Should Disciplinary Spanking be Considered Child Abuse?

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Back to school season is here for those living in the US. Don't let lack of discipline be the reason a good teacher refuses to be your kids teacher. Help them help you by laying the disciplinary foundation for your kids. You've probably heard some group say that the bible encourages child abuse because of the "spare the rod, spoil the child" quote in Proverbs. There is a bible answer to this question of "child discipline" but let me clarify a few things so people don't go wild and misquote me without reading the entire piece. Also, please, save your energy on your state or federal laws. Freedom of slaves in the United States was "unconstitutional" at one time. Simply because something is in a constitution doesn't make it right. I'm talking bible right now but I'll briefly touch on those other laws on this topic if need be.

It is great to compliment your kids and pat them on the back for encouragement as much as possible. But we need to remember that it takes both rain and sunshine for a plant to grow. Sometimes in life, positive criticism is just as good as a compliment; we need both in our lives, if we want to grow. We also need to remember that abusive WORDS can be worst than spanking a child and the mental scar is invisible. We first need to discipline ourselves if we want our disciplinary actions to be effective in our kids. I NEVER spanked my kid but the bible is certainly NOT against it. I choose a different forms of discipline that is just as effective but the key was to start practicing early and never let your foot off the peddle. If you wait too long to show your children the right path, you may end up becoming abusive with the "rod" of correction. No, I'm not giving parenting advice; I'm just telling you my preference, which is also biblical. Now, let's talk DISCIPLINE.

We allow our kids to participate in contact sports like: Karate, Boxing, Football, Soccer etc. and they get hit harder than a spank on the butt. Yet, none of these are considered abuse to the child. Why is it that the CONTACT (spank) from a parent with less physical impact is considered "abuse" to the child? This is because we choose to see what we want to see as humans. This is just another reason why I keep saying to hold your constitution close but HOLD your bible CLOSER. The bible will shape your point of view or how you CHOOSE to see an act, which will determine what you will get out of man made laws. 

1. The act of a guy saving a female choking victim, when viewed from the wrong angle can easily be mistaken for something else, which most "adults" understand.

2. A friend jokingly tells you to "shut up" or "get out of here" and you took no offense to it. You understood it to be different from the SAME words being used by a complete stranger during an altercation.

3Solomon said in Proverbs 20:17 that "food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel." - Does this mean we eat sand or gravel? NO, it's simply saying stealing has its CONSEQUENCES.

The bible does NOT encourage child abuse; it encourages and commands discipline. If you cross the line, that's on you and not on God (Ephesians 6:4). Can you DISCIPLINE a child by spanking or other means without being abusive? YES. ABUSE can occur WITH or WITHOUT spanking. If a kid needs a friendly tap or whip to get their ATTENTION on what direction to go, it should NOT be considered abuse. Spanking is NOT going to kill them just like the contact sports they play will not kill them (Proverbs 23:13) - just don't make this a habit to the point where it becomes your only way of correction and you end up becoming abusive. Kids will grow up and surprise you with the wrong choices they will make. But the chances of a child getting back on the right track (God's way), is much better if we choose to live our lives on the right track and show it to them as a priority.

Abraham Inetianbor
Discipline is to consistently show and direct their path. It should not be mistaken for abuse or turning a kid into a punching bag. Solomon's focus was on directing a path and this is why he often compared HUMILITY and WICKEDNESS; WISDOM and FOOLISHNESS; RICH and POOR; RIGHTEOUS and SINNERS when talking about the parent's responsibility in raising a child. His point was always to choose the right path that will benefit them when they grow up. If this takes a friendly smack in the butt to get their attention, so be it. Psalm 23 says "The Lord is my Shepherd..." because His word is the staff that directs, protect and provides light for our dark path (Psalm 119:105). The word of God is sharper than a double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) that pricks the heart (Acts 2:37) and it is also like a rod of correction that drives out foolishness from the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15). There is power in the WORD so use it.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain...." in Psalm 127 is not referring to a brick and mortal building. It's talking about God being included as the focal point in the growth of our households or family. You will need to read the entire chapters 127 and 128 to fully understand the power of this quote in Psalms 127:1. If God is not included, then we are definitely building our family in vain. Most people understand how to guide a herd of cattle with a stick, control a flock of sheep with a staff and give a friendly WHIP to a horse or rein it in. We do all these to direct their path. Yet, none of these actions are considered abuse to the pets or animals. This is because we know not to cross the line from training to abuse. Why can't we guide the path of those precious innocent humans we brought to this world without abusing them? - Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 23:13-14.

The same human laws that see spanking as abusive is not flawless. Someone like Sherry Yvonne Johnson of Tampa, Florida was raped at 8 years old, eventually got pregnant and forced to marry at 11 years old in a court of law. Scan through all the marriage licences in all 50 states of America and you will see that about a quarter million of those licenses were issued to underage girls by a court of law. They were allowed to get married to older adult male - some in their thirties. In 2018, some states like Florida signed a bill to end such practices. My point is: human laws will never be perfect because the same human government that didn't have any problem issuing a marriage certificate to underage kids, is quick to pass a laws that equates discipline to abuse in some states.

When we focus on the perfect law of liberty (the bible), we are able to weed out the noise of how WE (the imperfect humans) choose to see RIGHT and WRONG. No one ever said raising a child would be easy so keep on keeping on with prayers. Our primary responsibility when we decide to have a child is to be a parent. Being a parent is more than working to put food on the table. We still have to work even when we are not parents. Work and everything else is mandatory but secondary. It's just part of caring for the child that we decided to be a parent to. Don't loose hope - when there is life, there is always hope. STAY HOPEFUL MY FRIENDS.

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