Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Biblically Correct Your Child When He Hits


God’s Word tells us to try to work out disputes among ourselves. When we have a dispute with a fellow Christian or non-Christian (not our children), we are to try to work the dispute out by confronting and asking them to stop the certain behavior. If they refuse to stop then Scripture tells us to get a judge (if they are a Christian the judge showed be a leader or pastor in the church) to decide the case.

Wouldn’t it be great if our children, when they had disputes among each other, asked the other child to stop the behavior in a nice calm way, and the other child actually stopped the said behavior. I think we would be in heaven if that were to happen the majority of the time. But, I do not want to encourage Jackson to tell me every time a child does wrong to him, rather, I want to encourage him to work it out with his friend. He is still a little young to come and tell me what someone else has done to him. Anyway, many times us moms have to act as the judge between fights among our children and their friends. By doing this are we encouraging our children to work out their disputes among themselves or are we hindering that process?

For older children that hit this is what Plowman recommends in her book, Don’t Make me Count to Three”:

"Here are a few examples of heart-probing questions that can be asked:

'What were you feeling when you hit your sister?' Quite often, the emotion is anger.

'What did your sister do to make you mad?' After listening to him we found out that Josh was telling a joke to everyone at the table, and rather than respectfully listening and allowing Josh the fun of telling it, Lindsey kept rudely interrupting and trying to steal the fun from her brother by telling the joke herself. So as a response to her rudeness, Josh got angry and just socked her a good one!

'Did hitting your sister seem to make things better or worse between the two of you?' This question helped him acknowledge that he was still mad, and Lindsey was crying from the pain.

'What was the problem with what Lindsey was doing to you?' Although Josh should not have hit her, we didn’t want to deny the fact that Josh had been sinned against. We had him tell us what Lindsey was doing wrong and why it was wrong. We wanted to teach him how to identify her actions (and his temptation) biblically. There are many verses that could apply to what Lindsey was doing. One would be Proverbs 6:19 which says that one of the seven things that God hates is one 'who stirs up dissension among brothers.' This is definitely what she was doing. The madder her got, the more she delighted in interrupting him.

At this point, we stopped and asked Lindsey, 'Honey were you promoting peace by interrupting your brother’s joke, or were you stirring up trouble?' We focused their attention on what God says about stirring up trouble. We were showing them the situation from God’s point of view.

'Yes, Josh, Lindsey was sinning against you, but in what other ways could have you responded?' Each answer that Josh gave enabled him to better understand his own heart and his own need for Christ’s grace and redemption. And each answered questions gave us the opportunity to us God’s Word in training him in accordance with his struggle. Bottom line, Josh became angry with his sister and returned evil with evil.”

Do you ask heart probing questions with your children? Or do you struggle with instructing your children? I would love to hear from you!

With Jackson when he hits something (sometimes that something is our dog), I tell him that hitting is bad and it does not honor your mommy and displeases God. I say, “If you hit again, you will get a spanking.” Last week, he definitely got a couple of spankings. I use a wooden spoon and I am sure to warn him that he is going to get spanked so he does not live his life in fear thinking I am going to spank him out of the blue. I only give one warning as opposed to three…. Then, I say, we need to love Millie Boo, God wants us to show love and hitting is not showing love. Then we practicing showing love to Millie Boo (our dog).

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24. Wow, the Bible says if you spare the rod you hate your own son. That is really strong language. It is hard to spank you children, but if you do not use the rod on your children, ultimately, you are not showing love for them. I tell Jackson that I love him too much not to spank him while I am spanking him and I make sure to never do it when I am upset or mad. Proverbs 23:13-14 states, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” We are called to discipline our children with the rod to save our children’s soul from death!

I think the next post will be about spanking and the guidelines that Plowman discusses in her book.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am speechless.
Truly Speechless.
I happened upon your blog by accident and read a bit and had to comment.
I am shocked and saddened by what I read. Seriously, I feel truly bad for your child. You claim to love him and you actually used the words........
"I tell him that hitting is bad and it does not honor your mommy and displeases God. I say, “If you hit again, you will get a spanking.”

You tell him it is not right
to hit- for whatever reason, does not honor mommy & displeases God, AND THEN you tell him
"If you hit again, you will get a spanking."???!
So, your child hits. THen you tell your child not to hit and then
You Hit Him. This is Just Wrong.
Didn't you also say "God wants us to show love and hitting is not showing love."
Not to mention the fact that you are Hitting Your CHILD!! Unbelievable.
So, your God wants you to stop your child from Hitting and wants us to show love and hitting is not showing love, and then you get out the wooden spoon and Intentionally use Violence & Inflict Pain on your child.
This is really very sad.

