Donny's Ramblings

Spare the Rod. Spoil the Child.

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Today we celebrate the birth of my son. Caden won’t actually turn 7 until tomorrow morning, but his party is this afternoon.

This morning as I was preparing for the day I decided to blog a bit about what an amazing child he is and why I believe parenting is the main reason that is the case. I needed a title. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” came to mind. That’s a word-for-word saying my mother used to use, right before she picked up the wooden paddle my father had carved. Mom truly believed that our butts needed to be reddened in order to help teach us right from wrong.

A wooden paddle was used after belts were outlawed following an incident at my grandmother’s house. I’d misbehaved, and dad pulled off his belt to adjust my attitude. He swung and it wrapped around, hitting me in the balls. He felt horrible. After that incident, only solid “rods” were used when administering discipline.

“Spare the rod, spoil the child” was my mother’s summation of a verse in Proverbs. When my own son was born, however, I rephrased her saying:

Spare the rod.
Spoil the child.

As a parent, I see that phrase as two separate commands.

I “spare the rod” and never spank my son. I did so just one time in his life and I will never do so again. It happened so long ago Caden doesn’t even remember it. Sometimes I’ll say something like, “I’m gonna have to wup on you Boy!”, and he laughs at the thought of daddy spanking him. It’s just not something that ever happens, and he knows it never will.

I “spoil the child” with love. I’ve never once raised my voice to him, and I’ve never let him hear the words “because I said so” escape my mouth when he asks “Why?”. Instead, I tell him “why” so that he understands.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not feel mistreated in the slightest by my own parents, but I can honestly say I learned nothing positive from my mother’s yelling and spankings. Does anyone truly have a change of heart if they obey out of fear? I don’t think so.

Caden is a fantastic child. Is he perfect? Of course not. Only one perfect human existed in all of history. But Caden is so well behaved his teachers frequently comment on it, as do others who spend a little time around him.

My heart burst in my chest when I received one of the verbal reports given to his mother by his Kindergarten teacher last year. Caden, she said, has a habit of putting his arm around crying children on the playground and walking them to the teacher. He tries to comfort them.

This year, in first grade, his teacher recently told Wendy (my ex-wife) that during reading time, when other children mess up while reading aloud and most of the other children laugh and snicker, Caden doesn’t do so. He simply doesn’t find it acceptable to ridicule others.

I was bragging about him to Pastor Bill Giovannetti. We were in Bill’s home and several children were present. Not 5 minutes after telling the Pastor about those two incidents I just shared with you the children came tearing into the room, being chased by a “monster” in the form of an adult. One little girl tripped and fell. Rather than hurdle over her and continue running, Caden stopped to ask if she was okay. The Pastor noticed and commented about it to me. I’m surprised my shirt didn’t tear as my chest expanded with pride.

It just makes sense to get rid of violence and yelling when dealing with children. Let me get into your face, screaming, and you tell me how that makes you feel. If I don’t like something you’ve done, let me hit you. Does that make you want to cooperate with me?

Children feel no differently. The only thing yelling and spanking accomplishes is to instill fear and anger, and as stated before, fear does not change hearts. It hardens them. Spanking and yelling results in children who hit others and yell at people when they’re upset.

When correcting Caden, I get down on one knee and look him in the eye. I speak in a loving tone and tell him “why” he should do something differently. I make sure what I’m saying makes sense to him, which is why “because I said so” has no place in my vocabulary. That saying, my friends, is a cop-out used by parents who are too lazy to put in the work required of them when raising a child. Work that actually results in LESS work down the road. If the work is put in while they’re young and they UNDERSTAND why things must be certain ways, their behavior changes. They aren’t confused. They understand for themselves why things must operate by certain rules.

If we’re in public, or in front of others, I pick Caden up and hold him in my arms as I whisper in his ear about any behaviors he needs to change. There is no point whatsoever in embarrassing him. After all, I am the adult. He is the child. I am the one expected to have enough brain power to correct my child in a loving non-violent manner (which includes refraining from yelling or using bad attitudes).

In return, he obeys out of love and respect, not out of fear.

Despite the fact that we divorced several years ago, Caden’s mother and I talk to each other daily. We want to be on the same page in matters relating to Caden. We feed off of each other. She spends much more time with Caden than I do, but we discuss nearly every aspect of parenting that arises. She’s the one doing almost all of the work with our son. I simply get to follow the same parenting guidelines while he’s with me.

We all spend time together a few times per month. Instead of fighting about our own differences, as divorced people often do, we try as hard as we can to remember that our son is much more important than petty disagreements we may have with each other. Most of the time we succeed. If we do happen to bicker, Caden is quick to let me know Mom is always right. He loves sticking up for her.

My dad has been raising my brother’s daughter. She’s almost a year younger than my son and has lived with my dad and step-mother for a few years now. Some of the most flattering compliments I’ve ever received are when my dad asks my opinion on parenting issues. He sees how well behaved a child Caden is and respects the parenting decisions we’ve been making while raising him. It’s really cool to be able to compare parenting notes with one’s own parents.

Caden, my son… I love you so very much. Happy 7th birthday, buddy!

PS: after a previous blog entry one reader commented via email that he/she was proud of the parent I’ve become since surrendering my life to God. Let me assure you, I have always been a very good father, long before surrendering my life to God. Let’s get that straight. 🙂

84 thoughts on “Spare the Rod. Spoil the Child.

  1. Heh…I read this literally two minutes after spanking my 3-year-old. I’m glad that you are able to instruct Caden with just words.My pastor and his wife created a ciriculum for instruction even before they had kids of their own, built on what the Bible teaches on “Musar” and “Yasar.” In it, spanking is used as a form of correction in the entirety of the instruction we give the kids. They now have three grown kids who are proof that their ciriculum works and that’s what we use.I think this is definitely one of those, “Convinced in their own mind” moments.

  2. Heh…I read this literally two minutes after spanking my 3-year-old. I’m glad that you are able to instruct Caden with just words.

    My pastor and his wife created a ciriculum for instruction even before they had kids of their own, built on what the Bible teaches on “Musar” and “Yasar.” In it, spanking is used as a form of correction in the entirety of the instruction we give the kids. They now have three grown kids who are proof that their ciriculum works and that’s what we use.

    I think this is definitely one of those, “Convinced in their own mind” moments.

  3. Jeff,You don’t think it would be better to put your child in time out to calm him/her down enough to where you can then explain why he/she was being disciplined?Spanking only teaches children that issues can be resolved with violence. Perhaps that’s why our world resorts to war when nations can’t agree. From a young age we have been reinforced with the message that violence resolves conflict.Also, almost every parent I witness spanking their children does so in anger or with a attitude.If you were my employee and you screwed something up, would it be okay for me to hit you in order to drive home the point that you’d done something wrong? How would you respond? You’d want to hit me back, right?Guess what? Children feel those same attitudes in response to being struck by their parents.

  4. Jeff,

    You don’t think it would be better to put your child in time out to calm him/her down enough to where you can then explain why he/she was being disciplined?

    Spanking only teaches children that issues can be resolved with violence. Perhaps that’s why our world resorts to war when nations can’t agree. From a young age we have been reinforced with the message that violence resolves conflict.

    Also, almost every parent I witness spanking their children does so in anger or with a attitude.

    If you were my employee and you screwed something up, would it be okay for me to hit you in order to drive home the point that you’d done something wrong? How would you respond? You’d want to hit me back, right?

    Guess what? Children feel those same attitudes in response to being struck by their parents.

    • I have actually witnessed more people who don’t agree with spanking, loose it and go into a fit and severly injure their child because they snap. compared to those who calmly and firmly do spank openly. my kids dont feel hated they feel loved, they dont feel abused and by far i get compliments on their behavior everywhere we go many times telling me they have never net such well mannered children.

  5. When i was a child and my dad would hit me.it made me want to do even wrose things.it sure as hell did not want to make me do good.Though i suppose if you want to make your children do good by making them fear being hit if they do wrong,then you may want to.but if hitting an adult is classedas assult, then it should apply to kids as well.I believe now we have a law here in the uk that makes smacking your child illegal,it is called ‘assult’.Children have rights as well.I do not know though how enforced the law is.Smacking a child is a step i suppose that you could take if you lack the brain cells to explain to your child without assult why what they did is wrong.People use the bible to prove smacking your child is ok but the bible also says if you hand courses you to sin, cut it off,Does that mean i should cut my hand off if i can not stop sinning?the bible has to be read in the context of the culture it was written in,They would in those days stone a woman to death if she was unfaithful, so are you in favour of that?stoning?

  6. When i was a child and my dad would hit me.
    it made me want to do even wrose things.
    it sure as hell did not want to make me do good.
    Though i suppose if you want to make your children do good by making them fear being hit if they do wrong,
    then you may want to.
    but if hitting an adult is classed
    as assult, then it should apply to kids as well.
    I believe now we have a law here in the uk that makes smacking your child illegal,it is called ‘assult’.
    Children have rights as well.
    I do not know though how enforced the law is.
    Smacking a child is a step i suppose that you could take if you lack the brain cells to explain to your child without assult why what they did is wrong.
    People use the bible to prove smacking your child is ok but the bible also says if you hand courses you to sin, cut it off,
    Does that mean i should cut my hand off if i can not stop sinning?
    the bible has to be read in the context of the culture it was written in,
    They would in those days stone a woman to death if she was unfaithful, so are you in favour of that?
    stoning?

  7. Donny,Proverbs 13:24 – He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 22:15 – 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 – 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 – The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.Take it up with God. The Bible also talks about not exasperating your children and instructing them with wise word, but the Bible is crystal clear on spanking.One more thing: your approach isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Calling people with different convictions “retarded” is not only immature, it’s judgemental and divisive. But I still love you (and like you!)Dave (Riggy)

  8. Donny,

    Proverbs 13:24 – He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

    Proverbs 22:15 – 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 – 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 – The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

    Take it up with God. The Bible also talks about not exasperating your children and instructing them with wise word, but the Bible is crystal clear on spanking.

    One more thing: your approach isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Calling people with different convictions “retarded” is not only immature, it’s judgemental and divisive. But I still love you (and like you!)

    Dave (Riggy)

  9. Riggy,That same Old Testament says women need to be in separate buildings while on their period. Shall we continue to follow that? Shall we continue the old laws of avoiding certain types of animals for eating?Shall we execute people for petty sins, as was done in the same Old Testament you use to justify striking a child?Did you not forget the part where Jesus fulfills the old covenant (Old Testament) and begins everything anew? God gave us brains. We can use those brains to see that striking a child is not a good idea, under any circumstances.

