Is Corporal Punishment Needed To Discipline Children?
No matter the translation, Proverbs 23: 13 clearly states to discipline children, because they will not die from physical discipline. This section of the Bible (verses 12-16) begins with a parent instructing his child to pay heed to the Scriptures, then the parent correcting his child, during which time he offers a prayer. The correction is what prevents children from destruction. The parent encourages his child, informing him of what is good for him. Proverbs 22:15 sets the tone for this parental lesson by explaining how sin is foolishness and children will bring that foolishness with them, but in reality it is an inside inclination for sin which is near the soul of a child. We all need to be corrected by our Heavenly Father, just as parents need to correct their children. One who loves his child, will not permit sinful habits to gather strength and will thus teach the child the Scriptures and to physically discipline if necessary, as supported by Proverbs 13:24.
Vanessa Keeler, Attorney at Law, believes in corporal punishment at home because of precisely what was mentioned above: the Bible. That is how she bases her parenting. “Children,” she says, “are suffering—especially in elementary schools—from a lack of physical punishment. She supports incorporating corporal punishment as a form of discipline in schools. Corporal punishment is never outdated and the Bible should be left as is without new “translations” or understandings.
In modern times, however, not every agrees with continuing corporal punishment. Reverend Travis Taylor of Charleston, MS, does not believe in physical punishment. He uses his two theology degrees to grasp a better understanding of the times and situations surrounding each section of the Bible and firmly believes that in the time that Proverbs was written, parents had no other method of discipline for their children except physical punishment. You can’t trust anyone, even some parents to discipline. In the wrong situation and the wrong time it could permanently damage a child. Parents can adjust their discipline as necessary at home, but there are lots of other elements to someone else disciplining your kid, especially physically. That should be left to the parent.
One may choose to interpret the Bible as the “rod of correction”, referring solely to the Scriptures, or the rod referring to the literal Hebrew translation of a rod, staff, shaft, club, or truncheon. If the latter, the Hebrew for truncheon was meant as a mark of authority, authority which should be granted to parents leastways, and for some, even teachers.