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.

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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