Is Child Discipline According to the Bible Appropriate for Modern Times?
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Is Child Discipline According to the Bible Appropriate for Modern Times?

Here is what the Bible says about child discipline in Proverbs 23:13-14 "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." Children of course need discipline. In our time parents, as a rule, do not use physical punishment to discipline their children. Many times physical punishment is considered child abuse.

Using physical punishment in today's society is frowned upon.  In fact hitting a child can be considered child abuse.  The preferred method of child discipline in modern times is "time out" for the younger children, and for older children restricting favorite activities.  These methods have proven to be effective when it comes to teaching children what is acceptable behavior.  When I was a child, parents didn't see anything wrong with using a paddle or spanking, but parents certainly didn't want others to discipline their children. That's how spanking in schools came to be considered taboo.  

My Grandmother used to always repeat the saying, "Spare the rod and spoil the child."  First of all you are trying to teach a child discipline. They are learning that there are consequences to their actions.  Here is the thing that a child remembers from a spanking.  They remember the spanking, but they don't remember what it was that they were being disciplined for. In my opinion, this is not an effective punishment.  

Just remember that, if you hit a child in anger that is not discipline.  Whenever you need to teach a child that they have done something wrong, you need to be calm.  Yelling, hitting and uncontrolled anger on the part of a parent doesn't teach anything good. Using physical punishment, to me, is a fast sure way for children to learn to resent and fear a parent.  

The Bible is right.  Physical punishment will not kill a child.  Older generations used that type of punishment on their children and they survived.  An article written for Time Magazine points out that spanking leads to aggressive behavior.  The article also points out that, "It's a form of punishment that becomes less effective with repeated use, according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics); it also makes discipline more difficult as the child outgrows it."

If you do a search on the internet for punishing children according to the Bible, you will come up with a lot of Bible passages that refer to using the "rod" as the tool for discipline.  You will find that many sites take punishment with the rod seriously.  You will also find that they advocate spanking, but not abuse.  A small wack on the back side to get a child's attention isn't a bad thing.  Beating a child is.  

I did not spank my son when he was young.  I did, however, discipline him.  He grew up just fine.  Now he has a child of his own and is disciplining his child with the methods that I used with him.  Maybe the Bible should not be taken quite so litterally.  I prefer to think of it as meaning to punish your child with appropriate discipline and save his soul.  Parents are the ones who are raising their children and it should be up to them what type of discipline or punishment they prefer to use.  Teach children right from wrong, and how to be God fearing with good morals.  Raise them to be honest, caring, and loving.  If you do, you will be proud of your children, and know that you did a good job.

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Comments (4)

A very good message, I don't believe that you should hit your chidrend thre are other ways to discipline them that are just as or more effective.  I was spanked 4 times as a child and I remember the spankings like you said, one time it was by my mom.  I dgo remember why she did it but a parent now I know she was angry when she did it and had she calmed down I don't think she would have done it.   The other three times were from my dad and I only remember what I did wrong one of those times.

God himself was known to punish his "children" it was said that the flood was to punish humans, that is a pretty big spanking if you asked me... but of course if you asked me I would say these are just stories, not to be taken as truth.

Excellent message regarding physical punishment towards children and what may or may not be appropriate.

Good article. thanks. Seeking your friendly support.