Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Withhold Not Correction

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14

Should I be afraid to write those verses here in public? My goodness, it's talking about things which we scarcely can talk about these days. The rod? Beating a child? What on earth is being talked about here? What kinds of "horrible" things are being said? And who said these things? Well, folks, these are words about spanking and the One who is saying them is Almighty God.

We're living in a day when parents who still consider it biblical to spank their children have to be careful when and where they do it. If their children act up in the grocery store, heaven forbid that they should give that little tyrant a smack on the bottom for his unruly behavior. If they are determined to do what God tells them to do, they feel the necessity to go home and do it. In fact, this is such a sensitive issue that I would ask anyone who comments here not to divulge whether or not they do or would spank their kids. But you could make a comment on whether you feel the current thinking in social and legal ranks has made it easier or more difficult to parent children in general. I know younger folks often weary of hearing us older ones talk about how it was in our day. But I did grow up in a day when most people openly did not "spare the rod" and most of us who were subjected to this line of thinking (on our bottoms) somehow managed to grow to adulthood with a minimum of psychological, social, and spiritual "damage." In fact, many of us turned out to be people who respected authority, worked hard, and were even HAPPY. Many of us had marriages which lasted and also cared about fellow human beings. I'm not saying you can't still find these things today, but my point here is that we saw this in a society which not only allowed, but endorsed spanking. At least it was that way in my particular time and culture.

I said all that to recommend a book. It's a practical book and a biblical one. Withhold Not Correction was written by Bruce A. Ray in 1978, when things were beginning to fall apart in this realm. This book is still needed as much now as it was then, if not even more so. It made a great impact on the life of our family as we sought to follow God in obedience in EVERY area of life. It's well worth your reading, I promise. I say this especially to you who have very young children.

My heart is burdened for the parent of today. It's a tough call and you have the prayers of this grandmother. And I'm sure your parents want to see a generation of godly young people in this century. Who knows? Maybe this book would help.


L. said...

thank you so much for posting this! I work with children who are not disciplined at all, and I'm scared of what kind of adults they are going to grow into! Training up children in the Lord is so vital!

Barbara said...

Many children have problems today, and even as adults, for lack of discipline when they were young. So many went the way of DR.SPOCK when they had children. His way of discipline is definitely not the Biblical way.

Generation X-Pose has a great article on this!

Daughter of the King said...

It is a daunting task today to biblically raise your children.
We are reaping a generation with no regard for authority no respect for adults and a distain for rules.
So sad.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Amen Maxine. I was one of those kids who received the rod, me a my brother and two sisters. And let me tell you, we needed it!

It was done in love and in control by parents who loved us with all their hearts. It wasn't an out of control thrashing, it was an in control spank to our bottoms. I remember my parents saying, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you." I didn't totally understand that until I became a parent.

I so agree with you about the "social climate" in today's society. Many people don't understand what it means to discipline in love. And children do need those boundaries...

P.S. I usually stop by your Scraps of Glory, but I'm glad I popped in on you here today dear sister. Thanks for taking a stand on an important topic and for showing people a wonderful resource book!

Barbara C. said...

I loved that book!! ... then I lent it to someone, who moved to NC & I haven't seen it since. When I was young, my dad had a board labeled "Board of Education for....." It worked!

Baptist Girl said...

Great post and a subject that is not spoke of much. I daycare children and I have see how discipline is not used much in the home with some of my families, I just don't mean the rod, but how kids seem to run the parents instead of the parents being in charge. Now I will say many of my families come from single parent homes and most of the care givers are the mother. It is tough for these single mothers to raise chidren on their own, my heart goes out to them. I am finding lately, the father is stepping up more and they are the single parent care giver in the family and they are struggling just as much as the single mother is. That's why it is important to have two parents raising the family... but that is not happening much anymore :(.

Beka said...

AMEN AND AMEN. It grieves me to see how even many Christian families are going the way of the world on this issue, and withholding Biblical correction. And I obviously can't speak from experience, but I really do think that the way things are in this world right now make it infinitely harder to discipline one's children God's way.

I hope I have occasion to read this book some day-- I know it's a great book.

Brooke/Bluestocking said...

From a legal standpoint discipline is a tricky issue. I personally would advise waiting till I got home to deal with it. People will call the police these days. I have been in court where a judge told a father it was illegal to tell his daughter that he would beat her for talking back. (The judge referred to it as a threat). I realized the man meant spank not literally beat but the judge didn't go for it.

But on the other hand parental abuse is real. I've met adults (contributing members of society like myself) who have been damaged by their parents spanking them in a rage ie flying off the handle. So I know some are afraid to spank their children because they're afraid they'll become their parents all over again.

I do agree children need discipline. I think courts take such a stand against spanking because usually what comes to them are the cases where the children have serious physical injury. I don't think the courts realize this is the exception rather than the rule.

Maxine said...

I appreciate all of you who spoke up so far (took a bit of courage, I'd say), and voice your concern for the wellbeing of our society. Most of us can see the need for prayer and whether we have young children or not, are concerned. I think in our hearts should be a concern for our society as a whole, and not just how we're affected individually.

I especially appreciate your comments, Brooke. Very good perspective coming from someone in the legal profession. I'm sure you've seen everything. I assume that much of the thinking in the courts comes from all the abuse they've seen and though abuse is the exception, the real problem we're seeing is that people (judges included) are not viewing the whole thing from the perspective of what God requires.
That's at the root of most of our problems today, agreed?

A Note From Theresa said...

That's right! Good Post!!

Penless Thoughts said...

AMEN!!! The Bible is our GUIDE BOOK. Problem is so many don't believe or adhere to the WORD of God.

sparrow's song said...

I never spanked my children in public for their safety in case some nut-job reported me for abuse and they were taken away from us. I would rather bear the headache of their attitude then risk their end up being under the authority of who knows who.

There is a far cry in difference between punishment and discipline. Discipline is done in love. But so many take it to extremes. Sadly, many are taught behavior by a iron fist while others are never told no. No wonder kids are so messed up these days. We hear terrible reports of brutal beatings done to children by their peers and plots to take their teacher's life for the smallest infraction. Lord help us all.

Maxine said...

You are so right, Sparrow. The Lord help us all. It seems that Biblical discipline as pointed out in the Word, particularly Proverbs, is fast becoming a thing of the past. And look at what's happening. I repeat: The Lord help us all. And He can.

Theresa and Susan: Let's keep praying for our children and grandchildren. Maybe a few can make a difference.

Beverly said...

I must agree - this is an excellent book. Thank you for your prayers as well - we covet them!! These were great comments as well :-)