NECESSARY DISCIPLINE OF A CHILD
by W. G. Guy
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Children do not raise themselves, they need responsible parental guidance. Children do not have to be taught to do what is wrong, or what they should not do; that seems to occur naturally; it is called the sin nature that we all have. Children need to be taught what is right and what is wrong. They need to learn that there are boundaries and limitations to improper behavior – this is referred to as training, as stated in the above scripture.
Sometimes that training requires the exercise of various forms of punishment; some of which may include spanking depending on the character and responsiveness of the child. Each child is different and needs to be dealt with according to their individual needs. I had a son who required spanking at certain times, but my daughter only needed a stern look from me and she would straighten up and correct her behavior.
What would become of a child if no training or corrective discipline were ever used to establish proper behavior in them? It would most likely cause that child to grow up into a life of immoral or illegal behavior that would cause shame or disappointment for his parents.
Here is what the Bible says about applying corrective punishment to children as written by Solomon, whom scripture records as the wisest of men:
Proverbs 1:8 – My son, hear the instruction (training) of thy father, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother. This summarizes the duty of parents toward their children.
Proverbs 3:11-12 – My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neiher be weary of his correction: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteh. A loving father will correct his wayward son, even repeatedly if needed, to properly establish the child’s ways.
Proverbs 10:1 – The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness (heartbreak) of his mother.
Proverbs 13:24 – He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (repeatedly or as often as needed).
To fail to properly discipline is equated to hating or despising your son and condemning him a life of committing wrong doing.
Proverbs 19:18 – Chasten thy son while there is hope (or before it is too late to do any good), and let not thy soul spare for his crying. A child’s life patterns are usually established by the time they are 12 years old.
Proverbs 20:11 – Even a child is known by his doings (behavior), whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
A child’s behavior is a direct reflection on how his parents raised him, trained him, or failed to train him.
Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Failure to apply corrective punishment will not straighten out the child’s future and proper moral development.
Proverbs 23:13-14 – Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
A proper spanking will not emotionally or mentally harm the child as the liberal, so-called child advocates claim; including famous Dr. Spock.
Proverbs 29:15 & 17 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Correct thy son, and he shall give delight unto thy soul. Proper child discipline has its own honorable rewards.
Proverbs 13:18 – Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. Here is the expected outcome of a child’s response to his parents training.
The book of Hebrews also identifies the need for corrective punishment calling it chastening:
Hebrews 12:5-11 – And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Notice the need for spanking is emphasized in the Book of Proverbs. However, this requires administration based on love for the child.
Tips for proper administration of a spanking:
1) NEVER EVER spank a child out of anger. Anger is an emotion that can easily cause a person to lose control and inflict more pain and suffering than is necessary to administer correction. If necessary, wait to administer the spanking until you calm down if the child got you so angry at what he did. Tell the child he has a spanking coming when you are ready; don’t neglect to administer the spanking or the child learns that you don’t keep your word , or that he can negotiate you out of the spanking which puts the child in control. Then when it is time to administer the spanking remind the child that this is his due punishment and remind him again what it is for.
2) Always explain why the corrective punishment is being administered; after doing so, ask the child if he understands why he was punished so he can avoid such an experience in the future.
3) NEVER EVER spank a child with your hand! Your hand should be seen as a source of a loving and caring touch. The child should not fear you or your hand. When administering a spanking, always use a light weight stick like a long wooden spoon, a wooden back-scratcher, etc. The child should learn to fear that stick as being a source of corrective punishment – NOT YOUR HAND.
4) After administering the corrective punishment tell the child you love him and care that what he does is right and proper and that you are training him to avoid poor, bad or illegal behavior so he will become an honorable person as he grows as indicated in Proverbs 10:1 above. Then give him a hug and make him hug you in return. This prevents the child from developing bitterness or resentment toward you for pain of the punishment. You may want to ask the child what he has learned from this chastising experience.