Shepherding Chapter 11: Embracing Biblical Methods – The Rod

January 8, 2008

ist2_1640957_wooden_spoon.jpgDo you spank your children? Tripp states, “We live in an era when concepts of human rights and dignity have been used to argue that spanking children is barbaric. We have become sensitive to the potential for child abuse. We don’t want parents to feel it is their right to beat their children whenever they wish. Today, communication based on integrity and mutual respect is a more popular idea. Therefore, it is easier to write about that.” (Tripp, 100-101).

However, being biblical is not always popular. In chapter 11 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp teaches about the biblical rationale behind the rod. Contrary to popular belief, children are not born morally and ethically neutral. They are born sinners. Because of this, they need loving, corrective, discipline – and sometimes that includes spanking.

Proverbs 29:15 says that “The rod of correction imparts wisdom.” I can see that. If my son knows that if he touches a hot stove that he will get a spanking, then whenever he thinks of the consequence of disobedience (spanking) he uses his wisdom and does not touch the hot stove.

Just what is the rod? Tripp gives several distinctions:

1. A parental exercise – for parents and parents only!

2. A Act of Faith – God has mandated it, and we should trust Him as we do it that it is right for our children.

3. An Act of Faithfulness – In discipline, there is hope.

4. A Responsibility – It is not the parent determining to punish. It is the parent determining to obey God.

5. A Physical Punishment – Careful, timely, measured and controlled – never a venting of parental anger. However, I would rather use the term “discipline” here, but Tripp uses the word “punishment.”

6. A Rescue Mission – The rod brings the child back to the circle of blessing.

There are also several distortions of the rod that Tripp gives. It is:

1. Not the right to unbridled temper

2. Not the right to hit our children whenever we wish

3. Not venting of frustration

4. Not retribution

5. Not associated with vindictive anger

This chapter builds a biblical basis for using the rod. One caveat I would suggest: Spank wisely and with full warning. It is possible to spank your child for every little thing that he does. I do not think that is wise. Communicate, communicate, communicate. But if need be, use the rod.

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2 Responses to “Shepherding Chapter 11: Embracing Biblical Methods – The Rod”

  1. readscott Says:

    Awesome post! I don’t have kids yet, but I’m sure the concepts will come in handy when God brings them our way. Thanks and I’ve just subscribed to your RSS feed.


  2. Scott,

    Welcome to the site. You have a pretty cool blog as well. Jax seems like a fun town?


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