipline itself, and was often before any had been applied.)
Children do not have to make a lot of noise with their mouth when they cry.  All of us learned how to cry softly.  A child’s hollering, wailing, and yelling as though they’re being murdered when being appropriately disciplined is a sign of rebellion. (As I have said, I am not speaking about abusive parents, but a loving, appropriately-administered discipline. The rebellious response was not due to fear, or being physically hurt, but rebellion against the parent, and God ultimately.)

If they’re doing this it shows that their heart has not repented of sin.  They are not receiving the correction that they know they deserve, but rather they are hating the reproof.

“Correction is grievous
unto him that forsaketh the way:
and he that hateth reproof
shall die.”
Proverbs 15:10
Temper Tantrums
This is kind of another whole subject, but in a public situation, they have learned that throwing a loud fit works to get their way.  They want attention, or to get away, or at some point in the past they got what they wanted, whatever it was–maybe just once–by throwing a fit.  They will keep on trying this tactic if they have even the slightest hope it will work.  They must NEVER WIN at this game.  Ever. (Meaning they must never obtain whatever it was they wanted by throwing a tantrum.)

In this particular post I am mostly talking about situations where you are in your own home, and the child has committed a serious enough offense that they needed to be taken to their room for private chastisement.  If they are screaming or wailing (I’m talking about before you’ve done anything, or with the appropriate administering of one swat at a time, with seconds between them, with an appropriate “rod”), let them know that they will get an additional swat, if they don’t receive the discipline without resisting and wailing.

Every situation is different.  Every child is unique. You must go to the Lord for wisdom. If they’re old enough to understand, as my daughter was, the goal is for them to agree with God as to their sin, as seen in His Word, and submit to receiving the consequences of disobedience.  The fact that my daughter was remaining hard-hearted to the Word of God and the prayers of her mother on her behalf, was very grievous.  I have said that it took some time before the Holy Spirit got through to her heart, so there were many times when the deeper heart of rebellion was not repented of, even though the disobedience of the day had been dealt with.  I prayed long and hard for her during these days, and spent much time with the Lord in His Word.

Anger Doesn’t Work God’s Righteousness
Remain calm.  This is, of course, the hardest part, especially if you have a child fighting you and screaming and crying (again I’m not talking about a parent out of control, inflicting a beating on their child.  I’m talking about a loving parent, administering the sting of a paint stick 1-5 times, and I’m talking about a child who has disobeyed, is rebellious in attitude, and who is defying your right as his parent to discipline him, knowing that he has done wrong).  You do not want a wrestling match.  This is another really good reason to train your young child to receive discipline submissively, by bending over a chair themselves. A young child trained to do this, and a calm parent will go far to bring about a child with a heart responsive to God.  (I hope to deal with this issue in a later post. It’s a hard one, I know.)

You must not administer the rod in anger.  If your child knows they can get you angry, or they can get out of a spanking by getting you emotional, they will do it every time. If you’re a crier like me, let me say that your tears are not necessarily a bad thing.  It may show your child your true grief over their sin.  But, it must be genuine grief.

You Are In A Spiritual Battle
Please remember that you are in a spiritual battle, and don’t enter into it without first binding the enemy.  Ask God to bind and rebuke Satan and all his spirits, in the Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His shed blood, death and resurrection.  There are times that you’re going to have strong emotions, and even though it’s not easy, you still have to administer the rod.  Don’t assume that the fact that you feel strongly or you are crying means you should not administer the rod.  Ask God for help, get yourself under control, and do what you need to do.

If you have an anger problem, you must repent of it.  You’ll be doing more harm than good if you are administering discipline with anger.  This is not Biblical chastisement. (I have not advocated abuse, nor will I ever. A person who is abusive does not need an excuse, they will be that way without any encouragement from anyone. Please see my disclaimer at the bottom of this post.)

If necessary, take a 10-minute time out, tell your child to wait in their room and be quiet, and that you will come back in 10 minutes.  Then, go to your room and get on your knees and cry out to the Lord for grace to be a loving and consistent parent.  I guarantee He will answer.

“Apply thine heart unto instruction,
and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Withhold not correction from the child:
for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod,
and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
Proverbs 23:12-15

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www.wendygunn.net

*Disclaimer:  I am just a mom.  This is my story, but the Word of God must be your guide and give you answers–you and your husband are responsible to raise your children, with God’s help through His Word and prayer.

If you need advice on specific situations not addressed in this series, or you feel that you or your spouse are crossing the line into abuse, I advise you to go to your spiritual authorities (your pastor or elders).

I am not, and never will be, advocating abusive behavior in anger.  If you are visiting for the first time, or for more on this subject, I recommend you read the other posts in this series.  (Just click on the links.)

Training in 1st-time Obedience on Timely Tips on Tuesday
Spanking (Part 1):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 2):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 3):  Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman

Spanking (Part 4):  My Story
Spanking (Part 5):  Do You Love or Hate Your Children?
Spanking (Part 6):  Something Really Important I Neglected To Say!
Spanking (Part 7) Restoration after Chastisement

12 Replies to “Spanking (Part 5): Do You Love or Hate Your Children?”

  1. Learn the Hebrew words and translations. God never commanded us to spank children. I know you likely won’t care, and would rather call me a blasphemer or heretic, but I only care about what God wants, not what southern America wants. I’m Christian, and I’m led by Christ. Spanking is not spoken of in the Bible, and in fact did not even exist yet. Please research the translations and you will see. My children never ended up in jail, or out of control. They have true servant’s hearts, and were never spanked. I’m sorry if this offends you in any way, but please set aside your pride for your children. Just think of how happy God would be to see you care enough to look inside yourselves, and look at his actual word. Na’ar does not translate to child. Nothing translates to spank, or buttocks. Among others… I’ll pray your heart is turned to God. Thank you for your time in reading. I will not read anything in the future, as I shield myself with God’s armor against attack in case you turn out to be a false Christian, but will walk away hoping you listened with Christ in your heart.

