To Spank Or Not To Spank

by Darwin Hunter


Every parent has to wrestle with the question, “Should I spank my child for this misbehavior?”  Many questions may go into the decision-making process in each instance.  Is the misconduct serious enough to warrant such a painful remedy?  Am I considering such punishment out of anger or some other improper emotion?  Have I tried lesser means first?  Is the child’s behavior an oft-recurring problem about which many warnings have been given?  You may think of other good questions you should ask in determining whether or not spanking would be appropriate.

One question should never have to be asked—Is spanking a legitimate part of training children to do what is right?  God has already answered this question.  Read such passages as Ephesians 6:1-4, Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 29:15, 17.  The wisdom of the world often rails against God’s plan for raising children.  Child psychologists and many educators cry out that it is never right or good to strike a child.  They say that doing so will teach the child to resolve his problems by resorting to violence (which is a not-so-subtle way of saying that the parent who spanks has resorted to “violent” means with an unruly child).  As Christians, we must not let the unbelieving world tell us how to raise our children.  The God who gave them to us always knows best, and His way is revealed in the Bible.  He has informed us that corporeal punishment has its place in raising good kids—that the rod of reproof will conquer foolish behavior (Proverbs 22:15), and that failing to spank when necessary is unloving (Proverbs 13:24).  The Lord even tells us that the undisciplined child is being treated as illegitimate (Hebrews 12:8, NKJV).

Recently, the House of Commons in London took up the question of whether or not spanking of children should be banned in the United Kingdom. Some of the lawmakers wanted to ban all spanking entirely.  They argued that children should be afforded the same protection as adults against being “hit.” Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government did not support an outright ban for fear of intruding upon family affairs and parental authority.  After much debate, the British lawmakers refused the ban on spanking by a 424-75 vote.

More and more, God’s wisdom is being questioned by courts and legislative bodies.  We must resist every effort which would strip parents of the right to discipline their children!  Their future is at stake.