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If children do not know how to yield to their parents, they will not know how to yield to God. A young man once came to my office in a Christian school. Under conviction of sin he said to me: "I have always had my own way at home and every other place, until I do not know how to surrender to God." Eli's sons were vile and he restrained them not." Do you? When we are lax and loose with our children, we are making rebels of them. "He that spareth the rod hateth his son, but the that loveth him chasteneth him." But you say, "Oh, but I love my child too much to punish him!" You do not agree then with God who said, "He that spareth the rod hateth his son." "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."

It is easy to let sympathy smother intelligent love.

Restraint is difficult, but it is a parental duty. When to say no and yes: when to let them go and when to make them stay is the test of our love and better judgment. When it endangers their morals or souls, say no. Let us be kind but firm. Parents must decide and act together. If the father tells them to do one thing and the mother another, authority is divided and destroyed. Parents disagreeing and arguing in the presence of their children is one of the most fatal sins against themselves and their children. Interfering with discipline so sorely needed in this rebellious generation is a crime against God and your children. Do not plead the child's case, but back your partner's efforts to hold them on the right path. When the father is administering punishment, the mother must not interfere, though the child may scream and cry. If he cries, "Oh you are killing me, etc.," just remember that it helps when it hurts, and "With hold not correction from the child : for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die," though he yells like it. Of course the rod is not the only remedy, but it is the most needed remedy these days, because it's the most neglected. Parents should never give way in anger and beat their children, but they must be firm and kind. Where there are so many allurements all about them, there must be a strong, loving, restraining hand, or our children will drift and rush to destruction with the wrong crowd. It takes more love to hold them in and lead them to Christ, than it does to relieve our nerves by letting them go to destruction. It must be done in the right spirit, with the right purpose ever before us -- for their good, not our vengeance. "Father's, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." We must not embarrass or humiliate them in the presence of others, except in extreme and rare cases. Many mothers and fathers bring up their children in idleness, while they themselves become slaves for their children, with the result that their children become masters over their parents. If you want your children to love you, let them serve you. Receiving makes one selfish, while giving and helping others makes one unselfish and kind.




Twenty-years ago it was probably not uncommon to see a child being spanked as a means of discipline, for misbehaving. Add another 20 years to that, and it was probably not uncommon to see a neighbor spank another person's child for their wrongdoings. Sadly, those days are mostly gone.

Halfway through the calendar year 43 people have been murdered, with at least four of them being young high school students, and many are calling for more parents to use the "rod" when it comes to dealing with their wayward children, before they turn to a life of crime.

However, some local pastors are at odds with this issue, and don't all believe that sparing the rod is spoiling the child.

"The use of the rod is important but it must be done without abuse," says Samuel Cleare of New Life Christian Center.  "Over the years, concern has been raised by authorities that the level of abuse is on the rise and sometimes what we consider to be discipline is actually abuse, nevertheless, I still think the practice of spanking or using the 'rod' on you kid is important. I had it [rod], and it kept me on the straight and narrow. So I find it to be a very useful practice."

But he said that the rod is not the only method of discipline that should be used. He urged guidance also as parents seek to discipline. "A balance must be made. That's the method I used with my kids," he said.

While he sought this balance with his children, Cleare's youngest son, who was named after his father, and who was raised in a Christian home, still went astray.

"In 1995 my youngest son, my namesake, made some wrong choices and he paid for them by going to jail for armed robbery. However, I do not think his choices had anything to do with how he was raised. Instead, I would say that he was influenced from some of his relatives and friends who would have had free rein to do whatever they wanted. But even though they influenced him, he was an adult who like everybody else has a mind of his own. He made his own choices and I believe that there is a possibility that everybody can make mistakes and go astray no matter how they were raised," he says.

Adding that even God acknowledges that people will go astray, Cleare says that this was definitely such a case.

"The good thing is that once you've had the Christian instruction, God has something with which to work with when you go off the rails. That's why its important to raise your children in the way of the Lord, because once they depart, they will come back on a straight course."

