Biblical Discipline

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.” No doubt anyone who has ever been in an IFB church has heard that verse quoted from Proverbs. In my church, it was introduction for the pastor to start yelling at parents for not spanking their kids as often as they should. When I heard that verse, I knew that I would be walking on eggshells for at least a week trying to please my dad. So here is my rant about spanking.

Growing up my brothers and I were spanked. It didn’t happen too much though in our early childhood. When my dad got involved with a another Baptist church that changed. Suddenly, I found myself getting into trouble for everything and anything. I once got spanked for helping a little girl who couldn’t find her mom. The church dictated what my dad should use. And guess what it was? Some sex toy sold over Amazon. Yep. That is right. It was a plastic cane basically that left bad welts and bruises. When I was 11 I was beat with it to the point that I was black and that was because I failed a Bible quiz. God forbid.

I feared my dad growing up. I didn’t really have a relationship with him because I thought I would get beat if I said something wrong. My childhood, teenage life was filled with anxiety and nervousness over it all. There were times when I was beat just so that my dad could prove to everyone that he was a tough guy. I don’t think his point ever got across.

Spanking is very sadistic as well. At the school I attended in the States, I witnessed one teen being humiliated in front of the whole school. They were only supposed to give out 3 swats. This guy however was given at least 15 when all was said and done. He was also hit so hard that he was nearly knocked over several times. It spread fear throughout the school. The kids looked away when a staff member would approach for fear of looking at them wrong. To this day spankings like this continue. Even though the pastor has denied it all on CNN.

Ever hear of the book Train up a Child by Michael Pearl? If you see it burn it. It is the fundamentalist handbook on how to beat your kid. One part in the book suggests that the parent sit on their child to keep them from moving. It also promotes spanking the child till the will is broken, a popular belief for the IFB. Michael Pearl has been on a few talk shows including Anderson Copper’s talk show. He tries to support his beliefs and says that he doesn’t promote child abuse. Sure looks like he does by the things he wrote.

So basically in a nutshell. I HATE spanking. It should be illegal. It is a sadistic and cruel thing to do to children. I would want my kids wills to be fully intact. I would want them to say what they want to say. Feel how they want to feel. And not fear me. (When I have them. Not there yet.) I believe that children should be treated just as you would want to be treated, and you wouldn’t like it much if someone beat you with a cane.

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6 thoughts on “Biblical Discipline

  1. That bit from “Proverbs” isn’t all that bad. It’s how it is used that’s the problem.

    We introduced our children to libraries, museums, music, concern for the environment, etc. And it turned out pretty well. I guess we took the positive approach, rather than the negative one.

  2. The way fundamentalist use this verse from Proverbs is cruel. Many consider it a promise; it is not–it is a proverb, a bit of wisdom that is generally applicable.

    When I was a fundamentalist in the 1950s and 60s, there were children who left the church after they grew up, just as they do today. Viewed as a promise, this proverb implied that the parents had failed. They were guilty of not training up the child in the way it should go. What other explanation was there.

    Parents bore tremendous guilt for their failure, but some took hope in that the proverb really meant that the child would someday return to God, which is not what it says at all.

    It is just a proverb!

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