  10. Riggy,

    That same Old Testament says women need to be in separate buildings while on their period. Shall we continue to follow that? Shall we continue the old laws of avoiding certain types of animals for eating?

    Shall we execute people for petty sins, as was done in the same Old Testament you use to justify striking a child?

    Did you not forget the part where Jesus fulfills the old covenant (Old Testament) and begins everything anew?

    God gave us brains. We can use those brains to see that striking a child is not a good idea, under any circumstances.

  11. Also, Riggy, take a moment to read the post made right above yours. That commenter made some very good points.Seriously, hitting a kid is not acceptable. That’s not a belief system. It’s a non-negotiable fact.

  12. Also, Riggy, take a moment to read the post made right above yours. That commenter made some very good points.

    Seriously, hitting a kid is not acceptable. That’s not a belief system. It’s a non-negotiable fact.

  13. Jesus came to fulfill the law and to supersede it. 99.9% of the Proverbs have nothing to do with jewish ceremonial law. Stoning adulterers and putting women in seperate rooms have everything yo do with the law. Proverbs is a very very practical book and very little ‘cultural filtering’ is appropriate. Good luck studying those passages and blowing off what they say in good conscience.Spanking and other forms of discipline are abused and done innappriately all the time. when one of my children gets spanked it is never done in anger and it is explained well and ends with “what did you learn? how will you behave differently the next time? you know daddy loves you and understand why he had to spank you?” and then usually and big long hug and an apology from the child (that is not coerced). This is miles away from “smacking your kid” and good parents have been doing it as long as people have been on earth.

  14. Jesus came to fulfill the law and to supersede it. 99.9% of the Proverbs have nothing to do with jewish ceremonial law. Stoning adulterers and putting women in seperate rooms have everything yo do with the law. Proverbs is a very very practical book and very little ‘cultural filtering’ is appropriate. Good luck studying those passages and blowing off what they say in good conscience.

    Spanking and other forms of discipline are abused and done innappriately all the time. when one of my children gets spanked it is never done in anger and it is explained well and ends with “what did you learn? how will you behave differently the next time? you know daddy loves you and understand why he had to spank you?” and then usually and big long hug and an apology from the child (that is not coerced). This is miles away from “smacking your kid” and good parents have been doing it as long as people have been on earth.

  15. Riggy,Your second paragraph sounds exactly like what happens after a child is put into time out. All of the child’s attention is captured by settling him/her down with the time out, then the instruction begins. No hitting needed.Proverbs, as you said, is not a book of “law”. It is a book of advice from Solomon (wasn’t he the guy who kept hundreds of women and ended up a complete mess?).Lots of things in the Bible weren’t “law”, such as the murder of millions of individuals for petty reasons that happen all over the Old Testament. Spanking is not necessary. There are plenty of non-violent options.

  16. Riggy,

    Your second paragraph sounds exactly like what happens after a child is put into time out. All of the child’s attention is captured by settling him/her down with the time out, then the instruction begins.

    No hitting needed.

    Proverbs, as you said, is not a book of “law”. It is a book of advice from Solomon (wasn’t he the guy who kept hundreds of women and ended up a complete mess?).

    Lots of things in the Bible weren’t “law”, such as the murder of millions of individuals for petty reasons that happen all over the Old Testament.

    Spanking is not necessary. There are plenty of non-violent options.

  17. Donny -First of all, let me say we probably use 50 time outs for every spanking. My son probably gets spanked twice a month. My daughters it’s probably once a year.There is a lot of stuff in the Bible that it is difficult to come to terms with – you can’t just toss it or you have a religion that’s based on nothing other than flawed people’s opinions. The fact is that God initiated a lot of the wars in the OT, he struck a man dead for touching the arc of the covenant, afflicted saul with an evil spirit, and struck down annanais and sapphira (in the NT!)for lying, etc. When the Israelites grumbled, the ground opened and swallowed many of them. God may not fit in your box. You can’t look at the Bible and take what makes sense to you as a starting point and dismiss the rest. God is gentle, patient, and loving, and he is also holy, vengeful, and violent. I love how Aslan embodies this in the Narnia books – he’s not a “tame lion”. Study the Bible long and hard, pray over it, and then develop your conviction. We can’t just say ‘well I what I believe is right so the Bible can’t possibly mean what it says’.

  18. Donny –

    First of all, let me say we probably use 50 time outs for every spanking. My son probably gets spanked twice a month. My daughters it’s probably once a year.

    There is a lot of stuff in the Bible that it is difficult to come to terms with – you can’t just toss it or you have a religion that’s based on nothing other than flawed people’s opinions. The fact is that God initiated a lot of the wars in the OT, he struck a man dead for touching the arc of the covenant, afflicted saul with an evil spirit, and struck down annanais and sapphira (in the NT!)for lying, etc. When the Israelites grumbled, the ground opened and swallowed many of them.

    God may not fit in your box. You can’t look at the Bible and take what makes sense to you as a starting point and dismiss the rest. God is gentle, patient, and loving, and he is also holy, vengeful, and violent. I love how Aslan embodies this in the Narnia books – he’s not a “tame lion”. Study the Bible long and hard, pray over it, and then develop your conviction. We can’t just say ‘well I what I believe is right so the Bible can’t possibly mean what it says’.

  19. Critics claim that spanking a child is abusive and contributes to adult dysfunction. These allegations arise from studies that fail to distinguish appropriate spanking from other forms of punishment. Abusive forms of physical punishment such as kicking, punching, and beating are commonly grouped with mild spanking. Furthermore, the studies usually include, and even emphasize, corporal punishment of adolescents, rather than focusing on preschool children, where spanking is more effective. This blurring of distinctions between spanking and physical abuse, and between children of different ages, gives critics the illusion of having data condemning all disciplinary spanking.- David

  20. Critics claim that spanking a child is abusive and contributes to adult dysfunction. These allegations arise from studies that fail to distinguish appropriate spanking from other forms of punishment.

    Abusive forms of physical punishment such as kicking, punching, and beating are commonly grouped with mild spanking.

    Furthermore, the studies usually include, and even emphasize, corporal punishment of adolescents, rather than focusing on preschool children, where spanking is more effective. This blurring of distinctions between spanking and physical abuse, and between children of different ages, gives critics the illusion of having data condemning all disciplinary spanking.

    – David

  21. I both agree and disagree…I dont think that you should scream at your kids under any circumstances. Your own anger at your child for doing something will solve nothing. Eye contact and a firm tone is far more effective and is easier on both the parent and the child. As far as spanking goes…I think it is more of a case by case basis rather than a cut and dry thing. Some children just will not respond to talking. You speak about instilling fear, but we are taught in the Bible to have both a healthy love and a healthy fear of the Father. Most times spankings are not necessary, as a child knows that this is a possibility and obeys because of it. In that same aspect we as children of God understand that there will be consequences if we decide to disobey God…so because we both love and fear Him, we obey. I have only had to spank my child once. She is a very good girl and rarely talks back or does what she is not supposed to do. Shes just that kind of child. Some kids aren’t….hence my opinion that it must be case by case and handled within certian parameters.

  22. I both agree and disagree…I dont think that you should scream at your kids under any circumstances. Your own anger at your child for doing something will solve nothing. Eye contact and a firm tone is far more effective and is easier on both the parent and the child. As far as spanking goes…I think it is more of a case by case basis rather than a cut and dry thing. Some children just will not respond to talking. You speak about instilling fear, but we are taught in the Bible to have both a healthy love and a healthy fear of the Father. Most times spankings are not necessary, as a child knows that this is a possibility and obeys because of it. In that same aspect we as children of God understand that there will be consequences if we decide to disobey God…so because we both love and fear Him, we obey. I have only had to spank my child once. She is a very good girl and rarely talks back or does what she is not supposed to do. Shes just that kind of child. Some kids aren’t….hence my opinion that it must be case by case and handled within certian parameters.

  23. Couple of things, First, you have to understand that I don’t consider spanking the climax of discipline. It’s part of a bigger system, most of which is communications. And it is ONLY used for willful disobedience (and if you’ve never seen that look in Caden’s eyes, you’ve got a less stubborn kid than either of mine are). Here’s how it works: If he is doing something that he needs to not be doing (or vice versa), we give him a first clear report, saying something like, “If you hit the dog again, there will be a punishment. Do you understand?” And at that point, we’ll explain why it’s wrong to do that. If he does it again, then we go to the discipline phase because he had been told clearly that the action he took had a consequence. So, then I ask why he is getting spanked. He will tell me why and I will either tell him that’s right or I will correct him a bit, but he usually knows. Generally, I bring it back to him being disobedient and that being disobedient to those God placed in your life is the same as being disobedient to God. And I’ll have him lean over the bed and take the spanking (never with my hand….we use something else that does cause pain, but no damage). The biggest thing we try to make him understand in the communications is that we love him very much, but God had also put us in the position to instruct him to be righteous. We tell him that he is a good boy, but that there’s foolishness that grows in his heart and through the discipline, we can take that foolishness away. We also tell him that we really don’t like spanking him (and we don’t…don’t take my explanation to mean that I enjoy any of it), but that we need to be obedient to God and he says that this is a way to help instruct you in what is good and bad. Then, I’ll have him pray to God that he would be forgiven. And when it’s all done, it’s all done. I even tell him that God forgives him, so does mommy and so does daddy. And I love him up some before he can go anywhere. I can’t say I’ve been perfect in that I have been angry at him sometimes when I’ve spanked, but not often. And when I have been, I’ve had to apologize to him later. And I’ll tell him that I was disobedient because I spanked in anger and I’ll ask for his forgiveness. You don’t need to do this. Cool. And I’m not asking for your approval or consent when explaining this, because even though we are brothers, we still are essentially two guys on the internet that don’t know each other. But there is a right way to incorporate physical discipline into training up a child.

