Red Thunder vs. Old Yeller ~ Maranathahttp://www.mbbc.edu/page.aspx?m=689[3/28/2011 11:17:32 PM]
March 18-April 3
Red Thunder vs. Old Yeller
by Dr. John Brock
"Billy, stop spitting on your sister. Billy, I said stop spitting! I’m warning you, Billy! I’m going to count to ten! …nine, ten, Billy!! William Alexander!!!”
When my kids were pre-teens, they called such a parent as Billy’s “Old Yeller” because the authority consisted ofever-escalating screams and pleas for a child to obey. My sons would usually follow such an observation bysaying, “Boy, if that kid lived at our house, there would be a major train wreck!” I don’t know whether I appreciatedthis characterization of what I knew to be loving biblical confrontation. On the other hand, they had confidenceand security knowing that our home was a peaceful, safe, and just environment where they were free to enjoy life,explore, experiment, and grow without fear . . . if they did so within the bounds of the family’s guidelines andvalues.My high school baseball coach had a paddle nicknamed “Red Thunder” which he used with powerful effect whenwe got too rowdy on the team bus. It is my strong belief that Red Thunder is much more humane, loving, andeffective than Old Yeller in assisting with child training and biblical discipline. My confidence is firmly fixed in thetruth of God’s Word where corporal punishment is clearly endorsed and commanded. Today many Christianparents are fearful of committing child abuse or being labeled as “child hitters” if they practice this God-approvedmethod of teaching and enforcement. Can Christian parents abuse their children through incorrect use of corporalpunishment? Absolutely. Should we know what is involved in biblical discipline and child training? Yes. Sincecorporal punishment can be misused, should we exclude its use from our child? Never! We should practice whatGod’s Word endorses in the
God intends.As fundamental Baptists, we need to fear and obey God’s Word more than the forces now dominating our society.I trust this article will give confidence and direction to parents, to future parents, and to those teaching parents insearching out the Scriptures when deciding means and methods of God-ordained and God-blessed biblicaldiscipline.Most people who oppose spanking incorrectly redefine it as “hitting” when the two concepts are altogetherdifferent in application, purpose, and effect. The terms used in the article mean the following:
is striking a child on the head, face, or body with a hand, fist, or object. It is an
to a behavior or activity that angers, frustrates, or bothers the parent or adult. Its motive is not judicial, butvindictive, temperamental, or thoughtless. By this definition,
hitting is unbiblical
, unwise, and improper.
is a controlled administration of physical pain to the buttocks. It is administered by a safeinstrument such as a paddle or rod (Dowel 3/8- to 1/2-inch in diameter). The decision for use is maderationally and applied judicially. It is not used when the parent’s discernment is clouded by anger, grief, orconfusion. Spanking for the purpose of correcting the child is synonymous with what the Bible calls“chastening” (Hebrews 12:6-7).
Spanking is a God-ordained and God-blessed tool of Christian child training (2 Samuel7:14; Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15). Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rodhateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”2.
If you are faithful in spanking when the child is young, you will seldom need to spank oncethe child reaches 10-13 years of age (Proverbs 22:6).3.
For which behaviors will you spank? I believe it is biblical to spank a)primarily for disobedience and b) for obvious foolishness. Example: The first time a child gets into mom’smakeup, he or she should be taught not to do this. The next time, spank the child for disobedience.Foolishness is more common with older children. For example, when I was about eight years old, I was ina an altercation with an older boy. We were outside throwing dirt clods at each other. Since I was losing, I