  2. You also say that it is couple of seconds between swats. Well I have spanked my self on my thighs and it is painfully! I can control my emotions and suppress it but for a young child that is severe thing to do! You also wrote you had swatting your daughter up to 20 and more. Is that not abusive? Maybe 50 swats then is ok? How about those who lives in Canada wish the law say very clearly that spanking under age 2 or over 12 is forbidden and you can not use any instruments!

    Do Jesus mention spanking once in the bible?

  3. Hi there Wendy.

    First off all I come from a country where spanking is all forbidden. What you also try to teach can be very dangerous. I don`t understand it and am against it! You say that parents have to spank harder and longer if they are crying too much or loud? It has been several cases where parents and mothers have spanked their young child and am not talking about bruising or a beating but a spanking, parents who has spanked again and again since my child is still into a rebellion state! You say your self that spanking really stings=pain. So if a child cry too hard then additional swat? You know that a young child may very much cry loud from the sting or pain of a spanking, Wendy! Spanking a toddler that way may end up in a very abusive spanking too. I remember a story who got reported to the police where a ministry tried to teach a mother with a 5 year daughter to stop a “sassy” crying. Guess how long that spanking was? 45-50 minutes police reported! The mother spanked her with spoon just once like you are teaching here then the elder told her to do it again and harder on her since her daughter had not a broken will yet. Spanking with a wooden spoon or a paint stick may also give out red marks not bruising but marks who can sit for hours like mild swollen marks. And of course fear of getting a spanking will also contribute to it!

  4. Hi.

    ” Children do not have to make noise when they cry”. Could not that be turned into a abusive spanking too? Is it normal for the child when it gets spanked that the child will cry loud out of pain? Spank a child for stop that crying could end up spanking too much and what is crying to loud then when spanking?

    1. Rob,
      Forgive the length of this response. I hope I can answer your question satisfactorily. I understand what you’re saying and, of course, there is always a chance that someone will take what I’ve said and see it as an excuse for abuse. I pray that will not be the case, but let me be clear: there is no excuse for abusive behavior. In my Child-Training series, I’ve repeatedly advocated disciplining appropriately, without anger.

      Children will try to manipulate sometimes by screaming, yelling, crying their lungs out, for theatrics, and to “punish” a parent. Most parents can tell when their child is truly crying, and when they’re putting on an act. (I am referring more to the child who begins screaming and crying loudly even before any discipline has been applied, continuing to scream and wail as though they’re being beaten to death, with no real tears, and when only one light swat with the rod has been given by a calm parent. That child is clearly trying to make the parent look and feel like “the bad guy.” They think that perhaps they can get help from someone else in the vicinity who doesn’t know what is going on, by making it sound like the parent is abusing them.) We’ve all seen this, when a child “turns on” the tantrum, and then, just as suddenly, “turns off” all wailing, and asks a question, when something catches their attention. (I saw this happen just the other day.) I agree that a child who is genuinely being hurt through the “discipline” being applied abusively, by an angry parent–that those cries are very real, and warranted. There is a very real difference in the tone of those cries, I am sure. This is not the situation I’m addressing in this series on spanking. I’m referring to a child who is angry, not repentant, receiving appropriate discipline from a loving parent.

      You can test your “rod” (we used a wooden spoon, and later a paint stick) on your own leg to see how it feels, so that you can avoid using excessive force. Just one swat–you don’t have to hit hard at all–with an implement such as this, really stings, and is quite effective, but will not bruise in any way, or leave any lasting damage, to be sure.

      Please read all the posts in this series. If you still have questions, I’d be glad to answer them, as best I can. I do appreciate your comment.
      Blessings,
      Wendy

      1. Thank you Wendy for your answer.

        Yeah spanking can be a very heated topic. What is right and what is best.

        But if you have a situations or a child who display a wrong attitude what is the best thing to do? “If they are screaming or wailing, let them know that they will get additional and harder chastisement if they are not quiet”. Continue spanking or harder multiply spankings to “force” it and could that later in life make afraid them to show emotions? How to deal best with a strong willing child who are turning into a hysterical case?

        Others can tell their children to stop crying after a spanking or even get another spanking if they do not stop it if they still display a wrong attitude. What’s your thought about that? Can a spanking be turned into too much authority?

        I think those cases can be experiences in a real life situations where it can be hard to find the line if I am too hard or too soft on them.

        1. I will respond to this later, as I don’t have time right now, but thank you so much for further discussion on the subject! Wendy

          1. That`s all right Wendy.

            I have read your posts about spanking and yeah it is a heated topic. But I have to say that it can be also a golden side and a dark side of it. It depends.

            You have stated that you had to give your daughter up to 20 or more strokes/swats and even had to stop it for now I presume she was spanked later for it.
            Is it possible that this even a parent are not intend to abuse their children can turn a spanking into see how much pain a child can take or “suffer” before it give up or “break” and give the right results to the parents? And the also the possible of inflicting sore marks for a long time? Having hard time to sit down etc.

            And if you have a strong willing child or another one who are crying loudly(angry etc) how can a neighbor or others hear the difference when that spanking are escalating, taking them down to the basement or force them?
            Have you read that open letter to Roy Lessin written by Beth Fenninmore? Her dad was at that time not attend to abuse her but it would concern the law today.

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