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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is Spanking Necessary?

I try not to enter into controversy, I think.... most of the time, but I came across an article that has disturbed me greatly.  The REASON I am going to blog about it, is NOT to say somebody should be in jail or on trial, as I do not wish to pass that sort of judgment. 
I don't have enough of the details and the courts will make that decision.

A Bible Church Pastor is on trial, as well as several in his congregation, for inciting child abuse (for the pastor) and actual child abuse for the parents.... Folks, we are talking about babies as young as 2 MONTHS old, being struck with a dowel rod on a bare bottom.   THAT IS CHILD ABUSE.
(I will declare that openly and without doubt)

The sad part is,  I was raised and TAUGHT from the pulpit, the Striking Verses from Proverbs.  I remember sermon after sermon, yet the interpretation of those scriptures didn't sit right with me.  Something just seemed so wrong with it.
 James Dobson made everything "funny" talking about beating his stubborn dog with a belt, back in the 1970's.  I remember seeing a video and everybody laughing about it. 
James Dobson came upon the parenting scene like a huge wave, after the 1960's Love Revolution and Rebellion, and protests of the VietNam war.  We were deemed a nation of Rebellious children raised on Doctor Spock the liberal nemesis.
Dobson encouraged people to "DARE to Discipline," physically punish, their children.  And many LOVED his teaching, thinking that this would produce loving, obedient children who would be willing to blindly follow their parents every order, and go to war too.

And not to be too hard on Dobson, I think his intentions were good.  He just bases his entire conclusion on false teaching and on a false premise.
He believes that DISCIPLINE = PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT.... and don't forget he is NOT a theologian but a Psychologist!  The very people who LOVE his ideas, tend to SLAM psychology.... That has always perplexed me. 
Dobson thinks that if you SPANK your children regularly and consistently from the very first time they begin to disobey, (birth?, 9 months?  12 months?  when ??? and what is that based upon?)  then, by the time they are 5, you won't have to do it that much.   That sounds very similar to the Pearls.
Dobson also believes that most of a child's future development in personality and nature happens within the first 5 years of life, so if you don't get them under control by FIVE, well, it is pretty much going to be difficult and awful.  UMMMMM... FALSE AGAIN!  There is not one scripture to back this up.

I remember being TAUGHT this, and was very frightened by the entire thing.  You know why I was frightened?  Because these guys mix SPANKING with Salvation.  They tell you that if you don't spank your kids, how will they come to know God?  How will they understand punishment?

I say, If all you do is spank your kids every time they do something wrong, how will they ever learn the GRACE and MERCY of our LORD JESUS CHRIST if they are constantly having to pay the penalty themselves???  

There is NO SCRIPTURE THAT DEMANDS spanking!  GOD HIMSELF did not even include it in the 10 Commandments!  Nope it isn't there.
To shorten them, as Christ did.... you can sum them up in:
Love the Lord your God with All your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
As parents, would we want grace and mercy for ourselves when we sin, or a beating?That really isn't such a difficult answer.
I am sure this Pastor and the followers who have been caught up into this, want Mercy! They certainly don't want to go to prison, though one of them is already there.

I implore my Christian Brothers and Sisters to THINK about this! It is TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT!
You know why?  Because Laws are being passed that FORBID the use of Spanking. The REASON these laws are being passed is because of the abuses those who advocate extreme corporal punishment cause.

To my readers from other countries, they already KNOW THIS WELL, and Spanking may be a foreign concept to them.
In America, it is rampant.  You buy a car, go to work and spank your kids.  Seriously??? Yes.
There are very few who do not.
I know NOBODY who has NEVER.  I wish I were in the NEVER category.  I was more in the seldom category, then EXTREMELY RARE category,  until I got brave enough to break free, IN FAITH, NOT APART FROM IT!
I have actually heard parents say, "I'll go to jail for my right to spank!"  Umm... REALLY?  How is that going to benefit your child?  You go to jail and they go to foster care???  REALLY, are you REALLY thinking this stuff through?

The CHURCH needs to stand up and begin to TEACH PARENTS what TRUE DISCIPLINE looks like!   They need to begin to teach parents that spanking or hitting children, losing their tempers with external control techniques, consequencing them into the ground is NOT discipline, it is PUNISHMENT, and it DOES NOT WORK in the Long term. But before they can teach it, they have to live it.
  I know a few who are doing just that, but they are way too few.  And many times they are mocked and written off as "liberals". 
The one thing I have heard over and over again is "Parents who don't spank, just Yell at their children to try and control them by screaming,  and that is much worse!"   This statement reveals that somebody who believes this does NOT understand true discipline.   Just like Spanking is not = to discipline, screaming is not discipline either.  I would say that is equivalent to an adult temper tantrum. It has NOTHING to do with discipline. How can an undisciplined, temper tantrum thowing parent teach their child anything?
They will also say spanking is quick and everything is over and done.  Really?  Over and done? Maybe for you, but the scars it causes are highly damaging and possibly irreparable. 

