The number of Christian parents who discipline their children using humiliation, shaming, domination, and even violence is alarming! As a Christian mom, I am horrified by deaths of several children who were murdered by their own parents all in the name of (so-called) Biblical discipline.
Yes, there are a few verses in the Bible that do mention the use of a rod for disciplining children. Proverbs 23:13, for example, says- "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die."
Is this verse intended to be interpreted literally? Are Christian parents literally commanded to beat their children into submission with sticks? I think not! Sadly, the parents of Sean Paddock, Lydia Schatz, and Hana Williams did take that verse literally and with tragic results! These precious children were murdered by their very own parents!
It greatly distresses me that some Christian parents really believe that they are commanded by God to hit their children at all, let alone with sticks. Although I personally do not condone spanking of any kind, I understand that some parents may choose to give their children a light swat on the bottom to encourage obedience, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the cold-hearted, calculated, and repeated use of a hard object for smacking a child across the bottom or other body part until the child's will is broken. Who in their right mind wants to break their child's will anyway?
Discipline does not have to be physical. The definition of discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. Being an advocate for positive, peaceful disciplinary methods I prefer avoiding the use of even punishments when teaching children to behave.
Jesus did not brow beat, humiliate, or hit the people He disciplined. He used stories and parables to teach new Christians how to behave. Jesus was gentle, loving, kind, and respectful. Christian parents, if you want to be more like Jesus then peaceful, gentle, positive, non-violent parenting is a must-in my humble opinion!
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