Here's a really good website.
I urge you to check it out for your childs sake.

http://www.stophitting.com/disathome/factsAndFiction.php


Spanking Argument #4 - “The bible says 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' and I must obey God”

Spanking is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the United States. The bible is often used to support, even perhaps to require, that parents use corporal punishment on children. Many clergy today are speaking out against that interpretation of scripture. The Reverend Dr. Thomas E. Sagendorf, retired Methodist Minister, says the following “I can find no sanction in the teaching of Jesus or the witness of the New Testament to encourage the practice of corporal punishment at home, school or anywhere else. A number of popular voices take a different view, often quoting Old Testament scriptures to prove their point. Those who subscribe to this argument misunderstand and misuse scripture. A similar method of selective reading could just as well be used to justify slavery, suppression of women, polygamy, incest and infanticide”. At its General Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in April and May, 2004, the United Methodist Church passed two resolutions against corporal punishment in homes, schools and child-care. The United Methodist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

Conclusion
Look at the facts. Accumulated research supports the ineffectiveness and harm of corporal punishment. Children who are spanked most are more likely to be aggressive and hit others. Children hit for antisocial behaviors are more likely to increase those misbehaviors. Hitting children teaches acceptance of violence. While most of us who were spanked as children grow up to be healthy adults, spanking causes anxiety, contributes to feelings of helplessness and humiliation, and often provokes anger and a desire for revenge, feelings which have usually been repressed in adulthood but may lead to depression, adult violence, and hitting our own children. Effective discipline exists. It does not involve hitting and humiliating children.

Emily Wallace said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your comments. You seem very passionate about not spanking children as a form of discipline. I will probably not be able to change your mind, however, allow me to respond to your comment.

I think that at the heart of our disagreement is the issue of Biblical Authority/Inerrancy. I believe, like 16 million other Southern Baptists, that the Bible is a book written by both God and man and is inspired, inerrant (without errors), and completely authoritative in our lives. With that said, it is a collection of many different genres that must be taken into context when being read.

The Proverbs, which I quote when discussing spanking, were written by wise men who observed their own culture. According to Leland and Philip Graham Ryken, “the wise men who wrote proverbs (of every culture) possessed four chief traits: (1) they were careful observers of the human condition, (2) they were teachers, (3) they were masters of a particular kind of discourse (proverb), (4) they were authority figures who asserted their wisdom without apology or reservation.” (The Literary Study Bible, p.918)

Not only were the proverbs written over hundreds of years of observing human behavior, I believe that they are 100% inspired as God’s Word. Therefore, because the Bible is God’s Word and because God knows what is best for our lives, I make the Bible my sole authority. Again, different genres and books and contexts must be taken into account in their natural reading before applying Scripture to your life. I feel that I have done so correctly with the Proverbs which is teaching skills for living. With that said, let me answer your individual claims.

You said, “So, your child hits. THen you tell your child not to hit and thenYou Hit Him. This is Just Wrong.”

Let me say there is a fundamental difference between hitting and spanking. Hitting is a violent act of me-centeredness hostility toward another person because the hitter didn’t get his or her way. Spanking is corrective discipline that is done in a controlled and systematic fashion where the child knows that spanking is coming if they disobey and they know why it was used.

My husband and I were both spanked and we never confused the hitting with spanking. We knew in our heart that there was a difference as many children do.

You said, “A similar method of selective reading could just as well be used to justify slavery, suppression of women, polygamy, incest and infanticide”

Nowhere in Scripture is slavery, suppression of women, polygamy, incest, or infanticide commanded as spanking is. The Bible never says, “Take slaves,” it never says, “Suppress women, take multiple wives, sleep with your sister, etc.” However, it does command that you use the rod with your children in discipline.

You said, "The United Methodist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States."

Guess who is the largest? The Southern Baptist Convention. Years ago the UMC forsook the doctrine of Scripture as being completely authoritative and since then their membership has almost been cut in half and is shrinking yearly.

You said, "Look at the facts. Accumulated research supports the ineffectiveness and harm of corporal punishment. Children who are spanked most are more likely to be aggressive and hit others."

I think I would disagree with that research. Link? Sadly though, most of the violence of children who are spanked is attributed to abuse from the parents and not discipline. My son was hitting things in anger long before we ever spanked him. He hits things because he is a little sinner in need of Jesus, not because he was ‘hit first.” My main goal in parenting is for him to recognize his sin so that he will turn to Jesus and follow him for the rest of his life and have eternal life through His grace.

You said, "Children hit for antisocial behaviors are more likely to increase those misbehaviors."

Not sure I understand what that means.

You said, "Hitting children teaches acceptance of violence."

I disagree. Again, we have a confusion of hitting/violence with discipline/spanking.

You said, "While most of us who were spanked as children grow up to be healthy adults,"

Amen to that…

You said, "spanking causes anxiety, contributes to feelings of helplessness and humiliation, and often provokes anger and a desire for revenge, feelings which have usually been repressed in adulthood but may lead to depression, adult violence, and hitting our own children."

