Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Misuse And Miscontrued; Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child


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)

"Joey Salvati, a father of two from New Kensington, Pennsylvania, wants to help you raise your children into moral, responsible, Christian adults. A carpenter by trade, Salvati has designed two wooden spanking paddles. You can choose which device better fits your needs at his Web site, Spare-rods.com. With the purchase of each paddle Salvati even throws in a guidebook detailing the number of swats each violation might merit: one for disrespectful behavior, two for cursing, three for cheating or lying. He offers advice for the demeanor of the parent as well: "Use [my paddles] lovingly and NEVER in anger."

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" has long been invoked by Christian parents as a foundation for proper child raising. The concept does indeed have a biblical grounding. The book of Proverbs instructs, "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him properly." Then again, the Old Testament suggests other guidelines for meting out punishment - stoning to death a woman caught having sex outside of marriage, for instance - that we today consider barbaric."

I was raised in a home where the spare the rod, spoil the child thinking was in motion. This has been on my mind, since I answered a question on my Advice Column, "Ask Aunt B," namely, this post, "Forgotten Roster of Reason." I never want to hinder someone's growth and I try to stay away from "Religious" matters. I am spiritual and you just can't contain that. But I would surely hate to steer anybody wrong. I pray for wisdom, before I answer any question and I now pray for that wisdom, lest I say or rather write the wrong thing. But this whole Corporal Punishment thing, has weighed heavily on me. I am a proponent for spanking. A spanking to me, does not bruise, cut, break the skin and is nothing permanent less, a correction of the soul. I have a real aversion for parenting or those that do not discipline their children, in the name of a new age thinking. Of course, this is commentary but if you ask me, I can see a decline in the simplest civilities and child rearing. Even the kindergarten rules of manners and behavior have eluded us, bringing forth a generation of adults with no common courtesy. They have not been taught to respect their elders or respect for others in general. But this is not the intention of this post. I am addressing child punishment and what it means to spare the rod and spoil the child.

Would Jesus beat a lamb?


I don't think beatings do anything but instill fear, anger, hurt and hate. I think this one scripture has been misused and misconstrued. It has been twisted and taken out of context, giving license to bad people, who do bad things, in the name of God.

Many a non believer, will use this scripture, as a basis for their behavior. Many a non believer can quote this scripture but none other. I call that a matter of convenience, don't you? You can not take one scripture and only one and use it, without a well balanced use of others or even attempt at it. What I mean is this; The father quotes this scripture, as his reasoning for discipline in the home. He doesn't use it for instruction but to vent his rage. Even if he believes he is doing the right thing, without continued instruction, coupled with a loving reasoning, behind it, it is a complete abomination of that scripture.


If the Father does not teach his children, even the 10 Commandments, along with his use of any discipline and it is the only thing he does, it is a misuse of the scripture. If he does not give equal parts, discipline and love, it is futile and will only bring forth, an understanding of pain and hate.


A well rounded parent, explains the reasoning behind his discipline. I do remember a time, when I was told, "Because I said so," or better yet, "That's the way it is, like it or lump it." How is a child to learn except the hard way, unless you... explain why? Children are naturally inquisitive. When you tell them they can't or shouldn't do something, they will not learn why, unless you tell them, i.e., "No, you shouldn't touch that burner. Why? Because it may be hot and if you touch it, the burn will be so painful, it will make you cry and blister..." As teens, it gets even worse and although it may be frustrating, in order for them to learn, you must explain why.

My point is this;If you only use the spare the rod approach but do not teach about the love of God and respect, charity and faith, the basic foundation, you are not doing your job. A parent that only meets out, only discipline, is not a shining example. As a parent, you are not even doing a fraction of your primary job and are doing a complete disservice to your children. Is there anything worse than not taking your parenting seriously? I know I stand convicted on this.


