As I was getting around this morning a thought came to mind. Im not sure why. My own children are grown and my step daughters I would never dream of spanking anyway, but my mind was drawn back to a day when I witnessed my oldest son getting a spanking. I remember how it broke my heart then and how much it still broke my heart today. Of course, I gave plenty of spankings in my time and received my fair share as well.
Another thought that came to mind was my sister in law at that time told me that it just didnt feel right when she spanked her kids. I didnt tell her then but I agreed with her.
But like so many like to do I would quote “spare the rod, spoil the child” from Proverbs. At the time I took that as permission to spank my children as I see fit.
This is not a post about not spanking your kids, but a reflection of what that verse actually means. The Spirit revealed to me how a rod is used by a shepard.
It is not used to beat sheep into submission. It isnt raised at them during anger. It is used to prod sheep back into the fold. Back into the path of safety. In many verses of the Bible we can compare a rod to God’s word. When God’s word is not kept from a child, but they are immersed in it then it directs them in the way they shall go, and as they grow they will not depart from it.
Another use for the rod is to beat away a predator. Again, God’s word can be used in this instance as well. His word is the truth that beats away the lies and schemes of the enemy that is meant to destroy us.
There are times when a stubborn sheep may need more forceful prodding, this is true. But I feel like what doesnt feel right about a foreful “prodding” or spanking is the emotion behind it. I am sure that a loving shepard would not want to raise his rod in anger towards his sheep. I know God certainly doesnt raise an angry hand at us. Jesus came to take that wrath so that whoever believes will never feel the wrath of God for our sinful nature. Once we become a sheep to the Great Shepard then we can rest in His love knowing we will never feel His anger even when we need some forecful prodding. That was always the plan of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
So, there it is. If we are protected from God’s wrath then shouldnt our kids be protected from ours? Even when a little forceful prodding is needed, shouldnt they be protected from our anger?
Are we perfect parents? By no means. But using that verse to discipline kids in anger is not justified whether it is physical punishment or verbal. And I think that is where it “doesnt feel right” to a loving parent.
Is spanking abuse? I wouldnt say that, but what I will say….spanking while angry and letting your child feel that anger in every swing or even in your words is not the same rod God uses with us.