Spanking does cause anxiety, helplessness and humiliation, a well as proving anger and a desire for revenge because the child’s feelings have been hurt and his sinful nature wants revenge, like all humans.


You said, "Effective discipline exists. It does not involve hitting and humiliating children."

Some discipline that does not include spanking may ‘work.’ However, I believe spanking gets to the heart of the behavior, and when coupled with a loving explanation of why he the child was spanked after the discipline, the heart of the issue is exposed. My philosophy in parenting is to get to the heart of the matter and not just behavior modification. I don’t want a well-behaved child who thinks he has never done anything bad. Jesus said those people are like “white-washed tombs.”

Sallie said...

Spanking is something that is done within our family because it is a biblical directive given to our family by God through the Bible.

When we spank, we ask our children if they know why they are being spanked. If the answer is yes then they must tell us. If the answer is no, or if the reason they give is not the real reason for the spanking, then we explain to them the reasons because, afterall, the wrong behavior stems from an attitude of the heart and that must be dealt with. After the spanking they are hugged and told that they are loved and that its over with.

Too often, for parents who don't spank, the child is left feeling like they are never forgiven because the wrong behavior keeps getting thrown in their face at later times. I don't use website research as my answer for this. I use my own social circle and what I witness in everyday life around me. It hurts my heart to always here parents say "How many times have I told you over and over again not to do that. Go sit in a chair for time out. One of these days you'll learn your lesson." Well, no they won't because they have never been challenged to dig deeper into their heart to find out the reasons behind the behavior. Also, because they are constantly being reminded "how many times have I told you this" that they are failures and not worthy of being included in fellowship (time out).

I agree with you and your response to anonymous. Spanking and hitting are DEFINITELY not the same. Hitting is done solely from anger and the desire to make others do things our way. Spanking is a discipline meant to teach the proper way of doing things.

I would also say that just because the UMC is the 2nd largest protestant denomination in the US, that does not make it or its ministers wholly correct and right on issues. We get caught up in what our denominations or websites say is right and we don't search biblically for the correct answer ourselves.

God bless,
Sallie

Anonymous said...

I am writing in response to your blog entry regarding spanking your innocent son.
I am responding to comments you made to anonymous.
Please reconsider your belief in spanking for the sake of your child and yourself.

You wrote:
“Biblical Authority/Inerrancy. I believe, like 16 million other Southern Baptists, that the Bible is a book written by both God and man and is inspired, inerrant (without errors), and completely authoritative in our lives.”

I think this I wrong. How can something written by so many people, changed, altered, etc. be the inerrant word of god?
Which version of the bible do you ascribe to? How did you come to that choice? There are hundreds of versions/translations which contain tens of thousands of variations and contradictions. How can any sane person believe they know the inerrant word of a supernatural being based upon these discrepancies?
This quote by Bart Ehrman says it all succinctly.

"...I began to see that the revered words of the Bible were not infallible but were, in fact, very human words. They were copied by human scribes, who often altered the words when they copied them; and they had been originally written by human authors, who naturally allowed their own views, beliefs, perspectives, situations, loves, hates, and passions to affect what they wrote. And I began having trouble believing that a good God could be in charge of a world filled with such pain and suffering: famine, drought, war, earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, tsunamis..." (Bart Ehrman author of Misquoting Jesus)

You wrote:
“The Proverbs, which I quote when discussing spanking, were written by wise men who observed their own culture. According to Leland and Philip Graham Ryken, “the wise men who wrote proverbs (of every culture) possessed four chief traits: (1) they were careful observers of the human condition, (2) they were teachers, (3) they were masters of a particular kind of discourse (proverb), (4) they were authority figures who asserted their wisdom without apology or reservation.” (The Literary Study Bible, p.918)”

These wise men were of their time, nothing more. Their beliefs were of their time and place, nothing more. They were warlike, clannish, misogynistic MEN, making laws/decisions based on very limited knowledge of the world around them. The moral basis for most of the bible was formed centuries before Christianity. See Greek philosophers, Taoism, Buddhism, etc.

You wrote:
“100% inspired as God’s Word. Therefore, because the Bible is God’s Word and because God knows what is best for our lives, I make the Bible my sole authority.”
Please read the bible as if it were unknown to you, or antithetical, as you probably feel towards the koran. It is rife with contradiction, violence, intolerance, bigotry and just plain old hatred. (add a dash of just plain strangeness, to boot. Read all the descriptions in Leviticus chapter 11 on what god allows man to eat. Weird)

You wrote:
“Let me say there is a fundamental difference between hitting and spanking. Hitting is a violent act of me-centeredness hostility toward another person because the hitter didn’t get his or her way. Spanking is corrective discipline that is done in a controlled and systematic fashion where the child knows that spanking is coming if they disobey and they know why it was used.”