  24. Couple of things,
    First, you have to understand that I don’t consider spanking the climax of discipline. It’s part of a bigger system, most of which is communications. And it is ONLY used for willful disobedience (and if you’ve never seen that look in Caden’s eyes, you’ve got a less stubborn kid than either of mine are).
    Here’s how it works: If he is doing something that he needs to not be doing (or vice versa), we give him a first clear report, saying something like, “If you hit the dog again, there will be a punishment. Do you understand?” And at that point, we’ll explain why it’s wrong to do that. If he does it again, then we go to the discipline phase because he had been told clearly that the action he took had a consequence.
    So, then I ask why he is getting spanked. He will tell me why and I will either tell him that’s right or I will correct him a bit, but he usually knows. Generally, I bring it back to him being disobedient and that being disobedient to those God placed in your life is the same as being disobedient to God. And I’ll have him lean over the bed and take the spanking (never with my hand….we use something else that does cause pain, but no damage).
    The biggest thing we try to make him understand in the communications is that we love him very much, but God had also put us in the position to instruct him to be righteous. We tell him that he is a good boy, but that there’s foolishness that grows in his heart and through the discipline, we can take that foolishness away. We also tell him that we really don’t like spanking him (and we don’t…don’t take my explanation to mean that I enjoy any of it), but that we need to be obedient to God and he says that this is a way to help instruct you in what is good and bad.
    Then, I’ll have him pray to God that he would be forgiven. And when it’s all done, it’s all done. I even tell him that God forgives him, so does mommy and so does daddy. And I love him up some before he can go anywhere.
    I can’t say I’ve been perfect in that I have been angry at him sometimes when I’ve spanked, but not often. And when I have been, I’ve had to apologize to him later. And I’ll tell him that I was disobedient because I spanked in anger and I’ll ask for his forgiveness.
    You don’t need to do this. Cool. And I’m not asking for your approval or consent when explaining this, because even though we are brothers, we still are essentially two guys on the internet that don’t know each other. But there is a right way to incorporate physical discipline into training up a child.

  25. Just want to say I saw Caden today (with his Grandma, my sister,) and I wished him a happy birthday. Can hardly believe he´s 7! He really is a wonderful little guy. Donny you were ALWAYS a good Dad from what I could see. I was just really worried about what kind of an example you were being by making your living from porn. And now praise God, Caden has a Daddy he can be very proud of!!

  26. Just want to say I saw Caden today (with his Grandma, my sister,) and I wished him a happy birthday. Can hardly believe he´s 7! He really is a wonderful little guy.
    Donny you were ALWAYS a good Dad from what I could see. I was just really worried about what kind of an example you were being by making your living from porn. And now praise God, Caden has a Daddy he can be very proud of!!

  27. Donny,Great post….hitting your kids is just disgusting and shouldn’t be tolorated. It’s really just something that people without brains have to resort to. Or they need to feel that power. No amount of words can justify those actions. And to use the bible as an excuse to justify hittng your kids….please, pea sized brained people. But again, awesome post and something that alot of parents should take to heart.

  28. Donny,

    Great post….hitting your kids is just disgusting and shouldn’t be tolorated. It’s really just something that people without brains have to resort to. Or they need to feel that power. No amount of words can justify those actions. And to use the bible as an excuse to justify hittng your kids….please, pea sized brained people.

    But again, awesome post and something that alot of parents should take to heart.

  29. Donny,These are good thoughts, but the way you categorize Proverbs is a bit disconcerting. It is different than Jewish law, and needs to be looked at as such.When you say that it was just written by Solomon who kept a bunch of wives and ended up a mess is a bit ignorant:1) “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16)2) No person who had a hand in writing scripture was by any means perfect. This is part of the marvel — that God used fallible man to tell his infallible story.3) Where exactly does it say that multiple wives is a sin? I know this is a messy one, but 1 Timothy, in outlining the parameters for deacons, says that the man must be the husband of but one wife (3:12). This suggests that there was common and/or accepted practice to have multiple wives — you just couldn’t be in ministry leadership.4) With all deference to your testimony, to undermine Solomon because of his sexual past doesn’t let you say much on the topic. In truth you’ve both been redeemed by God’s mercy and grace. However, Solomon’s writings are part of canonized Scripture.Spanking to hurt the child is inappropriate. However, as an attention getter it should be among the tools (like time-out, a ‘talking-to’, etc.) in a parent’s arsenal.We are always very calm with our young boy. Occasionally one of the consequences of his misbehavior is a spanking. It doesn’t physically hurt him. In fact, I swat his rear harder in play time (he runs away while we both scream “go” … the swat is met with a resounding squeal of approval that we’re on the same page with this crazy game). He wears a diaper, so it would take a pretty firm swat to hurt him anyway. But like I said, that isn’t the point, and in fact it is our point to **not** hurt him.Today he was standing on his bed and playing with the blinds when it was naptime. He was told that if either mommy or daddy had to come in there again he would get a spanking.Not 10 minutes later he was doing the same thing. I walked in and asked if he wanted a spanking. He immediately laid down, calmly answered my question with a “no” and said “pillow” (the new destination for his head). He wasn’t panicked or terrified, but he knew that he didn’t want a spanking — much like I don’t want a needle stick if I can help it. Long term hurt? No. The anticipation of it is probably the worst part.I don’t think, though, that every parent should feel compelled to spank their children if they do not feel comfortable doing so. But the fact that it is misused or abused as a form of punishment by some does not make all those who use some form of corporal punishment bad parents.Thanks for opening the discussion …

  30. Donny,

    These are good thoughts, but the way you categorize Proverbs is a bit disconcerting. It is different than Jewish law, and needs to be looked at as such.

    When you say that it was just written by Solomon who kept a bunch of wives and ended up a mess is a bit ignorant:
    1) “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16)
    2) No person who had a hand in writing scripture was by any means perfect. This is part of the marvel — that God used fallible man to tell his infallible story.
    3) Where exactly does it say that multiple wives is a sin? I know this is a messy one, but 1 Timothy, in outlining the parameters for deacons, says that the man must be the husband of but one wife (3:12). This suggests that there was common and/or accepted practice to have multiple wives — you just couldn’t be in ministry leadership.
    4) With all deference to your testimony, to undermine Solomon because of his sexual past doesn’t let you say much on the topic. In truth you’ve both been redeemed by God’s mercy and grace. However, Solomon’s writings are part of canonized Scripture.

    Spanking to hurt the child is inappropriate. However, as an attention getter it should be among the tools (like time-out, a ‘talking-to’, etc.) in a parent’s arsenal.

    We are always very calm with our young boy. Occasionally one of the consequences of his misbehavior is a spanking. It doesn’t physically hurt him. In fact, I swat his rear harder in play time (he runs away while we both scream “go” … the swat is met with a resounding squeal of approval that we’re on the same page with this crazy game). He wears a diaper, so it would take a pretty firm swat to hurt him anyway. But like I said, that isn’t the point, and in fact it is our point to **not** hurt him.

    Today he was standing on his bed and playing with the blinds when it was naptime. He was told that if either mommy or daddy had to come in there again he would get a spanking.

    Not 10 minutes later he was doing the same thing. I walked in and asked if he wanted a spanking. He immediately laid down, calmly answered my question with a “no” and said “pillow” (the new destination for his head). He wasn’t panicked or terrified, but he knew that he didn’t want a spanking — much like I don’t want a needle stick if I can help it. Long term hurt? No. The anticipation of it is probably the worst part.

    I don’t think, though, that every parent should feel compelled to spank their children if they do not feel comfortable doing so. But the fact that it is misused or abused as a form of punishment by some does not make all those who use some form of corporal punishment bad parents.

    Thanks for opening the discussion …

  31. I agree with Ben that it is a case by case decision. Not all children are as well mannered as yours and therefore, not all children respond to “time-outs” or a simple “talking to.” My father definitely did not “Spare the rod.” Does that mean I’m gonna go all postal on my kid? No. But it does mean that I know first hand what the discipline did in my life. Does that mean it will do the same in my daughter’s life? No. That is where parenting comes in. If you truly know your child, you will know what your child responds to. But to say, “I will never spank my child” may be doing your child a great disservice. What if the only way that child responds to discipline is through a spanking? And the only reason you don’t spank your child is because you didn’t like getting a spanking when you were a child. (Also, when I say “you,” I’m not speaking directly to you Donny. I’m using it for all readers.) So like I said, each parent should choose. Just because you choose to not spank your child, and it works for you, does not mean that 1) you are a resident expert on early childhood development and 2) that everyone who does spank their child is practicing some form of medieval torture and abusing their child. Never once when my father spanked me did I feel like he didn’t love me. As an adult, I can look back and see that he spanked me because he loved me. Just like God has to hand out a couple of spankings every once and a while, he does so to remind us that he loves us and wants the best for us. Just because we only respond to the “spankings” doesn’t make it his fault. That’s just the only way we respond. Donny, I love ya man, and fully support what you are doing; both in your life and raising your child. But I think that on this topic, we will have to agree to disagree on about 50% of your argument. I whole heartedly agree with spoiling your child with love. Keep it up.

  32. I agree with Ben that it is a case by case decision. Not all children are as well mannered as yours and therefore, not all children respond to “time-outs” or a simple “talking to.” My father definitely did not “Spare the rod.” Does that mean I’m gonna go all postal on my kid? No. But it does mean that I know first hand what the discipline did in my life. Does that mean it will do the same in my daughter’s life? No. That is where parenting comes in. If you truly know your child, you will know what your child responds to. But to say, “I will never spank my child” may be doing your child a great disservice. What if the only way that child responds to discipline is through a spanking? And the only reason you don’t spank your child is because you didn’t like getting a spanking when you were a child. (Also, when I say “you,” I’m not speaking directly to you Donny. I’m using it for all readers.) So like I said, each parent should choose. Just because you choose to not spank your child, and it works for you, does not mean that 1) you are a resident expert on early childhood development and 2) that everyone who does spank their child is practicing some form of medieval torture and abusing their child. Never once when my father spanked me did I feel like he didn’t love me. As an adult, I can look back and see that he spanked me because he loved me. Just like God has to hand out a couple of spankings every once and a while, he does so to remind us that he loves us and wants the best for us. Just because we only respond to the “spankings” doesn’t make it his fault. That’s just the only way we respond.

    Donny, I love ya man, and fully support what you are doing; both in your life and raising your child. But I think that on this topic, we will have to agree to disagree on about 50% of your argument. I whole heartedly agree with spoiling your child with love. Keep it up.

