Monday, June 20, 2011

Child Spanking a Felony?


When I saw this, I realized we truly are living in a time in which there is a distinct lack of understanding about what is right and wrong; and that applies both religiously and politically.

First, the relationship of parent and child is a critical relationship to both, but especially the child.  They will learn about life, and how to live it, from their parents.  As part of the great responsibility of teaching a child how to live in the real world, there are various means available, one of which is spanking.  It is not the place of any governmental body to interfere in that relationship.  

Yes, I will acknowledge that there are evil people in the world who would and do beat children needlessly.  Yes, I call this evil.  Yes, 'something' should be done about that.  However, it is absolutely wrong to prevent proper healthy parenting for the sake of stopping those who abuse children.  It's the same logic that liberals use for so many other things.  "Criminals would use guns to rob places, we should outlaw guns."  The criminals will use whatever they can, including illegal guns, to do so.  The gun isn't the issue.  In this case, spanking isn't the issue.  Bad parenting is.  That is what should be address, and even that should at least initially be addressed from the perspective of family, church, extended family, local community, etc.  When it's determined that they are going to do what they will regardless of offered help, etc, then yes, a punishment needs to be levied against the abusers, and their role in the life of the child needs to be reduced significantly.

However, the use of corporal punishment as an effective means of teaching proper and improper behavior patterns to children is a good thing.  It is proven (I'm a good example of that, to some degree) as an effective tool.  If done in a loving manner, and not out of anger or frustration on the part of the parent, it is one of the best tools available for a child to learn and grow.

Let's take a quick look at what Scripture has to say on the subject:
From Proverbs:
3:11 My son, do not reject the [a]discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 

13:24 He who withholds his [a]rod hates his son,
But he who loves him [b]disciplines him diligently. 

19:18 Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire [a]his death. 

22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. 

23:13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you [a]strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall [b]strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol. 

29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child [a]who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. 

From Hebrews:
 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 

[All Scripture is from the NASB translation.]
As we look through these passages, we clearly see that God has ordained use of 'the rod' in the raising of children in wisdom.  It plays a vital role, when used appropriately.  With the understanding that the rod is not to be used for every situation and circumstance, and not when the child is too young to understand the meaning of the discipline, and the various other concepts which are natural to parents, it becomes even more obvious to us that it is irresponsible to allow a child to live in the way they choose, without having any discipline.  Hebrews speaks to our relationship with our Heavenly Father in chapter 12.  Part of this comparison is the use of discipline to bring us into line.  God uses it in love, the same as we as parents are to use it with our children.

I am so blessed to have a daughter who behaves, and needs only be told things once.  I have yet to need to use spanking or any other corporal punishment with her.  She has had privileges suspended, and other minor punishments.  With her that is sufficient, and I am ever grateful for that.  I do not ever want to have to cause my child physical pain for their betterment.  However, I am willing to do so, for the sake of their own future, and to protect them from mistakes, and to understand that actions do indeed have consequences.  That's a lesson I'd rather my child learn from me in love, than from the world in any other fashion.

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