Does Your Church Believe In Hitting Kids?

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24)

Due to the fact that I was a public school Principal, and had written the book for parents, Handle With Care, I was asked to testify in court on behalf of a parent of one of our Sunday School children in a child custody case.

The Lawyer asked me, “Does your church believe in hitting kids?”

My reply was, “No, we do not believe in hitting kids – but we do believe in spanking our children — at times.”

His next question was, “By what authority do you spank kids?”

My reply was, “My authority is the very Bible that I ‘swore’ on as I took my oath in this court.” I glanced over at the Judge, and he was smiling. We won the case.

No! we do not believe in hitting children–we believe in spanking children, “betimes”. There is a difference. The first is done in anger and frustration; the second is done in love and concern for the child.

“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Hebrews 12:6

“If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgement … then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.” Psalm 89:30, 32

Notice, spanking is done in love and is directed at the infraction whereas “hitting” is a punishment directed at the person. Hitting is done to hurt the child. Spanking is done to change the behavior.

Hitting is done in anger – to the head, to the face or anywhere it happens to land. Spanking is done under control and applied to the “seat of understanding.” Hitting is done with belt buckles and lamp cords. Spanking is done with a rod, a switch or a paddle. Hitting leaves physical scars and bruises. Spanking smarts and stings but does not physically abuse.

Hitting seems to be done often and randomly depending upon the emotions of the parents. Spanking is kept for those certain times when there has been direct disobedience, open defiance, and the child has pitted his will against ours. His will must be broken but never his spirit.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15

Conclusion
Finally, with spanking there should always be a time after the crying for love, teaching, counseling and forgiveness.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten and he will bind us up.” Hosea 6:1

No, we do not believe in hitting children. Yes, we do believe in spanking “betimes.”

There is a difference.

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