Quoting Quiverfull: Biblical Spanking?

Quoting Quiverfull: Biblical Spanking? March 12, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Chip Ingram of Living On The Edge.Org and Focus On The Family – The Biblical Approach to Spanking

Editor’s note: While Chip’s seven steps in the process to spanking are mostly good parenting I have to question if adding spanking to the rest of it is really necessary. Aren’t there better ways to punish that hitting your child? Very surprised to hear Ingram approve of spanking as he seems in the sermons I’ve heard to be a bit more progressive than the average Fundi-Gelical pastor.

This is an extremely practical method that will save you a lot of second-guessing. Remember the point of a spanking: It’s to sting, to provide a painful deterrent to misbe­havior, not to injure.

The Bible never implies that the rod of discipline should be violent. It offers no specifics about how hard a spanking should be, and there’s no reason to assume that it’s talking about a brutal form of punishment. Just the opposite, in fact. A parent who reaches back and swings hard is acting out of anger and frustration, not out of love and desire for the child’s welfare. That’s unbiblical by anyone’s definition.

When you spank, use a wooden spoon or some other appropri­ately sized paddle and flick your wrist. That’s all the force you need. It ought to hurt — an especially difficult goal for mothers to accept —  and it’s okay if it produces a few tears and sniffles. If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t really discipline, and ultimately it isn’t very loving because it will not be effective in modifying the child’s behavior.

Have the child lean over his bed and make sure you apply the discipline with a quick flick of the wrist to the fatty tissue of the buttocks, where a sting can occur without doing any damage to the body. You want to be calm, in control, and focused as you firmly spank your child, being very careful to respect his body.

As your children get older and begin to think more abstractly, spanking becomes less effective and less necessary. A preteen is probably getting past the spank­ing stage and more into the lost-privilege approach. But if you’ve done your job earlier in their lives, spanking will have become less necessary at that point anyway. A firm, grace-controlled hand of discipline in early years, combined with a loving atti­tude, will usually prevent or soften the rebellion of later years.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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  • Nea

    Have the child lean over his bed… firmly spank your child, being very careful to respect his body

    You cannot respect anyone’s body while you are forcing them to participate in being beaten with an implement outside of a negotiated contract between consenting adults. No negotiation, no consent, no adult – you are committing assault (forcing them to bend over and participate in their own abuse) and battery (beating with an implement).

    And once you’ve bought into the idea of assault and battery of a child is okay, it stops being important that you think there’s a “right” part of the body to batter, a “right” instrument to batter with, or that assault teaches more than might makes right.

  • Astrin Ymris

    The fact that consenting adults do this for mutual sexual gratification is more than enough reason why an adult should never do this to a child. Period.

    The idea that discipline must involve pain is a toxic meme that needs to go. The word comes from “discipulus”, which means “student”. The goal is to teach children how they SHOULD behave… and inflicting pain after they’ve already misbehaved has no educational value. The added fear, humiliation, and anger involved in corporal punishment interferes with taking in new information.


  • SAO

    If I were going to have spanking rules, I’d say:
    1) the sole purpose of a spanking is to get compliance with a time-out
    2) If 2 swats don’t do the job, something else is going on and you need a solid re-think, for example, are you are expecting your child to act more maturely than he is capable of?
    3) Always use your hand, which will give you feedback. If your hand stings, you hit too hard and should apologize to your child.
    4) Practice on your spouse. The right force is when your spouse isn’t entirely sure if your swat was intended as an expression of love or anger.

    The most important tool in a parent’s arsenal is praise or noticing. Praise good behavior. For kids who struggle with it, praise every 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be gushing, “Oh, you’re such a good boy!” but a noticing, “You and Sis are playing nicely together,” or “that’s a quite a Lego you are building,” or “Thank you for picking up your toys.”

  • Kitty

    Even if negative feedback is the goal, why the obsession with physical pain? My cousin complains that she constantly has to spank her (bratty) kid, but I have found that it’s far easier to elicit good behavior from the same kid with non-violent incentives (e.g. “We’re stopping this fun activity for five minutes because you threw a fit.”).

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    **Clutches pearls tightly**

    And just where do you think those consenting adults get into that sort of ‘filthy dirty fun sexytimes’ activities?!

    My hands and wrists can be pretty darn painful when my carpal tunnel is acting up, so I prefer to use one of many implements to give someone ( consenting adult someone) a spanking. Perhaps I wasn’t spanked enough as a kid, thus explaining why I don’t play the CPM standard role assignment (women = submissive men = dominant) game. I’m not sure those guys would have a clue as to what to make of me. I mean, outside of trying to run me out of town or burn me at the stake, and ogling my body as I’m dressed in intentionally-making-them-stumble-in-clothes-that-aren’t-a-potato-sack.

  • Mary

    The type of spanking you advocate probably wouldn’t do too much harm, I admit, but I don’t think it does any good, either.