What will you do when the wooden spoon no longer works? A larger spoon? Metal spoon? Metal rod? Baseball bat? What will you do when your child resists or fights back? You can only up the ante, there is no going back.

You wrote:
“Nowhere in Scripture is slavery, suppression of women, polygamy, incest, or infanticide commanded as spanking is. The Bible never says, “Take slaves,” it never says, “Suppress women, take multiple wives, sleep with your sister, etc.” However, it does command that you use the rod with your children in discipline.”

This is truly mind boggling. Have you actually read the bible you profess to base your life around? The following are only a small percentage of the great wisdom contained in the bible.

Infanticide:
Leviticus 20 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Genesis 22:1-2,10
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him ... Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
Exodus 21:15 He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
Matthew 15:4 God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

Incest:
Genesis 19:8, 31-36 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes. ...
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. --

Slavery:
Leviticus 25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
Eph.6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.
Col.3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
1 Tim.6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:10-11 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Suppression of women:
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 14:34-36 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.

Polygamy:
Genesis 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took unto him two wives.
Genesis 16:1-4 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai ... gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived.
Genesis 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had....
Genesis 26:34
Esau ... took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Genesis 28:9 Esau .. took ... Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael ... to be his wife.
Genesis 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set ... his wives upon camels.
Genesis 32:22 He [Jacob] ... took his two wives, and his two womenservants.
Ex.21:10 If he take him another wife....
Dt.21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated....
Judges 8:30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
1 Sam.1:1-2 Elkanah ... had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah.
2 Sam.12:7-8 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel ... I gave thee ... thy master's wives....
1 Kg.11:2-3 Solomon ... had seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines.
1 Chr.4:5 And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
2 Chr.11:21
Rehoboam ... took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines.
2 Chr.13:21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives....
2 Chr.24:3 Jehoiada took for him two wives....
Mt.25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
1 Tim.3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife....
Titus 1:6-7 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless.

You wrote:
“My son was hitting things in anger long before we ever spanked him. He hits things because he is a little sinner in need of Jesus, not because he was ‘hit first.”

Your son is hitting things because he is a child and doesn’t know any better. That’s where you come in, to teach him right from wrong. Christians are strange in their belief of original sin. A baby is guilty of sin!? What an abomination to lay original sin and eternal damnation at the feet of an innocent baby!

You wrote:
“Some discipline that does not include spanking may ‘work.’ However, I believe spanking gets to the heart of the behavior, and when coupled with a loving explanation of why he the child was spanked after the discipline, the heart of the issue is exposed. My philosophy in parenting is to get to the heart of the matter and not just behavior modification. I don’t want a well-behaved child who thinks he has never done anything bad.”

Non-violent behavior correction can also be coupled with a loving explanation and get to the heart of the matter. How does not spanking equate with a child who is well behaved but thinks he has never done anything wrong? A well behaved child understands right and wrong and acts accordingly. Spanking is just an easy answer. It is much more difficult, but worthwhile, to use non-violent means to correct behavior.

Please reconsider spanking as a form of discipline. For the sake of your child and yourself.

Emily Wallace said...

Anonymous 2,

I'm not sure why you all won't give me your names, but anyway.

Obviously, you seem to have an issue as to biblical inerrancy and authority. I am not going to go tit for tat with you over each Scripture in question. However, for more reading on the issue of inerrancy, read these with an open mind:

Gleason L. Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction - has excellent background on the reliability of Scripture

Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino - Unshakable Foundations - is an excellent study on truth, worldviews, logic, etc.

C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity - a classic

Francis Schaeffer - The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview

Lee Strobel - A Case for Christ, A Case for Faith, and the Case for a Creator - all three are excellent

J.P Moreland and William Lane Craig - Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

John Piper and Wayne Grudem - Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, also 50 Crucial Questions about Manhood and Womanhood - these will help you with the "woman suppression" issues.

Mary Kassian - the Feminist Gospel - one of the best on feminism in the church

I'll stop there.

You said, "What an abomination to lay original sin and eternal damnation at the feet of an innocent baby!"

While I do believe in the doctrine of original sin, I also believe that God is a just and loving God and every person has a chance to either reject or accept Christ. Some babies, obviously, do not. I believe these go to Heaven.

You said, "Spanking is just an easy answer."

As anyone who has ever had children would know, it is not easy to spank your children. It is way much easier to let them do whatever they want. And that is what is wrong with our society - moms let their children do whatever they want. The Bible commands us to do the things that we will not if left to ourselves. God tells us to do things because He created us and knows what is best for us. We, as sinners with flawed logic, do not.

I have read arguments from both sides (Ehrman's neo-liberalism as well as evangelialism) and have come up to my conclusion, and hence, my theology or parenting based on my conclusions of what I believe.

