Guest Author - Kelli Deister
The topic of spanking is very controversial in nature. Many parents feel that spanking is appropriate, in order to discipline their child. I know of several people that maintain their right to spank their child. I have listened as several people justified spanking their child and stood firm on one particular scripture in the Bible.
Proverbs 13:24, of the "Holy Bible: New International Version," says, “`He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
I must say that this bible verse, in particular, has been at the root of many spankings. It becomes problematic when the parent quotes this scripture alone. I can’t tell you the number of people that have justified their spankings, according to the Bible. Some stand very firmly on it while others seem a bit hesitant. I personally have a problem with spankings and the fact that some people attempt to justify it, using the Bible.
Ephesians 6:3 and 6.4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
When reading both of the above mentioned scriptures, it is imperative that one read other scriptures around those two, in order to gain a better understanding. The first scripture is certainly not the only one to be referenced, when deciding to spank a child. Yet, there are some that do indeed quote Proverbs 13:24, but have no awareness of Ephesians 6:3 and 6:4. While I acknowledge that there are many that believe spanking is justified through the scriptures, I personally disagree. I don’t agree that God wants our children to be disciplined through spanking or physical violence.
Many children, on a daily basis, receive spankings from their parents for misbehavior. Some of the items used to spank children are belts, coat hangars, switches from outdoors, and rods. The results of those items used for spankings are large red welts and injuries from the metal on the belt, injuries from the leather portion, as well as bruising in unusual areas upon the child’s body. Many times, there are welts left on the child’s back and buttocks. I encourage my readers to further research this topic and I ask kindly that you reconsider anytime you feel the need to incorporate discipline upon a child.
While I am aware of the many that feel as though the scriptures give the parents the permission to spank their child, I ask that if you find yourself contemplating a spanking of any kind, to please leave the room and take a time-out. For some parents, it may take a fifteen minute time-out and for others, it may take a one hour time-out. Regardless, I plead with you to choose another form of discipline.