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Bible Scholars: please give Biblical refs for "the rod" (as in spanking)


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I'm looking for the scriptural references and support for the position that the Bible refers to the rod as a tool to be used for spanking in training children. People always quote "spare the rod, spoil the child" as coming from the Bible, and then interpret this to mean "spanking". Where is this written? Or HOW is this derived/interpreted and from WHICH scriptures specifically?

 

For the record, I am a Christian and I'm not a spanker. I do not judge anyone who choses to spank. Some of the best behaved children I know come from spanking families. Some of the worst bahaved children I know come from spanking families. I don't think spanking in and of itself necessarily has anything to do with it.

 

Debate if you will, but from a scriptural point of view please. Do not disrespect or challenge anyone else's beliefs. Thank you. :001_smile:

Edited by Alaska Mom
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I guess I am a "Bible scholar"; I have a bachelor's degree in Christian studies. ;)

 

"Spare the rod and spoil the child" does not appear in the Bible -- at least not in those words. However, the Bible does state the following:

 

Proverbs 13:24 (New International Version)

He who spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

 

 

Proverbs 22:15 (New International Version)

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,

but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

 

 

Proverbs 23:13-14 (New International Version)

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.

 

 

Proverbs 29:15 (New International Version)

The rod of correction imparts wisdom,

but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

 

 

FWIW, we are (well, were -- our dc are now ages 14 & 18 -- and very well-mannered) a "spanking family", but our experience was that spanking worked best when used infrequently. Not debating the issue, just saying what worked for us.

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FWIW, we are (well, were -- our dc are now ages 14 & 18 -- and very well-mannered) a "spanking family", but our experience was that spanking worked best when used infrequently. Not debating the issue, just saying what worked for us.

 

Thanks for your post. I didn't mean to discourage debate, I just wanted to emphasize that I'd like it to be scripturally based debate :tongue_smilie:! Thanks!

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You can use some programs which allow you to look up Hebrew and see the references about "rod" versus "club" But, I couldn't type it in here, because I can't use my keyboard for Hebrew. My dad reads Hebrew (and Greek:-) fluently, and says that "spanking with a rod" is biblical.

I know this....spanking or not spanking aside, if it would save your child from a life of rebellion, and you choose not to use it, you're sinning.

We have two children who may have received one or two spankings, if they were spanked. (which they never have been, they're step.) We have two children who...well.....they've been spanked. I'm now on a spanking hiatus while I evaluate....again....what I can do differently.

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I'm too tired for the hunt right now, but asking about the original language makes me wonder.....is it the same word used for "rod" in 'thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me". It seems logical that they would. I've seen that a spanking in love brings relief to a child with a conscience bothering them.

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Heb 12:7-11 doesn't specifically mention "rods," but it does mention that fathers need to hurt their sons for a greater good down the road. It does go on to say "so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." It is not a Christian position that a parent must abuse his child for any reason.

 

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

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I think all the scriptures that can be used to support spanking have already been listed above.

 

I am a Bible-believing Christian who believes it is unscriptural to spank a child.

 

Here are a quick few reasons why. (Quick because I don't have much time, so I'll be citing scripture references but not typing out the whole scripture.)

 

1 Thessalonians 2:7

2 Timothy 2:23-26

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Ephesians 4:31,32

Ephesians 4:1,2

Ephesians 6:4

Galatians 6:1

Colossians 3:12-15,21

Titus 1:6-9

Titus 2:6

Philemon 9-20

Hebrews 5:14

1 Peter 3:8,9,15

Deuteronomy 6:7

Proverbs 17:10

Malachi 3:17

 

I believe the rod in most cases refers to discipline which carries a primary meaning of teaching, not punishment.

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I was given a list some time ago, divided into sections like this.

