Shepherding a Child's Heart

(Barré) #1

A Parental Exercise

(^) Let’s look at the elements of this definition. By definition, the rod
is a parental exercise. All the passages that urge the use of the rod
place it in the protected context of the parent-child relationship. The
command is “discipline your son.” The Bible does not grant
permission to all adults to engage in corporal punishment of all
children. It is an element in a broader range of parenting activities. It
does not stand alone.
(^) This is one of the problems with spanking children at school.
When a teacher undertakes the spanking, the spanking process is
removed from its context in the parent-child relationship. The same
mother and father who comfort the child when he is sick, who take
him to amusement parks, who remember his birthday, give the
spanking. A spanking is very different when administered by a non-
An Act of Faith
(^) The use of the rod is an act of faith. God has mandated its use. The
parent obeys, not because he perfectly understands how it works, but
because God has commanded it. The use of the rod is a profound
expression of confidence in God’s wisdom and the excellence of his
An Act of Faithfulness
(^) The rod is an act of faithfulness toward a child. Recognizing that
in discipline there is hope, and refusing to be a willing party to his
child’s death, the parent undertakes the task. It is an expression of
love and commitment.
(^) On many occasions, my children have seen tears in my eyes when
it was time to spank them. I did not want to do it. My love for my
children drove me to the task. I would have never spanked them had I
not been persuaded by the Word of God that God called me to this

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