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Before You Spank a Child

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
There are certain preliminary steps that parents should take before they spank their children.


Family Counseling Ministries -

Have you ever found yourself involved in a discussion where you happened to mention the word “spanking,” and suddenly you got the E.F. Hutton response—everyone stopped their conversations and stared at you as if you had two heads?

 

It seems that no matter how articulate or persuasive we may be in our reasons for employing physical discipline, most people perceive us as a throwback to some uncivilized age.

 

One of the reasons that many people react so negatively to the proposition of spanking a child is because they have seldom (if ever) seen it done properly. They have generally witnessed spankings that were administered as a last resort, when the parent was frustrated, tired, embarrassed, angry or even in a fit of rage.

Many parents who have never witnessed a biblically administered spanking react negatively to the prospect of spanking children. They conclude that physical punishment is an outdated, inferior, and even abusive form of discipline. In the 5th installment of a 20-part series on child discipline, Dr. Don Dunlap examines the preliminary steps that God requires us to follow before we spank a disobedient child.

Have you ever found yourself involved in a discussion where you happened to mention the word “spanking,” and suddenly you got the E.F. Hutton response—everyone stopped their conversations and stared at you as if you had two heads?

 

It seems that no matter how articulate or persuasive we may be in our reasons for employing physical discipline, most people perceive us as a throwback to some uncivilized age.

 

One of the reasons that many people react so negatively to the proposition of spanking a child is because they have seldom (if ever) seen it done properly. They have generally witnessed spankings that were administered as a last resort, when the parent was frustrated, tired, embarrassed, angry or even in a fit of rage.

Perhaps they were victims of physical abuse themselves when they were children. They recoil at the thought of putting their own children through what they perceive to be similar cruelty.

Most people today believe that spanking a disobedient child is tantamount to abuse.

They conclude, therefore, that spanking children is an outdated, inferior form of discipline. They view it as a method that controlling, unenlightened, and uncreative people employ because they cannot think of more innovative ways to handle disciplinary problems. They claim, furthermore, that spanking will teach a child that physical aggression is the correct way to handle conflict. They disparage people who insist upon “resorting” to corporal punishment. They claim instead, that if we truly love our children we will not inflict physical pain upon them.

God says we hate our children when we refuse to discipline them biblically.

 

We find an interesting and sobering truth, however, in Proverbs 13:24. God says that we actually hate our children if we refuse to employ physical punishment as a means of disciplining them.

 

Although we, of course, do not harbor feelings of hatred toward our children, our unwillingness to biblically discipline them is scripturally equivalent to hating them, in God’s sight.

There are certain preliminary steps that parents should take before they spank their children.

Many parents are interested in knowing how to discipline children in a biblical manner. First, they must effectively communicate to their children the fact that they are not the final authorities in their children’s lives. God is.

Many people today believe the popular notion that getting out from under the restraints of authority results in personal freedom.

Rebelling against authority does not result in freedom for any child of God.

Mothers and fathers should help sons and daughters understand that this deceptive philosophy actually leads to destruction. Parents must teach their children the foundational scriptural truth that God instructs all men, women and children to be under authority at all times. We achieve true freedom when we willingly submit ourselves to God-ordained authority.

 

 






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