We find some controversy in this chapter. Go ahead and skip right to vs.24 where we find the classic: “spare the rod and spoil the child.” There is so much controversy around the way in which children are disciplined. My take is that every family must find and settle upon what is the best way for them. In my premarital counseling classes I encourage couples to talk about what it would look like to them to discipline their children. The question centers around whether discipline should include some corporeal punishment, or not.
Just in a sense of full disclosure, I was spanked by a spoon and a belt and a hand. Not in any particular order, but that was the process that I needed, more than any of the other brothers, in order to understand what the rules and the regulations were. With my children a hand was used for two daughters and one simply didn’t need it. As you can guess from these statements that I am in favor of this type of punishment as long as it is administered in a specific way.
This type of punishment cannot be administered impulsively and without planning. The child needs to know what is going to happen, why it is happening, and how to avoid this from happening again. It is not a lashing out in anger or a display of force in order to drive fear in the hearts of the child. That is not what spanking is about. But I also understand parents who could not imagine spanking their child. There are so many other ways in which to discipline a child. I get it. This chapter has created a lot of discussion for a lot of people and I am sure that it will not end today.