Spanking can be a controversial topic. Many parents turn to the Bible for answers to their questions on the subject.
So what is spanking according to the Bible? How can scripture as a whole inform the way Christian parents approach spanking and discipline?
Spanking According to The Bible
Spanking is both an Old and New Testament concept. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” And Proverbs 23:13-14 says, “Don’t withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he won’t die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.”
In the New Testament, passages like Hebrews 12 and others support the idea that spanking yields benefits—not only in this life, but also in the life to come.
But remember, Scripture also teaches that discipline goes way beyond just spanking—first comes nurturing, training, and relationship building. These things take time, and help make any trip to the woodshed scarce and that much more effective.
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