Tag Archives: discipline

Parenting 101: Spanking (Part 1)

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“I wouldn’t want to be raising my kids in this world!” Doesn’t every parent say that?  I remember saying it and I remember my mom saying it to me! As the world seems to get crazier and crazier, what a wonderful, blessed assurance that our Lord Jesus NEVER changes!

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Not only is Jesus the same but the Word of God is as well:

Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89

Amen!  Do you have your hanky waving yet? Maybe I should end this post while I’m ahead!

Parenting in 2020 is NOT easy, but perhaps the first question in Parenting 101 is this: What does “turning out right” look like? We all have our own opinions about what that means, but I think that as born-again believers we will all agree that we want our children to love the Lord and follow His commands.

I’ve recently finished reading the book “Why I Didn’t Rebel” by Rebecca Lindenbach. This young lady makes a lot of good points. Her easy-to-read honesty is refreshing.  She has done a lot of research. However, I have one big concern with her book. In chapter 6, Discipline, she makes some wonderful statements. The subtitle, “Keeping the End Goal in Mind” is excellent. However, she quotes several leading psychologists who have written books and done loads of research about spanking. Their conclusion:

“What she [Dr. Romano] found was that spanking does not have any positive outcomes.  There was only one neutral outcome, which was immediate compliance.  But there were thirteen other outcomes that were all negative. These include increase aggression, a less close parent-child relations, and an increased risk of mental-health issues during childhood.1

1Rebecca Lindenbach, “Why I Didn’t Rebel,”  Nelson Books. (2017)p. 102.

Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.

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 23:12-14

 (Wow! Could God have expressed the importance of discipline any stronger? I once heard a preacher say that when we warn but never follow through with correction, a child may possibly hear the preacher warning him about hell and not respond because he has been conditioned to believe that punishment never comes!)

Please don’t miss her point. When we are out of control with discipline or correction, when we proceed with red-hot anger, when we put more emphasis on correction than instruction, then we have lost sight of the goal. But God clearly gives us a mandate. Notice that prior to God’s instruction about discipline He commands, not suggest, that we apply our hearts to instruction.  It makes me think of the care I take to apply makeup. I even bought a magnifying mirror so I could really see what I was doing! It’s a tedious process! Our study of God’s Word—checking it out, studying it and then applying what we have heard to our lives—should be as well. THEN WE ARE READY TO CORRECT AND INSTRUCT OUR CHILDREN.

When “the rod” is outlawed from a loving parent’s hand, he loses a most valuable tool. I recently asked a young mother of a 4 and 6-year-old about spanking and she said that most of the spanking happens when a child is between the ages of 1 and 3. Even now, she is reaping the benefits of early discipline in her children. They are well-behaved, self-controlled, kind, and loving. They honor their parents and love them dearly. They have a healthy respect for authority because their parents have spanked them in a loving, biblical way.

I often run into parents who want this kind of child but will not take the responsibility to train their children. It is a very sad thing.

So, today’s tip for parenting: Love them enough to discipline them.  The benefits are out of this world!

Talent or Tenacity?

I’ID-100197640ve been teaching piano lessons now for over forty years, and I’ve had a lot of different students!  Some have gone on to college, majoring in music, while others didn’t make it past the first year!  I’ve noticed something over the years, and my conclusion may surprise you:

I’d rather have a student who is disciplined than one who is talented.

Talent is a gift from God.  There is nothing we can do as a parent to give our children talent. It is such a shame to see talent wasted, especially when the talent is wasted because a child has not been trained to be disciplined.  We often quote Proverbs 6:22

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Once again, I turn to my dear friend, Matthew Henry—a seventeenth-century commentator whose writing seems timeless! I admit, he can be a bit verbose, but the treasured insights are worth the digging:

A great duty charged, particularly to those that are the parents and instructors of children, in order to the propagating of wisdom, that it may not die with them:  Train up children in that age of vanity, to keep them from the sins and snares of it, in that learning age, to prepare them for what they are designed for. Catechise them; initiate them; keep them under discipline. Train them as soldiers, who are taught to handle their arms, keep rank, and observe the word of command. Train them up, not in the way they would go (the bias of their corrupt hearts would draw them aside), but in the way they should go, the way in which, if you love them, you would have them go. Train up a child according as he is capable (as some take it), with a gentle hand, as nurses feed children, little and often, Also see, Deuteronomy 6:7.

 A good reason for it, taken from the great advantage of this care and pains with children: When they grow up, when they grow old, it is to be hoped, they will not depart from it.  Good impressions made upon them then will abide upon them all their days. Ordinarily the vessel retains the savor with which it was first seasoned. Many indeed have departed from the good way in which they were trained up; Solomon himself did so. But early training may be a means of their recovering themselves, as it is supposed Solomon did.  At least the parents will have the comfort of having done their duty and used the means.

Having a talented child and not training them to be diligent is like having the sharpest knife you can afford but using the wrong side to try to cut something!  Frustration and discouragement is the result of such foolishness: for the student, the teacher, and the parent.

