Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children
I refer to the letter “True religious education must provide access to information about other religions.” (30/06/2008). I agree with a lot of what this writer stated, but I also have to disagree with a lot of his comments.
For example, he noted, “On the issue of corporal punishment…religious education will teach children, from reading the Old Testament, that corporal punishment was an ancient pre-Christian practice…”
First of all, we need to carefully define what corporal punishment is. Corporal punishment is the flogging of a child by a parent or teacher without inflicting wounds or bodily harm. We also need to know what the Holy Bible says about this issue, and understand these specific passages of Scripture in their context.
Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”
The greatest responsibility that God gives parents is the nurture and guidance of their children. Lack of discipline puts parents’ love in question, because it shows a lack of concern for the character development of their children. Disciplining children averts long-range disaster.
Without correction, children grow up with no clear understanding of right and wrong and with little direction to their lives.
Proverbs 23:13, 14 “Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.” Many parents are reluctant to discipline their children at all.
Some fear that they will forfeit their relationship, that their children will resent them, or that they will stifle their children’s development. But correction won’t kill children, and it may prevent them from foolish moves that will.
Proverbs 29:15 “To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.”
Proverbs 19:18 “Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.” Firm correction helps them learn, and learning makes them wise. Consistent, loving discipline will ultimately teach them to discipline themselves.
Proverbs 3: 11-12 “My child despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction. For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Discipline sounds negative to many people because some disciplinarians are not loving. God, however, is the source of all love. He knows that, in order to be morally strong and good, we must learn the difference between right and wrong. His loving discipline enables us to do that.
Ephesians 6: 4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” Clearly, these few portions of Scripture reveal that it is God’s plan for parents, teachers, guardians etc. to discipline a child.
Many countries may ban corporal punishment, or many religions of the world might prohibit it, but that does not make it right. The wisdom of this world is like foolishness to God. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.