The “Rod of Discipline”
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
You may be unsure about the notion of spanking your kids. You’ve heard the argument—spanking will turn your child into a violent, aggressive adult. We believe otherwise. An occasional dose of minor pain is one of nature’s teachers. A child who touches a hot stove will only make this mistake once. Likewise a judicious, controlled spanking, when motivated by love and applied properly, is in keeping with the principles of Scripture (see Proverbs 23:14).
There are many conditions to proper use of spanking, though. Reserve it for moments of willful defiance only. Never spank when you are out of control. Never spank a child who is less than fifteen to eigh-teen months or over twelve years; spanking should taper off after age five. Spank only on the bottom (never slap a child’s face or jerk his arm, which can cause serious injury). Make spanking an infrequent practice, not a regular event. Remember that corporal punishment is a tool for teaching—not for venting anger or frustration.
We most certainly do not advocate indiscriminate paddling of your children. Child abuse is a national tragedy! Yet there are times when a short session over a bent knee—applied with care, wisdom, and a sensible explanation—will benefit your child. After all, it is scriptural.
Before you say good night…
Lord, we want to be loving and effective with our discipline at home. When our children are defiant, calm our anger, heal our hurt spirits, give us wisdom, and let our actions bring us closer to each other and to You. Amen.
Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at OnePlace.com. For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Most people consider being a mom to be an amazing privilege—and it is! But just as often, it's perhaps the toughest job on the planet! Which is why all moms deserve our appreciation and respect. And so, just for moms, we've created a new 5-minute "Empowering Moms Series" to provide practical parenting advice packed with timeless Scriptural truths, and a prayer to encourage, renew and inspire you—and your family—every day. Sign up now!