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Old 09-30-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default "Spare the rod?"

I hesitate to post this because I'm sure there is an answer to this somewhere on the board, but I can't find it (even did a search!)

Is there a place/discussion/thread that looked into the actual scripture and (scripturally/theologically) refuted the argument people use when using that particular scripture? Any thoughts welcome - maybe someone can point me to the right place?

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

So, in other words, is "spare the rod and spoil the child" meant to be interpreted as "if you don't spank your kids they will grow up spoilt and unable to fit into society"? Or can we go back to the original Hebrew and to context and show that it ought to be read differently?

Any thoughts?

(Mods, maybe this should go into theology discussion?)
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

From Crystals site

http://aolff.org/spare-the-rod
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

great, thanks
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

Here's a study Joanne did, too, from her web page
Study of The Rod Scriptures.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

One of my favorite resources is "Christian Parents and the Spanking Controversy" by Samuel Martin. pdf of the book here.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

BarefootBetsy just posted a fantastic study of Spanking and Proverbs.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

I didn't check out the links posted yet, so sorry if this is just repetitive, but my understanding is the "rod" is what a shephard used to gently guide his sheep with. It was not something he used to punish or hit his sheep/herd with.

Which also makes sense with "thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me".
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delaney View Post
I didn't check out the links posted yet, so sorry if this is just repetitive, but my understanding is the "rod" is what a shephard used to gently guide his sheep with. It was not something he used to punish or hit his sheep/herd with.

Which also makes sense with "thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me".
You are right. Which reminds me, I found a blog post today on exactly that.

Of course, it also has other meanings, hence the Bible Studies linked above.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

I remember Dr. Sears explaining the misunderstanding of "spare the rod" as well. He talks of it here. (scroll down to #6)

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/t062100.asp
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

This is an old thread and this is discussed in the links posted, but I just wanted to point out that the phrase "spare the rod, spoil the child" is not actually found in the Bible. It's from a poem.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

Old thread! Sorry, I'm a relative newbie I was going to start a thread to ask about this, but I found this one!

Just wanted to say in response to the last post that the Bible does talk about sparing the rod - it's just that what it talks about is the reason for it (a person who spares the rod does it because he hates his child), not the consequence of it ("spoiling" the child - from the poem, like saturnfire16 said). Proverbs 13:24: "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him."

I'm looking into this at the moment, because my husband and I are under the impression that the Bible certainly doesn't forbid physical discipline, and in fact does mention it positively a number of times ("the rod" - and we have heard the idea that the rod is metaphorical, but we don't at this time believe that because we see God choosing the word "rod" where it could have been "discipline," "authority," or whatever). And then there's the very clear example of it being a rod used for striking in Proverbs 23:13-14: "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."

I totally get where people are coming from psychologically who think that spanking is harmful, and I expect some will be angry with me that I even bring this up, and will think that we're bad parents because we use physical discipline. But I really am searching for the true answer because I want to do the right thing for my children. I hope that makes sense!

I will also read the links given above when I have time

Thank you!
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

In a Jewish mindset, the Rod is what one has that symbolizes authority. Like the head of a tribe, a clan, or a household. It's a walking implement and something to ward off predators. Think of it like a Bo staff.

They'd not be using that on their kids or adult children. It's a tree branch!

Shepherds don't whip their sheep with their staff. They ward off predators and thieves.

Punitive, physical punishment is very, very frowned upon in the Jewish community.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

Hi Satin.Mama! I'm so glad you're here with us on GCM

Just as a reminder, the board posting guidelines say:
Quote:
"1. No posts promoting or supportive of punishments, including spanking and traditional timeouts, or other punitive ideas."
and our Statement of Beliefs says:
Quote:
Parents have been given authority over their children from the Lord. Scripture is clear that discipline and correction are our responsibility as we raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Fear and purposely-inflicted pain have no place in gentle, loving, Biblical discipline, and children should be discipled from birth with an appropriate mixture of kindness and firmness in a manner that respects their feelings and their developmental, emotional, and daily needs.
So while no one here is angry that you believe otherwise, or has any desire to call you a bad parent, GCM isn't the best place to express a belief in striking children as Biblically-mandated "discipline".

I encourage you and your husband to read the links provided; I think they will be eye-opening for you. I know they were for me and my husband!
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: "Spare the rod?"

Quote:
I'm looking into this at the moment, because my husband and I are under the impression that the Bible certainly doesn't forbid physical discipline, and in fact does mention it positively a number of times ("the rod" - and we have heard the idea that the rod is metaphorical, but we don't at this time believe that because we see God choosing the word "rod" where it could have been "discipline," "authority," or whatever).
I don't believe physical discipline falls under:

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Be compassionate and kind to one another, forgiving each other.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.



Quote:
And then there's the very clear example of it being a rod used for striking in Proverbs 23:13-14: "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."

If you hit a child with a walking stick about as big around as the small end of a baseball bat, he very well could die! We've seen children die from far less (getting hit with plumbing supply line, like Lydia Schatz).

So either the Bible clearly logically and scientifically wrong or this verse isn't about physical discipline at all.

Also, most people who spank don't actually use a walking stick because it's pretty easy to see how that would be dangerous. They use a hand, maybe even a stick or wooden spoon. But if one believes that the Bible is promoting physical discipline *with a walking stick* then the appropriate thing to use would be a walking stick.


Quote:
I totally get where people are coming from psychologically who think that spanking is harmful, and I expect some will be angry with me that I even bring this up, and will think that we're bad parents because we use physical discipline. But I really am searching for the true answer because I want to do the right thing for my children. I hope that makes sense!
I doubt anyone is angry with you. Many of us have been in exactly the same place with the same questions you have. I'm glad you're here!
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