Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spare the Rod?

Below you will find a story that has made news recently – one that should bother any parent in general, but should especially be bothersome to a believer.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CBS) -- A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.

"You don't spank children today," said Judge Jose Longoria. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children."

Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a "pretty simple, straightforward spanking case." They noted she didn't use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.

As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she'll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children's Advocacy Center.

She was arrested back in December after the child's paternal grandmother noticed red marks on the child's rear end. The grandmother took the girl, who was two years-old at the time, to the hospital to be checked out.

Gonzales who doesn't have custody of the child or her other two children, is trying to get them back, but until CPS feels she is ready the kids are living with their paternal grandmother.

Okay, the government has done such an amazing job thus far from managing the national debt, to allowing the murder of millions of babies - and now they are attempting to regulate the raising of children? Our Minister to Families with Children and my wife have professionally worked with children who have suffered from the wicked sin of abuse and neglect. But, if you read the above story this was simply a spanking. That is all! Can I tell you that the Bible DOES NOT state that if I “spare the rod I spoil the child”. Prov. 13:24 tells me if I “spare the rod [I] hate [my] child.” I have heard countless parents say: “Well spankings do not work with little Johnny because they just don’t hurt him.” Well, spankings that don’t hurt, don’t work. Again, a little bit of discomfort on the bottom is the not the abuse that the world makes it out to be, and a spanking should NEVER be anywhere else or anything more! Also, spanking as a “last resort” with anger or frustration not only doesn’t work, it is sinful.

Prov. 19:18 tells me to spank while there is still hope. This shows that there is a time that spankings are not going to work, but there is a window that that is virtually the only correction a child understands. You can disagree, quote Dr. Phil, Oprah or any other expert; but the Word of God is extremely clear on this subject. Our children inherit a sin nature from us - they are cute, but they are fallen creatures and they have no hope unless they learn obedience and submission to authority. Our goal is to speak to the heart, to identify with them as sinners, to love them and pray with them, but we must discipline them. Thank the Lord we live in a country where spanking is still legal no matter what some judge says to a mom about the old days. Give me a break! Just some parting thoughts:

• We are shown throughout the Word that to not spank is to ignore the Word of God. To ignore the Word of God is sin.

• When I spank, I am to do it biblically with love, and not anger. When speaking to matters of the heart, I give my child an early illustration of God as our Father. Prov. 3:11

• Spanking should be done at the first point of disobedience. Not after I count to three or the kids break something. This may take years (it did with our youngest), over and over and one day a light came on and it was amazing how much the spankings lessened as they got older. But there were many days where all of us were exhausted emotionally.

• There comes a time that spanking is not appropriate. I know of parents who have spanked their 15 or 16 year old. Really? This usually would be done out of anger, frustration and an “I don’t know what else to do…” and I think in light of Prov. 19:18 there is a time when it is inappropriate.

• I have children under my care, but they are the Lord’s. I don’t get to do what I think is best in my life or in raising them when the Word of God is crystal clear.

Sorry to the activist performing as a Judge in Texas…I have a better Judge to whom I must answer!