Spanking children – is it abusive?
The common “wisdom” of our day is that spanking children is a form of abuse. Some say it so definitively that it seems beyond question.
But THINK about the statement for just a minute. It is such a GENERALIZED statement…
- In both cases the statement COULD be true, but it isn’t NECESSARILY true.
- No doubt spanking can, in some cases, be legitimately abusive.
- But that doesn’t mean it always is.
There is a whole lot more that has to be said before we can determine if it is true in any given case.
In short, here’s what I believe about spanking children…
- The Bible not only allows spanking of children, the Bible prescribes it (Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 29:15) – I’ll deal with these references in more detail in a later post… and the common misinterpretations people foist upon them.
- Spanking children must be done lovingly, and with great discernment. I’ll cover the “how to” of that in a future post as well.
- Spanking children cannot be carried out biblically outside a context of good relationship with the child. More on this in a future post.
- Spanking children cannot be done arbitrarily. Both parent and child must understand why a spanking is administered in a given situation. Again, more to come…
- Spanking children is not automatically rejected because Jesus didn’t address it specifically. There are many things Jesus didn’t address (political freedom, healthy eating habits, physical exercise, etc.) but that doesn’t mean that He would have rejected them.
Watch for my future posts in this series. I’ll cover the “When, How, and Why” of spanking children… from a biblical perspective (mixed with a little common sense.)
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