Parenting on purpose. That's what our church calls it. That's what this is about.

What's our purpose? To glorify God! May this blog do just that.

If you want to know more, see the Purpose Page.

If you are interested in debating whether or not the Bible is true, please contact me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spanking 101 - The Rules of the Rod

You can't just spank whenever you want to. That would not be godly. He doesn't just discipline when He's angry or when it's easy. Neither should you.

Before you ever spank your child, you need to do a pain test. Test the rod on yourself. It is very useful to know how much pain you are inflicting on your child. Often it can reveal the sin in your heart. After the pain test, are you about to cry from the pain? You're probably angry. Are you looking for a mark because you can't feel the pain? You're probably fearful. Or lazy. Or the handle of your mixing spoon is a lot shorter than the usual "rod". I'm not calling anyone names here - these are my real reactions to the pain test. Check yourself, dear loggy-eyed parent. Your kid is only splinter-eyed.

Rule #1
Never use the rod when you are angry.

That's child abuse. Avoid this situation at all costs! It will happen to almost all parents (even those who "don't spank") - there will be a day when you are angry and you spank your child in that anger. What do you do then? Submit to the Holy Spirit. Be humble. Confess your sin to your child (even if she's only 10 months old), apologize to her, ask her to forgive you, tell her about how Christ died for your sins, pray with her and let her hear you confess your sin to God and praise Him for the cross. Most importantly here is to ask her for forgiveness. Again, even if she's only 10 months old, do these things. You're a parent - you already know that she understands. But I'll say it anyway. She understands what you're doing, and you can tell because she stops crying, her face softens, she gets curious, and she hugs you at the end with no tears and is a happy little thing.

Rule #2
Never leave a bruise or mark on your child.

You should never leave a mark on your child - if you do, you are spanking too hard. Now, by a mark, I mean a bruise or other injury. Try firmly hitting your bare thigh with a plastic spoon and see how quickly it turns red. And how it never bruises.

If you leave a bruise on your child and did not spank in anger, you need to talk to your spouse and maybe your Christian friends to evaluate whether or not your rod is the problem. If you left a bruise after an angry spank, consider it discipline from the Lord. Every time you see that little bruise, you will be reminded of the sin you committed and must repent of. He will force your gaze to the cross to rid yourself of the guilt and you will find so much joy in Calvary. 

Rule #3
Spank your child's bare butt.

It's cushioned.  It's always in your pants.  It stings but doesn't hurt.  It has one million terrific names! (rear, bottom, seat, hiney, butt, buttocks, derrier, tush, tushie, tukus, gluteus maximus, glutes, booty, bum, posterior, behind, backside, fanny, rump, tail, tail end, hind end, fundament, breech, can, keister, duff, bon bon, money maker, buns, donk, caboose, patootie... and whatever your kids call it! Ours call it a tukie - combo of tushie and tukus.)

Rule #4
Never humiliate your child.
If your child is embarrassed because you've revealed his bare bottom, it's time to stop spanking.  Find another way to discipline your child - in a biblical, loving way (find out his currency and take control).

Rule #5
Include reproof (the rod and reproof)
Reproof is the teaching part - using scripture.  There are many great resources out there, and you have access to the greatest one: the Bible.  Wise Words for Moms is an excellent resource, as well as Give them Grace and Loving the Little Years.
Reproof looks like this: God asks us to love others as we love ourselves.  You were choosing to love yourself much more than loving your brother when you took his lego ship.  We have to love others regardless of how they behave.  Does your brother take your toys sometimes?  Is it easy to love him when he does that?  So is it easy to obey God?  The Holy Spirit can help you, though!  One thing we can do while we wait for Him is to memorize scripture.  God's word is living and active - so let's memorize Mark 12:30-31 together.  Let's work on it with your brother, too!"

Rule #6
Pour on grace.

Drown your child in it.  Be drowned in it!  Tell your child that you would have gotten angry and yelled at your child if you didn't have the Holy Spirit in you!  Just like your child got angry and hit his sister.  Consider yourself the worst of sinners and tell your kids about it.  When you pray, talk about the Holy Spirit and His power in us.  When you see a victory in your child, credit the one who deserves the credit - God! "You just asked for that toy instead of snatching it from her!  God is working in your heart - just like we asked!"

