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Old 12-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
Mama2MeadowRose
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Question Proverbs parenting?

NOTE:I have a sincere question and I'm honestly not here to argue, I'll take all/any opinions but I won't argue even if I disagree.

Anyways, my question is this. How do the GCM and AT philosophies explain Proverbs 23:13-14 and Proverbs 13:24?

My little baby girl is only 10 weeks old, but I'm already beginning to try to shape my philosophies for later parenting as well. I really appreciate the forum and it's great to know that other parents share the same philosophies concerning raising infants.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

There are a ton of great resources on this topic if you search on the forum. Also, I invite you to my blog, where I address these issues under the topic "Is Spanking Biblical?" It is good to wrestle with these verses because we need to be confident when we parent that we are parenting by the word of God.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

I've written 2 posts about this very issue at the blog in my signature. I'm working on a 3rd post, but due to some happenings in my life and now being sick, it's taken me a lot longer than I thought it would I do encourage you to check out the first two. I have a ton of links and dissect each Proverbs "rod" verse, going back to the Hebrew words and what their possible meanings are.

There are a lot of really good posts not written by me on that blog too!

Here's the link to my first Proverbs post and there's a link to the next post there as well. There will be a link to the third eventually too!

http://greenegem.wordpress.com/2010/...art-1-context/
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

aolff.org has a great breakdown of those verses, too.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

What does the Holy Spirit tell you? Does it make sense to you that a loving God would want you to beat your child with a rod?
I hope this isn't coming across wrong, but I think it's important that we listen to the Holy Spirit when trying to interpret His word. Then we can consider how it's been translated and taught and discern which is right.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

I have a direct link to AOLFF's article about Proverbs 23 in my Part 2 post. It's a good one, IMO! It's in the section on Proverbs 23.

The third one that I've been working on is about the rest of the Bible and how we are specifically called to behave as Christians and whether or not that lines up with hitting a child. How does hitting someone else show the fruit of the spirit? How does spanking show the love of Christ to our children and to others who witness us hitting them? I believe that the answer is clear... it doesn't! And yet, people take five (FIVE) verses in Proverbs and base an entire parenting philosophy on them even when their interpretation, IMO, contradicts the ways we are specifically told to behave, as Christians, by Christ Himself.
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Last edited by BarefootBetsy; 12-27-2010 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

Not to be trite, truly...

But






<------------------------

I really believe that. Proverbs are word pictures, metaphors, and the pictures aren't very clear unless we understand the context and language in which they were written. The links to studies from pp's are really helpful.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

Proverbs also says to take a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Is that something that you think is literal? I have seen more than a fair share of gluttony in the modern church.

Also, if it IS literal (and with a name like "proverbs"...I think that is a moot point)...then it must be applied LITERALLY. As in, you beat your child with a ROD on the BACK...not on the bottom or the leg and not with a hand, a paddle, a switch, a glue stick.

Even those who claim it is to be taken literally do not actually take it literally.

And, if they are saying that we are supposed to take the spirit of it...which is to discipline our children, to be an authority over them...well, that is completely in agreement with GBD. AND, it does not require hitting them.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by relizabeth View Post
Not to be trite, truly...

But






<------------------------

I really believe that. Proverbs are word pictures, metaphors, and the pictures aren't very clear unless we understand the context and language in which they were written. The links to studies from pp's are really helpful.
500 hundred years from now if someone was studying our local colloquialisms and read phrases like:

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

Would they be more accurate to interpret this as "If I eat an apple every single day I will never be sick" or "Eating healthy will help you be a healthy person".

However, I think spanking theology takes it even further because they say, "God has promised that if you eat an apple each day you will never be sick." and then adds, "You must make sure it is the right kind of apple, the right size, and you take this certain size of bites" so then when it doesn't "work" they say, "Well they didn't do it right"

Thing is, all those extra little rules about "always in love" "explain first" "reconnect after" etc... they're not in the Bible at all

It seems to me what spanking theology says is that God has created this system in which a child's heart can only be reached by hitting them on the bottom Because if that's not true then spanking wouldn't be required right? But then we get back to understanding what the proverbs really are. Proverbs poetry, they're not literal, to read a proverb literally is to completely ignore one of the most basic rules of an accurate translation-which is to understand the style of the writing your are interpreting.

You and your questions are very welcome here at GCM
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

I was a spanking parent for over 10 years until I read all of the arguments for and against spanking based on these verses, and they really opened up my eyes to how distorted the popular teachings about spanking really are. The links people have shared are excellent.

