Shelbyville Daily Union

Ask the Pastor

April 14, 2011

Ask the Pastor

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Should I spank my children?

I do not claim to be a parenting expert, but my wife and I are raising 4 kids, and discipline is a large part of our day. Let me start out by saying that there is a difference between spanking and abuse. If you choose to spank, then it should never be done in anger, which could easily lead to abuse.

The real issue boils down to discipline. The Bible talks a lot about discipline, and not just in the family setting. God told the Jews to obey him and when they didn’t, he disciplined them to teach them a lesson. Our job as parents, and especially fathers, is to lead our children to the Lord (Deut 6 and Eph 6), and in that leading we are to teach them to obey. If we want them to obey God, they need to learn first to obey us. If they are disobedient to you, their parents, then why would you think that they would obey God?

To teach them to obey, some parents may choose spanking, timeout, loss of privileges, or any other discipline tactic. Discipline needs to be done swiftly after the disobedience has taken place so the child links what they have done wrong with the way you discipline; it should not be done in anger, and should effective for that child. I am not advocating spanking for every situation all the time, but done in the right way, with the right heart from the parents, it can be a very effective teaching tool.

Children need to understand that there is a right and a wrong, and that they will have to answer to someone for the rest of their life. Obedience to parents is key to having them being obedient to God. I have yet to see a fully committed youth to the Lord that was also completely disobedient to the parents; obedience to God and to parents goes hand in hand. Whether you choose spanking or not, parents need to discipline their child, it is their responsibility.

Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.

Send your questions to valorie.eversole@shelbyvilledailyunion.com.

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