  33. Ever heard Alanis Morrisette’s “Perfect”; off the Jagged Little Pill record?We need to strive to correct our kids in love (spanking, or no) or they may write songs like this…———–PerfectSometimes is never quite enoughIf you’re flawless, then you’ll win my loveDon’t forget to win first placeDon’t forget to keep that smile on your faceBe a good boyTry a little harderYou’ve got to measure upAnd make me prouderHow long before you screw it upHow many times do I have to tell you to hurry upWith everything I do for youThe least you can do is keep quietBe a good girlYou’ve gotta try a little harderThat simply wasn’t good enoughTo make us proudI’ll live through youI’ll make you what I never wasIf you’re the best, then maybe so am ICompared to him, compared to herI’m doing this for your own damn goodYou’ll make up for what I blewWhat’s the problem…why are you crying…?Be a good boyPush a little farther nowThat wasn’t fast enoughTo make us happyWe’ll love you just the way you areIf you’re perfect

  34. Ever heard Alanis Morrisette’s “Perfect”; off the Jagged Little Pill record?

    We need to strive to correct our kids in love (spanking, or no) or they may write songs like this…

    ———–

    Perfect

    Sometimes is never quite enough
    If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love
    Don’t forget to win first place
    Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face

    Be a good boy
    Try a little harder
    You’ve got to measure up
    And make me prouder

    How long before you screw it up
    How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
    With everything I do for you
    The least you can do is keep quiet

    Be a good girl
    You’ve gotta try a little harder
    That simply wasn’t good enough
    To make us proud

    I’ll live through you
    I’ll make you what I never was
    If you’re the best, then maybe so am I
    Compared to him, compared to her
    I’m doing this for your own damn good
    You’ll make up for what I blew
    What’s the problem…why are you crying…?

    Be a good boy
    Push a little farther now
    That wasn’t fast enough
    To make us happy
    We’ll love you just the way you are
    If you’re perfect

  35. Dusty and Ben,The reason some children “only respond” to spanking is once again due to their parents. Parenting starts at birth. Children learn from the day they’re born. They learn to respond to the attitudes and actions of their parents.Most parents simply don’t put in the work.I stand by the opinion that spanking is unnecessary.

  36. Dusty and Ben,

    The reason some children “only respond” to spanking is once again due to their parents. Parenting starts at birth. Children learn from the day they’re born. They learn to respond to the attitudes and actions of their parents.

    Most parents simply don’t put in the work.

    I stand by the opinion that spanking is unnecessary.

  37. Well, didn’t mean for an argument to break out, but apparently I’m too ignorant to even think about things like this. Darn me and my pea-sized brain.

  38. Well, didn’t mean for an argument to break out, but apparently I’m too ignorant to even think about things like this. Darn me and my pea-sized brain.

  39. “The reason some children “only respond” to spanking is once again due to their parents. Parenting starts at birth. Children learn from the day they’re born. They learn to respond to the attitudes and actions of their parents.”First, none of us ever said, “only respond,” so that’s something you either can’t get the grasp of or don’t want to deal with. You’re making an umbrella statement in the same way someone made an umbrella statement about you the father you have become since leaving porn. You had a problem with that misconception; I have a problem with yours.Second, you come off like a jerk in the rest of your statement, as though you know who we are and can then do some psycho-analysis because of one facet of a discussion. What if I told you that your reactions that you get with Caden are the same that I get with Bryce and Caleb? What if I told you they are regularly commented on for how smart they are, how helpful they can be and how happy they are? Would it even matter to you? Is this issue so defined for you that, hey, you’re not going to condemn anyone who is still in porn and they have to make their own decisions, but you’re OK with condemning us for this?

  40. “The reason some children “only respond” to spanking is once again due to their parents. Parenting starts at birth. Children learn from the day they’re born. They learn to respond to the attitudes and actions of their parents.”

    First, none of us ever said, “only respond,” so that’s something you either can’t get the grasp of or don’t want to deal with. You’re making an umbrella statement in the same way someone made an umbrella statement about you the father you have become since leaving porn. You had a problem with that misconception; I have a problem with yours.

    Second, you come off like a jerk in the rest of your statement, as though you know who we are and can then do some psycho-analysis because of one facet of a discussion. What if I told you that your reactions that you get with Caden are the same that I get with Bryce and Caleb? What if I told you they are regularly commented on for how smart they are, how helpful they can be and how happy they are? Would it even matter to you?
    Is this issue so defined for you that, hey, you’re not going to condemn anyone who is still in porn and they have to make their own decisions, but you’re OK with condemning us for this?

  41. Jeff,It’s easy for people like me to make comments about the lack of brainpower people must have to lower themselves to striking their children.That is, of course, a way to “win” an argument or gain power or something. I’m sure if I was a psychologist I’d be able to explain that a little better.What this issue really boils down to is this:Raising a child without spanking takes a lot more work and a lot more time. It’s much easier to just use spanking. I’m not being condescending when I say this, but it’s true.For example, sitting a child in timeout sometimes results in the child just getting right back up. Then you have to pick them up and sit them back down, and sometimes it becomes a battle of wills. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do that with Caden. But sometimes I do have to repeat myself a few times (I don’t raise my voice, either). I will also admit that I once spanked my niece (the one who lives with my dad). The reason I did so is because it was easier. I didn’t have as much patience to deal with her as I do with my own son. I wanted to get her attention and I didn’t want to put in the time to do it without spanking. In my opinion, I did her a disservice by resorting to that rather than instructing and correcting her with words.I think people use the Bible to justify taking the easy route. That’s not an opinion I’ll ever change.

  42. Jeff,

    It’s easy for people like me to make comments about the lack of brainpower people must have to lower themselves to striking their children.

    That is, of course, a way to “win” an argument or gain power or something. I’m sure if I was a psychologist I’d be able to explain that a little better.

    What this issue really boils down to is this:

    Raising a child without spanking takes a lot more work and a lot more time. It’s much easier to just use spanking. I’m not being condescending when I say this, but it’s true.

    For example, sitting a child in timeout sometimes results in the child just getting right back up. Then you have to pick them up and sit them back down, and sometimes it becomes a battle of wills. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do that with Caden. But sometimes I do have to repeat myself a few times (I don’t raise my voice, either).

    I will also admit that I once spanked my niece (the one who lives with my dad). The reason I did so is because it was easier. I didn’t have as much patience to deal with her as I do with my own son. I wanted to get her attention and I didn’t want to put in the time to do it without spanking. In my opinion, I did her a disservice by resorting to that rather than instructing and correcting her with words.

    I think people use the Bible to justify taking the easy route. That’s not an opinion I’ll ever change.

  43. What if I told you that your reactions that you get with Caden are the same that I get with Bryce and Caleb? What if I told you they are regularly commented on for how smart they are, how helpful they can be and how happy they are? Would it even matter to you?I don’t believe I ever once said children who are spanked can’t be smart and well behaved. My mother loved spanking us like crazy. She did it in anger and loved to hold one of our hands and keep spanking until we stopped running in a circle around her. I was still a smart child and pretty well behaved. I received academic marks, trophies, etc etc. I cared about people. Despite all that, it was very wrong for my mother to use that form of correction. My father, on the other hand, used words. I’m not saying he never spanked us, because there were rare times when he did. But his words were so much more effective than my mothers violence.you’re not going to condemn anyone who is still in porn and they have to make their own decisions, but you’re OK with condemning us for this?My communications skills have been lacking in this discussion. I don’t mean to condemn anyone. I will admit that I have major problems with this issue and always have. My emotions get out of hand when talking about it. For that, I apologize. I’m not intending to condemn anyone.

  44. What if I told you that your reactions that you get with Caden are the same that I get with Bryce and Caleb? What if I told you they are regularly commented on for how smart they are, how helpful they can be and how happy they are? Would it even matter to you?

    I don’t believe I ever once said children who are spanked can’t be smart and well behaved. My mother loved spanking us like crazy. She did it in anger and loved to hold one of our hands and keep spanking until we stopped running in a circle around her. I was still a smart child and pretty well behaved. I received academic marks, trophies, etc etc. I cared about people. Despite all that, it was very wrong for my mother to use that form of correction.

    My father, on the other hand, used words. I’m not saying he never spanked us, because there were rare times when he did. But his words were so much more effective than my mothers violence.

    you’re not going to condemn anyone who is still in porn and they have to make their own decisions, but you’re OK with condemning us for this?

    My communications skills have been lacking in this discussion. I don’t mean to condemn anyone. I will admit that I have major problems with this issue and always have. My emotions get out of hand when talking about it. For that, I apologize. I’m not intending to condemn anyone.

  45. I still don’t think you get that it’s a part of the process and not the climax to it. There’s also the unwritten implications that keep being brought up, like you never raise your voice. The implication is that I do….I don’t. Stuff like that. I had to stop writing for a bit because of a situation. Bryce (the three-year-old) is in him room for a nap and I heard something. I went into his room and he was playing around. So I opened his door and he had the deer in the headlights look. This wasn’t willful disobedience…this was him being three. So I told him he needed to be sleeping and to not play. He said OK, I told him I loved him and tucked him back in. He said, “Love you too,” and I closed the door. I haven’t heard anything since. You brought up the Bible and the issue with it, but the truth is that it is in the Bible so you can’t get around that God considers it viable in the proper way. To take issue with that is to take issue with him, not me. And you can’t tell me that God doesn’t use pain in our lives to discipline us. You have to understand, there are a lot of lessons that I can teach him, have taught him, with the use of spanking. First, that his choices have consequences. He’ll tell me, “I’ll be obedient!” before a spanking, to which I tell him, “I know you want to be, but your made your choice and this is the result of that choice.” There are occasions also where I see that he gets the message without the spanking where he usually would get the spanking, which is a great time to show him mercy and to teach him about God’s mercy. All I’m saying is really look into it in Scripture. I’m not asking you to start spanking Caden at all because the tools at your disposal are enough. But this is a tool that has been provided, we use it as properly as God allows us (trust me….prayer to do it the right way is a BIIIIIIIIIIIG part of the process) and so far it’s reaped good fruit. If anything, I wanted you to see that it can produce good fruit in kids because it sounded like all you’ve seen is bad fruit produced.

