Monday, June 16, 2008

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Chp 11

Every Monday and Friday, join us for reading, "Shepherding a Child's Heart."  I'll post a brief synopsis of the chapter with a few highlights, as well as a few of my personal thoughts.  At the end of the comments, there will be 2-3 questions for discussion as well.   So join us in our journey toward becoming the mommies that God has called us to be.

Chapter 11: Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod

Tripp uses this chapter to cautiously approach the idea of physical discipline.  As he says, the idea of spanking is not a popular on in today's society.  Thus this is a difficult subject to approach.  In exploring the nature of sin, Tripp makes the following points:
  • Children are not born morally and ethically neutral (pg 105)
  • It is a question of authority.  Will the child live under the authority of God and therefore the authority of his parents, or under his own authority--driven by his wants and passions? (pg 106)
  • (The rod) provides an immediate tactile demonstration of the foolishness of rebellion.  Properly administered discipline humbles the heart of a child (pg 107)
Tripp finds that spanking should under the following circumstances:
  • in a parent-child relationship
  • as an act of faith--because God commanded it
  • as an act of faithfulness-- expressing love
  • as a responsibility--acting as God's agent
  • in a physical manner-- in a "careful, timely, measured, and controlled" manner (pg 109)
  • as a rescue mission--saving your child from sin
Tripp also warns against "distortions of the rod:"
  • venting anger
  • venting frustration
  • as retribution
  • associated with anger
He urges consistency, calmness, moderation and love in spanking.  There is so much more to this chapter.  I can't even cover it all tonight.  A must read.

My husband and I were just talking about this tonight and I sit on the fence all the time.  I think some tasks can be conveyed without spanking; however, with the arguments made here, I am torn as to the role of spanking in our house.  At this time, I'm seeing as valuable in some situations and even necessary.  However, using it judiciously as to not spank for silly things.  

How do you draw this line in your household?

Questions for discussion:
1. What is the problem in your children that requires the use of the rod?

2. What is the function of the rod?

6. How would you describe the relationship between communication and the rod?  Which method is easier for you?

(Participating in an online devotional Works for Me)

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