Cleare says all children need guidance and discipline, but people must realize that even the most disciplined children can mess up — some greater than others. "I raised all three of my children as well as I could, so I find it hard when people blame me for my children's mistakes".

"They seem to forget that he was an adult and at that point a parent cannot be held responsible for what an adult child does. I willingly admit that I disciplined all my children and I know that I did all I could to steer them all in the right direction, even if that meant that I had to use the rod."

In the case of teenagers going astray, Cleare says that more discipline needs to come into play. "These days parents are allowing their children to get away with all kinds of things and society is such that when your kids act up, you give in and that shouldn't be so. Children need discipline and sometimes the rod is the way to go.

Laish Boyd says that the rod is
not always the answer.

"I do not think that sparing the rod is the problem with our kids," he says, "because the rod is not the only way to discipline or to correct or to inspire a child. I think what's happening in our society progressively over the decades is that more and more parents have stopped taking the kind of responsibility or an interest in their children. It's as if parents were holding the reins and they slowly began to let them go. But it takes parents to produce children and there's a deep lesson in that — parents need to be involved in the life of a child."

Boyd says children need the covering, love, support and direction of their parents. "I think that's where we have fallen down in this country over the last three decades. This is something that has gotten progressively worse or at least more apparent over the year. Therefore it's not about sparing the rod, it's about parents failing to be involved in their children's lives and directing their children by creating a home environment that focuses on the well-being of their children. So when a child goes off the path, it's safe to say that we must look at the home environment and at the parents."

Boyd said that this is not always the case, but he says he's certain the home environment plays a role in who a child becomes.

He said he used the rod in his household, but not for every problem.

"We've raised our two children in a Christian environment. We trained them to make good choices for right and wrong. They both know what will be tolerated and what will not. However, when the time comes for them to be on their own I cannot make any choices for them. I can only hope that they will use the values and principles that we have taught them."



There has always seemed to be much controversy over spanking as a means to discipline kids. There are two sides to the issue, and many well-spoken points to argue for both sides. So, is there any real advantage to using spanking as a means for discipline, or should it cease to exist? You decide.

Why some believe spanking is effective:

It is a physical way of modifying a child's behavior without causing physical injury.
The Bible supports this type of discipline when used as actually prescribed by the Bible.
Other methods of discipline have not worked.

Why some believe spanking is ineffective:

It only teaches a child to fear his parents and not respect them.
It teaches a child that you can use physical means to get your way.
It can physically harm a child, especially if a parent is angry when delivering the spanking.
It hurts a child's self-esteem.

Most parents would agree that there is a huge line between spanking as a disciplinary measure and actually abusing a child with physical harm. Spanking is defined as, "To slap on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand, as for punishment. " (Dictionary.com) This definition does not imply beating a child to get your point across. It has also been suggested that before spanking a child, you should tell the child why they are being spanked and do it in a calm manner. In other words, it should not be delivered in the heat of anger.

The Bible does have Scripture to support discipline. Proverbs 13:24 says, "Those who don't correct their children hate them. But those who love them are careful to train them." (NIrV) While this verse does not specifically state spanking a child is the way to train your child, the NIV version of this verse says,
"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Many Christian parents have taken this to mean a stick (or nowadays a hand) as the means of discipline. A rod was used by shepherds to direct their sheep where to go. It is sometimes thought that the rod used to discipline children is any means that keeps a child going in the right direction, and not necessarily with the use of a spanking.

Some parents just strongly disagree with the whole spanking issue and have found alternatives to spanking, such as "time-outs" or taking away privileges. Some parents like to take a pause before they talk with their children about what made them angry. For instance, tell your child, "I am angry right now, and I am going to discuss this with you later." This way the child knows that you are displeased, but you want to gain composure before handling the situation.

Hopefully, after reading some of the points discussed in this article, you will be able to satisfy in your mind what is right for your family.




