Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Rod of Correction (A Rant from Jason)

News of legislation in the works in California that would prohibit parents from spanking their children has recently reached my ears. While on the surface, to some, it may seem to have some merit, the facts are that it is absolutely preposterous and anti-biblical. The Bible says:

Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

No one in their right mind would say it is a good idea to raise a fool, the problem is that is exactly what this proposed bill is doing. Indeed they defend themselves by saying, "well its only for children three years old and younger". Here is the problem, the later on you wait in a childs’ life to discipline them, the harder it will be to teach them right from wrong. Allow me to explain:

Proverbs 13:24
He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Now lets break this verse down a little, quickly, the rod spoken of here, the Hebrew word shebet, is a tool for instruction, not a weapon to brutally beat a child, as the liberals around the world would lead us to believe. The word chasteneth, “muwcar” in the Hebrew, means to instruct or discipline. The word Betimes, “shachar” in the Hebrew, means to do something early or diligently. So the point is not to inflict vast amounts of pain upon a child, the point is to instruct. I hear the cries now, "but there are better ways to discipline a child than to spank it". Really? You can talk to a small child until you are blue in the face and if they want to do something they are going to do it, the young mind is not advanced enough to understand the nuances of words and what they really mean. What a child’s young mind can comprehend is actions, "if I do this I got spanked, I didn’t like being spanked, I better not do that again." Trying to reason with a young child probably sounds to them like Charlie Browns school teacher does to us, jibber jabber.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Train up, as in do so while the child is young, do it "betimes" or diligently while the child is young, that way the child need only make simple mistakes. If a child is not instructed at an early age, the mistakes they make will get proportionally worse for every year older they get. Want to know why teen pregnancy is such an issue? No instruction at an early age. Want to know why teen drug use is so high? No “training up” in the way they should go. I could go on and list many more, the point is that a child must be instructed while they are still young enough to receive instruction.

Proverbs 23:13
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beat him with the rod, he shall not die.

The reason this is important:

Proverbs 5:23
He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

You see its real simple, none of us like taking instruction, its in our sinful human nature to be left to ourselves, the greatest thing we can do for our children, is train them to receive instruction.

Proverbs 15:32
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

No we don’t beat our children as hard as we can, a full grown man should never hit a child with all his strength, and we should never take pleasure it having to spank our children. The ultimate goal I believe is to make our children understand that when we punish them that we are disappointed with their actions, thereby training them to avoid disappointing their parents the next time. Indeed there comes a time in every child’s life when the rod of correction ceases to carry much weight, the point by then is that the child is supposed to be mature enough, or well instructed enough so that the rod is no longer needed, visa vie they will not go astray.

One other important thing to remember is that when we use the "rod" on our children we are teaching them the need to be in subjection to our authority as parents and this has biblical application in that they learn the necessity of subjection. As we must all be in subjection to our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 23:14
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliever his soul from hell.

A child that understands the importance of instruction and subjection, is a child that will not only recognize there need for salvation, but will have the wisdom to see that it comes from Christ alone. In closing always remember this:

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


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