 

Promises:

Proverbs 20:30

Proverbs 22:6

Proverbs 22:15

Proverbs 29:17

Hebrews 12:11

 

Promise and a Warning:

Proverbs 29:15

 

Warnings:

Proverbs 5:22-23

Proverbs 19:18 (with the following note: In the Hebrew "on his destruction" literally means "to put him to death")

Proverbs 23:13-14

Proverbs 29:19

Proverbs 30:17

 

For Parents:

Proverbs 12:24

Proverbs 15:1

Proverbs 15:4

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Ephesians 4:29

Ephesians 4:31-32

Ephesians 6:4

James 1:19-20

 

Children:

Proverbs 3:11-12

Proverbs 10:1

Proverbs 13:1

Proverbs 17:25

 

Since you asked for a list of Scriptures relating to spanking, I thought I would post these.

 

Just beware that any discussion of discipline is a subject of hot debate among any parents. At the root of the reactions, opinions, and advice are a person's understanding of God Himself, understanding of the whole of Scripture, belief about how Scripture is to be applied and understood, understanding of children, understanding of adults, personal experience with discipline, and even the purpose of life itself. It helps when having conversations with people about discipline to keep these things in mind, so that you know if you might just be talking past one another. And be advised that you may just not reach any conclusions at all.

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There is some info on my site. Authors: Clay and Sally Clarkson, Kimmel, Sears, Lutton.

 

It's clear to me that parents are to be fully in charge and provide discipline. That is one reason I am not fond of an author who is popular right now with many intentional non spankers. But I am very concerned about the icky culture and ritualism that has grown extra biblically around the spanking issue.

 

The bible clearly commands you to discipline. But you can't have it "both ways" with the rod verses. You can't claim them to be meant *literally* and then change those words to mean *spank*. Those verses clearly say *beat* an older child on the back. They are meant figureatively. They are truth but not literal.

 

I discipline my children frequently and punish rarely.

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People always quote "spare the rod, spoil the child" as coming from the Bible

 

The phrase is actually from a satire poem by Samuel Butler.

 

I waffle about what those verses say versus mean. The "boy" in most of the verses' contexts refers to a much older person than people use spanking for. The other concern is that those verses are penned by Solomon whose own son turned out power hungry, unkind, peer dependent, not open to listening to older wiser men. Maybe those verses were meant more as a warning against HARSH punishment. Then there is discussion about what the rod was used for in shepherding. Usually, it was guidance, encouragement, etc. But it was used more harshly sometimes. And then there is the issue of taking the verses literally or not as it doesn't say spank or what most people consider a spanking.

 

And the Bible certainly doesn't micromanage our discipline strategies. I think it reasonable that God doesn't have an issue with rare punishment of any kind anymore than he has with any of our issues of sinfulness. At this point, we're imperfect dealing with imperfect children. It kinda makes sense that we HAVE to go against his ultimate will (where we would have been perfect parents with perfect children).

 

Regardless, if you go on a rabbit trail of various verses that discuss discipline and teaching, you get that it should be mild, gentle, kind, reasoning, reasonable, persistent, patient, loving and instructional. This is the standard we set up for ourselves to learn to parent according. It is not easy all the time and we've made mistakes.

 

Here, the mistake most parents make is punishing A LOT and making it harsh. People are punishing their kids as often as monthly, weekly, even daily and more. That kind of frequency suggests that their DISCIPLINE (teaching, guiding) is not sufficient enough. I encourage them to try to do the rabbit trail mentioned above (if they are interested in God's Word on the subject). We also give specific skills and tools as well as "philosophy" to beef up discipline. With hundreds of skills and tools, parents have plenty of options to do better.

 

Though *I* ended up choosing to drop spanking from my parenting toolbox, I think it's a parent's right to keep it in theirs. I can't defend that right morally as I do think hitting another person is wrong, but this is one of my inconsistencies. I just want parents to know they have choices and for people who believe in the Bible, that the Bible actually encourages disciplining (teaching/guiding) which will naturally bring down the harshness and frequency of punishment.

 

Anyway, not sure I was much help.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I think Proverbs 23:13 makes the meaning of the rod perfectly clear: Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

 

Clearly the rod was meant for administering physical punishment. If someone doesn't like that, and doesn't want to do it, that is one thing, but the Bible does command physical punishment of children here and in other places.

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People always quote "spare the rod, spoil the child" as coming from the Bible . :001_smile:

 

Yes, actually what the Bible says is much stronger than that:

 

"He who spares the rod *hates* his son but he who loves him is careful to discipline him" (Proverbs 13:34)

 

That goes much beyond simply spoiling a child.

