I am a dad of 4 kids. Oddly, none of them wanted to model for a photo for this post. They are good kids and I love and encourage them every chance I get. As good as they are, they are still kids. They make mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes they try to push the limits of what is right and occasionally they cross the line. I love them and encourage them, teach them and help them make better decisions, but sometimes they just need a spankin’.
Good old fashion discipline is a vital part of learning and growing. We have never used “time out”. I think “time out” is a completely useless, ineffective form of discipline and I’m not even sure it really qualifies as discipline. A good spanking… not a beating, but three or four solid swats on the backside, can be much more beneficial than 15 minutes in time out. One of the most popular Biblical quotes about discipline is “spare the rod and spoil the child”. This is not actually a Bible verse, rather a quote from a 17th century poet, Samuel Butler.
“What medicine else can cure the fits
Of lovers when they lose their wits?
Love is a boy by poets styled
Then spare the rod and spoil the child.”
The verse in Proverbs 13:24 is actually a little stronger than the common quote.
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
It seems to me that we have a world full of undisciplined, spoiled little brats running around that have no idea about how to handle themselves, deal with conflict, or think about anyone other than themselves. I do see some sparks of hope that some of that is changing, but for the most part we have a large portion of our nation that just needs a spankin’… starting with the parents. The adults are often worse than the kids.
In an over-reaction to the “hell fire and damnation” sermons of years ago, our churches have shifted to a more “seeker sensitive” approach to teaching. We teach love, acceptance, grace, and forgiveness and the few sermons about hell are fairly light and glossed over. We are afraid of offending someone and causing them to leave the church. As a result, we have ended up with churches full of undisciplined, spoiled little Christians running around that don’t know God’s teachings because some of them can be kind of offensive and harsh. Our churches have become ineffective at creating cultural change because we are afraid to offend someone. We have churches full of Christians that just need a spankin’… starting with the pastors and church leaders.
We struggle with what to do about “our messed up world” with the increase in evil and corruption, although much of this behavior has become acceptable because we just want to love everybody. If we tell them what they did was wrong, it might offend them and they might leave the church. If we never tell them what they did was wrong, is that really any better? Sometimes we all just need a spankin’. It’s o.k. We’ll survive. My kids survived. And because I disciplined them growing up, my life with two teenagers has so far been rather enjoyable. A little discipline, a little harsh teaching keeps us all on track.