To Spank or Not to Spank?

by | Feb 27, 2013 | Woman

I often think of myself like a mama bear walking around the forest with her two cubs. I’m so happy (relieved?) to be at the stage we’re at now. For the most part, we’re past the point of worrying moment to moment about my boys’ safety. They don’t stick things in outlets. They know what is poisonous. They can walk up and down stairs without falling. They know not to run out in the road.

Looking back, it’s amazing how much just keeping them alive dominated my parenting during those early years. But now, we’re into the stage of honest discipleship. I’ve been thinking back this week on various things I’ve learned about parenting my boys the last few years. Most of the principles listed below I’ve learned the hard way. Here’s a summary of the big ideas that have been life giving to me, totally changing both my boys and myself, how we relate to each other, and how I prepare them for the future.

1) First and foremost, punishment is not the same as discipleship. If Christ truly fulfilled our punishment on the cross and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), then that has to change how we react to our children when they do wrong.

I used to think that I was disciplining/discipling my boys by punishing them when they disobeyed. But how do you convey the gospel (that Christ has already paid for their sins on the cross) that they need in that moment when you are simultaneously punishing them anew for it?! Learning the subtle yet profound difference in punishment and discipline has been life changing for me personally and subsequently for me with my children.

2) Spanking is not required in Scripture. It is certainly allowed in Scripture, but it is not required. The commands to “discipline” in Scripture are not synonymous with spanking, not even close. The word “rod” in Scripture is not synonymous with spanking either. Again, not even close. These first two principles were the biggest problem I had with the chapter on spanking in Give Them Grace. Otherwise I appreciated that book very much.

3) Modeling for my boys what I want them to be and do is the most effective form of discipleship. Often when they disobeyed, I modeled the exact opposite of what I wanted them to do. I want them to work out disagreements with calm words, even when the other party is angry. I want them to walk away until the parties calm down in heated situations.

Yet I realized that I wasn’t doing that when I was disciplining them after they did not do it. Reactive parenting is ineffective parenting. When I train my boys with a view of what I want them to become, not what they just demonstrated they were, I’m obeying the Golden Rule, which Jesus claims is fundamental to all other instructions in Scripture.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

  1. The difference in pervasive and total depravity.  My boys are not always acting out on the worst of their sin nature. Sometimes, they just make mistakes. The T in TULIP never meant that my boys are always as bad as they have the potential to be. Very few men or women in the history of the world have demonstrated total evil at all times in all places of life. But we are pervasively depraved.

    Our sin problem pervades all of our life and is so extensive to be something we can not eradicate on our own. Understanding this difference protects me from assuming the worst of my boys at every turn, which is a big problem since Paul instructs in I Corinthians 13 that Biblical love is ever ready to believe the best of someone! A wrong understanding of depravity tempted me to disobey the greatest command to love as the Bible describes that term in I Cor. 13.

    5) The final principle that has blessed me as a parent is that fruit takes a long time. I can’t sow my seed in the morning, water it 10 minutes later, fertilize it the next hour, and expect fruit by the evening. I have learned the value of sowing in the morning, watering in the evening, and fertilizing the following week.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Now or Never: It’s ‘Go Time’ For the Body of Christ

Now or Never: It’s ‘Go Time’ For the Body of Christ

Have you been feeling hopeless, sick, depressed, anxious or fearful over the course of these past two years? The enemy of our souls has been turning up the heat every way possible. But his plan is failing and we must remember, especially during the intensity of these...

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

RECENT ARTICLES

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible,...
Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about standing strong in the storms of life. Whether you're dealing with a...

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Pin It on Pinterest