This is not an article on “how to train your child,” but a challenge to do it.  I’m convinced that most of us know WHAT to do; we just aren’t consistent ourselves in DOING it, perhaps because we are not disciplined ourselves.  Our own desires get in the way of training our children.  OUCH!  That may seem harsh, but I’m afraid it is often the truth. It is HARD to train children.  It is tiring, frustrating, at times, confusing, but oh, iit is worth all the effort!

As a mother of three grown children, it is with great joy that I’m able to visit their homes and see successful living.  What do I mean by that?  They are making right choices, sticking by the stuff, and raising godly children.  Our family get-togethers are sweet because children listen and adults think of others. There is joy, joy, joy in this old heart.  Are their lives bump-free? No, but they are proving God to be true to His Word!

So, take the challenge. You can do this! Start small and be successful in one tiny area.  Maybe it’s the mandate to make the bed every morning.  Perhaps it’s the underwear drawer: match the socks and fold the undies! 🙂 You will NEVER regret instilling the tenacity to do right into your children!  That’s a promise from God:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Will Make the Difference?

ID-10068917Yesterday, we had a baby dedication at church for three new babies.  It’s always a beautiful service, full of meaning and commitment for the parents as well as the church family.

Today, we read in the news about a family of four in our dear state of Pennsylvania who were murdered: the daughter shot her mother, the son-in-law shot the brother, and the father shot the daughter and son-in-law.  So, all that remains is the father.  How could relationships go so wrong that something like this would happen?  In one moment, a man is watching TV with his wife and son; the next minute, an estranged daughter and her husband come to the door – and life is over for all but a father!

Two different scenarios, separated only by a few hours and one hundred miles, but oh how different the outcome!  Three sets of parents pledged the following:

1. In presenting your child(ren) for dedication to the Lord, do you confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Saviour?

2. In presenting your child(ren) for dedication do you acknowledge your duty to bring up this child in the fear and admonition of the Lord?

3. Will you present your child(ren) to the Lord by being faithful in personal and family devotions, the regularly and specially scheduled meetings of the church (in particular Sunday School) so that he/she will be exposed to the word of God that it might pierce his/her heart?

4. Will you dedicate yourselves with great concern to the presentation of the Gospel that your child(ren) may be wooed by the Holy Spirit at some point in his/her life to confess his/her sin and place his/her faith in Jesus Christ as his/her own personal Saviour?

5. Will you willingly and unreservedly give your child(ren) to the Lord should He call this child into full time Christian service?

6. Will you willingly and unreservedly give your child(ren) to the Lord should He call this child away from you to some foreign land for His service?

7. Will you willingly and unreservedly give your child(ren) back to the Lord should He call this child back to Himself in death as a child, teen, or young adult?

Will these seven commitments insure these parents that they will never have a child put a gun to their head? ONLY IF THEY PRACTICE THEM!  It’s easy to answer ‘yes’ to a list of questions; it’s another thing to put them into practice.  If there is one “most frustrating” aspect of the ministry, it is this: people want the results of God-loving, obedient, serving children, but they will not make the commitment necessary to accomplish the goal.

Why do I not lose weight – Because I do not make the necessary commitment to accomplish the goal.  For example, if I would count the calories and keep to the exercise program I WOULD lose weight.  How do I know?  Because I’ve done it before!

At times, we deceive ourselves in spiritual matters, convincing ourselves that they are different from physical matters.  How do we get God-loving, obedient, serving children – by leading them in our example.  “Just say yes!”  When God calls, just say yes, whatever the task, no matter how great or small.  It works!

My husband and I were thanking and praising God this morning for His hedge about our family.  There are times when I feel guilty for the blessing He has poured upon me; but may I say that GOD’S WORD WORKS!  The following is two quotes from a dear friend’s book, (Song for all Seasons – Wilma Sullivan pgs.37,39):

I’ve learned to say a little phrase that has helped me to turn over the control of things in my life to the Lord. It’s simply “It’s okay!”  “It’s okay, Lord, that that person doesn’t respond the way I want.”  “It’s okay, Lord, if I can’t buy that thing I think I need.”  “It’s okay, Lord that my plans for today must be cancelled.”  “It’s okay, Lord, whatever that group thinks of me.”  “It’s okay, Lord, that I can’t control these circumstances in my life.”  “You, Lord, are in control of all these things.  May Your will be done.” When I consciously and willingly respond in such a way, I deny my “self,” giving over my rights to God’s control.


God’s Holy Spirit does live in us, and by His power – not ours – we can habitually put to death the promptings of the flesh.  Our flesh cannot control our thoughts and actions unless we give in to it.  We must make the choice.  By letting Christ reign in our hearts, we can then claim the power of God to tell our old flesh to “drop dear” when it tempts us to sin. We can rest assured that, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Peter 2:9a)

Take the time to be holy – you will never regret it.  In fact, you will rejoice with your Savior and your children and children’s children throughout all eternity; and what’s seventy-odd years compared to that?!