  46. I still don’t think you get that it’s a part of the process and not the climax to it. There’s also the unwritten implications that keep being brought up, like you never raise your voice. The implication is that I do….I don’t. Stuff like that.
    I had to stop writing for a bit because of a situation. Bryce (the three-year-old) is in him room for a nap and I heard something. I went into his room and he was playing around. So I opened his door and he had the deer in the headlights look. This wasn’t willful disobedience…this was him being three. So I told him he needed to be sleeping and to not play. He said OK, I told him I loved him and tucked him back in. He said, “Love you too,” and I closed the door. I haven’t heard anything since.
    You brought up the Bible and the issue with it, but the truth is that it is in the Bible so you can’t get around that God considers it viable in the proper way. To take issue with that is to take issue with him, not me. And you can’t tell me that God doesn’t use pain in our lives to discipline us.
    You have to understand, there are a lot of lessons that I can teach him, have taught him, with the use of spanking. First, that his choices have consequences. He’ll tell me, “I’ll be obedient!” before a spanking, to which I tell him, “I know you want to be, but your made your choice and this is the result of that choice.” There are occasions also where I see that he gets the message without the spanking where he usually would get the spanking, which is a great time to show him mercy and to teach him about God’s mercy.
    All I’m saying is really look into it in Scripture. I’m not asking you to start spanking Caden at all because the tools at your disposal are enough. But this is a tool that has been provided, we use it as properly as God allows us (trust me….prayer to do it the right way is a BIIIIIIIIIIIG part of the process) and so far it’s reaped good fruit. If anything, I wanted you to see that it can produce good fruit in kids because it sounded like all you’ve seen is bad fruit produced.

  47. “It’s in the Bible” doesn’t cut it for me. There are many things in the Bible, when taken at face value, that make no sense at all. I’m about to copy and paste some very good examples of this. It was found on a website that makes fun of Christians for taking the Bible so literally. The way it’s written is from a very skewed point of view, but it does make some good points that basically say to me “many people simply don’t look deeper into the book and tend to take everything so literally”. I’ll make it bold and italicized so that everyone knows I didn’t write this stuff. But, as I said, it makes some great illustrations on how “it’s in the Bible” means nothing without digging for the deeper meaning. Here goes:I need some advice from you regarding some other specific Biblical laws and how to follow them.a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev.15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. If I come into contact with a woman who is menstruating and she doesn’t tell me until afterwards, must I kill her immediately or can I just beat her?d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Also, is Sabbath on Saturday as Seventh Day Adventists (Christians, like us…or are they?) or is it on Sunday as Baptists and some other faiths agree? I am beset by not knowing who to kill and when to kill them…please clarify this for me.f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality (Lev. 18:22). I don’t agree. I’m also confused about how homosexuality can be an abomination when Jonathan and David were married in the Bible (1 Samuel 18:1, 3 – 4). Here, I’ll quote it – “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword and to his bow and to his girdle.” and also Ruth’s relationship with Naomi is suspect, (Ruth 1:16-17) “And Ruth said to Naomi, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part three and me.” Can you settle this?g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27 and even though 1st Cor. 11:4-6 says that it is a shame upon a man to have long hair. How should they die?i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? Also, since it is strictly forbidden to “eat neither fat nor blood” in Lev. 3:17 & Lev. 19:26, does that mean that I must be a vegetarian and must I smite those who choose to eat meat?j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?k) I know that it is an abomination for a man to wear a woman’s clothes or a woman to wear a man’s (Deut. 22:5), so does that mean that since my wife borrowed my boxers once, she’s going to hell?l) An unbeliever sent me an email telling me that God is an ABORTIONIST? It says, “In Num. 5:11-31, God commands a husband to get an abortion for his wife if he suspects she has been impregnated by another man. A priest is to make her drink a potion and tell her, “If any man other than your husband has had intercourse with you, may the LORD make an example of you . . . by bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth.”To deliberately cause a miscarriage is to perform an abortion. And who brings about this miscarriage? Who performs this abortion? It is the LORD who does so? God is an abortionist?In Ex. 21:22-25, God tells us what to do if a man who is fighting knocks against a pregnant woman. If the woman dies, the principle of “life for life” is invoked and the man responsible for her death must be killed. If she lives but has a miscarriage, then the death of the fetus is to be compensated for by the payment of a fine, as demanded by the woman’s husband. Thus, God has revealed the status of the unborn fetus: it is not an independent, full-fledged human life, whose destruction amounts to murder. It is a thing owned by the woman’s husband, a thing whose loss, like that of any other thing, may be compensated for with money.” How can this be true?I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging and also for the reassurance that the Bible is infallible.See what I mean? There are many things that are “in the Bible” that we choose not to take as literally as we take those things that fit with our own goals. Comments?

  48. “It’s in the Bible” doesn’t cut it for me. There are many things in the Bible, when taken at face value, that make no sense at all.

    I’m about to copy and paste some very good examples of this. It was found on a website that makes fun of Christians for taking the Bible so literally. The way it’s written is from a very skewed point of view, but it does make some good points that basically say to me “many people simply don’t look deeper into the book and tend to take everything so literally”.

    I’ll make it bold and italicized so that everyone knows I didn’t write this stuff. But, as I said, it makes some great illustrations on how “it’s in the Bible” means nothing without digging for the deeper meaning. Here goes:

    I need some advice from you regarding some other specific Biblical laws and how to follow them.

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev.15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. If I come into contact with a woman who is menstruating and she doesn’t tell me until afterwards, must I kill her immediately or can I just beat her?

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Also, is Sabbath on Saturday as Seventh Day Adventists (Christians, like us…or are they?) or is it on Sunday as Baptists and some other faiths agree? I am beset by not knowing who to kill and when to kill them…please clarify this for me.

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality (Lev. 18:22). I don’t agree. I’m also confused about how homosexuality can be an abomination when Jonathan and David were married in the Bible (1 Samuel 18:1, 3 – 4). Here, I’ll quote it – “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword and to his bow and to his girdle.” and also Ruth’s relationship with Naomi is suspect, (Ruth 1:16-17) “And Ruth said to Naomi, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part three and me.” Can you settle this?

    g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27 and even though 1st Cor. 11:4-6 says that it is a shame upon a man to have long hair. How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? Also, since it is strictly forbidden to “eat neither fat nor blood” in Lev. 3:17 & Lev. 19:26, does that mean that I must be a vegetarian and must I smite those who choose to eat meat?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

    k) I know that it is an abomination for a man to wear a woman’s clothes or a woman to wear a man’s (Deut. 22:5), so does that mean that since my wife borrowed my boxers once, she’s going to hell?

    l) An unbeliever sent me an email telling me that God is an ABORTIONIST? It says, “In Num. 5:11-31, God commands a husband to get an abortion for his wife if he suspects she has been impregnated by another man. A priest is to make her drink a potion and tell her, “If any man other than your husband has had intercourse with you, may the LORD make an example of you . . . by bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth.”

    To deliberately cause a miscarriage is to perform an abortion. And who brings about this miscarriage? Who performs this abortion? It is the LORD who does so? God is an abortionist?

    In Ex. 21:22-25, God tells us what to do if a man who is fighting knocks against a pregnant woman. If the woman dies, the principle of “life for life” is invoked and the man responsible for her death must be killed. If she lives but has a miscarriage, then the death of the fetus is to be compensated for by the payment of a fine, as demanded by the woman’s husband. Thus, God has revealed the status of the unborn fetus: it is not an independent, full-fledged human life, whose destruction amounts to murder. It is a thing owned by the woman’s husband, a thing whose loss, like that of any other thing, may be compensated for with money.” How can this be true?

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging and also for the reassurance that the Bible is infallible.

    See what I mean? There are many things that are “in the Bible” that we choose not to take as literally as we take those things that fit with our own goals.

    Comments?

  49. But, as I said, it makes some great illustrations on how “it’s in the Bible” means nothing without digging for the deeper meaning.I couldn’t agree more. So what I’m asking is for you to dig for the deeper meaning because there’s more to what I’m saying than “spanking=good….it’s in the Bible!!!” But I can’t really show you the Bible study involved in it.Having said all this…HUG! I don’t want to be “argumentative interweb guy,” and it’s what this has seemed to turn into and I hate it. I’m sorry.

  50. But, as I said, it makes some great illustrations on how “it’s in the Bible” means nothing without digging for the deeper meaning.

    I couldn’t agree more. So what I’m asking is for you to dig for the deeper meaning because there’s more to what I’m saying than “spanking=good….it’s in the Bible!!!” But I can’t really show you the Bible study involved in it.

    Having said all this…HUG! I don’t want to be “argumentative interweb guy,” and it’s what this has seemed to turn into and I hate it. I’m sorry.

  51. By the way, the site that I mentioned in that last comment I posted is Landoverbaptist.org. It’s very apparent the site was written by people who greatly hate Christians. Even so, if read for “what it’s worth” it does demonstrate how taking everything in the Bible “literally” is not only impossible, but ridiculous. Jesus himself spoke in parables much of the time. The Bible is a guide. To get the most out of it we need to look at the context of the time in which certain passages were written. Most of us don’t do that.Here are more of those “quizzes”:The Role of Women“Bible Logic”The Plight of Women“Bible Fact Quiz”“The Wrath of God”“Bible Sex Quiz”How God Spots a ChristianSee what I mean? Not everything is intended to be taken so literally.

  52. By the way, the site that I mentioned in that last comment I posted is Landoverbaptist.org.

    It’s very apparent the site was written by people who greatly hate Christians.

    Even so, if read for “what it’s worth” it does demonstrate how taking everything in the Bible “literally” is not only impossible, but ridiculous. Jesus himself spoke in parables much of the time.

    The Bible is a guide. To get the most out of it we need to look at the context of the time in which certain passages were written.

    Most of us don’t do that.

    Here are more of those “quizzes”:

    The Role of Women

    “Bible Logic”

    The Plight of Women

    “Bible Fact Quiz”

    “The Wrath of God”

    “Bible Sex Quiz”

    How God Spots a Christian

    See what I mean?

    Not everything is intended to be taken so literally.

  53. Well, I can. I’m just saying that it takes time and it’s hard (at best) to do over the intertron.

  54. Well, I can. I’m just saying that it takes time and it’s hard (at best) to do over the intertron.

  55. according to the US gov’t the fair wage for a slave is $5.65 an hour less the gov’t’s share, of course. I’m not a parent and I have very little desire to be one because of the ever so tough decisions you all have to make. Witness this, by condoning corporal punishment you are telling people who do not think as carefully as some of the folks here obviously do about the subject, that beating their child is ok. In Wallmart, a packed Wallmart, a woman was observed smacking her child, hard enough across the face to turn the child’s head. Apparently the frustrated parent was unable to make her corrective point with the child, because even though two people from inside the store were pursuing the woman and child, she managed to get a shot to both of the child’s ears before bolting through the clothing racks and disappearing down another aisle and out of the store.Now perhaps you child beaters wouldn’t intentionally condone this behavior, and would only spank your child on the bottom, their are children out there who’s parents behavior is being reinforced by your willingness to publically state, beat your children, God says it’s ok. ungodly,Randy

  56. according to the US gov’t the fair wage for a slave is $5.65 an hour less the gov’t’s share, of course.