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The bible clearly commands you to discipline. But you can't have it "both ways" with the rod verses. You can't claim them to be meant *literally* and then change those words to mean *spank*. Those verses clearly say *beat* an older child on the back. They are meant figureatively. They are truth but not literal.

 

...not taking the 'rod' portion absolutely literally is 'having it both ways', in all cases. I think that's oversimplistic.

 

I believe they're figurative, in the sense that you don't have to literally hit a child with a rod, but I believe the message of them indicates a form of discipline that isn't pleasant. Punishment. (On a personal level, I believe this includes physical punishment after reading the verses dealing with 'the rod', and can't be comfortable changing that aspect. But I want to add that I believe they're only part of the whole of "Biblical Discipline", and you have to put them in context of all the other verses that instruct parents; not 'provoking children' for example, or exhorting children to do what's right, reasoning with them, etc.)

 

You simply believe a further variation of what I believe. (That it's not absolutely literal).

 

To use another context, for an example; I don't believe that God truly expects me to 'pluck out my eye' to keep myself from sinning. But I do believe he wants me to avert my eyes if they're giving me problems (ogling good-looking men, etc.), or remove them from a situation, if not my head, lol, if necessary.

 

Not as drastic, but at least following the same train of thought/exhortation.

Edited by Jill, OK
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I believe they're figurative, in the sense that you don't have to literally hit a child with a rod, but I believe the message of them indicates a form of discipline that isn't pleasant. Punishment. (On a personal level, I believe this includes physical punishment after reading the verses dealing with 'the rod', and can't be comfortable changing that aspect. But I want to add that I believe they're only part of the whole of "Biblical Discipline", and you have to put them in context of all the other verses that instruct parents; not 'provoking children' for example, or exhorting children to do what's right, reasoning with them, etc.)

 

You simply believe a further variation of what I believe. (That it's not absolutely literal).

 

To use another context, for an example; I don't believe that God truly expects me to 'pluck out my eye' to keep myself from sinning. But I do believe he wants me to avert my eyes if they're giving me problems (ogling good-looking men, etc.), or remove them from a situation, if not my head, lol, if necessary.

 

Not as drastic, but at least following the same train of thought/exhortation.

 

Interesting post and I get your point about the overlap of our perspective.

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I think Proverbs 23:13 makes the meaning of the rod perfectly clear: Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

 

God does not contradict himself. NOTHING will save a soul from hell except the blood of Christ.

 

Discipline will clearly help a child develop into an adult likely to make better choices but *spanking* does not save a child in the Christian sense.

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I think Proverbs 23:13 makes the meaning of the rod perfectly clear: Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

 

Clearly the rod was meant for administering physical punishment. If someone doesn't like that, and doesn't want to do it, that is one thing, but the Bible does command physical punishment of children here and in other places.

 

QFT.

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...not taking the 'rod' portion absolutely literally is 'having it both ways', in all cases. I think that's oversimplistic.

 

I believe they're figurative, in the sense that you don't have to literally hit a child with a rod, but I believe the message of them indicates a form of discipline that isn't pleasant. Punishment. (On a personal level, I believe this includes physical punishment after reading the verses dealing with 'the rod', and can't be comfortable changing that aspect. But I want to add that I believe they're only part of the whole of "Biblical Discipline", and you have to put them in context of all the other verses that instruct parents; not 'provoking children' for example, or exhorting children to do what's right, reasoning with them, etc.)

 

You simply believe a further variation of what I believe. (That it's not absolutely literal).

 

To use another context, for an example; I don't believe that God truly expects me to 'pluck out my eye' to keep myself from sinning. But I do believe he wants me to avert my eyes if they're giving me problems (ogling good-looking men, etc.), or remove them from a situation, if not my head, lol, if necessary.

 

Not as drastic, but at least following the same train of thought/exhortation.

 

:iagree: Well said.

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God does not contradict himself. NOTHING will save a soul from hell except the blood of Christ.

