Oh the joy of having someone tell you that your parenting skills are controversial. It has been a challenge for me, some days I was able to gracefully handle the concern, and other times, I just walked away without a word, fearing the angry words that would come out of my mouth. I think it is just one of those things we, as parents, will encounter as we raise our children.
I recently submitted a quote from my three-year old son, Zeek, to a parenting magazine for the “Funniest Quotes by Kids Ever” section. (The quote is located on the bottom of this article. Wait! Don’t look now, entertain this thought first.) It was about something he said right before I had to discipline him with a spanking. Ohh, there it is, the dreaded word, spanking. Yes, I spank my kids. I love them so much that I administer painful swats on their bottoms to remind them of the consequences of wrong choices. Some call me cruel, one lady at the supermarket called me out on child abuse, and one of my parents, who spanked me as a child, calls it mean. I was contacted by the editor, saying that this form of discipline was too controversial for their audience, and they could not submit it. Are we as Christian parents controversial for spanking our kids? Absolutely! How can we, as Christian parents stand up for this type of discipline, and protect our choice to do so?
We must acknowledge that our choice to spank is not cruel, it is Biblical.
As Christians, we are called to live our lives by the Word. We have been given this Heavenly wisdom, and should use it while raising Godly children.
Proverbs 29:15 states, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”
Proverbs 13:24 explains, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”
The passages in Proverbs 22:15, 23:13 &14, also instruct us on using this form of discipline as well.
We must exercise discipline in ourselves when we rebuke our children.
To lovingly and correctly rebuke a child, we must be able to discipline ourselves first. We must strive for Godly wisdom in parenting, and always practice patience and self control in all aspects of our parenting, especially when spanking. We must imitate our Father’s own grace and compassion with us, to our children.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.” Psalm 145:8
We must not conform to the worldly views on discipline.
The world now holds spanking children as a cruel and unusual punishment. Most people think that children should be free to experience life however they want to live it, and that parents should let them have this freedom. As Christians, we have freedom in Christ, but we were also bought at a price. We are instructed on how we are to behave in the world and our children should be taught in this same manner to prepare them for their own Christian walk.
Romans 12:2 reminds us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
We must have faith in our instructions on rearing children
I do not like spanking my kids. I cringe every time I have to do it, and sometimes, I give them one too many chances than I should to pry my way out of having to discipline them. I believe this is where our faith in the Lord and His promises must come in. We are told that if we live by the Word, we will survive this world, and be with Him someday in Heaven. This faith in that promise gets me through the days when it feels as if all I do is spank. I have faith that the discipline is working, because God says that it will.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23:14
By living as a Godly example for our children, we are told that we will be able to deliver them from darkness. Our All-Knowing Father loves us enough to discipline and correct us, and we must give this same kind of love back to our children. We must not feel ashamed for the discipline we give, and we must not conform to the world in this matter. Our children’s souls are at stake when we toy with worldly views on parenting. It is my prayer that we all continue on this blessed journey of parenting with Godly wisdom and instruction to carry us through.
I sent my three year old son, Zeek, to his room to await the spanking he was about to receive. As I entered the room, I asked him if he was ready for his spanking. He innocently replied, “Oh yeah Mom, give me just a second!” He dug into his toy box and retrieved an army helmet, placed it on his head, fastened the chin strap and bravely said, “Ok Mom, let’s do this!” (and yes, I still spanked him, because I love him that much)
By Ashley Hudson
Ashley Hudson is a stay-at-home-mom with three children ages 9, 5, and 3. She and her family worship at the 7th and Beech Church of Christ in Durant, Oklahoma. Her husband, Jake, is the Campus Minister for the Student Bible Center at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Be sure to check out her blog at www.hudson-five.wordpress.com