Why using the rod on your child and spanking is not found in the Bible: An old truth in a new light. (Part 1)
In many Christian books, it is out of question that this is a command from God, and if we want to obey him, we have to use the rod. (…or other ways of physical correction)
On the Internet and in books from “Christian experts in raising children” you can find the exact information how to use it, in what occasions, from what age on and with what material, how many times, how much it has to hurt, and when to stop.
Most of those books are written by Christians, taking the bible very serious, wanting to apply the truths written in there in their home and education.
I am a Christian too and I take it very seriously as well. It is my heart to raise my children in a “biblical way”.
However, back in spring 2004 I went to a seminary about child raising, held by Catherine and late Frank Fabiano (Authors of “healing your past, releasing your future”). Being psychologists and pastors at the same time, their view about raising a child were both professional and God-fearing. This seminar laid a deep impression into my heart, as I could recognize my own heart as a child in it, and how I can reach out to the hearts of children as an adult. This seminar even laid a foundation to my future studies as a small children educator.
When I later got acquainted with many Christian books about education, I just felt that the teaching in there did not resound the same way in my heart as did that seminar.
On one side I admired the authors devotion to the Bible and how they want to involve God and his commands in their education. However, the more I experienced the grace of God in my own life, over my mistakes and failures, the more I doubted many of their proclaimed “commands of God” for child raising.
Using the rod on a child.
On the Internet and in books about “Christian experts in raising children” you can find the exact information how to use it, in what occasions, from what age on and with what material, how many times, how much it has to hurt, and when to stop.
Even though these people are very serious and God fearing in what they teach… it is possible to be seriously wrong in what one believes. And in this matter, they are. Using the rod and any other physical pain to correct the child is not a command, found in the Bible.
I want to speak about why I have good news for parents and children concerning those scriptures in Proverbs.
In this article I will point to the findings I took from a book written by Samuel Martin. Samuel Martin has been in Jerusalem on and off during his childhood and lives there permanently since 2001. He knows the culture and the language, and therefore was able to study the book of proverbs in the context; including the study of the ancient post biblical and biblical culture of the times where it was written.
I will only do a short resume of his material. Therefore, if you really want to know what his finding were, in all the details and powerful clarification of what it really says in these scriptures from proverbs… I strongly suggest you download the book “Thy Rod And Thy Staff They Comfort Me – Christians and the smacking Controversy” here and read it by yourself.
On page 14 of my printed version, Samuel Martin states “it is not appropriate to simply quote the five texts in Proverbs that refer to the “rod” as the authoritative evidence for smacking (spanking) children and imagine that there is little else to discuss in this matter”
I think that’s very true, and so I was eager to dig deeper into that subject, this time by reading his book.
There is a general word meaning “son” (ben) and “daughter” (bath) in Hebrew. These general words are found hundreds of times in the bible.
However, like in the English language with the modern English terms
“newborn”, “infant”, “nursing child”, “toddler”, “preschooler”, “prepubescent”, “pre-teen”, “teenager”, “young adult” and “adult”; we can find similar terms in the Hebrew language, where each phase of Child development has a different name.
So please come back, the findings are very interesting and enlightening, giving us more freedom to make decisions in our lives based on the truth – instead of simply following what the “childraising experts” claim to be the truth.