I can tell you that for myself, the thing that really stands out to me is that the common interpretation of "spare the rod" does not line up with the character of God in the rest of the Bible. God does not punish us as adults for our sins, he does not make bad things happen to us or put sickness on us or inflict any kind of physical pain, even when we intentionally disobey and do things we know are sinful. God could have very easily put an end to external sin by "spanking" us that way. Just imagine if every time you sinned, God zapped you with something painful. It wouldn't take long at all for people to stop sinning... on the outside. He could have us all behaving like "good Christians" all the time... not gossiping, not lying, not cheating on a spouse. If this is the way he wanted to perfect his own children, it would be very easy to do by "applying the rod" as punishment. Being God, he could even punish us for our THOUGHTS! Thinking improper thoughts about someone you're not married to? Zap! Thinking about cheating on your taxes? Zap! Can you imagine how effective this would be? So why doesn't God do this? (and didn't, even in the OT) Because if punishments could stop sin, there would have been no need for a savior. When Paul introduced the idea that we are no longer subject to the penalty of the law, but under grace, he addressed the concern that without the threat of punishment hanging over them, people would be free to do whatever they wanted.

"For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! " Rom. 6:14-15

When I first tried to talk to my own parents about this idea of the rod verses not meaning spanking, my mom was adamant that you could not just "let them get away with sin". I asked her if children were some kind of second class Christians since grace and not having to pay for your own sins apparently did not apply to them. Were children's sins in a special class that required physical punishment, while the bigger sins of adults were not? Was our job as parents to try to present "perfected" children to God... kids who behaved the way we believed God wanted them to? Because from what I understand about God, he tells us to be more concerned with perfecting ourselves than with perfecting the behavior of others. First remove the log from your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your child's eye. If we catch a brother in sin, we are to "RESTORE HIM GENTLY, but watch yourselves, or you may also be tempted." (Gal. 6:1) Why do we restore an adult involved in an obvious, intentional sin with gentleness, but we tell our kids that they must suffer physical pain for theirs? Grace for me, the rod for you?

If a scripture goes against the character of God as described in the rest of the Bible, then you are interpreting it wrong. God does not use pain to force our obedience. He specifically says that it is our relationship that should be the motivating force behind our obedience to him. The closer we get to God, the less we will WANT to sin. Loving GOD is the cure for sin in your life, not fear of punishment. The Bible also is very clear that any "good" we do, if it is not motivated by love, is worthless to God. (1 Cor. 13) So if your child is obeying out of fear of punishment... is that obedience worth something to God or not? What is the most important command for our children to obey anyway? Jesus said it was to LOVE. "“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Matt. 22:37-38 How does hitting a child teach them how to love God? Love others? The Bible clearly states that LOVE is the most important thing we can teach our children, because God IS love. Hitting a child with a rod does not teach them love, it is not a loving act and it does not produce loving feelings or attitudes in the one being hit. It is nothing more than intimidation through fear. That is just not how God treats his children. One of the very first and most important things that draws us to God in the first place is the fact that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". He took our punishment in himself, so we would not have to bear it. How can we expect to help our children develop a real understanding of Grace if all they know is judgment and punishment? I want the way I treat my children to be a direct reflection of the way God treats me, because I want to be my child's first taste and experience of the character of God. It is my job to try to be as much like God as humanly possible, and to let my kids know what my own flaws are and how I deal with them. (by going to God for forgiveness and grace)

Sorry this got long, it is a subject I am very passionate about. Believing the popular interpretation of the "rod scriptures" almost destroyed my family, my oldest two kids are still damaged by what I did to them, but they are adults now and I can't do anything but pray for them. I wish I had known to question this teaching, but everyone I knew (parents, pastors, friends, Christian parenting authors) were teaching it so I believed. I really believe that it is this interpretation of how to discipline children in the church that is one of the reasons most kids leave the church when they grow up. Because how we TREAT our kids will be a much more powerful influence on their relationship with God than anything we ever try to TEACH them about Him.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

I've head some of DH's family members use Poverbs as an argument that you can't properly raise a child without spanking them

I'm getting lots and lots of bean dip ready.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arymanth View Post
I was a spanking parent for over 10 years until I read all of the arguments for and against spanking based on these verses, and they really opened up my eyes to how distorted the popular teachings about spanking really are. The links people have shared are excellent.

I can tell you that for myself, the thing that really stands out to me is that the common interpretation of "spare the rod" does not line up with the character of God in the rest of the Bible. God does not punish us as adults for our sins, he does not make bad things happen to us or put sickness on us or inflict any kind of physical pain, even when we intentionally disobey and do things we know are sinful. God could have very easily put an end to external sin by "spanking" us that way. Just imagine if every time you sinned, God zapped you with something painful. It wouldn't take long at all for people to stop sinning... on the outside. He could have us all behaving like "good Christians" all the time... not gossiping, not lying, not cheating on a spouse. If this is the way he wanted to perfect his own children, it would be very easy to do by "applying the rod" as punishment. Being God, he could even punish us for our THOUGHTS! Thinking improper thoughts about someone you're not married to? Zap! Thinking about cheating on your taxes? Zap! Can you imagine how effective this would be? So why doesn't God do this? (and didn't, even in the OT) Because if punishments could stop sin, there would have been no need for a savior. When Paul introduced the idea that we are no longer subject to the penalty of the law, but under grace, he addressed the concern that without the threat of punishment hanging over them, people would be free to do whatever they wanted.

