Man this subject is overwhelming. I am not even entirely sure where to start but I'll just write as thoughts pop into my mind so please bear with me. Spanking has been in the news a lot lately. Sports stars beating their wives and coming under fire and sports stars beating their kids and being stood up for. Its conflicting and makes no sense to me.
There is a LOT of conflicting info out there about spanking. Even more so for Christians. For the most part, we're taught to spank. Spanking is good, it's discipline, and kids turn out awful without it. "I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine!" Can I tell you a secret? I was very rarely spanked as kid, I only remember a handful of times.
I had a few face slaps, was pinned up against a door with my tongue pulled out into someone's hand once, but other than that, not a lot of physical discipline that I can remember (unless I blocked it out). I was however verbally and emotionally abused (I started cutting at 8), a personal Cinderella, and pretty much locked in the house until I was kicked out over haha, get this, cat litter and Harry Potter DVDs. And I turned out "fine." Doesn't mean that behavior is okay, nor does it mean my children deserve to be treated that way (no way in hell). Many people are in car accidents and come out fine, doesn't mean we shouldn't use safety in cars or car seats, am I right? People have been sexually abused and turned out "fine" but it's still not okay, so let's refrain from that term.
The big term Christians use is "spare the rod spoil the child." But did you know that term is not from the Bible? Spanking is not Biblically mandated. There is a verse talking about "he who spares the rod hates his son" but you need to read the rest of the verse, the context, AND the original Hebrew or Greek (depending on the book of the Bible) translation. There are many translations of the Bible but what it comes to is the definite meaning of the Hebrew word. Hebrew is a beautiful language with different words and meanings for the same things.
This link here translates beautifully the original Hebrew, and I'll share some of the post below but I encourage you to read the rest of the post to garner an understand of the Hebrew context of the verses.
"Let’s look at the words translated ‘discipline’ and ‘punish’ and ‘rod’ and others:
(Just to clarify since this opinion has be brought to my attention, the above verses with the Hebrew definition defined are not changing scripture or rewriting the word of God. It is simply showing the Hebrew definition of the correct word used in the context of the verse to show the proper meaning of the verse when we have knowledge of the Hebrew used. Not rewriting the verse, showing the definition.)
That says a lot, doesn't it? Here is my personal view. My daughter will be two soon. And I have popped her hands a few times. But when I hit her hands for hitting me it dawned on me how idiotic that was. YOU cannot hit sweet child. But I can hit you and it's okay. I cannot hit your daddy, I cannot hit my friends or any other adults, but it's perfectly fine to hit you. Even though you cannot hit anyone
. Does that make sense? It doesn't to me. It isn't logical. It is a quick fix punishment. Real discipline takes time. It is teaching and guiding and natural consequences. Hitting teaches nothing.
Now comes in discipline vs. punishment. What are disciples?
Did Jesus hit his disciples when they did something He didn't like or approve of? Did He hit them to prove a point or punish a behavior? No. He did not. He taught. He guided. He had grace.
Spanking doesn't teach behavior. It teaches fear, aggression, mistrust of parents, and even worse that hitting people is okay if you love them.
Then there are all the other complications if you do spank. At what age is it acceptable to start or stop? Where on the body is okay versus where isn't? And then why is it okay to hit a child but not a teenager or adult? It's just plain confusing and way too much to think about.
When I saw the pain, and the fear, and the confusion in my daughter's eyes that confirmed in my heart that I shouldn't be doing that. The mistrust. She doesn't understand that, I cannot explain to her why I did that. She just knows mommy hit her hand.
I saw a mom somewhere share how she's been spanking long before her child was a year old and that broke my heart. That baby doesn't understand consequences, they cannot grasp that yet. I guess I don't understand hitting a child who cannot understand what is going on or why they're being hit? What does a 9 month old do to warrant a spanking?!
"Punishments teach children to do what an adult wants from a selfish desire to avoid getting punished. Even if it "works" it gets in the way of internal discipline because it is focused on an outward behavior. It breeds resentment, deception, and poor self-worth. True discipline encourages kids to do the right things simply because it is right. It models mutual respect, unselfishness, self-control, and empathy. Children are motivated by love for others as well as themselves, and learn to develop healthy relationships and good boundaries. It is worth the time and effort."I will be continuing the rest of this piece in a second part, which you can read here - http://christiancrunchyattached.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-hot-topic-of-spanking-part-2.html
Please know I am casting no judgement on parents who do or have spanked. I go into that more in part two.