“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
The issue of the corporal punishment of children has become a controversial one. The Scriptures speak so plainly about it that there should be absolutely no difficulty with it whatsoever; and, indeed, until recent times there never was. Almost without exception all parents, not only those professing to be Christians, made use of the rod to discipline and correct their children. It was never questioned, the wisdom of it was plain to see, and generation after generation grew to adulthood having known its painful chastisement in youth.
That, however, was before the almost-universal reign of the pseudo-science known as psychology. A new “priesthood”, the psychologists, arose on the earth, rejecting the old ways, the scriptural ways, and claiming that they knew what was best for children. “Using the rod to discipline children damages the child’s self-esteem,” they chorused. “It retards the child’s mental development, leaves emotional scars that affect his adult life, and contributes significantly to the brutalisation of society. It is an outmoded, extremely barbaric form of punishment, that should never be tolerated in a civilised society. It is in fact nothing less than child abuse.” Increasingly, society began to believe these people. Spanking was discarded. In its place, parents began to “reason” with their children, to shout at them, to argue with them, to beg with them and plead with them and threaten them, and to talk and talk and talk. Children, for their part, began to ignore their parents, to speak disrespectfully to them, to shout back at them, and to misbehave in a thousand and one different ways.
The years went by. Decades, in fact. By this time the wonderful results of this “new wisdom” should have been gloriously apparent in society. The world should have been a better place, society should have been happier, kinder, gentler, more understanding, more tolerant. It should have been filled with “well-adjusted”, stable, sensible adults and children.