Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: Spare the rod spoil the child. Where is that in the Bible please? I am discussing 'discipline' with a professor.
Answer: "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." (Proverbs 13:24)
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him." (Proverbs 22:15)
"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 23:13-14)
I hope this helps, but let me also comment on these verses. I believe God is teaching about how to correct children in love. Yes, they do need discipline, but some Christians believe this can only be done by spanking. I do not believe this is what God is teaching with these verses, and if it is we are in trouble in Washington State because we can only spank children with our hands on the bottom, and this cannot leave marks that last, I believe more than 24 hours. In other words you cannot use a belt, branch, or other objects. The child cannot be hit anywhere except on the bottom.
I personally believe this is a reasonable law and we as parents, and grandparents need to follow the law of the land on this subject. Yes, we need to discipline them, but do it when we are not angry, and use wisdom and love. Putting a child in time out would fulfill the spirit of the law here. The point is to show direction, and show where the boundaries are so the children will show respect and follow our good examples of behavior. We need to treat the children as God treats us, with love at all times, even when they disobey. As a father of three, two boys and a girl, and eight grandchildren, I would rather error on the side of love than on the side of discipline. There is, however, a healthy balance between correction and love, God alone can give us the wisdom we need for our own children!
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.' And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: discipline, rod, spanking, correction, chastisement