How NOT To Use The Rod
I recently found a blog that was also addressing the whole Debbie Maken debockle a few weeks ago, and have continued reading. The author, Amir Larijani, is very good at finding interesting stories, and his blog is a very interesting read.
In a post published this morning, he gives the link to a very sad story about a two year old girl who was beaten to death by her mother's "boyfriend" with a video game controller. Apparently, this was not the first time it had happened. According to the article, "It was clear from the bruises and other injuries on the little girl's body that Sunday was not the first time she had been abused, Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick told WGAL-TV. He said it was one of the worst cases of child abuse he has ever seen."
Such is what happens when the rod of correction is used as an instrument of your anger and frustration rather than an instrument of discipline. That is the difference between child abuse, and Godly discipline. In child abuse, the rod is an instrument of your rage such that the child can die because you are beating him so hard. Anger and rage can get out of control, and if you use the rod as an instrument of your rage, don't be suprised if one time it *does* get out of control, and your child ends up dead, and you end up with a charge of child abuse. In Godly discipline, just enough pain is inflicted, not to satisfy your own anger, but to teach the child that his behavior is wrong, and to get him back on the right path.
That is why, when I have children, we are going to have a rule that no spanking is ever to be administered unless all parties involved have calmed down. I fear that, if this is not a rule, you will see more incedents like this.
The main problem that I see in today's society with regards to the rod is two extremes. Either it is avoided altogether because any corporal corrective action is viewed as "child abuse," or it is used as an instrument of one's rage and frustration, such as in the above example. I think that both of these errors can be avoided if we remember that 1. The Bible commands that we use the rod, and 2. The rod is to be used for discipline, not for the satisfaction of our own anger and frustration.
Now, I realize that this is easier said than done, especially when you are raising a child who knows how to push all of the right buttons. However, remember that both not using the rod, and using the rod for the wrong reasons are acts of sin. Thus, as Christians, we should work to always be faithful to God and his word in whatever we do. Then, we can help help a society that is utterly confused about this issue.