 

Discipline will clearly help a child develop into an adult likely to make better choices but *spanking* does not save a child in the Christian sense.

 

Exactly. There is no parental action that can save our children's souls. All we can do is guide them to Christ. This verse supports the view of the rod as a tool for guidance, not an implement for punishment.

 

ETA: The "rod" in these verses is the Hebrew word "shebet". It looks like this:

 

rod.jpg

Edited by beansprouts
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But doesn't guidance imply correction? That is what the rod is for: inflicting pain on a child done out of love and the good of the child. Punishment implies anger and that is not what the rod is about.

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I don't think correction requires pain.

__________________

 

I don't think it requires it, either and I'm clearly not convinced that God commands us as parents to inflict physical pain on children in the name of "love", "Christ", "saving".

 

I do think that admonishment, discipilne and correct *can include* pain of the literal and figurative kind, but discipline does not require it.

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It really is silly to be arguing like this. I can see that I am not going to convince you of anything and neither are you going to convince me. The Bible says what it says regardless of what kind of explanations or "original meanings" anyone can come up with. I have to believe what it says otherwise I am lost. It can't say one thing and then really mean the complete opposite. My kids are happy, creative, well-mannered, obedient and a joy to have around so I am confident that our parenting techniques as a whole must be working. So with that, I am sick of this. It's silly to argue about. I'm done now.

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ETA: The "rod" in these verses is the Hebrew word "shebet". It looks like this:

 

rod.jpg

 

That looks like it would hurt.

 

This is a fascinating discussion and I am learning, so I would ask that when Erica referenced Proverbs 23:13: Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

 

 

....if this does not mean spank (or whatever word you choose in today's vernacular) what does it mean?

 

I would also reference beansprouts where she states "He doesn't strike them, or the sheep would learn to distrust him. He just uses it to turn them in the right direction." you are correct, but in the passage referenced the word strike is used. It would seem to me that this is only adds to the argument that the instruction is to "strike" not to gently guide.

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Here is the info I think you are looking for:

 

Proverbs 23:13

 

When you go to the the like click on the work rod. It will bring up the Hebrew word (shebet) and the definition of the word. You can click on any of the underlined word to see the original Hebrew word and definition.

 

 

Here is a list of the passages that use the word "rod". Again you can click any underlined word the see the original Hebrew word and definition.

 

You can do word searches or passage searches. Make sure you choose KJV with Strong's Numbers or NAS with Strong's Numbers if you want to be able to click underlined words and see original words and definitions.

 

Hope this is what you were looking for.

 

studylight.org is the name of the web site I am linking to.

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"If you strike him with the rod you will save his soul from Sheol."

 

It we are meant to take the first part of the verse literally, then surely we are meant to take that part literally also. Yet it is clearly untrue. You don't have to look far to find that beating children with sticks does not guarantee their eternal salvation.

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I got the scriptural references I was seeking, thank you everyone - lets please leave it at that and not challenge one another's beliefs.

 

I don't think it is helpful to anyone to debate this anymore, especially at the expense of others beliefs or interpretations. Please be kind and respectful, or just let this go, I've got what I needed.

 

Thanks :001_smile:!

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"If you strike him with the rod you will save his soul from Sheol."

 

It we are meant to take the first part of the verse literally, then surely we are meant to take that part literally also. Yet it is clearly untrue. You don't have to look far to find that beating children with sticks does not guarantee their eternal salvation.

 

 

So you are arguing that parts of the Bible are "clearly untrue." Is this saying that we get some sort of buffet where we can pick and choose?

 

Just asking, as if we can pick and choose where do we stop? Alas I am not well versed in biblical passages and am learning from this discussion.

 

Anyway back to my original question; just what does the passage "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol" mean?

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It really is silly to be arguing like this. I can see that I am not going to convince you of anything and neither are you going to convince me. The Bible says what it says regardless of what kind of explanations or "original meanings" anyone can come up with. I have to believe what it says otherwise I am lost. It can't say one thing and then really mean the complete opposite. My kids are happy, creative, well-mannered, obedient and a joy to have around so I am confident that our parenting techniques as a whole must be working. So with that, I am sick of this. It's silly to argue about. I'm done now.

