by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – In Defense of Biblical Chastisement
Editor’s note: No matter how Michael words it the story about spanking the five month old in the car seat is always wrong! A child that age isn’t capable of rebellion, defiance or understanding what his mother wants him to do. He’s acting/reacting in an elemental way without reasoned measured thought. This is child cruelty. Notice how quickly Michael Pearl goes into ‘The Rod’ section?
There will be times when the loving and the training will not be enough. You may have a great relationship with your child, and he may delight to please you, but he is still made of flesh, and is possessed of many lusts, and wooed by a world filled with distractions. The best of children will still experience the struggle of Romans 7 and must be loved, trained, and disciplined to “walk in the light.”
If you have enjoyed your child, and you have taken time to train, you are now prepared to discipline when necessary. The Bible says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom…(Proverbs 29:15).” The first level of discipline is reproof. You can chasten your children with your words, but as we have already pointed out, words that are not backed up with constraining force are nothing more than empty suggestions—personal opinions to be rejected or obeyed as the child pleases.
You will also want to use other forms of discipline when they are effective, like making them work, repeating a chore, or any number of unpleasant consequences. Children can also be disciplined by denying a privilege or pleasure. But this kind of penal discipline will only work when they know you have the power of the rod to enforce your rule. The ultimate child motivator is the rod. That brings us to our subject of how to apply the rod.
The rod in training
Those who oppose the use of the rod view it as an act of violence. Even among those meek Christians who use the rod in moderation, there are some who view it as punishment—“whipping them back into line.”
Others have discovered the power of using the rod in training. If you would learn to use the rod in training, it is possible that you would never have to use it in punishment. If you put off use of the rod until the child gets crazy with rebellion, and you wait until you are thoroughly provoked, you are in danger of acting with a disposition to punish. By then, it has gotten personal with you. You are thinking, “How dare that child defy me; I will show that little brat!” Ugly indeed.
On the other hand, if you seize the smallest disturbances as opportunities to train, you will use the rod more frequently but with no stress or significant pain for either you or the child. For example, one mother is out in the yard having war with her four-year-old, trying to make him sit in the car seat. She has taken him in the house and spanked him until his legs are striped, but he still resists. She is mad. He is angry. They are fighting. Her neighbor sees it and calls the authorities. She was practicing “corporal punishment.”
Another young mother is wiser. When she first sat her five-month-old in the car seat, and he arched his back and puckered his face, she resisted his usurpation of authority by firmly saying, “No.” When he continued to express his displeasure, without further ado, she enforced her word by giving him a little tap on the bare leg while repeating her command. If—now pay attention to the third word that follows—she is consistent and never rewards the child’s protest by letting him out of the car seat, then that will be the end of the matter. He is forever trained to sit in the car seat. If an entirely different issue comes up later, one where he again demands to exert his will against hers, and she gives in, then in the future he may again protest the car seat. For where there are many issues with the mother, each one separate in her mind, there is only one issue with the child—will I get my way or will she get hers?
If you use the rod to enforce your word in training, you may never have to use it as punishment. But if you allow the child to get his way for the first year or two, when you do begin using the rod you will have to be more forceful and it will be stressful.
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men 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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