Q: Dear Benedicts, I have a question in regards to spanking. I have 2 sons, ages 6 and 8. Recently we decided to employ spanking as a disciplinary tool. When I spank them, sometimes after I am done they say to me that it didn't hurt! I use my hand and was wondering: Should I start using an implement or start spanking them on the bare bottom? I do want to be careful, especially in the times we live in now. Would you suggest some spanking guidelines on the mechanics of spanking? I know I have been rather late with my decision to use spanking, but I feel I still can try to discipline them with some kind of discipline. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks and God Bless. TJ

A: Dear TJ; Is your interest now in the use of the rod the result of observing your children displaying frequent defiance or a lack of respect towards you? Are you a single parent? It is very important that both parents (even in the case of divorce or separation) agree to a common approach and method of discipline. Consistency in discipline is critical to a child's sense of well being. Unless parents are in agreement about discipline and use the same standards children will be frustrated by the different approaches so even if parents are separated and share custody it is important that they talk about their standards for behavior.

I alter my advice to parents slightly, depending on their situation. In your case, a two parent family where both parents are working together as a team, you can have a discussion with the kids. You can tell the kids that Mom and Dad realize they have not been doing a good job of disciplining the children, and that God has helped you realize you need to enforce His standards more carefully. Let them know the rules have changed, but your love for them has not. Explain that in the future spankings will not be laughing matters, because sin and disobedience is a serious thing in God's eyes. Make changes gradually and most important, be consistent.

In this case, since your kids are older, you can come up with a list of punishable offenses which merit spanking and review the list together with your children. The list should include defiance, sassing, and disobedience.
Children should not be spanked for simple forgetfulness, clumsy actions such as spilt milk, ect. Spanking should be used primarily as a remedy for defiance, direct disobedience, and bad attitude towards parental authority. I Recommend you get the book "What the Bible Teaches About Child Training," by Richard Fugate, and study it carefully to help plan and develop your discipline strategy. See Best Books For Parents for more information on parenting resources.

Hebrews 12:10-11 says, "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." This scripture clearly shows that discipline should not be something to be laughed off. There is a practical reason for not using your hand to spank your children. By using a rod instead, you separate the discipline from the person of the giver.

It is really sad and unfortunate in this day of undisciplined children that the positive act of spanking is subject to be be misinterpreted, by the ignorant and misinformed, to be child abuse. It's a sad society that can't tell the difference between a legitimate act of discipline and real child abuse. This is the growing effect of Biblical illiteracy and of television and media coverage of the ideas of the small but outspoken spanking opponents.
The media frequently interviews self-appointed social experts who have the hidden agenda of criminalizing spanking.

The Word of God says that the children who are genuinely unloved are those that go without discipline. Parents who care enough to insist that their children be obedient and and enforce their parental authority prepare for their children's future success and help them be effective, productive members of society.




"I wish that all fathers of households stand forth and practice their role. They will use the rod and not permit their children to go astray. Firmness is needed in your world that is filled with laxity, permissiveness, and degradation.
"Your children have been misled by many who shall answer to the Father. As teachers they have failed in their role. Therefore, as parents you must succeed in yours."

As the Bible tells us: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)

To Spank or Not to Spank?

Is spanking an effective means of discipline for kids, or does it merely teach them to be violent? Fewer topics have generated so much emotion as whether to spank or not. First, what does the law say? Is it illegal to spank your kids? The answer is no-but parents who spank must be very careful to avoid running afoul of the law. Colorado law defines child abuse to include any case in which a child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, failure to thrive, burns, fractures, etc. and the condition is not justifiably explained or the circumstances indicate that the condition was not accidental. For purposes of the child abuse law, parental discipline through spanking may not be justifiable if the child is bruised or otherwise injured. Thus, spanking is not illegal, but injuring a child is.

Apart from the legalities, is spanking a good idea? Does it work?  According to the academy, effective discipline has three key components: first, a loving, supportive relationship between parent and child; second, use of positive reinforcement when children behave well; and third, use of punishment when children misbehave. Many parents these days are fearful of using spanking as punishment, either because of the law or because they fear it teaches violence to their kids.