 

Erin, I am not judging you. I know you are a good Mama who wants what is best for her children. I also know you love God and want to do what is right. :grouphug:

 

My understanding of God is not that He is a God of rules, but a God of love who wants our devotion. The only "rule" He has given us as far as raising our children is to teach them our faith and lead them to Christ. Beyond that He has given us common sense, intuition, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

I take scripture very seriously also, and I simply do not see these verses as telling me to spank my children, (I also do not see any verses that prohibit the practice.) and I strongly disagree with the teaching that spanking is mandated by the Bible.

 

You and God alone know what is best for your own children. You know better than me, and you know better than any human parenting "expert". All I am saying is don't bind yourself to man-made rules, but follow your own heart and God-given wisdom as far as raising your children.

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So you are arguing that parts of the Bible are "clearly untrue." Is this saying that we get some sort of buffet where we can pick and choose?

 

Just asking, as if we can pick and choose where do we stop? Alas I am not well versed in biblical passages and am learning from this discussion.

 

Anyway back to my original question; just what does the passage "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol" mean?

 

To be honest, I don't know what it means.

 

There are parts of the Bible hard to understand. I have pondered this scripture many times over the years on my journey from a spanking parent to a non-spanking one.

 

I am not generally a 'pick and choose your favourite scripture' kind of person, in other words, I take the Bible very, very seriously. I believe it is the inspired Word of God and that every scripture is there for a good reason.

 

You may find the scriptures in my first post on this thread helpful in understanding how I have come to the conclusion that whatever it means, it can't (in my opinion) mean that God wants us to beat our children with sticks.

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Times when spanking can save the life of a child. AKA, when we spank:

Undoing seatbelts while driving

playing with fire (literally)

playing with electricity (literally)

running into, near, towards, a road

leaving the house without permission

leaving the yard without permission

those sorts of things.

 

As far as spanking saving a child's soul. I don't believe that is to be taken as, 'beat your child at random and they get to go to Heaven.' Rather, when your child starts heading down the wrong path, beat them into remission... :lol: Okay, just kidding. But really, when you see your kid doing things way wrong, if they start to show signs of straying from God's word and you punish/correct/etc, then you are bringing them back into the path of God, thus saving their wee little souls. If you caught your child with a oiji (weejee?) board (how DO you spell that?), then a spanking would be in order.

 

My rationalization, if the punishment (ie spanking) is less than the possible consequences of the action (road pizza, possession by a demonic spirit, etc), then the punishment is just as it gives the child a glimpse into what COULD have been.

 

Remember, before you tear me to pieces, I'm tired and I don't put up much of a fight.

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Times when spanking can save the life of a child. AKA, when we spank:

Undoing seatbelts while driving

playing with fire (literally)

playing with electricity (literally)

running into, near, towards, a road

leaving the house without permission

leaving the yard without permission

those sorts of things.

 

As far as spanking saving a child's soul. I don't believe that is to be taken as, 'beat your child at random and they get to go to Heaven.' Rather, when your child starts heading down the wrong path, beat them into remission... :lol: Okay, just kidding. But really, when you see your kid doing things way wrong, if they start to show signs of straying from God's word and you punish/correct/etc, then you are bringing them back into the path of God, thus saving their wee little souls. If you caught your child with a oiji (weejee?) board (how DO you spell that?), then a spanking would be in order.

 

My rationalization, if the punishment (ie spanking) is less than the possible consequences of the action (road pizza, possession by a demonic spirit, etc), then the punishment is just as it gives the child a glimpse into what COULD have been.

 

Remember, before you tear me to pieces, I'm tired and I don't put up much of a fight.

 

:grouphug: I don't want to tear you to pieces.:001_smile:

 

I understand and sympathize with your rationalization. I disagree with it, but respect your opinion.

 

I think it is not only possible but also desirable to protect children from every kind of danger, physical, spiritual, etc., without spanking, or indeed any other form of punishment.

 

I don't think I'm being unscriptural in my viewpoint, although I do see how others can come to a different opinion based on certain scriptures.

