Here is a question I hear a lot from Christian parents.
Should I spank my kids?
Before I dive deeper into this topic, I want to share something with you that I have learned in my Christian walk, and that is the following:
It is not my job to change the Bible; it is the Bible’s job to change me.
It is important to know that there are probably a lot of things that we will read in the Bible that we won’t like. Let me name you a few:
- Love your enemies
- Forgiving those that hurt you
- Picking up your cross and follow Jesus
These are just a few bitter pills to swallow, and there are many more.
My point is that the purpose of the Bible is to help us live a righteous life that is pleasing to God. As Christians it is important to rely on God to guide our lives, and one way He does this is through His Word.
So when we read something we disagree with, we have the following options:
- Ignore the verse and make as if it doesn’t exist
- Say that verse is not relevant today
- You will stand your ground and continue with your own way, disregarding that verse.
- Try and interpret that verse differently so it suits you better
- Decide to change and conform to God’s Word, because ultimately, God knows better than us.
Which one of these 5 options would you say is the correct way to act? Obviously number 5.
Now, back to the topic. Should we spank our children? Let me summarise all the verses in Proverbs on this topic.
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” – Proverbs 3:11-12
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” – Proverbs 12:1
“Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” – Proverbs 13:18
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” – Proverbs 13:24
“A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.” – Proverbs 15:5
“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” – Proverbs 15:32
“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.” – Proverbs 19:18
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” – Proverbs 22:15
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” – Proverbs 23:13-14
“A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.” – Proverbs 29:15
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” – Proverbs 29:17
So the Bible is clear on two things:
- We should discipline our kids (Proverbs 19:18)
- We shouldn’t spare the rod (Proverbs 13:24)
In fact, the Bible says that whoever spares the rod hates their children (Proverbs 13:24)
One word in this verse that we shouldn’t miss is the word “careful”. So let me give you my take on disciplining your children. The rod, or spanking, shouldn’t be your first resort.
You see, there is no need to spank your child if taking away their mobile phone works. But there are cases where taking away their mobile phone, our grounding them for a week doesn’t work. When all else fails, then spanking is a good option.
I know this topic is a massive debate. But I would like to end off with the following.
Spanking is biblical, as long as it doesn’t become abuse.