"With new legislation being proposed in California which would criminalize some forms of spanking, we will post several articles this week on the topic of parental discipline and corporal punishment." - John MacArthur, Pulpit Magazine
The one thing I really appreciate about this blog is how those men shy away from the hot topics, and never take a strong Biblical stand one way or another. (I'm kidding, I hope you know this).
In all seriousness, this is a sensitive topic for most parents. In my experiences, it's the exception to the rule for any given mom or dad to be perfectly comfortable in the way they discipline their kids, 100% of the time. Parents who take their roles seriously, want to do the best job possible in bringing up their kids and discipline is part of that.
I very much appreciated what Pastor John wrote here:
"Much of our parental discipline should be totally positive. Parents can and should provide guidance for their children by rewarding them for positive behavior, as well as by punishing them for wrong behavior. Both sides of the equation are important. Positive motivation is entirely legitimate and can often be an effective means of getting children to obey. Notice, in fact, that the promise God Himself attached to the Fifth Commandment is a positive motivation. The commandment was reinforced with a promise, not a threat. It is often appropriate to say to your child, “If you do this, I will reward you in this way.” Balanced discipline involves both negative and positive reinforcements. In fact, we might sum up all discipline by saying it means giving the appropriate reward for the conduct. When the conduct (including both attitudes and actions) is good, a positive reward is warranted. When the conduct is bad, a negative reward is in order. It’s really that simple."
I don't recall where I read it, but I once read a scathing article that said rewarding your children for good behavior will teach them to obey just for the goodies they'll get, if the do. Therefore, you should never do that or you'll produce a generation of social misfits that go through life seeking goodies, or something weird like that. For a minute I actually believed that logic, but only for a minute. If you look back at how Pastor John pointed out the fifth commandment is reinforced with a promise of blessing, it's nearly impossible not to think of the entire gospel message and realize that for us, doing the right thing is always reinforced with a blessing & promise.
Who better to set the standard for the way we parent our own children, than our Heavenly Father?
I suggest if you haven't already or haven't been following the series of posts, you get on over there and
get your spanking get to reading. There's good stuff over there.