    I’m not a parent and I have very little desire to be one because of the ever so tough decisions you all have to make.

    Witness this, by condoning corporal punishment you are telling people who do not think as carefully as some of the folks here obviously do about the subject, that beating their child is ok.

    In Wallmart, a packed Wallmart, a woman was observed smacking her child, hard enough across the face to turn the child’s head. Apparently the frustrated parent was unable to make her corrective point with the child, because even though two people from inside the store were pursuing the woman and child, she managed to get a shot to both of the child’s ears before bolting through the clothing racks and disappearing down another aisle and out of the store.

    Now perhaps you child beaters wouldn’t intentionally condone this behavior, and would only spank your child on the bottom, their are children out there who’s parents behavior is being reinforced by your willingness to publically state, beat your children, God says it’s ok.

    ungodly,

    Randy

  57. Randy,You make a very very good point. Thanks for your input.- Donny –

  58. Randy,

    You make a very very good point. Thanks for your input.

    – Donny –

  59. Donny,Just because people have misused parts of scripture does not give us license to disregard parts or especially the whole thing. We need to take it in its appropriate context. And there does not seem to be any miscontextualizing of the timeless Proverbs.As I’d said before, if some people choose not to spank their children, and they “are convinced in their own mind” that this is appropriate, that is fine. Romans leaves license for us to make such decisions (14:5). Likewise, though, parents who wisely implement an occasional swat should not be lambasted.And that’s saying nothing of the crafty children. That the worst thing they’re going to get if they misbehave is just a talking to … or time out? Again, that may work for some. But others may well be able to outlast the longest time-out and lecture, and other forms of punishment and correction should be at the parents’ disposal.

  60. Donny,

    Just because people have misused parts of scripture does not give us license to disregard parts or especially the whole thing. We need to take it in its appropriate context. And there does not seem to be any miscontextualizing of the timeless Proverbs.

    As I’d said before, if some people choose not to spank their children, and they “are convinced in their own mind” that this is appropriate, that is fine. Romans leaves license for us to make such decisions (14:5). Likewise, though, parents who wisely implement an occasional swat should not be lambasted.

    And that’s saying nothing of the crafty children. That the worst thing they’re going to get if they misbehave is just a talking to … or time out? Again, that may work for some. But others may well be able to outlast the longest time-out and lecture, and other forms of punishment and correction should be at the parents’ disposal.

  61. Man, I can’t believe you guys are calling people, who lovingly discipline their children, child beaters. I agree that some people should be prosecuted for how they “discipline” their kids. But calling me a “child beater” because I choose to swat my child on the leg or bottom is going a little too far. I find it odd that the people doing most of the name calling and bashing are the people that supposedly are sticking up for children’s rights not to be spanked. That’s a really good thing to teach them, “Hey, little Johnny or Susie, we’re not gonna spank you, but we want you to know that if someone disagrees with you, it’s okay to disrespect them and call them names. And don’t worry, the most you will have to endure is a stern talking to from us.” I agree with some of what you guys say. If one does decide to spank their kids, it should not be done in public. Heck, if my mom or dad had to tell me in public, “Wait until we get home, you’re gonna get it.” in a hushed voice…that was twice as bad as just getting the spanking because they were playing mind games with me now. Not only did I have the agony of the impending spanking, but I had the spanking itself to deal with.Like I said earlier, we just have to agree to disagree. I’m not using the Bible to give me the okay to spank my child. I’m doing what I think is best for my child. Just like, Donny, you are doing what you think is best for your child. No one is trying to tell you to spank your child. On the contrary, I think it’s great that you don’t have to or choose not to spank your child. Randy and Jan, just a tip, your arguments don’t hold much water when you resort to name calling. You kinda lose your momentum and any credibility.

  62. Man, I can’t believe you guys are calling people, who lovingly discipline their children, child beaters. I agree that some people should be prosecuted for how they “discipline” their kids. But calling me a “child beater” because I choose to swat my child on the leg or bottom is going a little too far. I find it odd that the people doing most of the name calling and bashing are the people that supposedly are sticking up for children’s rights not to be spanked. That’s a really good thing to teach them, “Hey, little Johnny or Susie, we’re not gonna spank you, but we want you to know that if someone disagrees with you, it’s okay to disrespect them and call them names. And don’t worry, the most you will have to endure is a stern talking to from us.”

    I agree with some of what you guys say. If one does decide to spank their kids, it should not be done in public. Heck, if my mom or dad had to tell me in public, “Wait until we get home, you’re gonna get it.” in a hushed voice…that was twice as bad as just getting the spanking because they were playing mind games with me now. Not only did I have the agony of the impending spanking, but I had the spanking itself to deal with.

    Like I said earlier, we just have to agree to disagree. I’m not using the Bible to give me the okay to spank my child. I’m doing what I think is best for my child. Just like, Donny, you are doing what you think is best for your child. No one is trying to tell you to spank your child. On the contrary, I think it’s great that you don’t have to or choose not to spank your child.

    Randy and Jan, just a tip, your arguments don’t hold much water when you resort to name calling. You kinda lose your momentum and any credibility.

  63. Whoa, there is quite a debate going on here. Firstly, I am so glad your son was brought up to be such a great young man through your spanking-less style. In many cases, this may work. If it does, there is no reason to spank your child. Not all children are the same. I believe very strongly that spankings are necessary for some kids. They don’t teach the kids that violence solves problems if approached properly. They are completely worthless if the reason for the discipline is not completely known to the child. For some kids, this pain is a good way to let them know that negative actions have negative consequences.You have spent a great deal of time around your son, and I don’t doubt that you and your son’s mother have figured out the best way to treat your son. You should be open to the fact that you don’t know what is best for other peoples sons and daughters.

  64. Whoa, there is quite a debate going on here.

    Firstly, I am so glad your son was brought up to be such a great young man through your spanking-less style. In many cases, this may work. If it does, there is no reason to spank your child.

    Not all children are the same. I believe very strongly that spankings are necessary for some kids. They don’t teach the kids that violence solves problems if approached properly. They are completely worthless if the reason for the discipline is not completely known to the child. For some kids, this pain is a good way to let them know that negative actions have negative consequences.

    You have spent a great deal of time around your son, and I don’t doubt that you and your son’s mother have figured out the best way to treat your son. You should be open to the fact that you don’t know what is best for other peoples sons and daughters.

  65. Hi, Donny,There are certainly portions of Levitical law that we don’t follow anymore. Why not? The case is always that there is something in the New Testament or in the words of Jesus that address either the specific law or the theme behind the law.Take, for instance, issues of being clean or unclean (this applies to food, fabrics, menstruating women, and so on). Jesus said this in Mark 7:18-19:”Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? 19For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) Then you can read in Acts 11 all about God speaking to Peter about the same issue.I could cite quite a few examples, but I think it would make a lot more sense for you to sit down with a Christian you trust, who is knowledgable about this stuff, and discuss these issues. All of the Bible is relevent to our lives and has wisdom for us. And I believe it is all the literal word of God. If it’s not all God’s Word, how do we decide what to pick and choose as truth?That doesn’t mean I take everything at face value. For instance, just because the Psalms say I can rest in the shadow of God’s wing doesn’t make Him a bird. Also, just because something happened in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s a mandate for my life. Every passage in the Bible is either descriptive or prescriptive. We need to use wisdom in deciding what is what. And we always need to look at the Bible as a whole. If I’m confused about one verse or chapter of the Bible, what can I read in other chapters of the Bible that talk about this topic and could possibly clarify this for me? Maybe that’s helpful.

  66. Hi, Donny,

    There are certainly portions of Levitical law that we don’t follow anymore. Why not? The case is always that there is something in the New Testament or in the words of Jesus that address either the specific law or the theme behind the law.

    Take, for instance, issues of being clean or unclean (this applies to food, fabrics, menstruating women, and so on). Jesus said this in Mark 7:18-19:

    “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? 19For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”)

    Then you can read in Acts 11 all about God speaking to Peter about the same issue.

    I could cite quite a few examples, but I think it would make a lot more sense for you to sit down with a Christian you trust, who is knowledgable about this stuff, and discuss these issues. All of the Bible is relevent to our lives and has wisdom for us. And I believe it is all the literal word of God. If it’s not all God’s Word, how do we decide what to pick and choose as truth?

    That doesn’t mean I take everything at face value. For instance, just because the Psalms say I can rest in the shadow of God’s wing doesn’t make Him a bird. Also, just because something happened in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s a mandate for my life. Every passage in the Bible is either descriptive or prescriptive. We need to use wisdom in deciding what is what. And we always need to look at the Bible as a whole.

    If I’m confused about one verse or chapter of the Bible, what can I read in other chapters of the Bible that talk about this topic and could possibly clarify this for me?

    Maybe that’s helpful.

  67. “See what I mean? There are many things that are “in the Bible” that we choose not to take as literally as we take those things that fit with our own goals. Comments?” Donny -Context is so critical. There isn’t a Christian in the world that believes we should be obeying all of the levitical laws. The bible is explicit about them being obsolete. I don’t think you are being intellectually honest here – I don’t really believe you think those verses in Proverbs are obsolete. And I don’t think you are willing to study those passages and ask God to work his truth in your heart. I think you’ve made up your mind and done it in the flesh. We can disagree on all sorts of things, but if you are coming to me as a Christian and are that quick to blow off the Bible I am going to have a real hard time respecting your opinion.

  68. “See what I mean? There are many things that are “in the Bible” that we choose not to take as literally as we take those things that fit with our own goals.

    Comments?”

    Donny –

    Context is so critical. There isn’t a Christian in the world that believes we should be obeying all of the levitical laws. The bible is explicit about them being obsolete. I don’t think you are being intellectually honest here – I don’t really believe you think those verses in Proverbs are obsolete. And I don’t think you are willing to study those passages and ask God to work his truth in your heart. I think you’ve made up your mind and done it in the flesh. We can disagree on all sorts of things, but if you are coming to me as a Christian and are that quick to blow off the Bible I am going to have a real hard time respecting your opinion.