After all, this is a parenting post.

Lisa said...

HI! I happened to read all of the responses to the issue of spanking...and didn't fully agree with either! I do one 100% agree that spanking is appropriate (I am a Methodist...)BUT I don't believe that spanking is appropriate at this age...unless they can fully explain to you why they are getting spanked (similar to what Sallie said) I do feel that right now if Bayne hits me and then I spank her back, that I am teaching her to hit BUT only b/c she does not fully comprehend. I do, however, definetly discipline her but in another manner. I explain to her not to do it and why not and then show her another kinder action to do instead. I have studied (more than I ever want to..hehe)(in school) child development and ALL of the text says that at this age they learn through example and that redirection is the best form of discipline! By showing them what they are doing wrong and showing them what they need to do right is actually teaching them the difference b/t right and wrong! Don't get me wrong...I will spank Bayne and I have spanked Bayne. She completly did not understand why I spanked her and it just made the situation worst...but when she can explain to me what she did wrong then she will definetly get a spanking b/c she will understand the difference b/t hitting and discipline! I, honestly, don't believe that they understand that you are spanking them and not hitting them right now and multitudes of text support this and the fact that redirection is the best form of discipline at this age!!
Lisa

Emily Wallace said...

Lisa,

Thanks for your comments - it's great to hear from you!

Unfortunately, as you can probably guess, we'll have to agree to disagree on this subject. It seems obvious to me that as soon as children can understand the word "no" they know they are doing something they shouldn't be doing. Most childcare 'experts' say that this happens somewhere between 6 months and 1 year of age. I would say that Jackson got his first spanking at around 1 years old when he was pulling something off the table that would hurt him. We have given him few spankings. We choose to give him spankings when he is doing something serious that could hurt himself or others (such as hitting, etc).

We do try redirecting but, with Jackson, as well as most boys, you can redirect him all day long and it'll will just be a tug of war. He'll just continue to go back and back and back and back and the entire situation becomes frustrating for both parents and child.

So, we say, "Jackson if you _____ again, you will get a spanking." He usually doesn't do it again. Therefore, eventhough he cannot speak understandably he understands us. I do not believe that just because a babies mouth muscles cannot form words, they don't understand. He understands many things and tries to communicate with babbling.

Sometimes, he does do what we said not to anyway after being warned of a spanking and Charlie calmly puts him over his knee and pops him three times. That's it. Then Charlie hugs him and kisses him and reassures him that he loves him. It is never in anger.

Spanking, as well as all discipline, needs to be consistent and predictable. If we spanked him for every little thing that he did wrong we would probably be arrested for abuse! We use spanking because it's Biblical and because on serious matters, it works.

As to when spanking should end, probably when they are not longer children - around the age of 11-13. I sure hope I won't have to spank my children when they are 10 or 11 years old but you never know...

Emily Wallace said...

PS-

Tonight, Jackson really wanted to pull this large heavy lamp down off of the table. If I had tried to redirect him, put him in a pack in play for time out, the second I would have put him back down, he would have gone right back for the lamp. Charlie said, "Jackson let go of the lamp. If you do not let go you will get a spanking." He ran away from the lamp and we applauded his obedience and told him we were proud of him. I see so many frustrated moms keep on pulling their children away from very dangerous situations and I know that the one time the mom is distracted, the child is going to get hurt. I think spanking is even more effective at this age than we they get older and you can reason with them even more and get to their heart.

Akabah said...

I just can't get past this line: "He hits things because he is a little sinner in need of Jesus, not because he was ‘hit first'.” How can a parent have such contempt for their child? a little sinner? He's a normal human child, a beautiful human animal with all the wild primal urges, angers, loves, and creativity that all of us carry, no matter how much our parents or society tries to beat it down.

I'm just constantly horrified by the use of religion to justify violent, controlling behavior. I keep thinking of the Texas fundamentalist sect, its thinly veiled child molestation ring, and its brainwashed followers. Sad.

Sincerely,
a loving, non-violent, atheist/humanist mommy-
Anna

Emily Wallace said...

Anna,

Thank you for not being anonymous! I really appreciate your comments. Let me explain what I mean by saying that my son is a "little sinner." The Bible says that, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." I believe that God is perfect and his will for us was to live a perfect life on earth. We have all, and will all, sin, or miss the mark of perfection.

Because imperfection cannot coexist with perfection (God) He lovingly and mercifully sent his Son Jesus (in a plan that was deemed before the foundation of the earth) to die a horrifying and brutal death which atoned for our sin so that we could one day be united to Him! What a loving God!

I agree with you that my son is a normal beautiful human that God has blessed me with who is lovingly made in His perfect image and who God loves more then I could ever imagine because He created him and is his Heavenly Father. God knows exactly how many hairs are on his head and has given me the privilege of raising him.

