Since that time, I have found a few others who can answer way better than I can.
I came across the book from Clay Clarkson called "Heartfelt Discipline". Clay is a dedicated man of the Word and husband to Sally Clarkson who has written several books on motherhood.
I have also read Samuel Martin's book "They Rod and They Staff They Comfort Me"
and a few other bloggers along the way. :)
So here goes:
The first verse is:
Do not withhold ndiscipline from a child;
oif you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will psave his soul from Sheol.
Well, it is not true that if you strike him with a rod he will not die if your name is Lydia Schatz, Hana Williams, Sean Paddock or any number of other children who have been struck with rods. It is also not true that you can beat a child and save his soul! The only saving of the soul comes from the MERCY AND GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ through HIS sacrificial death on the cross for the remission of sin! So this verse must have a different meaning than what is read at face value.
Samuel Martin covers this VERY WELL in his book. The Word Sheol means grave. (correct me Samuel if I am wrong here) It does NOT mean HELL as we would think.
What the verses are saying is DISCIPLINE (TEACH) your son right from wrong and you will save him from his own foolishness and early death!
The other word "CHILD" in the original language is NOT a little CHILD! It is a YOUNG MAN between 16 and 26.
Proverbs was written to young men.
The other verse: Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but nthe rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Again, NAAR is the original word. It is a YOUNG MAN.... though our children can also be full of folly. Here, the ROD of Discipline is being used figuratively. Discipline IS the Rod. Correction IS the rod.
Discipline, to come along side, teach, instruct IS a rod!
I will not argue that scripture has no place for corporal punishment. It does. But I would truly ask that all these scriptures (the rod verses in Proverbs) be applied with the WHOLE counsel of the word of God... not just a few verses separated out.
If these verses are to be used literally.... then my next question would be, why are we not stoning still? Scripture certainly, CLEARLY states it!
Eli, refused to discipline His sons and they were punished directly by God. He ended their lives, and Eli's line. God waited over 40 YEARS for Eli to discipline his sons. He did nothing. He didn't tell them they were wrong for offering profane fire before the Lord or any number of other things they were doing. God spoke to him and told him he would judge them and Eli did nothing still.
THIS is an example of what scripture says "He who doesn't discipline his son hates his son."Eli did not instruct his own sons. Note also how OLD they were!
I would like to end with a link to Dulce De Leche's blog. She wrote an EXCELLENT POST called "A good old fashioned stoning!"