  69. You can use the “rod” without ever laying a finger on your children. To me, sparing the rod means failing to hold them accountable for their actions and to teach them how to live. There’s a big difference between that and just pounding on them.

  70. You can use the “rod” without ever laying a finger on your children. To me, sparing the rod means failing to hold them accountable for their actions and to teach them how to live. There’s a big difference between that and just pounding on them.

  71. Dear Donny, I’ve been hoping to respond to this for some time, but other things have occurred till now. I can appreciate your emphasis on speaking to a child over spanking. Certainly training after the ‘60’s pushed this concept. Reasoning with a child seems more useful. Your son seems exceptional and I would certainly by no means, based on your descriptions, see a need to resort to spanking. However, if the core result of your father’s discipline gives you this conclusion, there is a notion that whatever one lacked in their childhood, they tend toward over compensating in the raising of their own children. As in, if I didn’t get gifts, I’d make sure my child got more, if I was beaten, especially by an angry parent, then I certainly won’t do that. We do this sometimes, or the opposite, we do exactly as was done to us. Either way, it’s wrong. There is a place in the center where truth dwells.My father though passive, disciplined me, but with love. He’d often hold me or show me love afterward. Did it contradict his command, no, it instead showed me that his command had to be followed, but that he still loved me…and inevitably wants the best for me. Did he always work this way, no, he wasn’t perfect, but he did his best and am I glad he did. Did I turn out the model child, no, but when I wandered away for a time from God and good judgement, who was there waiting for me from afar, when the prodigal came home…he did. It was my mom on the other hand who was the hard one. If it wasn’t her way, then it was no way. That of course she took from her dad who she unknowingly emulated, and he was a military man.Anyway, I say all this because I believe that discipline in whatever form it is, should match or equal to the task at hand. Some parents will strike their kid in the face in front of everyone, to their child’s shame, others, even worse, will beat them to death, over things that have no value, especially eternal ones. Probably a more precise approach you are reaching for while explaining this violence to avoid is found in Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.” Amplified Bible But temper it with these versus found in Hebrews 12:5-15“And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured. Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it—” Amplified BibleIs there a contradiction? No. If discipline as described here is violence against the recipient, then he’s contradicting himself, to then say to strive and live in peace with everybody. There must be a core center that Christ calls us to that is not all the way one way when we say to discipline, or all the way the other way when we are told to be at peace with everyone. In fact, we are encouraged to not allow a root of bitterness to creep in and defile us. If a parent wrongfully disciplines or applies incorrect means and that without love (I think everything we do without love is wrong [1 Cor. 13] as Christians anyway), then certainly we will exasperate our children to anger. So figuring this all out completely requires a lot more work than we thought. Discipline but without anger, correction in love. It takes a lot more discipline in our lives as parents than to fly off the handle with our kids. But then we must correct by scripture, the product of our parents that we’ve become. One thing I have found, is that while some children may possess similar traits, no two children are the same and thus, correction should be dealt with accordingly.Some years ago, Christian Psychologist and radio person, Dr. James Dobson wrote two books, “Dare to Discipline” and “the Strong Willed Child”. These tackle much of these issues and subject matter you speak of, but as you can see from the one title, there are kids with strong wills and there are different sets of ways to deal with that, without breaking their spirits.I think it is too simple to think that discipline, as a form of violence on a child (unless of course we’re talking about child abuse) is the reason for all the mess in the world. The scripture speaks about the heart of man being wicked. While there are reasons why, or motivations why people will commit violent acts, and everyone is responsible for their own actions, even if their upbringings were a mess, still the ultimate cause of so much chaos is the wickedness in our hearts. Did Cain kill Abel because Adam and Eve incorrectly disciplined him? No, he was jealous that God favored Abel’s sacrifice over his. Thus, the first murder, and so on. Everyone has a “garden of Eden” experience, where we are presented with the choice between this way and that way. God spoke to Cain about how evil was at the door of his heart and he was to conquer it or it would conquer him. He gave in to it and killed his brother.As per your secondary comment about what is reinforced for children as they grow up, on a lighter note, I remember hearing Anthony Campolo speak of a professor who pushed the idea of parents struggling with their kids to learn how to sit on the potty and do #2. Well, this professor goes on to say that with all of the emphasis and pressure on the kids about “what and where to do it’, and “sit there till something happens”. The professor builds up to crescendo, as he then asks; “I ask you, what does the child learn in their life about what they have been so focused on producing…it is the gift. Wha
    t then does the child learn about this gift it has produced on behalf of society, it learns that what it has produced for society…. gets flushed.Anyway, for every incorrect way a father or parents may raise their kids, doing the best they know how, if in fact they have done their best, God spoke to me about this once in my youth. He being the perfect heavenly Father, who knows very well how to discipline His children, still has those who fail and mess up within His fold. So people go wrong because of choices they make, actions they take, wrong thinking that leads to wrong actions…no matter who the parents were and how well or not well they disciplined them. Well, I’ve probably gone way too long on this. I just want to say, that your son probably has a tender heart and doesn’t require heavier discipline, and God bless you for the gift he’s given to you in your son. I leave you with this from Psalms 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate. Amplified BibleAnd of course, that favorite verse found in Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.” Amplified BibleI understand and do love you brother.Daniel Mendez

  72. Dear Donny,
    I’ve been hoping to respond to this for some time, but other things have occurred till now. I can appreciate your emphasis on speaking to a child over spanking. Certainly training after the ‘60’s pushed this concept. Reasoning with a child seems more useful.

    Your son seems exceptional and I would certainly by no means, based on your descriptions, see a need to resort to spanking. However, if the core result of your father’s discipline gives you this conclusion, there is a notion that whatever one lacked in their childhood, they tend toward over compensating in the raising of their own children. As in, if I didn’t get gifts, I’d make sure my child got more, if I was beaten, especially by an angry parent, then I certainly won’t do that. We do this sometimes, or the opposite, we do exactly as was done to us. Either way, it’s wrong. There is a place in the center where truth dwells.

    My father though passive, disciplined me, but with love. He’d often hold me or show me love afterward. Did it contradict his command, no, it instead showed me that his command had to be followed, but that he still loved me…and inevitably wants the best for me. Did he always work this way, no, he wasn’t perfect, but he did his best and am I glad he did. Did I turn out the model child, no, but when I wandered away for a time from God and good judgement, who was there waiting for me from afar, when the prodigal came home…he did. It was my mom on the other hand who was the hard one. If it wasn’t her way, then it was no way. That of course she took from her dad who she unknowingly emulated, and he was a military man.

    Anyway, I say all this because I believe that discipline in whatever form it is, should match or equal to the task at hand. Some parents will strike their kid in the face in front of everyone, to their child’s shame, others, even worse, will beat them to death, over things that have no value, especially eternal ones. Probably a more precise approach you are reaching for while explaining this violence to avoid is found in Ephesians 6:4
    “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.” Amplified Bible
    But temper it with these versus found in Hebrews 12:5-15

    “And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him;
    For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.
    You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?
    Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all].
    Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live?
    For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.
    For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].
    So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,
    And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.
    Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
    Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it—” Amplified Bible
    Is there a contradiction? No. If discipline as described here is violence against the recipient, then he’s contradicting himself, to then say to strive and live in peace with everybody. There must be a core center that Christ calls us to that is not all the way one way when we say to discipline, or all the way the other way when we are told to be at peace with everyone. In fact, we are encouraged to not allow a root of bitterness to creep in and defile us. If a parent wrongfully disciplines or applies incorrect means and that without love (I think everything we do without love is wrong [1 Cor. 13] as Christians anyway), then certainly we will exasperate our children to anger. So figuring this all out completely requires a lot more work than we thought. Discipline but without anger, correction in love. It takes a lot more discipline in our lives as parents than to fly off the handle with our kids. But then we must correct by scripture, the product of our parents that we’ve become. One thing I have found, is that while some children may possess similar traits, no two children are the same and thus, correction should be dealt with accordingly.

    Some years ago, Christian Psychologist and radio person, Dr. James Dobson wrote two books, “Dare to Discipline” and “the Strong Willed Child”. These tackle much of these issues and subject matter you speak of, but as you can see from the one title, there are kids with strong wills and there are different sets of ways to deal with that, without breaking their spirits.

    I think it is too simple to think that discipline, as a form of violence on a child (unless of course we’re talking about child abuse) is the reason for all the mess in the world. The scripture speaks about the heart of man being wicked. While there are reasons why, or motivations why people will commit violent acts, and everyone is responsible for their own actions, even if their upbringings were a mess, still the ultimate cause of so much chaos is the wickedness in our hearts. Did Cain kill Abel because Adam and Eve incorrectly disciplined him? No, he was jealous that God favored Abel’s sacrifice over his. Thus, the first murder, and so on. Everyone has a “garden of Eden” experience, where we are presented with the choice between this way and that way. God spoke to Cain about how evil was at the door of his heart and he was to conquer it or it would conquer him. He gave in to it and killed his brother.

    As per your secondary comment about what is reinforced for children as they grow up, on a lighter note, I remember hearing Anthony Campolo speak of a professor who pushed the idea of parents struggling with their kids to learn how to sit on the potty and do #2. Well, this professor goes on to say that with all of the emphasis and pressure on the kids about “what and where to do it’, and “sit there till something happens”. The professor builds up to crescendo, as he then asks; “I ask you, what does the child learn in their life about what they have been so focused on producing…it is the gift. What then does the child learn about this gift it has produced on behalf of society, it learns that what it has produced for society…. gets flushed.

    Anyway, for every incorrect way a father or parents may raise their kids, doing the best they know how, if in fact they have done their best, God spoke to me about this once in my youth. He being the perfect heavenly Father, who knows very well how to discipline His children, still has those who fail and mess up within His fold. So people go wrong because of choices they make, actions they take, wrong thinking that leads to wrong actions…no matter who the parents were and how well or not well they disciplined them.