I agree that the Cult debacle is horrifying. These people do not hold to anywhere near an orthodox view of Christianity and use God's Gospel as a tool of power and downright sin. They need Jesus to change their hearts.

Again - I think equating an infrequent and occasional pop on the rear to mass violence is a little extreme.

Sincerely,

a loving, non-violent, Christian mommy ;-)

Again

Caitlin L said...

whew, Emily! I just wanted to put a little word of encouragement on here. I hadn't been able to read your post when you first put it up, but now I've had a little time to read it and go through the comments. I can't remember where it was, but I know that CJ Mahaney had said in a sermon that he appreciates strong, Bible believing women in our church and I say, AMEN to that! Thank you, Emily, for standing your ground and not backing out when it would be easy. Thank you for believing God's Word is innerant. I fear this belief is now the rare and radical belief. I am BLESSED by reading your competent and clear responses. Thank you and God bless you!!

Emily Wallace said...

Caitlin!

Thanks so much for your encouragement! It really means a lot. Actually, I am thankful for all the comments, because I know now how many people this little blog is reaching. It is so great that a stay at home mom can reach so many people now. I really do count all the comments has blessings, and I like to know how the readers of this blog feel about parenting issues. Again, thanks for the encouragement...watch out guidelines to spanking is going to be a post soon...haha!

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
“Obviously, you seem to have an issue as to biblical inerrancy and authority.”
Quite an issue. It is a fallacy. How can any document have authority when it has been hopelessly muddled through time, with politics, bad translation, personal biases, blatant contradictions factoring in to its present form?
You wrote:
"I am not going to go tit for tat with you over each Scripture in question."
It seems you obviously glossed over the scriptures posted because they contradict greatly any idea the bible is without error. How can you explain the horrific words and actions included in these bible passages? Are they metaphors that I just cannot comprehend? Virgin daughters getting their father drunk, having sex with him, so “that we may preserve seed of our father”?? Please enlighten me on this one?

You wrote:
“... Some babies, obviously, do not. I believe these go to Heaven." To my knowledge, this has no biblical basis. You made this up because the alternative, un-baptised babies going to hell and burning for eternity, offends even you. The Christian church has never had a satisfactory answer for this dilemma. The old doctrine was, the child went to limbo. Neither heaven nor hell. Sounds like fun. And compassionate and loving.

You wrote:
“As anyone who has ever had children would know, it is not easy to spank your children." FYI- I am the father of two beautiful boys who have never been hit. And never will be.
"It is way much easier to let them do whatever they want. And that is what is wrong with our society – moms..."
(parents, dad’s play a part, too) "let their children do whatever they want."
(I don’t see what this societal claim has to do with how you discipline them, just because I don’t hit my children doesn’t mean they do whatever they want)

"The Bible commands us to do the things that we will not if left to ourselves."

Please give me an example of what I am not doing that the bible can direct me on?

I appreciate your moderate, reasoned tone in responding to such controversial posts. Unfortunately, I cannot compliment your
intellectual rigor when based on such a flawed, human text as the bible.

Sincerely,
a loving, non-violent, atheist/humanist poppa
Greg

Charlie Wallace said...

Greg,

This is Charlie - Emily's husband. She asked me to respond to you because she's dealing with our son and is exhausted with comments and would like my perspective. Let me try to answer your questions, which are good ones.

You wrote, "Quite an issue. It is a fallacy. How can any document have authority when it has been hopelessly muddled through time, with politics, bad translation, personal biases, blatant contradictions factoring in to its present form?”

We claim inerrancy (freedom from all errors) as necessary for only the original manuscripts of the biblical books. There are certainly copyists' errors and discrepancies among various handwritten copies. No one alive can sit down and copy out the text of an entire book without a mistake of any kind. A slip of a pen or double writing of a word or phrase is unavoidable. It would take nothing short of a miracle to insure the inerrancy of a copy of an original manuscript.

No ancient document has ever been copied as much as the Bible. We have over 20,000 witnesses to the New Testament alone. In comparison there are only 5 copies of anything ever written by Plato, 100 by Sohocles, 20 by Plato's tetralogies, 7 by Pliny the Younger, etc., etc.

No ancient text even comes close to the number of manuscripts that have been copied that are considered an "ancient" text. God has preserved His Word from generation to generation without a single doctrine ever affected. The only mistakes are scribal errors.

You wrote: "It seems you obviously glossed over the scriptures posted because they contradict greatly any idea the bible is without error. How can you explain the horrific words and actions included in these bible passages? Are they metaphors that I just cannot comprehend? Virgin daughters getting their father drunk, having sex with him, so “that we may preserve seed of our father”?? Please enlighten me on this one?"

She glossed over the scriptures posted because she simply doesn’t have time in her day to refute every single one. However, based on the Scriptures in questions, let me try to help you wade through these waters.