More than once, I've heard a husband stand up and exclaim, "I am the head of this household and you are to submit to me." He may even thump his chest and most likely, he is also the guy who quotes the "Spare the rod," scripture. Yet, he does not answer to God, he does not run a Christian household and has taken what was, in his mind, a good thing and twisted it. It is so convenient and he is serving himself, not his God. We must pray for men, like this but how can a wife answer to this mentality? Of course, that is a whole other subject but it surely points out the mind set and behavior, the twists and fabrications of our lives today. Simply put;


If a man expects his wife to submit to him, he must in turn, submit to the Father. He must realize, that he is and will be held accountable, just as our Government is, if we honor the law, as we are told. If he does not honor the father, he might as well be a blow hard, his words are null and void and hold no merit.

Basically, parenting must come from a righteous place. If we only use portions of scripture, to our advantage, surely, this does not please the Father. I happen to believe that the Rod/Staff was used as instruction, security, counting. I do not believe it was used to beat the living day lights out of our children.

In the field's, the Shepherd, used his Staff/Rod, for many things. He used it as protection and we must use our proverbial Rod to protect our children. Counting was done, on a constant basis. This stems from accountability and keeping track of our children. The Shepherd counted his sheep by tapping them, with the rod/staff, making a mental note. This comforted the sheep, so I've heard. I see that as checking on your children. Where are there, who are they with, where are they going. It is showing concern, that you care and you hold yourself accountable.

Jesus is the Great Shepherd and there are countless references to this, are there not? Why do you think, scripture has used this reference, so often? We are referred to has his sheep, sometimes, we are the lost sheep. But let me ask you, if Jesus was tending to the flock and a lamb wandered off, would he beat it, with His staff?









Proverbs 23:14 Parallel Translations
NASB: You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol. (NASB ©1995)
GWT: Spank him yourself, and you will save his soul from hell.(GOD'S WORD®)
KJV: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
ASV: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from Sheol.
BBE: Give him blows with the rod, and keep his soul safe from the underworld.
DBY: thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from Sheol.
ERV: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from Sheol.
JPS: Thou beatest him with the rod, and wilt deliver his soul from the nether-world.
WBS: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
WEB: Punish him with the rod, and save his soul from Sheol.
YLT: Thou with a rod smitest him, And his soul from Sheol thou deliverest.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Smashing post! I highly agree. I am not a proponent of spanking, but I am a strong propenent of good consistent discipline. There are too many parents out there who do not discipline, and there are also too many parents who will discipline their kids for doing something wrong today, yet tomorrow the same offense may be treated as no big deal. To be inconsistent is to raise crazy children. How can our children trust us if we are inconsistent?

Also some more of my own thoughts on discipline. Have you ever seen animals discipline their young? Like horses, they will drive them away from the herd and then when the young are behaving properly they are allowed to come back to the herd. In a way this is kind of like a time out. But where I think that many of us parents screw up time out is the emotion with which we handle it. The time out is supposed to be the consequence for whatever, yet we had harsh emotion and sometimes unkind words. The emotion doesn't even have to come out in words, can you not look at someone and tell that they are mad? I think when we see people mad at us that most of us go into fight or flight mode, we are not then in the position to listen to what is being said. But when it is handled without emotion, and we simply let the consequence be the consequence I think more learning takes place.

Of course take all that with a grain of salt, this is coming from a parent with a troubled teen involved in a program we found on http://www.eprogramsearch.com/ . I guess I should only add that in I have learned a lot from having already made dumb mistakes.

Babz said...

Anonymous, maybe I sure clear my outlook up. I think "a" swat on the butt, gets their attention but to redden their bottom is definitely not what I mean. I agree with every word you've said. A good point is, the animals. An untrained, undisciplined child, is an orphan. Right?

Your point about inconsistent discipline, is equally important. What parents don't realize is that, if they say they will do something, if a behavior persists and they don't, they are most certainly perceived as a liar. The child stops respecting, what is said and you know longer command their attention as noteworthy or viable. They will surely think you are a pushover. I realize that parents, especially these days, may be taxed but if you say something, you must follow through. But they don't. Children must learn early on, that there are consequences for bad behavior. Otherwise, they take nothing serious...until Prison.

Thanks for the comment and point of view. You are always welcome here.

Babz said...