    Well, I’ve probably gone way too long on this. I just want to say, that your son probably has a tender heart and doesn’t require heavier discipline, and God bless you for the gift he’s given to you in your son. I leave you with this from Psalms 127:3-5

    Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
    As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
    Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate. Amplified Bible
    And of course, that favorite verse found in Proverbs 13:24
    “He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.” Amplified Bible

    I understand and do love you brother.
    Daniel Mendez

  73. People who quote the Bible to justify hitting other people are ignoring everything that we have learned about child development and parenting since the time of Solomon. Besides, Why would anyone take parenting advice from solomon: He got pleasure from the torture of people. Besides, according to many Christians, the suggested law of the old testiment no longer needs to be upheld. This is why we frown upon the stoning of people and why we can eat pork. So why do the same Christians advocate spanking? I’ll tell you why. It is because they are obsessed with control. (Like James Dobson, and other’s like him ) Obviously, they have a problem, but can’t fathom the reality of their problem. There is nothing loving about hitting or causing someone else to have pain. From, Liam_Turley@hotmail.com

  74. People who quote the Bible to justify hitting other people are ignoring everything that we have learned about child development and parenting since the time of Solomon. Besides, Why would anyone take parenting advice from solomon: He got pleasure from the torture of people. Besides, according to many Christians, the suggested law of the old testiment no longer needs to be upheld. This is why we frown upon the stoning of people and why we can eat pork. So why do the same Christians advocate spanking? I’ll tell you why. It is because they are obsessed with control. (Like James Dobson, and other’s like him ) Obviously, they have a problem, but can’t fathom the reality of their problem. There is nothing loving about hitting or causing someone else to have pain.
    From, Liam_Turley@hotmail.com

  75. Hey, I just read your article. You make a good point, however you also appear to have only one child. You may find that your next child is nothing like Caden.

    My older sister, younger brother and I were disciplined growing up. While our parents definately weren’t adversed to spanking us, they did try to attain the desired behavior without spanking. My younger brother and I were the types of children who simply knowing we had disappointed our parents was more of a punishment to us than grounding us or spanking….him moreso than I. I remember when he was about 3 or so, he just wouldn’t stay in bed even though it was quite late….both of us have ADHD and bedtime has always been a bit of a struggle. Anyway our mom told him very calmly “you need to stay in this bed for the rest of the night. Don’t get out of bed again until morning.” The next morning he had wet the bed and Mom asked him “didn’t you know you had to go potty” since he was potty trained by then and usually was good at getting up to go at night if needed, and he very innocently said “yes, but you told me not to get out of bed again until morning.” There had been no threat of punishment….no yelling, and no fear on my brother’s part. Simply a child wanting to obey, but a bit confused about what the instructions meant (he’s in his 20’s now and still has a tendency to take everyting someone says litterally).

    I wasn’t quite as quick to want to obey, but I did come along. One thing my dad did do was to always make sure that we understood exactly why we couldn’t do something, or why something needed to be done. If it was a bad program on TV, he would say to turn it off, but once it was off, he’d make sure that we understood why that program wasn’t allowed. That went a long way with me as a child, but I still felt the effect of his belt a few times, but those were my fault as my dad only ever spanked any of us for three things: 1) Lying. There was no warning with this one. 2) Deliberate disobediance (when we knew what we were to do and CHOSE not to do it) 3) repeat offenses after we’ve been told what we should do, and why.

    Our older sister was nothing like us, she continued to be spanked up until she was 16 (mostly for repeat offenses and deliberate disobediance)and finally decided to try things our parent’s way.

    I think my last spanking was probably delieverd sometime when I was 8 or 9, and my brother…..I don’t think he’s been spanked since he was 4 or so. This wasn’t the result of our parents changing the rules or how they responded to us…but it was the result of us children and how we responded to the rules and to our dad talking to us about the rules. A friend of mine often jokes that my brother and I probably watched what happened with our sister and made up our minds that we weren’t going to be put in that position.

    Also my dad was never abusive with spanking. They were always done in our bedrooms so there was privacy. And prior to every spanking, dad would talk with us, remind us why we were being spanked, and offer us the chance to offer any explanation that we thought might change his mind about the punishment (I actually succeeded at this once, and only once when I was late comming home. As it wasn’t the first time, I was going to be spanked, but I told my dad [the truth] that the chain on my bike had broken and I had to walk home rather than ride my bike, thus it took longer. There was no punishment, just a really short talk about perhaps I didn’t want to cut my timming quite that close in the future).

    As for me, when I have kids I will do what works for them. In my own family growing up I have seen that not every kid NEEDS to be spanked to be compliant with the rules….and not every kid will respond to only talking / using logic…and some are right in the middle, wanting to do good, but not able to resist doing wrong without a “reminder”. So I can’t say that I’ll absolutely never spank my children, and I can’t say that spanking is the only right form of discipline.

  76. Hey, I just read your article. You make a good point, however you also appear to have only one child. You may find that your next child is nothing like Caden.

    My older sister, younger brother and I were disciplined growing up. While our parents definately weren’t adversed to spanking us, they did try to attain the desired behavior without spanking. My younger brother and I were the types of children who simply knowing we had disappointed our parents was more of a punishment to us than grounding us or spanking….him moreso than I. I remember when he was about 3 or so, he just wouldn’t stay in bed even though it was quite late….both of us have ADHD and bedtime has always been a bit of a struggle. Anyway our mom told him very calmly “you need to stay in this bed for the rest of the night. Don’t get out of bed again until morning.” The next morning he had wet the bed and Mom asked him “didn’t you know you had to go potty” since he was potty trained by then and usually was good at getting up to go at night if needed, and he very innocently said “yes, but you told me not to get out of bed again until morning.” There had been no threat of punishment….no yelling, and no fear on my brother’s part. Simply a child wanting to obey, but a bit confused about what the instructions meant (he’s in his 20’s now and still has a tendency to take everyting someone says litterally).

    I wasn’t quite as quick to want to obey, but I did come along. One thing my dad did do was to always make sure that we understood exactly why we couldn’t do something, or why something needed to be done. If it was a bad program on TV, he would say to turn it off, but once it was off, he’d make sure that we understood why that program wasn’t allowed. That went a long way with me as a child, but I still felt the effect of his belt a few times, but those were my fault as my dad only ever spanked any of us for three things: 1) Lying. There was no warning with this one. 2) Deliberate disobediance (when we knew what we were to do and CHOSE not to do it) 3) repeat offenses after we’ve been told what we should do, and why.

    Our older sister was nothing like us, she continued to be spanked up until she was 16 (mostly for repeat offenses and deliberate disobediance)and finally decided to try things our parent’s way.

    I think my last spanking was probably delieverd sometime when I was 8 or 9, and my brother…..I don’t think he’s been spanked since he was 4 or so. This wasn’t the result of our parents changing the rules or how they responded to us…but it was the result of us children and how we responded to the rules and to our dad talking to us about the rules. A friend of mine often jokes that my brother and I probably watched what happened with our sister and made up our minds that we weren’t going to be put in that position.

    Also my dad was never abusive with spanking. They were always done in our bedrooms so there was privacy. And prior to every spanking, dad would talk with us, remind us why we were being spanked, and offer us the chance to offer any explanation that we thought might change his mind about the punishment (I actually succeeded at this once, and only once when I was late comming home. As it wasn’t the first time, I was going to be spanked, but I told my dad [the truth] that the chain on my bike had broken and I had to walk home rather than ride my bike, thus it took longer. There was no punishment, just a really short talk about perhaps I didn’t want to cut my timming quite that close in the future).

    As for me, when I have kids I will do what works for them. In my own family growing up I have seen that not every kid NEEDS to be spanked to be compliant with the rules….and not every kid will respond to only talking / using logic…and some are right in the middle, wanting to do good, but not able to resist doing wrong without a “reminder”. So I can’t say that I’ll absolutely never spank my children, and I can’t say that spanking is the only right form of discipline.

  77. It’s great that your son is so well behaved. However, it doesn’t mean that your way of raising him is right for every child. Children are different and they require different types of corrections. For some a spanking is needed to get the point across. I was a child that, like your son, wanted to please adults. If they asked me to do something, I’d do it. My brother was the opposite. He needed tough love. He didn’t have much self control or desire to please and got into every kind of trouble. In retrospect he has told my parents that they weren’t hard enough on him. For some children, pleasing adults simply isn’t enough motivation. Don’t generalize from one case what is best for every child.

  78. It’s great that your son is so well behaved. However, it doesn’t mean that your way of raising him is right for every child. Children are different and they require different types of corrections. For some a spanking is needed to get the point across. I was a child that, like your son, wanted to please adults. If they asked me to do something, I’d do it. My brother was the opposite. He needed tough love. He didn’t have much self control or desire to please and got into every kind of trouble. In retrospect he has told my parents that they weren’t hard enough on him. For some children, pleasing adults simply isn’t enough motivation. Don’t generalize from one case what is best for every child.

  79. A second comment…. why is it that these days people are so highly opposed to *physical* corrections, when a psychological one can be as bad or worse? To explain what I mean, let me give an example. My friend Brian hangs out with a group of people that includes a married couple, John and Sue. John treats Sue horribly. We were on a hike and she was having breathing problems. John said, “she’s fine”, told her to stop slowing every done and turned his back on her. John will insult and belittle her. I asked Brian, have you ever talked to John about the way he treats Sue? He said no. I said, if John hit Sue, would you do something? Oh, of course, he said. My point is, there is nothing wrong with physical corrections per se. A spanking might be less painful than no internet access for a week. The question to ask is whether it’s a matter of correcting the child’s bad behavior or is the child being abused. A parent can spank or use the strap without being abusive. And a parent can be very abusive without ever laying a hand on the child.

  80. A second comment…. why is it that these days people are so highly opposed to *physical* corrections, when a psychological one can be as bad or worse? To explain what I mean, let me give an example. My friend Brian hangs out with a group of people that includes a married couple, John and Sue. John treats Sue horribly. We were on a hike and she was having breathing problems. John said, “she’s fine”, told her to stop slowing every done and turned his back on her. John will insult and belittle her. I asked Brian, have you ever talked to John about the way he treats Sue? He said no. I said, if John hit Sue, would you do something? Oh, of course, he said. My point is, there is nothing wrong with physical corrections per se. A spanking might be less painful than no internet access for a week. The question to ask is whether it’s a matter of correcting the child’s bad behavior or is the child being abused. A parent can spank or use the strap without being abusive. And a parent can be very abusive without ever laying a hand on the child.

  81. All parents that spank thier children are child beaters. All child beaters deserve the death penalty.

  82. All parents that spank thier children are child beaters. All child beaters deserve the death penalty.

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