Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Geoffrey R. Kirkland



Prov. 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;  The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Prov. 23:13-14  Do not hold back discipline from the child,  Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.  You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol.

Prov. 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son,  But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

God commands parents to obey Him in the training and disciplining of young children. The Scriptures provide the reliable and understandable guide for parents to deal with the sin of little boys and girls. Contrary to the thinking of secularists today, and even many in the church, spanking does not hurt, harm, or abuse a child, when the parents execute it biblically, humbly, consistently, and lovingly.

Spanking does not harm or destroy children. It does not set them up for a life of abuse or self-harm. Rather, God declares in His Word that spanking with “the rod” is necessary for all young children who sin and expose the folly that exists in their hearts.

Why must parents spank their children?

First, spanking obeys God.   God clearly spells out how parents must deal with the sin of their children. When children expose the foolishness that resides in their hearts (their rebellion against God and their love for themselves and their self-perceived autonomy), God commands parents to utilize the rod in the childrearing. Quite simply, spanking children begins with the act of obedience on the part of the parents to God. Will the parent honor and fear and choose to obey God in the discipline of their children even when it seems undesirable, unpleasant, and even when the child seems to respond negatively to the spanking?  Parents must fear the Lord and obey Him even in this area of the raising of children.

Second, spanking teaches children.   Spanking associates sin with pain. And it should be this way. If a person sins, there is a consequence. Eternally and ultimately, if a person continues in the state of unbelief and rebellion, he will experience eternal and ultimate pain from God Himself in the eternal torment of hell. Spanking is a ‘school of instruction’ to reinforce the reality that sin always hurts, it always harms, it always has adverse affects. Spanking proves to allow parents (led by fathers) to instruct the children regularly by exposing the folly of their hearts, the horrors of sin, the loveliness of Christ, the need and availability of grace, and the call to trust Christ!

Third, spanking warns children.  Spanking is a rescue mission.  Proverbs 23:14 says that spanking is a rescue mission to deliver a child’s soul from Sheol. What greater reason could God give for the need and importance of implementing the rod?  Believing parents who obey God spank their children to warn them of the disastrous effects of sin, a tragic life that goes on indulging sin, and the eternal consequences of those who die in the condition of unbelief. Spanking brings pain when the act is executed but it pales in comparison with the pains of hell. Spanking gives the parent a wide-open door to evangelize the child, even from the youngest of ages, and lovingly warn the child of the wages of sin and the need to humbly receive God’s grace in Christ.

Fourth, spanking preaches grace.   Spanking does proclaim the wonder of grace. The soul that sins will die. And yet when a child sins and does not die, he has received grace (immeasurable grace!). The parent spanks the child and gathers that child in his arms and prays with him and faithfully and passionately declares the sweet love and mercy of God that is available in Christ who came as the substitute to take the eternal “discipline” from the Father because of the sins of His people. Think of the wonder of grace! Think of the gospel opportunity this provides.

Forthcoming Posts:
We will turn to some specific areas of spanking to provide much-needed clarity.  We will observe
The IMPORTANCE of spanking
The WHEN of spanking
The WHY of spanking
The WHAT of spanking
The HOW of spanking
The PARENT in spanking


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