Some professional organizations of physicians and psychologists have suggested that spanking is detrimental and leads to family violence and child abuse. They have suggested that spanking teaches physically aggressive behavior which the child will imitate. But does the research support these assertions?
According to the National Institute for Healthcare Research, more than 80 percent of the professional publications attacking spanking were reviews and commentaries, rather than quantitative research. When analyzing the small portion of quantitative studies that included spanking, more than 90 percent of these studies lumped together mild forms of spanking with severe forms of physical abuse without discussing why they did so. Thus, the professional organizations which advocated outlawing spanking evidently made their decisions without the benefit of the facts. Mild spanking and severe child abuse are not the same thing.

While spanking is not illegal, bruising or otherwise injuring a child is. But what about mild spanking as a corrective measure? Is it a good idea? Spanking works best when coupled with other disciplinary measures, such as "time out." Research regarding behavior modification of children ages 2 to 6 found that spanking a child two times on either the rear or thigh helped improve compliance with "time out" for misbehavior. These children were more likely to remain in their room after acting up if a potential spank followed if they left before the time was up. Furthermore, pairing reasoning with a spanking in the toddler years delayed misbehavior longer than did either reasoning or spanking alone. Reasoning linked with a spank was also more effective compared with other discipline methods. Talking with the child about what behavior is expected and why-with the potential of a follow-up spank-worked best.

According to Physician magazine, spanking should be used selectively for clear, deliberate misbehavior, especially a child's persistent defiance of a parent. It should be used only when the child receives at least as much praise for good behavior as correction for problem behavior. Verbal correction, time out and logical consequences should be used initially, followed by spanking when noncompliance persists. Only a parent should administer a spanking, not another person. Spanking should never be administered on impulse or when a parent is out of control. Parents sometimes need a time out too. Spanking is inappropriate before 15 months of age, should be less necessary after 6 years, and rarely, if ever, used after 10 years of age. Spanking should always be administered in private. Appropriate spanking only leaves temporary redness of skin, and never bruises or injures. Spanking works, but must be used thoughtfully and carefully in conjunction with other disciplinary measures.




I know this may seem as a recurring theme for me - but I am passionate about the future, and our children are our future - without any shadow of a doubt. If we do not prepare our children for the future they are going to meet - we have failed them, and failed them badly.

Many will say that global warming, pollution, war, nuclear weapons, animal rights even are more important, but I disagree with as much robustness as I can. I am no expert in the sense that I have a PHd or Doctorate in child development, but I do see the world in two different ways - the way of my childhood and the way that it is today - and they are very, vastly, different.

Many will argue that we should give to our children all that we can because we never had such things, to some point I agree. Yet I have to say that you, as a parent, giving all those material things are failing your child. Yes you do get that smile of appreciation when they first put on their new Nike’s at a cost of $300 - seems worth it just for that. But what about giving them the things they really need? Can we give both? I think so - I once listened to Paul McCartney in an interview - you know, the Beatle. He said that his children, although he was a multi-millionaire at the time, would have to earn their money. He didn’t give them things because he, undoubtedly, could - he made them work for it, I agree with him 100%.

In Britain the debate is on (I fully believe that this is the opening shots against Political Correctness - I hope I am right) that children are being failed by society as a whole, not just their parents or schools. This I also agree with. Society is failing them because we are putting our children in a situation where they can no longer react with each other because we, as parents, don’t allow them to. This is because of fear - I have mentioned this before - fear of everything out there that may be a risk or not, if it is perceived as a risk, then it is a risk, and to overcome that fear we spoil the child, not to make them feel better but to make us feel better - that is where we are going wrong.

Spare the rod, spoil the child in my day was just that - if you didn’t behave you got a clip around the ear - now that didn’t do me any harm, it hurt yes, you never saw the size of those hands that did the clipping. Although I don’t advocate the return of the clip around the ear, I do advocate real discipline in both schools, the home and in society as a whole. We don’t ignore bad behaviour in this house - it is punished! But we also do praise good behaviour - seems logical enough for me and my wife. The greatest compliment we get is when people say to us that they have not met a more polite, well behaved bunch of kids. To be honest we look at them with a sense of disbelief - our children say thank you, please, and do have respect for their elders, is that a bad thing? They also have a say in their lives, after all, their life is theirs to own so if something effects them they have input into it - but they have also learned that they have to be disappointed sometimes - in that even after they have had their say there is a word that they dislike - No!

