Is it WRONG to ‘CORRECT’ our CHILDREN?
July 6 Bible Reading: Proverbs Chapters 22-24
"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." (Prov. 23:12-14)
The Book of Proverbs is straightforward about the need to discipline children in order to bring them into adulthood with strong character and the ability to make wise choices. By correcting one’s children, a parent can steer them away from more powerful forms of evil and ultimate destruction.
However, we have come to an age when disciplining our children is being equated to abuse and child cruelty. The lawmakers in our country should take a moment to read the words of instruction that the wise King Solomon has penned down for all his readers. He has asked us to apply ourselves to instruction and words of knowledge with regards to raising our children.
For justifying the nature of discipline that we should impose upon our children with an objective of correcting them, Solomon has made a declarative statement that needs to be noted: ‘children are often foolish in their talk and behavior’. This is what Solomon declared: "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him" (Prov. 22:15). So, the basic observation of Solomon is that children are naturally bound to be foolish and they behave foolishly since they are immature physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Parents have God-given responsibilities to correct their own children and train them in godly fear. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6)
During the process of training up our children, it is possible that our children will deliberately choose to disobey our instructions even after repeated instructions to them on the contrary. The reason for them to do that is due to the lack of reverential fear towards their parents. This is when the ‘crime and punishment’ theory will apply. The children should realize that they should revere and honor their parents, and reflect that through their attitude of obedience. If they disobey, they should be scolded verbally or punished through beatings that will instill a fear against repeating their foolish talk and actions. Of course, the beatings should never come close to physical, mental or emotional abuse, which is something God hates as well.
We should note that instead of disciplining his wicked sons, Eli rebuked them with a mild “Why do you do such things?” (1 Sam. 2:22–25). He fostered a permissiveness that brought ruin on his house, on the priesthood, and on the nation. Even prophet Samuel did not properly discipline his children (1 Sam. 8:1-5) even after he saw the tragedy that happened to Eli and his sons.
Please understand that godly wisdom cannot be lightly imparted.Disciplined training is of great value for the child; his momentary suffering will preserve him from the ruin that is bound to accompany the undisciplined life. The Bible teaches that spanking is to stem from an attitude of love and patience (Heb. 12:3-6), and is a necessary part of nurturing spiritual development (v. 14).