The question should be asked: why has child discipline become such a major issue at this time? At least 29 nations have passed punitive laws against parents disciplining their children. In countries like Sweden, only the state, not the parent, can discipline! The results of this experiment in societal engineering are coming in. Will anyone pay attention?
Child discipline has been practiced all through history as the normal obligation of parents to rule over their children. Mothers and fathers strove to prepare their children for life, with all of its difficulties and hardships. Whether they were rich or poor, it was the least they could do for their children. Parents instinctively understood their vital role in helping their children learn to do the right thing and resist doing the wrong thing.
When this authority is taken away (or more often, given away), the terrible results of violence, unsafe schools, drug abuse, sexual immorality, and sexually transmitted diseases always follow. Judging by recent events in two prominent European nations, the final result of taking away parental authority is outright rebellion: deadly, destructive rioting. Yes, and there is more to come.
How has this day come — a time when it is considered abuse to spank a child, even in Christian and Jewish nations? Yes, the Israeli Supreme Court1 has also outlawed parents spanking their children. The wisdom of Solomon is no longer welcome in his homeland, it seems. Trusting in the Proverbs of Solomon (called the wisest man who ever lived) has for thousands of years guided much of mankind in training up their children in the way they should go. Wise parents have ever heeded such wisdom over the centuries, however it was expressed in each culture. This has been true even through the early decades of the twentieth century.
Did all succeed? Certainly not, for all did not even try. It depended on the parents’ diligence. But one thing has been constant through all of recorded human history: spanking has never been considered child abuse!
So, the question must be asked: Why is it considered abuse now?
Before answering, we have to consider why we are here. Why has the God of Heaven placed us human beings on Planet Earth? For what will we give Him an account when our life is over?
The purpose our Creator set for mankind was to RULE — to have dominion (authority) over all creation:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
The covenant God made with Abraham (the “father” of God’s chosen people, Israel) was even more personal, you could say. He was to command his household and his children after him in God’s “way.”
For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. (Genesis 18:19)
This meant that man was supposed to have good character, the kind that enabled him to behave properly, to work hard, and to care for his wife and children. From that kind of character, he would command his children to do what was right and just. This was not an option for man. Beyond the fact that his very survival depended on raising children to help him, he knew in his heart that raising children with good character was his “job” in creation. He knew this established his worth before his Maker.
Training up one’s children in the way they should go meant much more than just spanking them. It included meeting their needs, being warm and affectionate, teaching them all they need to know about life and truth, and ruling over their wayward passions until they are capable of doing so themselves.
When the state seizes the rod from the parents’ hands, it takes away from them the primary tool to fulfill their purpose. Without their parents’ guidance, the child’s ultimate guide in life becomes his selfish desires. This makes him supremely manipulable, easy prey to peer pressure and every passing fad.
Fathers have been more or less faithful to rule over their families down through the centuries. Still, there have always been fatherless children who had no direct rulership in their lives.2 Lacking a father’s care, they have often turned out to be difficult individuals.3 That is the way a person often turns out who has no fatherly authority in his life.
Why do the governments of this earth now feel compelled to make sure that no children have that kind of fatherly authority in their lives? Evidently they are attempting to completely emasculate mankind. Then men will no longer be able to exercise their God-given authority to establish and uphold clear standards for their children. They will only be able to say, “Well, dear, if you want to you can come over here, or do such and such. It would be a good idea.” Then they must wait to see what their dear children will do, as though they have no authority in their lives — which obviously they don’t.
The normal God-given gumption in a man is now being suppressed by a law telling him he cannot carry out proper discipline upon his own child who disobeys him. He becomes a wimp of a man who can only coax or coddle his child into some form of outward compliance. The child is a constant embarrassment to the parents as his bad behavior cannot be properly dealt with. Both parent and child know their hearts are far from one another. The parents wonder why they brought such a child into the world, and the child wonders why he is alive. This has grave consequences.
In the face of bad behavior, even uncontrollable actions, the parent becomes weaker and weaker. Legalized drugs are administered to the child to try to keep his behavior in check, as the father and mother stand by powerless. Eventually, their child is numbed into conformity.4 If that doesn’t work, a life in and out of prison often follows.
