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.)
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?
Scripture Is Powerful
Read Scripture and pray with your child, offering an opportunity for them to repent, before spanking or administering discipline (for a large offense). If they are still not willing to confess disobedience and say they’re sorry, if they are still hard and rebellious, administer the rod again, adding on a swat each time. (We used a wooden spoon for a while, and then a paint stick–just one swat really stings, but doesn’t inflict damage. Try your “rod” on your own bare leg first to see how it feels and what force is appropriate. With a paint stick it really stings, but very little force is necessary.)
Sin Breaks Fellowship
Use Scripture to show them their hearts. (It says in James that the Bible is like a mirror.) Once they have repented and have asked forgiveness, be ready to assure them of your complete forgiveness and your love. (Of course you love them whether they ask forgiveness or not, but they cannot have that oneness of spirit with you until they have made things right. This is clearly shown in Scripture to be true in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, too! When we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We break fellowship. He says that He will not hear our prayers when we harbor sin in our hearts.)
There’s Something I Need To Say To You
It’s been nagging at me that I’ve neglected to mention this. Be careful not to provoke your children. It’s true that they need to obey, and when you say something to them they need to look at you and listen, and then do it, but…
Let’s imagine for a minute:
You finally have some free time. You have a project that you’ve been dying to get into (pick one: sewing, organizing, baking…)
Now, you get all your “stuff” together and you begin. You’re totally engrossed in your project, really into it, and concentrating hard, and, BOOM! Your husband walks in the room, breaking into your concentration and enjoyment, and demands, “Please go iron my blue shirt that I need to wear tomorrow–Now.”
How do you feel?
What do you do?
In your heart you know that you should get up sweetly and say, “Yes, honey! I’ll go do that right now for you, sweetie!” And delay is disobey, right? So, you need to move–right?
But, honestly, how would you feel? And would you ask if you could finish what you’re doing first? And what if you cheerfully went and ironed said shirt, came back and had no sooner gotten totally engrossed in your project again than he came back and wanted you to do something else!
You have no desire to rebel, you have no desire to “disobey,” but you are right in the middle of something, and have given it your full attention at that moment. It’s very hard to be yanked out of that.
Many times this is exactly what we do to our children. We yank them around, and do not consider their feelings. And then they go back to their play, and we think of something else that we need them to do, or we need to do to them. Are they truly being disobedient?
We need to think before we selfishly demand obedience to commands which don’t have to be given, or could be given some other time.
Yes, they need to obey, but consider, did they just get engrossed in playing with something? Are they busy at “their work”? Their play is serious business. Do you have to have them do that thing right now? Could it wait for a more opportune moment? Your children should not be allowed to display an attitude of disrespect or rebellion towards you, but…
Could there be a reason that your normally respectful, obedient child is showing stubbornness and rebellion, and even (dare I say it) resentment towards you? I want to say that I especially saw this happen between my son and me, when my son was between 9 and 13 or 14. Males need to be respected. Your growing son needs to feel respected. If you frustrate him, and don’t show him respect, and then come down hard on him for disobeying you, Mom, you’re emasculating him, and making him feel very angry inside.
I am convicted by how many times I have done just this thing (all of the above). Lord, forgive me for provoking my children to wrath over and over. I know I have spoken and acted in a demanding and harsh manner with my children. Expectations flying. Not thinking of them or their feelings. Singly focused on my own desires, my schedule, what I have to get done. And then wielding my authority over them like a club when they have responded as anyone would when put in the same situation. My poor children.
Sometimes the friction in my home just needs more of the oil of the Holy Spirit flowing (and the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness…) to cause things to run more smoothly.
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