    I find the most effective ways to get a kid to cooperate are to appeal to their sense of fairness (“But why should I clean it up? You made the mess!” or “I don’t get a choice about going to work, and you don’t get a choice about going to school”) followed, if necessary, by refusing cooperate with anything they want from me (which is a lot of things!) until they cooperate with what I want from them! Obedience and punishment don’t really come into it much. My kids are 2 and 4, for what it’s worth.

    I like your point about “noticing.” I really do think that’s the best kind of praise. Character judgments like “you’re such a good boy” are uncomfortable even if they’re positive, in my experience…

  • Astrin Ymris

    I’d read somewhere that a psychologist claimed that all (or nearly all) BDSMers who get gratification from being spanked were spanked as children. He theorized that this was because the proximity of the genitals and additional blood flow led to “involuntary sexual arousal” while they were being spanked as kids. Ergo, they crave being spanked as adults.

    Now, it’s only been fairly recently that there were a significant number of never-been-spanked adults in the population, so it occurs to me that a random survey of ANY group would yield a near 100% rate of having been spanked as kids. Therefore, I’m not sure that an informal questioning of this sort shows anything other than “Spanking children has been a very common practice for a fairly long time.”

    Still… your post seemed to imply that you think there may be something to this. Or were you being sarcastic?

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    A bit of sarcasm and a bit of real. Since I wasn’t spanked very often I can’t actually use my childhood experience as corroborating evidence. That and I’m more the spank-er than a spank-ee.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Ah. Well, thanks for the info.

    Not that it really matters why people are into this as long as it’s safe, sane, and fully consensual. No draftees– and no kids!

    Beyond that… Do as you will, an it harm none*

    *Or at least no more harm than has been requested beforehand. ;-D

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    You mean I can’t just drag in any guy off the street and start spanking him?! (clutches pearls tightly again!) …

    Well I *never*! What sort of consent-expecting, healthy adult interaction-demanding sort of person do you expect me to be!? And here I thought I could go around doing whatever I please regardless of what that might cause another person to experience! But who is going to volunteer to notify the CPM about these requirements? 😉

  • Astrin Ymris

    I think you should… in full dominatrix regalia. ;-D

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Oh yeah, that should go over *really well* with the CPM crowd. But I’ll consider it, if their women aren’t present at the time. I can see Debi Pearl rabidly frothing at the mouth and trying to chase me out of the building with the LAF behind her.

  • Rebecca Horne

    But you do get a choice about going to work. You applied for the job, and continue to go because you get something out of it–either some kind of fulfillment, or just the resources to support yourself and your family.

    You don’t have people who are bigger and mentally more sophisticated than yo literally forcing you to go someplace you never had a choice in, simply because you were born, under threat of legal action if you refuse.

  • Mary

    If I don’t go to work and don’t get paid, I get “punished” by not being able to afford to buy ice cream (y’know, among other things.) Eventually I might get some of my favorite stuff taken away from me, like my house*. It’s true that no one will pick me up and put me in the car as I occasionally have to do with my kids as toddlers. On the other hand, I would never kick my kids out of the house the way my bank would kick me out for refusing to pay the mortgage. (And bigger, stronger adults — sheriff’s deputies? — would probably be the ones to enforce the out-kicking if I stopped paying our mortgage, incidentally.)

    Ultimately the reason my kids have to go to school is /because/ I have to go to work. ** If they don’t go to school, I can’t go to work, and then we /all/ get hit by those negative consequences of not having enough income, eventually. But those consequences are a little too distant and abstract for them to see, so I protect them (and me) from ice-creamlessness and homelessness. by imposing some milder shorter term consequences that they can understand. It’s like putting cones around construction equipment on the road. Steer to avoid hitting the cones and you’ll also avoid hitting the truck. Little punishments — to the extent that I have to use them at all — are cones in front of the truck of real-world consequences. But as I said — usually punishment doesn’t really come into it. By the time they’re old enough that punishment is more appropriate than just carrying them along regardless, they’re old enough to reason with to a certain extent. And if that doesn’t work, old enough to understand that I want things from them — they want things from me — we can strike a bargain.

    * (Actually I have a husband who works too, so in theory one of us could quit and stay “home” but that “home” probably wouldn’t be our present house. And it’s true that the kids don’t get to decide for themselves whether that’s worth it. They (or just one of them!) might wish we would just move to a cheap apartment and have a parent at home — but they actually do get some input. If one or both of them were miserable in daycare every day and not just reluctant to leave because their TV show isn’t over, we would actually consider that option — or switching schools, which my parents once let me do. And I say “we” because I don’t get to just decide something like that as I see fit, either. There would have to be a consensus between me and my husband, with, as I say, some input from the kids.)

    ** (“School” is daycare, at this age, and so optional in theory, but I suppose even later on, I could home school them if I didn’t have to work.)

    edit — I have pretty much explained all of this to my four year old, by the way. Not sure she understood it, but I have no doubt I’ll have the opportunity to explain it again. 🙂