How can mankind rule and command without the discipline which at one time was given to all children?5 The father is left to stand by emasculated, as the Oxford online dictionary defines it:
emasculate: to deprive (a man) of his male role or identity: He feels emasculated because he cannot control his son’s behavior.6
The literal meaning of emasculate is to castrate a man or a male animal. Whether literally or figuratively, an emasculated man has been rendered impotent. That is, he is without the necessary authority to truly father his children.
Although he was created in the image of God, man is left without the ability to command his children. He cannot rule as he was created to. Thus, the image of God is being obliterated from those countries that ban spanking. Their unspoken goal is clearly to eliminate it from the face of the planet. The new socialist man will take his place.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from hell. (Proverbs 23:13-14)
All men will die, and all will give account for how they lived their lives, and how they treated their neighbors. To “not die” refers not merely to physical death, but to one’s eternal destiny. Children who have been raised to know right from wrong will not go to “hell” forever and ever. Their parents taught them and held them accountable to that knowledge, disciplining them for rebellious behavior. Regardless of their religion or lack thereof, all men will be judged according to their deeds.
Children must learn from childhood these most important facts of life: there are consequences to their actions, they must respect others, and they must respect authority. As a New Zealand youth said when asking that discipline be restored to his school (after the government took it away), “An old-fashioned caning would reinforce the fact that in life negative actions are often met with negative consequences.”7
Such wise discipline would save a person’s soul from destruction. It would be training him in the way he should go — away from negative, violent, and lawless actions. Proverbs 22:6 puts it plainly:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Such wisdom is too “low” for some governments today. They do not acknowledge what everyone knows about themselves and their children:
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Governments are actually seeing to it that everyone under their authority will “go to hell” with them. Yes, they, and those submissive to such misrule, will go to eternal death. Let there be no mistake: they are seeing to it that parents hate their children.
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24)
It has never before been seen on the earth, nay, it is that which cannot be, according to the Apostle Paul — a law against love!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
So could such governments be considered in any way wise to pass such laws? Certainly, all should “incline their ear and hear the words of the wise” — namely the wisdom of the ages about training children up in the way they should go. They should “apply their heart to God’s knowledge,”8 and not to man’s folly. It is only the scoffers who “do not like to be reproved” and who “will not go to the wise.”9
The governments of this world are turning their back not simply on the wisdom of the Scriptures, but on all of human history. They are making fools out of the children they claim to love, teaching them to “despise their father’s instruction.”10 That will be the final effect of taking discipline away from parents. But then, that’s been the goal of forced public schooling (government indoctrination) all along, to discredit and to distance children from their parents. Woven through the writings of Dr. Benjamin Spock, one of the self-proclaimed prophets of this new world order, is that very goal:
Spock’s manual is punctuated by a “concerted effort to detach the youngster from the moral authority of the immediate family.”11
The authority of the state is substituted for parental authority, and it is a very poor, impersonal substitute.
Still the question remains, and must be asked, at least of Jewish and Christian parents: Why would the governments of the countries they live in want to cause them all to go to hell? It is, after all, a place of torment.12 Why do they want parents to hate their children? Instead of correcting and disciplining them for doing wrong, they must now walk away, or reason, or bribe, or abuse their own children through drugs. This is serious abuse, with lifelong consequences. Finally, they give up, wishing they had never had children.
However, can “believers” allow it? Do not those who disobey God (to obey the state) actually follow Satan’s servants in this world? If anyone needed proof that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” this war against children and parents provides it abundantly.13 Truly, when the spanking stopped, all hell broke loose — right here on planet earth.
The governments of this world are seeking for the children under their authority to be bastards, illegitimate, without fathers who love them, but who in fact hate them.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (Hebrews 12:7-8, King James Version)
It was beyond the imagination of the writer of Hebrews that such evil days as this would ever come, when fathers would not discipline their sons in love.
Although the government of New Zealand has steadfastly ignored them, its people, on their part, have not been passive. They firmly registered their overwhelming rejection of the 2007 anti-spanking ban in a 2009 non-binding referendum. 87% of the voters condemned the radical law against love that was passed by their so-called representatives who do not represent them. If it were a representative government, it would have immediately repealed the law that almost nine-tenths of the population voted against.
This betrayal of the basic contract between people and their government (that governments rule by the consent of the governed) is itself consistent with the 2007 law. Both actions are profound violations of natural law.
Governments as seemingly diverse as Sweden, New Zealand, Israel, and Germany are attempting to completely emasculate mankind. They are doing so by taking the rule of the family away from those to whom it rightfully and naturally belongs: the parents.