Did you get spankings when you were little? Man, I did. My parents believed in them and I probably needed them too. In fact, I didn’t think spanking was the right term, so I would call them a whooping. I got a few whoopings and every time my parents would say, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Did your parents say this too? Maybe that was true but I know I felt it for sure. Yet, looking back on these moments of needed correction, I know it helped me and shaped who I am. I know I’m better because of it and those whoopings are now humorous stories of how my parents corrected me and I’m thankful.
However, today this topic is a heated debate on whether it’s right or wrong to spank a child. The opinions are stout and stern with conviction going in either direction and for many parents, they were determined to do things different for their kids. This determination is good as we esteem to be better for our kids and to build the next generation on a solid foundation. This can also be bad when we over-correct and become imbalanced in our boundaries or practices as a parent. The temptation to over-correct is common as we desire to improve from what we had. This is needed and should be the goal for all of us, yet we must align ourselves with the Word of God and let it be the road map of our decisions. Especially when it comes to our marriage and our kids.
Think about how powerful family is!
The unity between a man and a woman in marriage is profound as it links the heart, the soul and the spirit of two people. Together they can achieve greatness and be something more. Then our children are a gift from God. They possess gifts, talents and a purpose through Christ. They are the next generation to carry both the legacy and heritage we give them as parents, which is why how we love them through discipline is huge. Because of this, every family faces attacks to divide and conquer them away from each other and from God. His agenda to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus gives us life abundantly. How we govern our hearts and how we lead our homes ripples for generations. So be encouraged, Jesus is with you and when we do life according to His word, we will prosper in these areas.
So, how we practice what the bible says about spanking?
Proverbs 13:24 says –
“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”
Proverbs 19:18 says –
“Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.”
Both of these verses are intense and give us clear expectations as parents. These verses also give us clear repercussions from not moving forward as we are instructed. Yet this area can be tricky as some of us were abused as kids with spankings that went across the line. Others had an abusive atmosphere which created an invisible prison. Then some had no discipline and they were allowed to do whatever they wanted with no consequences. These experiences and more define how we think about spanking, which dictates how we go about disciplining our kids. We avow what we won’t do and what we will do based on what we’ve seen and felt. Yet it’s interesting our opinions of a parent when we see a child in public not listening and creating a scene. Our standards can possibly be higher for others verses ourselves and what we wouldn’t do to our kids, we want them to do to theirs. You know what I’m talking about and we’ve all had these conversations internally while in these moments. We also notice when kids behave in public and it stands out to us. How we raise our kids in private will show itself in public. In fact, our kids are a window into our homes which leads to this question. What do people see in our homes when they look at our kids?
Therefore, our posture as a parent is to be consistent with disciplining our kids and it is specific. Meaning, I don’t correct all my kids the same because they are wired differently and as the parent I must reach their hearts, more than reaching for their butts. If I can get their heart to open and stay open, I can lead them whether I spank them every time or not. However, if they shut off their hearts, I can’t lead no matter how hard I spank them or don’t spank them. The issue is, are their hearts opened and this comes from forming a relationship with them.
I heard this statement as it stuck, “rules without relationship will breed rebellion.”
Discipline works best from an open relationship with our kids. Now, this evolves of course based on age but if our kids know we love them and if we are consistent, it will set the stage as they get older. I have spanked my kids at different times and will continue to do so. But I also don’t spank them every time something goes wrong because it’s not always needed. Again, how can I learn my kids individually so I’m connecting with something deeper that will shape who they are moving forward in life. It’s easy to be in the moment verses looking at the bigger picture. I’ve made this mistake a lot and I’m learning to practice what I write because it’s more about where they’re going, than it is about the moment’s anger. Feeling consequences are good. Understanding there are repercussions to decisions is huge; therefore, building an trusted bond is needed as they move forward in life.
I encourage you to obey God’s word when it comes to disciplining your kids. Which means, you love them, get to know them, lead them, tell the truth to them, be an example to them, be consistent toward them and build a relationship with them. When needed, correct them according to what is needed, spanking or not and move ahead with love. Seek to do better than your parents did, so that each generation is moving forward and keep the main thing the main thing – their open heart toward you!
When this happens, great things happen! God has empowered you with all that you need to be a parent for your kids. You can do this and no matter where this has been or where it is, things can get better through Jesus. Take one step forward. Make small adjustments as needed. Let God have your house and may His good hand rest on your family.
I believe in you and I know He is making a way for you and for your kids,