|Should Christian Parents Spank Their Children?|
By Rick Creech
To Spank Or Not To Spank
Should Christians spank their children? Some Christians think that a parent should spank their children because they think the Bible tells them to do so. Because Christians believe the Bible to be their instruction book on both faith and practice, it's very important to carefully consider exactly what the Bible has to say on the subject of the parent-child relationship, especially in regards to spanking. To spank or not to spank, that is the question.
If you love your children, then one of the great desires of your heart is to see your children grow up and do the right thing and become the best that they can be. There are no guarantees, but loving parents want to make sure that they do everything that they ought to do in order to increase the odds in the favor of their children. There is a warning to parents in the New Testament to make sure that they do not do something that ends up provoking the children to wrath. The first part of Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." What a shame it would be if a parent should start the responsibilities of parenting with the wrong idea about what is important in the upbringing of their children. In spite of how much the parent loves the child, the parent might end up influencing the child in the wrong way.
We are going to look at what the Bible has to say on the subject of disciplining children. Does the Bible instruct parents to spank their children?
Important Principles To Know To Correctly Interpret The Bible
In order to interpret the Bible correctly, we must always remember that some passages are meant to be taken literally
and others are meant to be taken symbolically. If you take a particular passage of the Bible literally when it was meant
to be symbolic, then you will not understand its true significance. For example, Jesus often taught by using parables.
When He taught about a sower who went forth to sow seed, He was not primarily talking about real seed that a farmer plants in the ground. The seed was symbolic of the Word of God. If you do not understand the symbolism, then you do not understand what is really being taught. The Bible is accurate and reliable and literally true in all passages, but passages that have symbolism cannot be completely understood unless the symbolism is understood.
Another important thing to realize when studying the Bible is the fact that the Bible is divided up into the Old Testament and the New Testament, and some of the things of the Old Testament were done away with when the New Testament came into place. John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." There is a difference between law and grace. Some of the things emphasized in the Old Testament were a part of the law, and the requirements of the law, and the strictness of the law. Many of the strict requirements of the law we no longer practice, because we now know a more complete revelation of how the Lord wants us to live: that of grace and truth that was brought by Jesus Christ. For example, the law of the Old Testament stated very clearly that if anyone committed adultery, they should be put to death. But when a woman who was taken in adultery was brought to Jesus, Jesus did not allow the men to put her to death. Instead, Jesus said to the men, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus did not change the moral principal that was in the law, because He still told the woman, "Go and sin no more." But Jesus did change the way that the requirement of the law was enforced. Jesus did away with the harsh physical punishment, but He still upheld the moral standard.
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