This is a word that parents have lost the ability to master. But that is the parents fault, not the child! You say no - child goes into screaming mode, guess who taught the child that this is acceptable - yes, you! It is, after all, much easier to say yes - get the little love what they want and they will go off, be happy and love you for all time, as if! They will then know that yes is a word that means they get what they perceive is what they need. Want is not need - a simple lesson to learn.

Children need love, boundaries that they know they cannot cross, a sense of who they are in this world, to be taught tolerance for others.

Spoiling your kids and not disciplining and giving them boundaries makes them arrogant, leading them to think they’re untouchable and they can treat anyone however they like. Sound familiar to anyone?

If you do give, give and give, then a child does grow up expecting that they receive with impunity. And that does lead to sordid behaviour where they expect no punishment for anything, whether it be attacking another child for what they have, lunch money comes to mind, to getting into a school and blowing the brains out of others because they didn’t get the grade they expected or wanted. And we, the adult generation sit back and wonder why? Sanitizing the world of all danger is not going to happen, crossing out a mistake on a text book in school with a blue pen instead of a red one will not make a child ‘feel any better’ about themselves - showing the child that we all make mistakes and learn from them will. Growing up is not just about getting taller - it is about seeing danger, recognizing it and averting it - on your own! Not having a red-flagger walking in front of you each step telling you of the danger.

Growing up is about emotional development, too. Part of that is negative emotion as well as the wonderful positive ones - but you cannot appreciate the latter without the former - common sense dictates that, and common sense is what is lacking more than anything else.




A very literal and modern translation of Prov 13:24 would read, "He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly."

I understand that one could look at this verse with the idea that "the rod" might be a symbol for any form of punishment. Another similar verse, Prov 22:15, reads, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him." This too could be thought of as a symbol of any form of discipline, while it does seem to imply corporal punishment.

If we look to the word "rod" used in these passages, the Hebrew word is shebet. This is a masculine noun with the definition from the Hebrew Lexicon being: a staff, stick, rod; specifically used for beating or striking. After reading the definition of the word "rod", it would lead one to assume that these passages were indeed referring to corporal punishment.

Consider the following verse....

Prov 23:13 "Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die."

First off, I would like to clarify that the Hebrew word for "beat" used here, nakah, has the meaning "to strike." So it does not imply the senseless beating of a child. The purpose of this verse was to exhort parents to use corporal punishment without fearing the injury of their children. If done correctly, corporal punishment should NEVER leave any form of injury.

Conclusively, I believe that the bible does very clearly exhort parents to use corporal punishment. And while this has no bearing on non Christian parents, a parent who was truly seeking God's views on corporal punishment should take these verses to heart and pray about how they can be used as a part of the discipline of their children.





I got a spanking from school teachers, parents etc. when I was growing up and so did all my peers. Not one of those peers to my knowledge has become a serial killer or an asylum inmate. In general I'd say we are a fairly well adjusted, hard working respectful lot. I can't say the same for the current generation coming out of our schools and homes. Each day I read of new laws being enacted to try and control the anti-social behavior of this new generation of adults bought up on little to no discipline. The social engineers and misguided psychologists took corporal punishment out of the schools and have almost succeeded in taking it our of our homes, and now we are reaping the results.

God designed us and He knows best what we need to become law abiding, hard working respectful and respectable individuals. That's why the Bible says.. "He who spares the rod hates his son: but he that loves him corrects him " (Proverbs 13:24).


"Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die".  (Proverbs 23:13-14).

He provided further guidance with "
Father's, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

I'll take the child raising advice of the Creator any day over some puffed up, spiritually dead, humanistic indoctrinated self appointed or proclaimed expert whose philosophies have contributed to the mess our society is in now.

Romans 1:21-22: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”


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