Children, Discipline and Spanking

Children, Discipline and Spanking

Q.    Why do some churches teach people to spank their children? I won’t; it just teaches them to become violent.

A.   Modern psychologists and social engineers would agree with you. They believe that children are born innocent, and the evil they do is learned from those around them.

However, this modern trend contradicts what God says in His Word. But David knew that he was born with a fallen human nature, Psalm 51:5. And which parents ever taught their children to lie, steal, cheat or be mean – and that, long before they were in contact with ‘those evil kids of other parents’!

Even Christians today, would you believe it, are rejecting what God says, in favour of abandoning their parental responsibility before God to “Train up a child in the way he should go” and to “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying,” – Prov 22:6, 19:18. See also Prov 22:15, 23:13. Why, Prov 13:24 actually says, “He that spareth his rod, hateth his son.”

Sadly, many parents are today wringing their hands in despair for having dumped God’s ways and, for some, it is too late. All conclude that an increasingly violent and wicked generation is arising, not because of applying God’s ways, but because of the absence of them.

Now science has entered the debate. Psychologist Richard Tremblay of the Université de Montreal studied 511 children, all under 18 months old. He found that 70% of the children grab things. 46% push others, 21% physically attack others, 23% fight, 27% bite and 24% kick. These evil behaviours were going on long before the children could have learned them from those around them.

Tremblay concludes parents’ real task is not to teach children to be themselves, but rather to teach children to obey moral principles. His research supports the Bible’s teaching of Original Sin, and by implication, the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve. Perhaps this explains why parents must daily battle self-idolatry. They must do this for their children until their children learn to do this for themselves.

Parent’s need the wisdom of God and His Word in bringing up their children in our sick world – not the wisdom that has emerged from the very sickness of our society to claim yet more victims.