Friday, May 17, 2013

Teachable Moment: Spanking

I did not expect our choice to spank our sweet and sassy 5 year old to lead us to a profound experience at the foot of Christ. But it did.

How often do we has parents put off disciplining our kids? Wait until we are upset? They are in un-ignorable danger? We are out of patience?

Is it just me?

Often I find myself justifying before disciplining. My kids are great kids and it is not like their choices are "that bad" right?

Well, they are only 2 and 5.

Tonight my daughter simply decided to do something after I told her twice not to. She was sneaky. She did it when my husband and I were not looking. To make matters worse, she also made a HUGE mess with water in the bathroom. It may sound silly but I was at my wit's end. (Being 3 months pregnant may be playing in here with the lack of patience too.)

I brought her to her Daddy and suggested that her punishment be a spanking.

He pulled her close... I walked away... and he explained why "we" decided she needed to get a spanking.

A few seconds later I heard the cry.

Then it hit me. 

Amy, don't leave it there.

You see, while we choose to spank in this house we have some rules about it: 1. don't do it out of anger  2. talk about it calmly with the child. Why did they get the spanking? And reaffirm your love. (I have to give credit to Adrian's and my parents who were incredible examples to us both of this loving approach to the discipline.)

This time something else hit me.

Adrian brought Madi to her room and I said, "Daddy, I think it might be the perfect night to read the story of The Lost Son." Some Bible's call it the Prodigal Son but in the kids' Beginner Bible it is The Lost Son.

He agreed. We read the story as a family. After I asked the kids:
- Did the son make good or bad choices?
- Did his Father forgive him?
- Tonight, did you make good choices or bad choices?
- Do your Mommy and Daddy forgive you when you make a bad choice?
- Does God forgive you when you make a bad choice?
- The son made the good choice to ASK his father to forgive him and say sorry. Madi and Aaron we are going to make bad choices sometimes. God wants us to always come to Him and ask for His forgiveness. Then we can ask Him to help us make the good choices. (There was more to the conversation but you get the point.) :)

I asked Madi if she wanted to pray and she did. Boy do I wish I recorded it. She asked her Heavenly Father for forgiveness and help to do what is right. She thanked Him for all the good gifts He gave us today. It was one of the most beautiful, sincere prayers I have ever heard.

Why blog about this? I feel convicted. Often I miss the mark on spanking or discipline in general. These kids have a heart and a soul. It is our job as parents to love and grow them. Teach them not to be perfect in actions or speech but to know God's grace. As they get older, they will inevitably make mistakes. As long as they are in our house, Adrian and I pray to catch them and discipline then. 

Ultimately our goal is not just to correct the action but to address the heart of the choices- their hearts.

Dear God,

Thank you God for your wisdom tonight. Oh how often I try and avoid discipline in my life and the life of my kids. God you know our choices before we make them and yet you always love us the same. God, help my not to try and avoid hard, sad, or even disappointing times in my life. May I always look to you. God you are good. Even through times of discipline. You always work for the good of those who love you. Thank you for your love and forgiveness. And thank you for your Word- even The Beginners Bible. :)

In Jesus' Name... Amen

Now, don't stop here. Pray. What might God be speaking into you life? 

Here is a fun LEGO video of the Bible story. Not the best
out there but it does use LEGOs and we love LEGOS. :)


  1. I love that. I have been struggling with my oldest and his choices. Remembering that God wants us to lead a disciplined life and we need to help our children learn how to make good choices. May God continue to grow me as a mother, help me to understand that discipline can be good if used to help to grow my children. And help my children to learn to make good decisions and continue to grow in their love and discipline for God.

    1. @Anonymous Thanks for sharing. Just know that you are not alone. From this mom "in training"... :)