My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Corporal Punishment Defended!

Posted by Iszi on August 13, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

Like scant few these days, I was raised to fear the wrath of a good spanking when it was deserved. Never was anything harsher than my mother’s hand used, and rarely was it done when I was not fully dressed. Always it was because I had done something wrong and needed some form of immediate, effective punishment. Never did it leave a mark, or did I feel need to whine to anyone outside the family about it.

So, I constantly found myself confused when I hear about people being taken from their parents because their parents spanked them or some nonsense like that. I have always considered a reasonable amount of corporal punishment acceptable when deserved, because that’s how I was raised. And just today, I stumbled across defense for it, should any Christian need it.

See, I wasn’t raised on corporal punishment because I lived in some “redneck” home, or my parents were “old-fashioned”. And it definitely was not because they were “abusive”. It was because I was raised in a Christian home, by parents who were raised in the same. This form of discipline is in fact supported, in Proverbs 23:13-14 (NIV):

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.”

In the NLT text, these verses are translated as:

“Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.”

The Message translation emphasizes verse 14 even clearer:

“A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death.”

The part about this that would scare people in today’s society is that, in the most commonly used translations (KJV and NIV), these passages are referring specifically to discipline with a rod! That’s talking about smacking the child’s bottom with a long, sturdy, wooden stick! And people cringe today when we talk about just a little slap with our hand?

The bottom line of a good spanking is that it’s the quickest and most effective way to get the message across. As humans, one of our primal instincts is to avoid physical pain. Which means that we will avoid doing things that we know will cause us pain. (i.e.: Touching a hot stove.) So, if we are shown that a particular action (such as telling a lie or bullying a sibling excessively) will result in us experiencing pain (a spanking), then we will naturally not want to do it anymore.

So, rather than “abusing” our children when we spank them, the Bible says we are using physical punishment as a tool to teach them to stay away from behavior that would lead their soul to eternal death. And no one, but no one, has any right to tell me not to try to stop my kid from going to hell. As long as they are left alive and well, and no worse for the wear, the Bible explicitly tells us there’s no reason not to spank our children as a form of punishment.

Just some thoughts I figured I’d put up, in regards to this scripture I stumbled across.

– Iszi

In the Valley of the Green Glass Doors, there is sleeping but no beds.


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