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QUESTION: How can I discipline my children without being afraid that someone is going to come and take them away?
 
ANSWER: In this day and age child abuse is certainly a problem. Just as sure as the Bible speaks against the cowardice of a man beating a woman or child, it equally speaks very clearly on the need to correct our children if they are to grow up fearing God. The Word of God says, “A child left to himself” (Proverbs 29:15) is just as much child abuse as the physical and verbal abuse we hear so much about today. Godly correction that doesn’t “work the wrath of man” (James 1:20) is profitable, necessary, and the balanced position.
 
Love is not permissive or lazy. Love does not cause physical harm or injury. In fact, I believe there are more reasons not to spank your child than there are to spank them. Never discipline your child for not acting older than they are. Never correct your child for their lack of ability. Do not punish your child for accidents. Never penalize a child based on hearsay (especially from a sibling). And do not discipline in anger.
 
God gives us only two reasons to discipline in the Word of God, “…because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD...” (disobedience) and “…because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart…” (a bad attitude). (Deuteronomy 28:45-47) Disobedience and obedience with a bad attitude are the only two reasons God disciplined the nation of Israel.
 
Spanking is not child abuse. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou [spank] him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt [spank] him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14). “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11). And while a spanking hurts, abuse is absolutely contrary to the spirit of God’s command to discipline, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).
 
It is easier to use the ‘fear of man’ as an excuse to not discipline your kids, than it is to biblically and lovingly chasten them. We try to mitigate our personal responsibility before God by saying things like: 1. “He’s not old enough to understand.” (If a child can understand, “doggie,” “ice cream,” and “bye-bye” s/he can understand “no!”) 2. “She’s so tired…she’s always naughty when she’s tired.” (Why wasn’t she tired just before she disobeyed?) 3. “It isn’t his fault…if he had the ball Suzy has, he wouldn’t be angry; or “He learned to lie from Peter.” 4. “He’s that way because we’re not home.” 5. “She’s not feeling well.” 6. “He’s just like his uncle Jim.” 7. “He’ll outgrow it.” Not one of these excuses will hold up at the judgment seat of Christ. 
 
Christian, it’s pretty easy to become a mom or dad. It takes work, however, to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
 
 
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