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Is spanking okay?

Submitted: 8/24/2005
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Question: I would like to know what the church believes about spanking our kids or giving them a good whipping if they need one. Thank you.

Answer: The Bible makes it clear that children must be disciplined by their parents. Consider the following verses:

Proverbs 10:13 A rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

We therefore believe that children should be disciplined with the rod or some equivalent object. The biblical rod was a dowel about 1/2 inch in diameter. It was not a bat or belt or some heavy instrument. The objective of spanking is to inflict pain without injuring the child.

We do not believe in child abuse or violence against children. Parents should never strike a child on the face or with their hands. God has prepered a specific place which is perfectly designed to receive the blows of the lovingly administered rod.

Having said this, we also believe there are other methods of
discipline which parents may employ. As children get older, the need for spanking should decrease rapidly. If a child is still undisciplined and in need of continual spankings at age 7 or 8, something is wrong, probably in the way the spankings are being administered. Once children are old enough to reason, reasoning with the child must become part of the disciplinary process.