28 March 2010

Shepherding a Child's Heart Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Infancy to Childhood Training Procedures

Proverbs 22:15 "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him."

This is probably one of the chapters in the book that gets the most controversy, but just like you can't be a teacher and not expect to discipline your students the same way you can't be a parent and expect not to discipline your children. It is just the way God has designed for it to be since sin has entered into the world, and since we are all born sinners.

Disobedience must be corrected, because if it isn't well, then you are sending your child mixed messages because we tell them they must obey us, but then if they disobey and we don't do anything, then what are we teaching them?

I know there are times with Julia that we will be getting ready for bedtime and I say come here so we can put pjs on, and she runs in the opposite direction. I'm not the type of parent to make things like that a game, if I called her to come here and she is disobedient and runs away then we have a sin issue here. I am always telling her how important it is to "Obey right away" We even sing an Obedience song that I learned at my old school (TCS-I taught 3rd and 4th grade for almost 7 years there).

Tedd Tripp says, "The 'When' of spanking is so simple that parents miss it. If your child has not obeyed, he needs to be spanked."

The circle of safety is where we want our children to be, where they honor and obey their parents, and God promises them a long life that will go well for them. But when our child disobeys us they step out of the circle of safety.

Tripp says, "While they are still young, you must teach your children that obedience is a necessity, not one of many options."

The "How of Spanking"

1. Should be done in a private place. We are not seeking to humiliate our child in front of others or their siblings. Children are to also be treated with dignity and respect. Another reason why we do not broadcast their faults or failures to others.

2. Tell your child specifically what he has done or failed to do. Your child needs to know that the spanking is in direct relationship to the bad behavior and not that you've "had it!" or are angry.

3. Make sure your child is old enough to acknowledge what they have done. So that they know why he/she is being spanked.

4. Remind them that it is not being done to vent your anger or frustration, but that the spanking is to restore them to the place which God has promised blessing. Remember we are rescuing them back into the circle of safety. When they disobey they leave the circle and are in serious danger. They must learn to submit to our God given authority.

5. Tell your child the number of swats or slaps on the bottom they will receive. (I think this is to reinforce that you are in a calm controlled place and not spanking to vent your anger)

6. After the spanking, take the child in your lap and hug him and tell him/her how much you love them and really don't want to have to spank (it grieves you) and how you hope you won't have to do it again. Restoration is the key.

7. Pray with your child. This is a time of encouragement because we are all sinners. This is why Christ came to die for our sin. Ask the Lord to help your child with their heart issue.

The "Why of Spanking"

God commands us as parents to discipline, and spanking "enables you to deal with issues of the heart. Remember the heart directs behavior. Discipline addresses the heart. It does not focus on behavior alone."

Some reminders:

"If you are too mad to discipline properly, you must instruct your child to take a seat or go to his room. Then you must seek the face of God. Repent of your anger. You must remain before God until you are able to deal with your child in integrity."

"When you feel pressure from observers, abandon the scene. (let's say if your in laws or friend do not approve of spanking) Go to a private place where you can respond to your child's needs without the pressure of public observation." I've had to do this. And it also teaches your child that even at someone else's house, the same rules of obedience apply. Have you ever seen children at a friend's house or with family act up because they knew mom and dad would not discipline them because other people were around. It is torture to watch because that child is being taught a horrible example and they think it is okay to take advantage of the situation.

Thanks for reading guys!


  1. Really good thoughts here Kristi. Thanks for taking the time to write them down to share! Happy new week!


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