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Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 12:5-11


1.  Spanking disobedient children is not a panacea (cure-all), nor should it be viewed as a pariah (outcast).  There is a proper place for it, and without it, successful discipline of children is incomplete and ineffective.

2.  This lesson focuses on corporal punishment, and is intended to help parents learn the value & place of proper spanking; to help parents assess when & how to use spanking, & to help parents resist the error that spanking is wrong & should not be used.



  A.  What Men are Saying.

      1.  "If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start."  (Dr. Benjamin Spock,

      2.  “In reality, spanking only teaches a child how to be abusive.”  (Marlene Resnick, “Spanking Teaches Wrong Lessons,”

      3.  “Hitting is actually not biblical.” (

  B.  What God Says.

      1.  Right, Prov. 13:24.

      2.  Needed, Prov. 22:15.

      3.  Not abusive (when properly applied), Prov. 23:13.

      4.  It works, Prov. 23:14; 29:15.

  C.  A Classic Choice, Jas. 3:13-18; 1 Cor. 3:18 (Heb. 12:3-11).


II.  THE ROD OF CORRECTION.  (Rod: instrument of punishment / not abuse!)

  A.  God’s Use of the Rod in the Old Testament:

      1.  Solomon, 2 Sam. 7:14-15.

      2.  Prophetically (of Messiah’s sons), Psa. 89:30-33 (punish).

      3.  Correction an expression of His love, Prov. 3:11-12.

      4.  Correction an application of punishment, Lam. 3:1 (2:20-22).

  B.  God’s Use of the Rod in the New Testament:

      1.  Preaching, 1 Cor. 4:21.

      2.  Local church discipline, 1 Cor. 5:3-5.

      3.  Trials in the Christian’s life, Heb. 12:3-7 (cf. Heb. 5:7-8).

 C.  The Rod of Correction is used by Parents with God’s Approval, Prov. 3:11-12.

      1.  Who is teaching you to train your children?

      2.  Why & how parents should use the rod:

        a.  Out of love (delight in) for the child, 3:12; Prov. 29:17.

        b.  Promptly, Prov. 13:24.

        c.  Consistency (in keeping with instruction & warning), Col. 3:21.

        d.  Teaches respect (9); Profits the child (10); training that yields peaceable (harmony, tranquility) fruit (11), Heb. 12:9-11.

      3.  Rod of correction for those who refuse instruction, Prov. 10:13.



    -(“Lawmaker Wants ‘No Spanking’ law in California,” 1/17/07)

  A.  Spanking is called a Form of “Beating” & “Hitting” (abuse).

      1.  Prov. 23:13-14: “Beat” (to strike, clap, applaud).

      2.  Prov. 19:18: While there is hope (expectation of it working).

      3.  Prov. 20:30: Cleansing through punishment; “by means of corrections and chastisement men are brought to an inward sense of sin” (Gill); cf. Job 36:8-12.

  B.  Spanking is said to be “Too Rampant.”

      1.  Is love “too rampant?”  Prov. 13:24

      2.  Could it be wrong use & no use of spanking is “too rampant?!”

  C.  Spanking is said to Breed Violent Children.

      1.  Properly applied, it teaches obedience, cf. Heb. 5:8.

      2.  Drives away foolishness, Prov. 22:15.

  D.  Spanking is said to only Work Temporarily.

      1.  It does work, Prov. 29:17 (Heb. 12:9; Matt. 10:28).

      2.  Not the only type of correction; All should be used!

  E.  Spanking is said to be the Wrong Role Model for Children & Hurts their Development.

      1.  God is role model for it; so it can be done right (Prov. 3:11-12).

      2.  Is it a better role model to not correct disobedience & rudeness?

      3.  Failure to correct endorses & perpetuates a model of shame & disrespect for others (parents, elders, God), Prov. 29:15, 17.



1.  Parents: Who do you trust to teach you about rearing your children, man or God? (Prov. 14:12; 1 Cor. 1:25)

2.  Christian: Are you willing to accept God’s correction, and bear the fruit of righteousness?  Heb. 12:9-11