Rule #7
The end result of the discipline session is a closer relationship with the parent and with God.

Don't leave that room until you're at least on neutral terms.  Better yet, don't leave until you're smiling together.  Some kids are able to get back to joy quickly and others aren't.  Sometimes your child will continue to feel sad about sinning or being disciplined - which could be a sign of conviction!  Exciting!!  

You'll quickly discover that your child continues in foolishness by disobeying and requiring discipline.  Much later, you'll learn about God's faithfulness in His pursuit of His beloved children.  Keep that lesson in the back of your mind for the day when you say "There's no friggin point - my kid just keeps disobeying and ALL I do is spank!  IT DOESN'T WORK!"  Also keep in mind that you're not the Holy Spirit or the creator of the world.  You may want to change your expectations.  Now is a good time for that.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Spanking 101 - What is a rod?

The word "rod" in scripture was defined in the previous post. Please take note that God does not tell us to use our hands when we spank. He does not tell us not to use our hands, but He does tell us that "if you strike him with the rod you will deliver him from death".

No one wants to see their child die. Especially if you understand this verse - we're not talking about a body that stopped functioning. We are dealing with souls - our children's souls! We are all dead in our trespasses (Eph 2:1). The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23).

We want to see our kids alive in Christ! We certainly do not save our children - God obviously does that. We obey God in the area of spanking because His wisdom tells us that the point of spanking is to deliver a child from death.

So you need a rod. My guess is that you don't have a scepter or a random rod that you deem safe to use for spanking lying around in your home somewhere. When choosing a rod, you must be careful to find an object that will not injure your child when used under control but that will sting enough to inflict some pain.

The most common rods used by Christian parents today include:
wooden mixing spoons
plastic mixing spoons
regular-sized-glue-gun glue sticks
various homemade paddles

In most homes, it is very useful to have many rods. The bathroom is the best place for a rod (See Rules of the Rod, coming up next in this blog). Many times, though, it is more prudent to have a rod close by at all times so that disciplining your child is quick and convenient. Spanking is a responsibility given to parents. Wouldn't it be difficult to obey God in this area if you only owned one "rod" in the midst of all of your stuff in your home?

Here's the small analysis of "rods" I've received:
wooden spoons are great but they break more easily than plastic spoons (note: it is a wearing out of the spoon, not the child's rear, that causes the breaking)

mixing spoons can be tricky because they are all different lengths. If you are using a variety of lengths, you will probably need to do a pain test on yourself before each spanking.  Make sure you test the rod on the same area of your own hiney that you'll be aiming for on your child, but slightly harder because you're keeping your pants up.  You can do this in front of your child, and I would encourage you to in order to show your child that you are not angry. If you are angry, get past that before you discipline (spank) your child.  (See Rules of the Rod)

the glue sticks are great because they fit easily into a purse or diaper bag

paddles are generally used when spoons no longer inflict enough pain. This has not been a problem for us so we continue to use plastic spoons.

Also, please use discretion in storing your "rods", whatever they are. It is humiliating your child to leave a "rod" out where someone can see it and make a comment like, "I see someone got a spanking today." It is also unwise to leave something like this in plain view because of the world we live in, where spanking can be a legal issue, even when done in a biblical, loving way.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Spanking 101 - Intro - God's Way

You will never wonder if you are raising your kids right if you are a believer and follow God's instructions that He's provided in the Bible. That has been a huge relief for me in this world where parents are attacked from all sides by worldly views of The Right Way and The Wrong Way.

The Right Way is God's way, and His way of raising children is spelled out clearly in scripture.

The focus of this series is obviously spanking. I'm starting with this because that's the stage I'm in and I need the truth and I want to share the truth. The goal here is to build you up by encouraging you in the challenges of living in this world and not being of this world.

One thing we must remember before we even look at scripture is the context of all scripture. God has given us a perfect book, with no mistakes, no contradictions, and no lies. As we look at verses about spanking, we will also look at verses that seemingly have nothing to do with spanking - but are actually clear guidelines for how to do it.

