Proverbs 13:24 says that if you fail to discipline your child, you do not love them and that if you spare the rod, you must actually hate your child because you refuse to teach them the right way. However, I believe that this scripture has been used by many generations to actually justify child cruelty.
What is discipline? It is a form of punishment that is used to make someone listen or do the ‘right’ thing. I believe that there are more ways to discipline a child than by resorting to violence. Violence is usually a last resort, people are often violent when they feel that they have no control over the situation, when they feel as though they are not respected. I believe that it is extremely dangerous to hit a child, punch a child or use a belt to ‘discipline’ a child. Using violence to teach a child the difference between right and wrong sets an extremely bad example. Violent forms of discipline are very popular in the black community and so is prison. I do not think that this is a coincidence. Consider this, when boy A does something wrong, his mum or dad gets the belt or other weapon and beats them. His parents are supposed to love him. Then when boy A gets into a disagreement with boy B who did something wrong to boy A, boy A then beats this boy up. He doesn’t love this boy, so what is to stop him from hurting this boy more than his parents hurt him? Whether we want to accept it or not, we are influenced a lot by our environment. How do you expect a child to settle a disagreement with words or peaceful measures if you fail to do so? A parent and child relationship is meant to be a reciprocal relationship, parents are instructed to train their children in the way that they should grow, they should be trained to follow the commandments and honour their mother and father, they must both respect one another and love one another. The very fact that the parent has to beat their child more than once is evidence that it does not work. Pain is only temporary. Most things that children do is worth the pain because they know that after a while the pain will wear off. There is a certain age that a child gets to where it is near impossible for them to get beaten anymore, so what do you do then? Using violent forms of discipline to train your child, will not get them any closer to honouring you.