Shepherding a Child's Heart

(Barré) #1

(^) Many questions about spanking children flood our minds. What is
it designed to accomplish? Is it really necessary? Isn’t there a better
way? What is the idea behind it? Will it make your children resent
(^) Nick, a friend from church, and his girlfriend, Angela, were
visiting for a Sunday afternoon. During our meal, one of our sons was
disobedient. I took him to a private room upstairs to discipline him.
(^) “What’s he going to do with him?” Angela inquired.
(^) “Probably spank him,” my wife responded matter-of-factly.
(^) At that moment my son’s cry could be heard upstairs. Angela went
running from the house in a state of great agitation.
(^) What was her problem? She did not understand spanking
biblically, so she felt offended and concerned about what, to her,
appeared to be parental cruelty. Her attitude was not unusual.
The Nature of the Problem
(^) What is the nature of the child’s most basic need? If children are
born ethically and morally neutral, then they do not need correction;
they need direction. They do not need discipline; they need
(^) Certainly, children need instruction and direction. But is their
most basic problem a lack of information? Are all the problems gone
once they are able to learn a few things? Of course not!
(^) Children are not born morally and ethically neutral. The Bible
teaches that the heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah
17:9, KJV). The child’s problem is not an information deficit. His
problem is that he is a sinner. There are things within the heart of the
sweetest little baby that, allowed to blossom and grow to fruition, will
bring about eventual destruction.
(^) The rod functions in this context. It is addressed to needs within
the child. These needs cannot be met by mere talk. Proverbs 22:15
says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of

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