Let's take a look at some verses.

Prov 23:13-14
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.

This verse presents 2 important truths that we must fight to cling to in the midst of this world:

1) God commands us to "punish them (our own children) with the rod". We are also told to "not withhold discipline from a child" - again, God is telling us how to raise our children.
Some Christians will claim that "the rod" is not an object used for spanking/hitting. However, we learn by looking at the Greek/Hebrew bible here in these verses what the "rod" is:
The meaning of the Hebrew word is 1) rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, scepter, tribe, shaft (of spear, dart), club (of shepherd's implement), truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority), clan (1).

2) God is considerate of our thought process and emotions when he gives us instructions. He says "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die." There's no reason for God to encourage us with the phrase "they will not die" if it's not worrying us. If you are still not convinced that the rod is an object used for spanking, please consider how many times you have thought that your child might die from the punishment they are receiving. When you put your child in time out or take away a toy, it has probably never crossed your mind that he might die from that. However, if you are spanking your child, this thought would be feasible.

*Note: nowhere in scripture does it say to give or not give time outs, whether or not you should take away a toy, etc. The focus here is that it does say we are to spank our children. If you are neglecting to do that, consider the possibility that you are disobeying God.

I recommend this article for further reading:
Eight Misconceptions about Spanking

Monday, February 17, 2014

Psalm 34:3-4 and Proverbs 14:1 Printable

I have a verse (actually 2!) to share with you.  Feel free to print as many as you'd like!  Please don't sell it, though.  There are 4 copies in case you'd like to print it smaller - just choose Print - Page Scaling: Multiple Pages per Sheet - Custom 2x1 or 2x2 (depending on how small you want it).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I don't want to let go!


Tommy and Alex are playing trains together around the corner and all is well. It's like being in a storybook, stirring a pot of Something Delicious for dinner, listening to the music of children laughing and "choo choo"ing, feeling the breeze through the kitchen window as it ruffles my apron.

Until those 3 angry words come out, "No! That's MINE!", followed by shrieking and stomping. Determined not to laugh at Tommy's tantrum, I grab the hand flailing a train around and ask him to look at Mommy. Once I have his eyes, I say, "Can you please choose self control?" in a sweet, storybook voice. I take a moment to appreciate the pretty apron brushing Tommy's shoes. Our eyes meet again, "Tommy, you may not snatch. That is a sin, called being selfish." I'm picturing the reenactment that we will do in a moment... Tommy saying "please" to Alex, Alex saying "wait, please" and moments later giving it to Tommy, or "here, Tommy" in sweet, storybook voices. As he calms down, my hand moves toward that train.


The choice I make here is important. To ask Tommy to give the train back to Alex or to take the train from Tommy and hand it to Alex?

Asking Tommy to give it back means a chance for him to disobey, leading to a second discipline session. And who knows how many discipline sessions it will take before he actually hands the train to Alex. It also means a chance of Tommy throwing it at Alex and having to hold Alex and care for him while disciplining Tommy for snatching, as well as throwing. There's my pretty apron again. Something Delicious needs to be stirred.

I take the train.

Tommy's feet are stomping. He's doing that weird quiet scream in his mouth. He's angry. He didn't want to let go and I forced him to. Now we still have 2 discipline sessions.

Something Delicious might be burning. I go take it off the stove and take Tommy and Alex to the bathroom to be disciplined (Tommy for being selfish by snatching, Alex for being selfish and using unloving words toward his brother). We go back to the playroom and do the reenactment. Of course, Tommy says "please", Alex says "wait" and I have to cut in after a few seconds to tell him that Tommy has waited long enough and Alex joyfully hands the train over and picks up one of the other 15 trains that are on the table.

What did I teach Tommy and Alex?

I taught Tommy that I am in control and that I am allowed to snatch. I taught Alex that the snatching must be dealt with before the closed-fist heart holding the train. Sure, I also taught that they were both being selfish. They were both sinning against each other, against me by disobeying, and against God. I did okay.

I also provoked Tommy to anger.

I sinned against God and Tommy.

