Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The difference

Three disclaimers before I begin: I hate dueling blog posts; however, since I don't know the person whose blog I read, I feel free to give my thoughts on the topic.

Also: this is a very pointed post. Feel free not to read it. Tim and I are not trying to cause conflict with anyone (because we love everyone) and we recognize that not everyone (and maybe no one) will agree with what we are saying.

Also: None of what I am saying means that one shouldn't be gracious and merciful to one's children. Spanking is not non-gracious as I will demonstrate below.

This person whose blog I read said that spanking makes a child believe that awful hurt/pain means love. This person didn't say that some children believe that. No, it is just an accepted thing among 'real' Christians that God doesn't want to hurt us and that we shouldn't hurt our children, because it makes them believe that hurt means love. It makes them believe that if someone loves you, they WILL hurt you.

Oh, that just made me a bit angry.... because I know it isn't true. You know why? I don't believe that, and I was spanked. My friends don't believe that, and they were spanked. My sisters don't believe that, and they were spanked. There is a difference between pain to bring a desired result (righteousness) and vicious mean pain that makes someone nauseated and makes them believe that if they are loved they WILL get hurt. It is so dangerous to say something and just assume that EVERYONE is the same. Yes, some kids react poorly to spanking and it damages them emotionally, ie., physically abused kids. I'm not talking about those kids!!! BUT MY KIDS DON'T. My friends' kids DON'T.

And the real reason this person's blog made me angry is because I remember a foster child we fostered for three days. Her name was Heather. We couldn't keep her because she was a danger to the other child in our home. I had an experience with Heather that tells me how a child reacts who truly perceives pain/hurt as love.

I was combing the lice out of her hair the day after we got her. We were on the porch. Let me tell you, this child was damaged. It was the saddest thing I've ever seen.

"If you love me, you will PULL my hair! Just pull it!"

She said that to me! Over and over. She would yank her head as hard as she could when I was combing so that it would hurt, then she would tell me, 'You hurt me!'

Heather's parents had obviously hurt her so much that she had come to believe that hurt, terrible hurt, meant love. She had to believe it, because no one wants to believe their parents don't love them. Her parents obviously didn't love her.

******BUT you can't take all the kids who are spanked and lump them in the same category as Heather..... she was a child who truly believed hurt meant love and love is only demonstrated by hurt. And I do not treat my kids the way her parents treated her. That is horrible and offensive to make parents who spank seem the same as abusive parents like Heather's!******

Oh so sad! And maybe this person whose blog I read believes that pain and hurt mean love, but let me tell you, most other people who are/have been spanked do not believe that, and it does not make them nauseated. Here's the other side of the issue, to be loved, one does not HAVE to be hurt, but sometimes, hurting someone IS LOVE. Pointless, vicious pain is not love, but sometimes, hurt is love.

I'm sorry, folks, but God does hurt us. When we sin and go off his path, he MIGHT hurt us. Take David. He had sex with Bathsheba, killed her husband, and lied. God killed the baby. God had David's wives slept with in front of the whole nation on the roof of his house. And the sword did not depart from David's house forever. Those are HURTS.

Take Eli's sons. Did God give them a non-painful consequence?!?!? No. They were KILLED. Take the sons of Korah. They rebelled against God and He had the earth open and swallow them. Take Ananias and Sapphira. They lied. And they both got KILLED.... and the Bible says that everyone feared. That's Acts 5:11.

Take Israel and the worship of the Golden Calf. The Lord 'smote' them.... whatever that means. It doesn't sound pain free.

Yes, God definitely punishes us sometimes in ways that HURT us--- physically hurt us. And it doesn't damage us and make us believe that hurt means love and love must be demonstrated by hurt. And no believer can say accurately that God does not love us because He hurts us.

I hope I've made myself clear. I don't think I'm going to read that blog anymore, because that person is a confused, hurting individual who is putting her feelings out there as truth.

I would like to say again, I completely disagree with (and God does too) the idea that spanking ABSOLUTELY WILL make my children hate God, have an evil heart but a good exterior, that it is always abuse, and that it will make my kids afraid of me. I'm not afraid of my parents. My husband isn't afraid of his parents. And my kids aren't afraid of ME. My kids are not Heather.

I'm sorry if I seem too direct in this post. I know it is very pointed. It has been Tim-approved, edited, and added to; and it is accurate, also, according to the Word of God. And we parent to please GOD. We agonize over our parenting. We pray over it. We constantly talk about it. We don't just spank because it's easy. Huh. It's NOT easy.

One other thing: I do not decide the discipline strategies in this home by myself. Tim and I discuss everything and we AGREE on everything we do. Both of us believe that spanking is godly and biblical. This isn't just me talking in this post. It's both of us.


  1. I remember Heather Ems. That poor little girl. Do you know what ever happened to her?

    I remember our little one saying one time, "Why don't you just HIT ME! HIT ME! and she would take belts, seat belts and anything that looked like it could be used to hit and would beg us to hit her. Made me cry.....

  2. My heart breaks over Heather. No, I've asked about her many times, but I have no idea what happened to her. What NEEDED to happen to her was to go to you. You guys could have helped her so much. She needed that kind of discipline, didn't she. I have a packet of her info somewhere, and sometime I'll try to find out what happened to her. My caseworker at the time said she hadn't seen her come across the wire for placement again. So, so sad.


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