A good sum of the passages in question are descriptive passages. These passages describe what was taking place. For example, “Genesis 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;” This passage is describing what happened. Polygamy is not commanded by God. However, it is clear that Jacob had multiple wives. This is not a passage prescribing how we should live, rather, it is a passage describing what is going on. God designed a man to have one wife, but amazingly, even though his people did not obey Him (among other sins), he remained faithful to them because of his love.

As far as the slavery texts, not one of them prescribes slavery. It describes it as an institution that exists and how to cope through it.

As far as the texts on “oppression of women,” let me isolate those.

Gen.3:16 – this is part o the curse of sin – man also had a part of the curse so God did not “discriminate” his judgment.

1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5, Col. 3, 1 Tim 2, 1 Pet 3 – all of these speak of man being the leader of the relationship. The reason this view gets picked on is that people say that “that is suppression of women.” Let me ask you something, do you have a boss at your job? Are you an authority figure to your children? Do they have rules of dos and do nots? Life is filled with authority. In almost every relationship a person has there is an authority. The “head” is entrusted with responsibility and consequences. However, just because someone is “in charge” doesn’t mean that their self value is worth more then who they are in charge of. Is the janitor worth less then the CEO’s office that he cleans? No. They are both made in God’s image are equal in His sight. They both are equal as humans. However, the theory of evolution would say that whoever is the ‘survivor’ is worth more…Darwinism which influenced Marxism, which influenced modern humanism, which influenced Hitler, led to extinction of people were deemed “not worthwhile.”

What God prescribes in the Bible regarding gender roles, is just that, roles. However, somehow our society has equated leadership with self worth. Just because my wife’s main role is “mommying” and my main role is to provide for the family doesn’t mean that I am worth more then she is. We have different roles. As far as decision making, we make decisions together. However, as the head I bear the consequences of each decision. When Adam and Eve sinned, God came after Adam, not Eve. Adam was hiding from God because He knew that he was responsible. A main reason for the feminist revolution of the 1960’s was that men abused their calling and women reacted. Now they are forced with the horrible decision of staying home with their children or paying someone else to raise them as they go out in the workforce to do what God has ordained the man to do. It really is an unnatural and tough decision. Any woman would say that they feel torn over this and because our society is now set up where a two-household income is a necessity, they have to make this tough decision to survive sometimes. Back in the day the man was paid a household income. He is not anymore.

As far as the text regarding infatacide,....A lot of the “shall be put to death” commands exist because God is wanting to show how serious sin is. Sin is so serious that without atonement for it, we cannot live with God eternally.

As for incest, you will see that Gen 19 is a descriptive passage recording what happened. The Bible does not condone incest (except in the case of Noah when that was the only way to multiply).

You wrote, “To my knowledge, this has no biblical basis. You made this up because the alternative, un-baptised babies going to hell and burning for eternity, offends even you. The Christian church has never had a satisfactory answer for this dilemma. The old doctrine was, the child went to limbo. Neither heaven nor hell. Sounds like fun. And compassionate and loving.”

I don’t believe in baptizing babies. I believe in believer’s baptism. I believe that every person has at some point a conscious decision to either accept or reject Christ. If they die and have rejected him, they go to Hell. Babies eventually grow up and reach an age of accountability where they will be held accountable for their decisions. The fact that God gives us a chance to be with him through his FREE gift of Jesus is extremely compassionate and loving.

You wrote: “FYI- I am the father of two beautiful boys who have never been hit. And I don’t hit my children doesn’t mean they do whatever they want

I’m glad. That is good.

“Please give me an example of what I am not doing that the bible can direct me on?”

The Bible is about Jesus. It is the story of God’s plan to save humanity through His Son. The OT points toward Jesus as one that rescues us from the curse of the law and the NT points back to Jesus as the savior who came, died, was resurrected, walked around for 40 days and talked to 500 people - even extra biblical sources – see Joesephus, a Jewish historian who records this as fact – records this. Jesus will also come back to take those who have accepted him with him to Heaven.

With that said, the Bible is about Jesus. As to an example of how the Bible commands us to live, simply put, whenever the Bible gives us a command it does so because God knows that we are prone not to follow those commands. He tells us to not murder because we are prone to murder. Before you object to that one, Jesus said that murder starts in the mind and if you have gotten angry with someone then you have murdered them in your mind. The same with adultery, worshiping other gods, and the rest of the 10 commandments. God commands things because he knows we as sinners are prone to live the opposite way. He commands us to turn from our sinful and selfish life because he knows we are prone not to. He commands us to love our neighbor because we are prone not to.

It boils down to if you believe that humans are essentially good or essentially bad. I would say that we are essentially bad. If a television could broadcast a persons’ thought life, it would be embarrassing and shocking. One look at the history of the world will show that mankind is exceedingly selfish and evil.