Anonymous, that was an excellent link, for troubled teens. I thank you for it. I write an Advice Column and quite often get questions from teens. I have put the link, you just gave me, on that sidebar.
Free Advice; Ask Aunt B

Rako said...

<<"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)>>

Children who are beaten with a rod sometimes DO die. Between one and two thousand children die every year in the USA from corporal punishment, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the New England Journal of Medicine.

If kids can die when you beat them, what is the verse talking about?

Who was the son who was beaten and delivered from death?

"he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (ISAIAH 53)"


You are right when you mention the time when Jesus stopped a woman from being killed according to the Old Testament.

Christ took our punishments on Himself and gave us a New Covenant of love and mercy.


=================================

<<"Spare the rod, spoil the child" has long been invoked by Christian parents as a foundation for proper child raising. The concept does indeed have a biblical grounding.>>

Yes, the concept does, but not the words!

The phrase "spare the rod, spoil the child" is actually from a burlesque poem from the 1600s by Samuel Butler, and it's actually about sex. The whole phrase goes like this: "Love is a boy by poets styled/Then spare the rod and spoil the child."


==============================

As for Salvati, I'll point out that the Old Testament doesn't say when exactly to beat children. Salvati's beating guidelines are his own invention like the thick boards, which aren't mentioned by the Old Testament either.

================================

<< I have a real aversion for parenting or those that do not discipline their children, in the name of a new age thinking.>>

JESUS DID GIVE US NEW AGE THINKING! HE HAS BROUGHT A NEW AGE WITH THE RESURRECTION. OUR ORDERS ARE NOT TO FOLLOW SALVATI'S DEMONIC VOICES, BUT TO FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE!

Do you want to be smacked when you make mistakes? Don't you want people to forgive you and have compassion when you make mistakes?

What kind of way are we going to act with kids we love?

People learn respect by being respected. You must show respect and earn it.

And I will take love and compassion any day over violent ideas about forcing respect with suffering.

REJECT THE OLD TESTAMENT WAYS!

COME TO JESUS!

Rako said...

<<"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)>>

Children who are beaten with a rod sometimes DO die. Between one and two thousand children die every year in the USA from corporal punishment, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the New England Journal of Medicine.

If kids can die when you beat them, what is the verse talking about?

Who was the son who was beaten and delivered from death?

"he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (ISAIAH 53)"


You are right when you mention the time when Jesus stopped a woman from being killed according to the Old Testament.

Christ took our punishments on Himself and gave us a New Covenant of love and mercy.


=================================

<<"Spare the rod, spoil the child" has long been invoked by Christian parents as a foundation for proper child raising. The concept does indeed have a biblical grounding.>>

Yes, the concept does, but not the words!

The phrase "spare the rod, spoil the child" is actually from a burlesque poem from the 1600s by Samuel Butler, and it's actually about sex. The whole phrase goes like this: "Love is a boy by poets styled/Then spare the rod and spoil the child."

Rako said...

As for Salvati, I'll point out that the Old Testament doesn't say when exactly to beat children. Salvati's beating guidelines are his own invention like the thick boards, which aren't mentioned by the Old Testament either.

================================


<< I have a real aversion for parenting or those that do not discipline their children, in the name of a new age thinking.>>

JESUS DID GIVE US NEW AGE THINKING! HE HAS BROUGHT A NEW AGE WITH THE RESURRECTION. OUR ORDERS ARE NOT TO FOLLOW SALVATI'S DEMONIC VOICES, BUT TO FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE!

Do you want to be smacked when you make mistakes? Don't you want people to forgive you and have compassion when you make mistakes?

What kind of way are we going to act with kids we love?

People learn respect by being respected. You must show respect and earn it.

And I will take love and compassion any day over violent ideas about forcing respect with suffering.

You made a very insghtful point about tapping the sheep with the rod instead of beating them.

Being well-rounded with Christianity doesn't mean both using revenge and mercy. It means using mercy, showing respect just as you demand it, and teaching that revenge and harshness are wrong by rejecting them yourself!

REJECT THE OLD TESTAMENT WAYS!

COME TO JESUS!