My husband and I were 20 and 22 when we first got married. We had kids almost immediately. Even though we were young, we loved Jesus with all of our hearts and wanted to raise our kids to do the same.
We were both spanked as children. We realized it taught us amazing life lessons while not creating fear in any way. We do believe discipline is very important in the younger years. So, I want to share with you why and how we spank our children. Most importantly, I’m sharing what the Bible says about it.
We spank our children because the Bible tells us to.
First and foremost, we believe EVERYTHING in the Bible. We do not pick and choose what we decide to believe and form our own opinions on different topics. Yes, we fall short constantly of what we know we should be doing. At the same time we never debate what God’s word says and we try our best to follow it.
Proverbs 13:24 says ” Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” (Version)
Proverbs 29:15 says “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Version)
These are just a few of the verses we have seen so much truth in. We love our kids enough to follow God’s word on how to raise them. We might not really like it or it might not make us feel great. In the end, their souls are what matters since we have such a short period of time to train them up in Christ.
We show our kids God’s love before, during & after a spanking.
I was raised in a household that modeled Godly love any time I was spanked. My dad would always tell me he is spanking me because, he loves me. He would never raise his voice or do it in anger. He would always hug and love on me afterwards. This is exactly how we have treated our children.
Spanking is not meant to harm the child in any serious way. It is meant to cause temporary pain that leaves no marks of any kind. Just enough to show them their actions are wrong. Also, to associate pain with those actions. This is incredibly effective with toddlers that do not understand long explanations but, right and wrong in the simplest manner.
We briefly explain to them why their behavior equates to a spanking and what a better choice would of been. We share that this is a consequence for the choices they made. Then we spank them and hug them tightly afterwards, explaining that we don’t like to do this but, because we love them we have to show them there are painful consequences for bad behavior.
Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Everything does not deserve a spanking.
We teach our children that every behavior good or bad has a consequence. In our home spanking is the ultimate consequence because it causes some pain. We also use time outs, going to bed early and taking away privileges. Age really determines how effective each method is as well because it’s not going to be as effective to a 14 year old as it is for a 3 or 4 year old.
Spanking should not be the consequence for every behavior. We decide to spank for things that are really toxic, if the behavior continues such as: hitting or harming anyone else, acting out in anger continuously (yelling at us, throwing stuff ), continuous disobedience and defiance, and lying. For most other behaviors we use “time- outs.”
Spanking teaches God’s love for us.
Hebrews 12:11 says “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
We have all experienced this as God’s children. There are times when we make bad choices, and we still have to live with those consequences but, when we look back we are grateful for the hard times and what it produced in us. The most growth tends to come from the most painful times. This is the same for our kids. They don’t learn lessons on what pleases God by getting a dissertation, but by realizing that there are pain in our consequences but God gives us a unconditional love and a new chance every time. As parents we should do the same.
Spanking is effective.
We have a toddler, but we also have two boys that are 9 and 11. Now that we are doing way less spankings than in the ages 2-6, we have really seen so much pay off. We have always received a lot of compliments on their behavior. Even as toddlers they know how to sit in church because, we were consistent whether in public or at home on giving consequences for bad behavior.
We saw, at a young age, them starting to make good decisions and having less misbehavior because of the spankings and overall balance with discipline.
This made for a happier, less stressed out, mama because I wasn’t dealing with crazy tantrums and disrespect every day. They were starting to “get it. ” Also, as they went to school, their perspectives seemed to be more mature. They have started realizing there are consequences in every stage of life and that we alone are responsible for those actions.
All children desire a balance of love and discipline in their homes and the early childhood years are so crucial in determining how your child will respect authority, treat others and conduct themselves for the rest of their lives. We fail our children when we don’t help direct their actions to that of Christ. Children do not naturally know how to live for Christ. Spend a day with a toddler in the “terrible two’s” and you will easily see that. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:15, ” Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
Spanking is not something that my husband or I have ever enjoyed, but we pray that it will impact their lives for the better. All we can take is the instruction God gives us on various issues in parenting and leave the rest in His hands because, they really are His anyways.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
For more articles on parenting, check out “How to raise grateful kids.”