Love Story

Saturday, June 9, 2012

To spank or not to spank

That is a LOADED question, I know! I must be feeling feisty today. This was actually prompted by reading this blog post. If you read into the comments of this post you will see that a debate began about spanking and whether or not it is considered violence. As I did some research to try to build my argument opinion, I began to give this topic more thought.

May as well start with the question that sparked this spanking violence? Well, let's look at the definition of violence according to Merriam-Webster - "exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse." Okay, what is the definition of abuse? "physical maltreatment (maltreatment meaning to treat cruelly or roughly)." Would spanking fall under this definition? I imagine in some cases it does. I think if you are spanking out of anger and winding up with force, or repeatedly swatting, you can consider that a more violent form of discipline. Obviously there are people who have taken spanking too far which is why it has been in the spotlight for many years now.

Based on that information, I would say if you are FOR spanking, you would agree that there are guidelines to follow. Just like any other form of discipline used to teach and guide our children, choosing to spank should be done so intentionally. There should be a distinct purpose behind it and it should never be the sole form of discipline. Rather, if spanking is used it should be reserved for specific incidences. Every parent should be armed with a variety of tools to shape and mold a child's character, with love being the greatest of these tools.

Ultimately, I believe spanking to be a personal decision. One that needs to be discussed between both parents, prayed over, and acted upon intentionally. I would encourage you to dig into the Bible and see what the word of God says about discipline. That should always be our first guide as parents.You will find that God disciplines us because we are His children and He loves us and we are called to do the same for our children.  Regardless of what form of discipline you chose, it is important to remember the goal of correction which is building godly character.

I knew going into this post that it was a controversial topic and could ruffle many feathers. In fact, much like the author of the original post that sparked this, I started writing this post a year ago and didn't come back to it until now. But I believe it is an important and relevant topic and that as parents we should be able to discuss these things in a respectful manner. I encourage dialogue on this topic, even if it is just between you and your spouse, but I will expect anyone who chooses to comment here to remain courteous. With that said, I hope you will share your heart on this matter. It is such a great way for us to grow as parents when we learn from each others perspectives.

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