 

Hoping we can keep this friendly and not hurt anyone's feelings.:)

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How does punishment imply anger?

 

I don't think it does personally though I choose to discipline in ways that punishment is rarely a consideration. I do think people DO punish in anger, fear, etc. But I don't think that is all it is. I think we try to do what is best as best we understand it, ideally try to keep improving, but make various choices along the way...some of which other people will disagree with.

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Originally Posted by lionfamily1999 View Post

Times when spanking can save the life of a child. AKA, when we spank:

Undoing seatbelts while driving

playing with fire (literally)

playing with electricity (literally)

running into, near, towards, a road

leaving the house without permission

leaving the yard without permission

 

I disagree. IF they do those things, there is danger associated with them. The danger was still there AND will still be there next time even if you hit your kids after they do it the first time.

 

Also, though there seems to be plenty of anecdotal evidence that if you spank a kid for those things they NEVER do it again, that is NOT the experience of most parents. Most parents spank for those things many times. And then there is the issue that none of those things should even be possible for the child who is too young for the responsibility. So the parents don't discipline (prevent, guide, teach, etc) well enough and the kid gets hit for the parents' mistake?

 

Regardless, spanking didn't save the child's life on any of those things. The child didn't die whether you spanked them or not after the dangerous situation happened.

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:grouphug: I don't want to tear you to pieces.:001_smile:

 

I understand and sympathize with your rationalization. I disagree with it, but respect your opinion.

 

I think it is not only possible but also desirable to protect children from every kind of danger, physical, spiritual, etc., without spanking, or indeed any other form of punishment.

 

I don't think I'm being unscriptural in my viewpoint, although I do see how others can come to a different opinion based on certain scriptures.

 

Hoping we can keep this friendly and not hurt anyone's feelings.:)

Spanking is not my "got to" or anything, but I have spanked each of my children. All three have gotton spankings for seat belts. The rest of the list.... pretty much only pertains to my two-year-old. My older kids were waaaaay easier. In general though, I don't normally spank my kids. In general, they're well behaved and well versed in 'da rules'.

 

I think people that can manage to avert danger and raise their kids without spankings are phenomenal. That being said, I've met plenty of kids that were "raised" without spankings, but not really raised, if you know what I mean.

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...to keep discussing this, as I wanted to comment about something else.

 

"If you strike him with the rod you will save his soul from Sheol."

 

It we are meant to take the first part of the verse literally, then surely we are meant to take that part literally also. Yet it is clearly untrue. You don't have to look far to find that beating children with sticks does not guarantee their eternal salvation.

 

As I mentioned above, in response to Joanne's post, I don't think that this is necessarily a "you have to take it absolutely literally or make it mean something completely different" type of thing.

 

The example of not plucking out my eye, literally, if it causes me to sin, even though that's what the Bible says, follows here, as well, in my opinion. The general idea is clear, though; move your eyes elsewhere if there's a problem, and yes, if you really want to be literal, it would be better to tear your eye out and enter Heaven one-eyed, than go to h&ll with both of them.

 

"Strike him with the rod and save his soul from Sheol", to me, viewed through this sort of lens, would equate to "Discipline your child strongly when he does wrong, and he'll understand that sin is something that gets punished". The understanding that sin gets punished--by going to the Hot Place--is what would lead to a mindset accepting of salvation, and escape from Sheol. (I know someone will argue that fear isn't the guiding principle behind salvation...but I think that a certain amount of fear of d@mnation still comes into play).

 

I think talking about taking the Bible 'literally' gets tricky. I believe the Bible is God-inspired, and absolutely true...but it's obviously not literal, all the time. The sun doesn't 'rise'...but that's the verbage we use, and the Bible uses it, too.

 

But the reason behind that phrase's use--the appearance of the sun rising--is valid. People still use it, and it conveys meaning.

 

I think there are a lot of phrases in the Bible that are problematic if you're looking to translate everything exactly literally...but I believe that it's of the utmost importance to understand the meaning behind even figurative statements, and adhere to that, if one truly embraces a desire for a Biblical attitude.

 

If one believes that the Bible contains inaccuracies...then...nevermind, LOL!