It was because of this selfishness and evilness that God sent his son. John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we may have life abundantly. Only through Jesus’ spirit directing us can we truly live the life that we were created to live. Unlike an atheist’s view of life, a biblical worldview gives one purpose and truth that fills the hole in every person’s heart.



“I appreciate your moderate, reasoned tone in responding to such controversial posts. Unfortunately, I cannot compliment your intellectual rigor when based on such a flawed, human text as the bible.”

We appreciate your reasoned tone as well and am happy and honored to “defend the faith” as well as the Bible, which as you can see, is a book that has been ripped apart and left for dead but will not go away because God’s plan to save humanity is still mercifully in effect.

Steve Wright said...

Thank you for standing of the word for your direction.

I find it ironic that many in the "no spanking" group firmly embrace the right to kill children. What they see as our evil is magnified in their own blindness.

www.lastingdivergence.com
Steve Wright

My blog is a call for parents embrace their God-given call to disciple their children.

Anonymous said...

"I find it ironic that many in the "no spanking" group firmly embrace the right to kill children. What they see as our evil is magnified in their own blindness."

I find it tragic that you pull out an unrelated straw man in this discussion. You have no idea what the no-spankers here think about abortion.

"My blog is a call for parents embrace their God-given call to disciple their children."

Unfortunately, people are permanently damaged by spanking. The little boy who is being spanked by this couple may end up being one of those people. We don't know who is vulnerable or why.

I can only choke with sick astonishment as the Christian community continues to advocate spanking when the Internet is now filled with material for people who now have erotic connections with spanking due to the actions of their parents in early childhood.

I just don't know what to say.

How could you risk harming your child's sexuality in this way? Do you think he will ever tell you what has happened when he finds he cannot be stimulated by normal sexual activity?

The Christian community is guilty for promoting a practice that has harmed many people and robbed the precious, God-given gift of normal sexuality from them. For shame.

Nica

Brooke said...

I also believe that the Bible is the absolute truth and I also believe that the method of discipline you are using is correct. It sounds like you are disciplining your child in a very loving manner.

This is in response to anonymous' question about babies going to hell. There is a thing called the age of innocence. This is the age at which a child becomes responsible for his or her aalvation. Once a child is old enough to understand the concept of sin and salvation they are at the age at which they are responsible for accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ as their Saviour. This age is different for each person and only God knows when a person has reached the age in which they are now accountable for accepting or rejecting Jesus. Obviously babies and small children are too young to understand salvation and will go to heaven if they die.

It is our responsibility as parents to raise our children in the Bible and be good Christian examples so that through the Holy Spirit we can lead them to Salvation. If we are raising our children according to God's Word, they will have the necessary information to make their decision concerning Salvation once God deems them old enough to be accountable for their actions.

Anonymous said...

I need to make a clarification about my post. When a child becomes old enough to understand salvation, they have reached the "age of accountability" not "the age of innocence". Up until the age of accountability they live in an age of innocence where they would go heaven if they die.

Brooke said...

The post left on Saturday, August 1st at 3:30pm is from Brooke not anonymous. I forgot to leave my name.

Bren said...

Thank you for your blog. My 3 year old kid is hitting when he gets frustrated, scolded or angry. The only problem is, he does not seem to be afraid of spanking. It's difficult.

Bren (a Christian mother, who spanks when she needs to discipline)

Kiley said...

Thank you for posting this! I have been struggling lately with wondering how I am supposed to teach my children to make good decisions on their own. I feel too often I must supervise them and their friends and then be the "judge" between them, as you put it. They are 7 now (twins) and so badly want to play with their freinds outside 24/7. My only answer was to train them biblically. I LOVE your idea of using scripture in teaching your children.
Placing it in your children's hearts, so to speak ;)

My husband and I use a wooden spoon as well. It doesn't hurt any more than a hand, and makes a loud noise, so rather than a hard-handed painful spanking they get a swift sting that sounds worse than it actually is. I wish more people realized this. When my child does something wrong and I yell at him, he is likely to do it again. You can only do so much yelling. Infact from my experience as a child, being screamed at is so painful. The first anonymous person wanted to talk about facts, but the facts are, that yelling at your children lowers their self-esteem.
My husband has a father that never ever yelled or hit him. Then one day when my husband (as a child) called his mother names, his father gave him a spank, without yelling, and it never happened again.


My children are loved, they know it. They adore their father and myself. We are truly a happy, and blessed family. And we spank. There is a difference between beating your child out of anger, and teaching them a lesson by whacking their bum.

Watching my children grow up, they bring home some very disobedient, wild, friends. You can guess correctly that their parents never spank.
The most disobedient friends of theirs that I've ever had to watch were sometimes smacked on the face for being naughty, or slapped on the hands. So, like I said before, there is a huge difference between hitting out of anger and a whack on the bum.