"For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! " Rom. 6:14-15

When I first tried to talk to my own parents about this idea of the rod verses not meaning spanking, my mom was adamant that you could not just "let them get away with sin". I asked her if children were some kind of second class Christians since grace and not having to pay for your own sins apparently did not apply to them. Were children's sins in a special class that required physical punishment, while the bigger sins of adults were not? Was our job as parents to try to present "perfected" children to God... kids who behaved the way we believed God wanted them to? Because from what I understand about God, he tells us to be more concerned with perfecting ourselves than with perfecting the behavior of others. First remove the log from your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your child's eye. If we catch a brother in sin, we are to "RESTORE HIM GENTLY, but watch yourselves, or you may also be tempted." (Gal. 6:1) Why do we restore an adult involved in an obvious, intentional sin with gentleness, but we tell our kids that they must suffer physical pain for theirs? Grace for me, the rod for you?

If a scripture goes against the character of God as described in the rest of the Bible, then you are interpreting it wrong. God does not use pain to force our obedience. He specifically says that it is our relationship that should be the motivating force behind our obedience to him. The closer we get to God, the less we will WANT to sin. Loving GOD is the cure for sin in your life, not fear of punishment. The Bible also is very clear that any "good" we do, if it is not motivated by love, is worthless to God. (1 Cor. 13) So if your child is obeying out of fear of punishment... is that obedience worth something to God or not? What is the most important command for our children to obey anyway? Jesus said it was to LOVE. "“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Matt. 22:37-38 How does hitting a child teach them how to love God? Love others? The Bible clearly states that LOVE is the most important thing we can teach our children, because God IS love. Hitting a child with a rod does not teach them love, it is not a loving act and it does not produce loving feelings or attitudes in the one being hit. It is nothing more than intimidation through fear. That is just not how God treats his children. One of the very first and most important things that draws us to God in the first place is the fact that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". He took our punishment in himself, so we would not have to bear it. How can we expect to help our children develop a real understanding of Grace if all they know is judgment and punishment? I want the way I treat my children to be a direct reflection of the way God treats me, because I want to be my child's first taste and experience of the character of God. It is my job to try to be as much like God as humanly possible, and to let my kids know what my own flaws are and how I deal with them. (by going to God for forgiveness and grace)

Sorry this got long, it is a subject I am very passionate about. Believing the popular interpretation of the "rod scriptures" almost destroyed my family, my oldest two kids are still damaged by what I did to them, but they are adults now and I can't do anything but pray for them. I wish I had known to question this teaching, but everyone I knew (parents, pastors, friends, Christian parenting authors) were teaching it so I believed. I really believe that it is this interpretation of how to discipline children in the church that is one of the reasons most kids leave the church when they grow up. Because how we TREAT our kids will be a much more powerful influence on their relationship with God than anything we ever try to TEACH them about Him.
Thank you so much for writing all that! To be honest, I haven't yet decided on the issue yet, but I really appreciate everyone's responses. You made some REALLY good points, Arymanth. I especially liked "If a scripture goes against the character of God as described in the rest of the Bible, then you are interpreting it wrong." That's how my husband and I look at Scriptures as well, it won't go against His character because throughout the Bible, GOd tells us who He is and who He is not. Thanks for reiterating that! Also your quote: but everyone I knew (parents, pastors, friends, Christian parenting authors) were teaching it so I believed." We've noticed the same and have done some deeper digging and searching and tweaking of previously strong-held beliefs.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

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Old 12-31-2010, 05:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

Thank you to all who took the time to write these things. I listen to some well-known pastors all the time via podcasts. They all insist that the Proverbs teach to spank. It makes me question myself and the speakers because if they're interpreting Scripture wrong about spanking, what else are they wrong about?
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Proverbs parenting?

It's kinda funny to me that Christians have hyper focused on a couple of Proverbs verses as being about how to raise children, when the WHOLE thing is written to "my son". So many passages about teaching and reasoning with one's child. Beautiful imagery. But then just a couple of verses are taken as "literal"--it doesn't fit with the entirely of the book.

I do think that the issue of spanking being in the Bible is something that most Christians haven't really examined, but have instead just accepted. It's easier to just remember a couple of verses and "do" them, rather than seek out God's heart for children. I think it's a big blind spot in Christendom.
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