Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spanking: Stories and Parental Love

Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him (Pro 13:24)

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him (Pro 22:15)
Doug Wilson posted some interesting spanking stories on his blog: read them and enjoy. (HT: Challies)

I did want to highlight a couple of his statements that you may find helpful if you struggle with the spanking issue:
Disciplined children are not abused children; they are secure children. Not surprisingly, secure children grow up into secure young men and women. Abused children are not really being disciplined—they actually become as undisciplined (in the biblical sense) as their angry and undisciplined parents. Abuse is not an excess of discipline—it is a total absence of righteous discipline. 
Some may contend that abuse happens when spanking goes too far, and that is correct.  What is not correct is to then conclude that spanking is simply milder abuse or an ignorant parent justifying violence against a child.  No, it is an act of love.  But don't let me stand in the way of Wilson.
Lovemaking is not rape, even though the same biological act is involved in both.  . . .  The difference between child abuse and child discipline is as vast as the difference between unrighteousness and rightousness [sic.]. 
Godly discipline, spanking included, is an act of love. Children who are disciplined appropriately know that they are being loved, and they know that the world is a secure place. Boundaries exist, and those boundaries are defended by parents who love the boundaries, just as they love their children.
This is such a profound distinction that few understand today.  The difference between spanking and abuse is the difference between vengeance and justice, between anger and love, and between hatred and care.

No parent who loves his child should place a hand on him in the heat of a flared temper.  Instead, godly parents desire to see their children grow in love, security, and discipline: something abuse could never provide, but controlled spanking sessions can.