Should we smack children…just one view!

Proverbs 13:24 he who spares the rod hates his son.

The discussion seems to be focussing on why we actually smack children, rather than discipline them. I would agree, yes we need to discipline children otherwise they have no moral compass. The question of using deliberate physical force is one that people have discussed for years. I doubt that in one twitter conversation we will ever reach agreement. My understanding is that the OT teaching has been superseded by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The old order has gone, he instructs us to love as he loves. Matthew 22:39. He surely includes children. However, the Old Testament believes physically chastising your children is a mark of love. So we are still at an impasse.

The wisdom that is referred to is of Solomon but the period is Deuteronomic. There is a general understanding that one has to fear The Lord, but there is little awareness of the power of love. These wisdom books that make up Proverbs date to the Hellenistic era, focussing on courtly ruling or priestly officials rather than on the spiritual journey an individual makes with Jesus Christ, once you have accepted him into your heart, through the Holy Spirit. Further more NT teaching over ride this out dated understanding of disciplining by stating that whatever we have done to the least of God’s children we have done to him. I personally do not want to explain that I smacked my children when I had no need to, simply because I thought I had to keep an outdated Old Testament ruling that has been overridden by the New Covenant of Jesus’ death and instructions.

We have a rule in our house. No one hits anyone. We do not hit our children and our children have learned, by our model and actions that they do not hit others. I would like to know from families that do use physical punishment, how they explain that although the parents can smack, the children are not allowed to. How can that ever be good parenting in this enlightened time.

I agree that Solomon was the wisest of men, but I think there would be an outcry if a judge decided a custody battle by slicing a child in half. I do not call myself a liberal. I believe in the truth of the Bible, and in doing so I ask that if Solomon was here today, what wisdom would he use? What instructions for people who seem overcome with acquiring physical wealth and asserting themselves at the expense of allowing the Holy Spirit to take charge? Would he attempt to show people how to deal with others in a spirit of love and careful instruction, as our Lord did?


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I have been teaching English for 20 years. HOD. T and L. Runner.

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