Spare The Rod Again

Q. I am a Christian who didn’t spank my children. Having grown up in a non-Christian home where I was painfully hit daily, I found the concept of honoring father and mother very difficult when I became a Christian, and resolved that I would not set that difficulty in the way of my own children.

It was hard to swim against the tide of what most Christians take for granted, especially as I believe that every word of God is true, but I also felt that since I was able to reason with my children so that they didn’t rebel then I was not under obligation to correct them physically. I have never had cause to regret my stance but always wondered if I had ‘spoiled’ them or done the wrong thing biblically, until I read your article. Thank you so much.

A. My father, a Christian, was also a strong believer in corporal punishment, to the extent that it destroyed our relationship. To this day, while I forgot the reason for them long ago, I still remember the beatings. All of his children left home at their very first opportunity, three of us before finishing high school.

I have 5 children, three of them grown and on their own. None of them ever have been or ever will be spanked. All are believers and the three adults either have or are now serving the Lord as missionaries, church leaders, or care givers.

They say that a child develops the same view of God that he has of his earthly father. That was certainly true for me. It’s taken me many years to trust God not to punish me arbitrarily, and to really believe that He made peace with me at the cross.

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