 

(Again, I hope that all of this is coming out as intended; conversational and not combative. I've appreciated the discussion, and like talking about it...it helps me to hear others' perspectives, and helps to gel my own thinking about the subject to respond).

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God does not contradict himself. NOTHING will save a soul from hell except the blood of Christ.

 

Discipline will clearly help a child develop into an adult likely to make better choices but *spanking* does not save a child in the Christian sense.

 

Well said Joanne. my thoughts exactly.

 

All the Biblical verses for and against have been given, but what it really boils down to is, the heart of the parent. If I spank my child, and I am spanking them because I'm angry and I'm trying to bend them to my will, I am doing so in sin. (James 1:19; Ephesians 6:4; Colossions 3:21) If, however, I spank my child because they are young, and need a discipline that is an "experience" (for lack of a better word), but I do not do it because I'm angry and "THE MOM" and "I can't take it anymore," then I am not in sin. does that make sense?:confused:

 

Oh well, it makes sense to me :) I guess I'll give an example. If your child is a toddler, and they keep sticking a fork in a light socket, spanking is appropriate. A simple swat on the bottom will get their attention and they'll know, "hey, I do this and I get hurt!" However, a 12 year old lies to you for the 100th time and you haul out the spoon or whatever and give them the spanking of their life, that's a sin. If he hasn't stopped lying after all the other spankings, why would he stop now, and how is spanking him more and harder going to help? KWIM? In that case you're not helping him and you're probably causing him to grow bitter and angry.

 

Blessings!

 

OH, and I guess I forgot to add that I don't think the verses about the rod were a MANDATE for spanking. I am totally opposed to churches saying if you don't spank, you're in sin. That's taking God's word out of context. God often speaks in parables meant to teach us how to live. My eye offends me all the time, but I still have it intact because I know he didn't intend for me to litterally take it out. If I started cutting off all the body parts that "offended," there wouldn't be much of me left. :LOL:

Edited by coffeefreak
OOPS!
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...to keep discussing this, as I wanted to comment about something else.

 

 

 

As I mentioned above, in response to Joanne's post, I don't think that this is necessarily a "you have to take it absolutely literally or make it mean something completely different" type of thing.

 

The example of not plucking out my eye, literally, if it causes me to sin, even though that's what the Bible says, follows here, as well, in my opinion. The general idea is clear, though; move your eyes elsewhere if there's a problem, and yes, if you really want to be literal, it would be better to tear your eye out and enter Heaven one-eyed, than go to h&ll with both of them.

 

"Strike him with the rod and save his soul from Sheol", to me, viewed through this sort of lens, would equate to "Discipline your child strongly when he does wrong, and he'll understand that sin is something that gets punished". The understanding that sin gets punished--by going to the Hot Place--is what would lead to a mindset accepting of salvation, and escape from Sheol. (I know someone will argue that fear isn't the guiding principle behind salvation...but I think that a certain amount of fear of d@mnation still comes into play).

 

I think talking about taking the Bible 'literally' gets tricky. I believe the Bible is God-inspired, and absolutely true...but it's obviously not literal, all the time. The sun doesn't 'rise'...but that's the verbage we use, and the Bible uses it, too.

 

But the reason behind that phrase's use--the appearance of the sun rising--is valid. People still use it, and it conveys meaning.

 

I think there are a lot of phrases in the Bible that are problematic if you're looking to translate everything exactly literally...but I believe that it's of the utmost importance to understand the meaning behind even figurative statements, and adhere to that, if one truly embraces a desire for a Biblical attitude.

 

If one believes that the Bible contains inaccuracies...then...nevermind, LOL!

 

(Again, I hope that all of this is coming out as intended; conversational and not combative. I've appreciated the discussion, and like talking about it...it helps me to hear others' perspectives, and helps to gel my own thinking about the subject to respond).

 

I think it's OK to keep discussing as long as we keep it friendly and respectful, which I do try very hard to do and hope I come across that way.:)

 

I do believe the Bible to be true and am fairly certain that it does not contain inaccuracies. That is, I don't think God would have allowed any inaccuracies to persist. Certainly not about anything really important.