This is SERIOUS STUFF .....

What you will find, after much study, OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW, is a merciful, gentle Savior who is great with compassion, SLOW to anger and ABOUNDING in Loving Kindness, who has MUCH to say to the one who would harm a little one. 

to be continued......


Ivy said...

A conversation I overheard recently:

"these days it is 'a thing' to "show grace" to your child".

"Well, in my day that was called 'spoiling'."

good grief. ugh ugh ugh

Anonymous said...

Icky.. The idea of spanking sickens me... And spanking a baby?!!?! NO!! Babies are innocent! Have you ever been to naturalchild.com ?? Its a great site! (I just happened to stumble upon it one day.. I am not a 15 year old mother! LOL!) But there articles are great parenting articles in my opinion!!

Anonymous said...

Christie, one thing you did not mention, and not that it makes a difference, is that adopted children should NEVER be spanked. Their traumatic background does not suit it.

Christie M said...

Kelly, you are right, I didn't..I probably should have! Thank you for pointing that out! :)

Emily Minich said...

I don't feel scarred. I think it is dangerous to say that spanking absolutely is wrong and will not work. You say often that people who advocate spanking try to scare people into training their children that way by telling them that their kids will go to hell if they don't spank. I feel like you are doing the same thing in the reverse. It sounds like you are saying that people who do spank are irreparably damaging their children and will ultimately ruin the possibility for them to be saved, because children can't learn grace and mercy that way. I did learn grace and mercy from my parents, and they spanked me. Obviously my sister Ivy doesn't agree based on her quoting me and a very wise elderly lady at my church, but that is the wonderful thing about life. We all will stand before the Lord and will answer for our own lives. We don't have to agree with each other on these issues, but we should be kind to each other and not make blanket, definite statements about what children can and will learn from various forms of child training. Those statements certainly don't apply to me OR to many of the other young adults I know. We are all quite happy and well adjusted, and are almost all following the Lord.

Love you!

Christie M said...

Em's I'm glad you are not scarred. There are MANY who ARE! But my post is not about that. It is about false teaching. It is about whether scripture COMMANDS it.
And It does NOT!
It is also about a person who is on trial for advocating abuse.

We are to DISCIPLINE our children. That does NOT mean to BEAT THEM! OR HIT THEM, OR SPANK THEM. It means to discipline them.

Christie M said...

I do believe spanking can have an effect in the "short term". Fear based parenting works in the short term... But there is MORE than enough evidence to prove it is damaging in the LONG term.

Emily Minich said...

So...... I guess my life might go downhill since I just haven't felt the effects of the damage yet? Lol. I guess we will see. I feel my life and godliness continually getting better, actually.

You didn't really respond to my comments with the blanket statements you make about children not being able to learn grace and mercy when their parents spank. That certainly hasn't been proven. Quite the reverse, actually.

I absolutely agree that spanking a two month old is horrible.

However, it was the people's responsibility in that church to listen to the teaching and use Scripture and common sense to throw out that crap he was teaching. And they should have gotten a new preacher.

Likewise, it is the responsibility of people who read the Pearls' books to take what is good and throw out what is not. Ezzo fans, too. The Pearls are not WHOLLY to blame.

Personally, Tim and I agree with some of the Pearls' teaching, but we also disagree with some of it. I agree with a lot of what you say, but disagree with a little. :) That is our responsibility as parents.... to do what is right according to the wisdom God has given us. He does give wisdom to all who ask, and I feel quite sure that not all who spank are lacking in wisdom. We have asked for it from God, as have you. He has given generously and without reproach. The only reproach seems to come from people who disagree with each other.

I have been accused many times of blindly following our teaching elder. That is sad, because people who say that don't really know me. It is every parent's responsibility to follow the Lord and not be blindly led along. Tim and I are confident that God has given us wisdom.

All that aside.... it is the blanket statements I have a problem with.

Christie M said...

Em's you are personalizing. There are many people who's lives are touched my things that ought not be, who shine.
Just because Erika was left in a crib for 4 years and not touched and is now fine, does not make it ok, that she was left in a crib.

If you are upset about this statement,read it carefully.
I say, If all you do is spank your kids every time they do something wrong, how will they ever learn the GRACE and MERCY of our LORD JESUS CHRIST if they are constantly having to pay the penalty themselves??? Hello!

Is this consistent with your life?
I don't think so.

Emily Minich said...

I am absolutely not upset. I just disagree. I will explain why after church.

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