"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of
his mother." (Proverbs 10:1)
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him
chasteneth him betimes." (Proverbs 13:24)
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of
shall drive it far from him." (Proverbs 22:15)
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth
his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15)
The Book of Proverbs is the main "wisdom" book of the Bible. In it, among
many other wonderful things, men have found great wisdom about bringing
up children. Without question, Proverbs recommends, even commands, the
use of corporal punishment by parents in the character-training of their
children. This wisdom is not popular at the dawn of the twenty-first
century in America, but it is profoundly important. The spanking enjoined
by the Bible is neither cruel nor abusive. It is to be administered with
love, purpose, and restraint. Spanking is only a part of the Biblical
formula of effective child-rearing, but it is an essential part. Sadly,
the sparing of the rod has produced much heartache in our country, and
has populated this land with a multitude of troubled and troublesome
The term "brat" has an interesting origin. It is an Old English word for
a child, based on the word for a rough or trashy garment. Dictionaries
say that "brat" has come to be a contemptuous word for a child. Why would
a child be regarded with contempt? The answer is obvious. A child is a
brat when he is selfish, obnoxious, and out of control. Any child will be
a brat unless he is trained to control himself. Self-control is learned
through a training program at home that includes loving discipline.
Because so few children have been growing up in a disciplining family,
many Americans become brats. Their lack of self-control and discipline
creates serious problems in their lives, problems of which we all have
become very aware.
Childish self-centeredness is the reason for many adult problems. It is
behind "road rage," domestic violence, and even much suicide! When a brat
gets angry, he must act it out. When a brat doesn't get what he wants
right now, he throws a tantrum. When a brat is disappointed with life, he
can't handle it. Brats make people miserable, but the most miserable of
all is the brat himself. Highly selfish people are prone to get divorces,
lose jobs, and hurt others. Selfishness is inborn, and will ruin a life
unless "the rod of correction" is applied to "drive it far from him" in
A properly spanked child learns to control his offensive and harmful
impulses, to subject his desires to the best interests of all, and to
behave in a mature manner. A big problem in our country today is
immaturity in adults! It's the cause of the irresponsible behavior that
disrupts decent society: drug and alcohol abuse, marital cruelty and
infidelity, as well as all kinds of criminal activity. The brats are
ruining the country!
Some say that spanking in childhood produces violent adults, but nothing
could be farther from the truth! Most irrational or violent acts are
committed by brats, kids who never got a spanking! One difficulty we are
having is in understanding what a spanking is. A swat on the hand or the
face is not a spanking. To be administered Biblically, the rod must be
used in association with intense parental love and clear parental
teaching. Spankings must be purposeful and controlled, given with tears
and prayers, in order to be effective.
The brat has not been served well by his parents or by the others that
have spoiled him. He cannot cope with life without unreasonable reaction,
unbearable disappointment, and unsolvable problems. Self-discipline
produced by parental discipline is of inestimable value in the living of
life. To withhold discipline from children is to harm them immensely. The
brat is not funny; he is pitiable and sad. It is hard for a grown-up brat
to learn self-control later in life, but he can do it. It is better,
however, for his parents to teach him as a child.
Wed, 15 Dec 1999
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church|
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data
Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)
- Articles published in the;
- Sword of the Lord
- Baptist Preacher,
- Christian View of the News,
- Pulpit Helps,
- Maranatha Watchman
- Church Bus News,
- and other national periodicals.