Jesus died for that, too.

I glory in the cross now, days after this happened.


What if I had asked Tommy to hand the train back to Alex?

He would have hesitated. Would he get it back? It's important. Tommy needs to know he'll get it back. Or that he'll get something better. A lollipop. He'd trade up for a lollipop.

Would that be like God asking us to give Him everything? Does He force us to give Him things we want to hold onto? If we were able to willingly give all of our beloved problems, stuff, and sin patterns over to God, would our feet stomp? Perhaps at first. Would he give back our stuff, our situations minus the problems? The idols, no longer idolized, but enjoyed to the glory of God? Maybe.

Would he remove the fleshly desires and replace them with spirit-filled desires? Would He give us something better? Would He make us more like Christ? YES.

When I don't want to let go, do I receive a discipline session?
Does that thing I hold onto with my closed-fist of a heart tend to cause problems? Do I find that while I'm trying to enjoy it, something inside of me is ruining the joy? The Lord disciplines those He loves. How often does this happen before I finally let go?

When I'm being disciplined by God, do I have an angry, resentful heart? Or do I put my heart in the hands of God, who will mold it into something very much like Christ's heart?

Give God your train.




Trusting Him completely. And check your hands everyday to make sure your fist didn't close around something else.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The worst that could happen

We are moms. We worry.

We worry about everything. Is the house clean enough, are the kids healthy, will our husbands always love us, what will happen if he loses his job, what we'll make for dinner tomorrow, do people like us, and does our hairstyle makes our foreheads look big?

Now let's take a minute and think clearly about The Truth.

What is the worst that could happen?

We could suffer. People we love could suffer.

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ, you should not only believe in him but also suffer. Philippians 1:29

Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trials of all kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

We worry that people we love will suffer, which is a gift from God that actively makes these people that we love more like Christ.

Still worried?

We could die. Someone we love could die.

If that "dying" person is a believer, here's what we're worrying about:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

We worry that we or our fellow believers will die, which is the path to a perfect-in-every-way-can't-be-any-better, eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Still worried?

We worry that if we die, our families will suffer too much.

We already know about suffering. What about the idea that we're giving ourselves a little too much credit? We're saying that our families just won't be able to live without us? It will just be too hard? God needs us? Let's get real. God created the world with a few words. Seems like He might not need our help.

Still think you're that important to the well-being of your families?

We worry that we might lose our husband's love.

When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, He opened her womb. Genesis 29:31

A child. That's what Leah wanted more than anything. That's what she got when the LORD saw that she was not loved. God showed His love in the best way He could to Leah.

Can being loved by many people cloud our vision of God's love for us? Perhaps. Not necessarily.

So, like Leah, if we are not loved by our husbands, that can amplify our perception of God's love for us because of the work He will do.

Still worried?

Then keep reminding yourself of The Truth.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Competitive or Envious?

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Patience and kindness are 2 things we are easily motivated to teach our children because they are also valued by the world. What about teaching our children to not be envious, boastful or proud in a world where self esteem is deemed so important instead of esteeming God?

I went running with my sister who runs on a regular basis and participates in things like half-marathons. As I trailed far behind her and began to walk after less than a mile of jogging, I found myself envious of her ability to run. I felt like I "lost" at running - because I am competitive. Being "competitive" is very much of the world. I have become a bad loser. God did a work in me as I struggled to breathe while watching my sister disappear ahead of me. He brought to my attention the need to be thankful that He has gifted her with the motivation and ability to discipline her mind and body in the way of running. Then I became thankful for His gifts to me in "thoroughly equipping me for every good work" by His word. (1 Tim 3:16-17)

Instead of teaching our children to be competitive, which certainly leads to being proud and boastful when they win and to being envious and joyless when they lose, let us teach them to love by being thankful for giving others different gifts so that God may be glorified in many different ways. Let us teach them to love God by being thankful for the gifts they have received from Him, above all, the gift of Himself - Christ's finished work on the cross and sanctification from the Holy Spirit, which will arm them to beat sin, which has no power over those in Christ! Let us teach them to esteem God, not themselves, whether they win or lose.