Friday, August 4, 2023


Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The question inevitably comes up from parents who love their children and wonder how spanking can be helpful and beneficial for the children.  Why would a loving parent inflict pain to the children?  Won’t this hurt and harm them?  Won’t they become abusive when they grow older or view spanking as abuse that they have received?  What if someone had a very bad experience growing up with spanking from angry parents who angrily disciplined?  Many questions such as these often arise.  

At this point, I must clearly affirm the reality that God’s Word must remain the authority for Godly fathers and mothers.  Past experiences, however good or bad they may have been, cannot sway how we view or interpret God’s Word or whether we choose to obey what God calls us to. Our own feelings in the moment of what we think is or is not best for our children should be subservient to the clear and authoritative Word of God on every issue — including spanking.

So, why does God command parents who love their children to spank them?

First, parents must spank their children out of obedience to God. The parental act of spanking disobedient children begins with the heart of the parent that resolves to walk in obedience to God and in submission to His Word. God calls parents to obey even when it is hard. And when a parent knows that the child has sinned against God, must be reproved by Scripture, must be warned of sinful actions, and summoned to trust in Christ alone and he still chooses to spank the child, he is walking in obedience to God and His Word.  

Second, parents must spank their children to rescue their souls from death. Parents must spank the children and “rescue his soul from death” (Proverbs 23:14). Ultimately, spanking is a “rescue mission.” It is an act of diligent faith in God in prayerful hopes that God will rescue the child from sin, from himself, and from hell.

Third, parents must spank their children out of trust in God. Believers walk by faith, not by sight. Godly parents know that even when culture ridicules such actions and scathes such discipline as being “hurtful” and “harmful,” the Christian knows that true joy and blessing comes in walking obediently to God. Proverbs 29:15 says that the rod and reproof give wisdom. Part of implementing the rod is trusting that with proper instruction, reproof, and gospel warnings and invitations, it will give wisdom to the child.

Fourth, parents must spank their children in order to teach obedience. Young people are automatically hard-wired to be lovers of self. Children are “selfoholics.”  It is the rod which God has designed to show the error and folly of self-love, self-autonomy, and self-independence. From the youngest of ages, boys and girls must learn to obey authority. And God Himself is the ultimate authority. Spanking teaches the children the folly of rejecting God’s authority for them in their lives (e.g., a parent, etc.) and instead choosing to follow their own hearts. Parents must seek to also teach their children to be good citizens in society. To do this, children must learn to obey authority and submit under those whom God has placed over them.

These are just a few reasons why it is so important and vital for parents to obey God and discipline sinning, young children with the rod.

Tomorrow's topic:  The WHAT of spanking (what do you do?)

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