 

As I said a few posts back, I honestly don't know how we are meant to take that scripture. In the light of everything else the Bible says about God and about our relationships with one another, I cannot believe that God wants us to beat our children with sticks. Or otherwise inflict unnecessary pain upon them.

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I disagree. IF they do those things, there is danger associated with them. The danger was still there AND will still be there next time even if you hit your kids after they do it the first time.

 

Also, though there seems to be plenty of anecdotal evidence that if you spank a kid for those things they NEVER do it again, that is NOT the experience of most parents. Most parents spank for those things many times. And then there is the issue that none of those things should even be possible for the child who is too young for the responsibility. So the parents don't discipline (prevent, guide, teach, etc) well enough and the kid gets hit for the parents' mistake?

 

Regardless, spanking didn't save the child's life on any of those things. The child didn't die whether you spanked them or not after the dangerous situation happened.

Lol, well then, let me put the baseball bat down.

A. I do not "beat" my children.

B. Unfortuneatly, my home and community has yet to complete the child proofing bubble wrap we ordered. Cut backs and all ;) Until they do, the road will continue to made from hard substances, and until hover cars are invented and put into use, cars will still drive down them. Because we don't have a plane, we live near a road. It's at the end of our driveway, as a matter of fact. When/if/should my children decide to go running willy-nilly, as they are won't to do, they stop at the tree line. Why do they stop? It's not so much a fear of cars, as a fear of repercussions. Their fear of repercussions, keeping them from running into the road, keeping them somewhat vigilant while they are outside, means that they have not been accidently run over recently. Seems to have worked for me. As for fire, electricity, etc. We need heat, fire, and I like lights, electricity, so we've kept those things in our home. Our kids do not play with outlets or the fire because of a fear of repercussions. I thought about letting one electrocute themselves, as a lesson to them all, and then... well, spanking is so much easier.

 

So, until the world is sunshine, gumdrops, candy canes and rainbows, I will spank my children when I believe it is necessary.;)

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Lol, well then, let me put the baseball bat down.

A. I do not "beat" my children.

B. Unfortuneatly, my home and community has yet to complete the child proofing bubble wrap we ordered. Cut backs and all ;) Until they do, the road will continue to made from hard substances, and until hover cars are invented and put into use, cars will still drive down them. Because we don't have a plane, we live near a road. It's at the end of our driveway, as a matter of fact. When/if/should my children decide to go running willy-nilly, as they are won't to do, they stop at the tree line. Why do they stop? It's not so much a fear of cars, as a fear of repercussions. Their fear of repercussions, keeping them from running into the road, keeping them somewhat vigilant while they are outside, means that they have not been accidently run over recently. Seems to have worked for me. As for fire, electricity, etc. We need heat, fire, and I like lights, electricity, so we've kept those things in our home. Our kids do not play with outlets or the fire because of a fear of repercussions. I thought about letting one electrocute themselves, as a lesson to them all, and then... well, spanking is so much easier.

 

So, until the world is sunshine, gumdrops, candy canes and rainbows, I will spank my children when I believe it is necessary.;)

 

If you believe it is necessary to spank your children to keep them safe then your motivation to do so is understandable. However, I believe it is just as possible (and not unscriptural) to keep children safe without resorting to punishing them.

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I will spank my children

 

As I said, I DO believe you have that right.

 

I just believe it doesn't save a child from being squished by a car. Here is how it worked:

 

1) parent didn't prevent street entry (can't do 100% but can do better than most parents do, imo)

2) kid runs towards road

3) kid doesn't get squished by car

4) parent spanks or doesnt.

 

Regardless, the kid didn't die BEFORE the parent spanked or didn't spank. THAT was my only point. Spanking wasn't the deciding factor in whether the child died in the situation or not.

 

Again, if you want to spank your kids, you have the right (and I think you SHOULD have that right). And I certainly understand why people do it in danger situations though I disagree. But you stated that the SPANKING saved their lives in those situations and it's not like had you not spanked them that they would have died. They weren't going to die in that situation, that time you (I'm sure accidentally) allowed it to happen, anyway THANKFULLY!

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