Mar 28, 2011

16 House Rules by Susannah Wesley (John Wesley's Mom)

Susannah Wesley was the mother of 19 children, including John and Charles Wesley. Through much adversity, she dedicated her life to instilling a sense of Christian Destiny into each of her children.  Her children went on to change the world.
Here are 16 rules she laid down in her home.

1. Eating between meals not allowed.

2. As children they are to be in bed by 8 p.m.

3. They are required to take medicine without complaining.

4. Subdue self- will in a child, and those working together with God to save the child's soul.

5. To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.

6. Require all to be still during Family Worship.

7. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely.

8. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.

9. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.

10. Never punish a child twice for a single offense.

11. Comment and reward good behavior.

12. Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.

13. Preserve property rights, even in smallest matters.

14. Strictly observe all promises.

15. Require no daughter to work before she can read well.

16. Teach children to fear the rod. 
 
ON DISCIPLINE
Susannah Wesley believed that for a child to grow into a self-disciplined adult, he/she must first be a parent-disciplined child. To her, the stubborn flesh was the hardest battle for Christians to fight, and Godly parents would do well to equip their children to overcome it early.
 
She writes:
When the will of a child is totally subdued, and it is
brought to revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great many childish follies may be passed by.  I insist on the conquering of the will of children betimes, because this is the only strong and rational foundation of a religious education  when this is thoroughly done, then a child is capable of being governed by reason and piety.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just simply amazing!

Debbie Ray said...

Truly enjoyed this! I love to read of Godly mothers.It truly helps me with the raising of my own children.Thanks for sharing this!

Bernadette said...

Don't believe in corporal punishment the "rod" is very old school thinking. There are other ways to punish a child and hitting them is not one of them.

Mary Jo said...

The "rod" is also interpreted as a form of measurement. Interpretations are many. I do not believe in corporal punishment either, Bernadette. Just can't see how as a grownup it's ok to hit a child. If you do something wrong is it ok for another adult to hit you? No, that would be assault. But it's fine to hit a defenseless child! Corporal punishment makes no sense. Consequences for bad behavior work great. By the way, I have three grown son's, no spanking...they're great adults!

Jimmie said...

I raised my Children by myself and despite all outer influences in this world, they all turned out great. The one thing I am most proud of is the fact that they have respect for others.
There are no drugs which is amazing these days. I very seldom had to use corporal punishment but when it was needed it was used. Try and get a "Thank you" from our youth today. We are raising a Narcissistic society. I don't believe corporal punishment should be used daily or even weekly, but it is necessary.
The name "narcissism" was coined by Freud after Narcissus who in Greek myth was a pathologically self-absorbed young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool.

Anonymous said...

To those you who said the (rod) is old school thinking, you need to read your bible.
Gods Word says to use it. As godly parents we must submit first and foremost to what scripture says, rather than the worlds opinions or psychology.God speaks very clear on the way to Disipline a child.There is no other way to interpret this.

Mary Jo said...

The passage goes: "Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them (Proverbs 13:23 or 24, depending on your translation. If the author of this passage really meant to literally beat them, the second part would read: "but those who love their children are diligent to beat them." But it doesn't say this. The point is that we not let our children grow up without any discipline. If we love them, then we discipline them as a means of teaching them. "Rod" here means discipline in whatever form is appropriate and not necessarily beating them.

Mary Jo said...

By the way...the saying "spare the rod, spoil the child" isn't even in the bible,it is from an 18th century poem by Samuel Bittner that also had sexual perversion toward children in it.

Anonymous said...

Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 23:13-14 NKJV

Mary Jo said...

Once again....the "rod" has several interpretations. Why does everyone want to condone physical beating of their children? Is beating the only way you know how to train your kids? This is just sad! There are so many out there who are lead to believe that they are obligated and told by the bible to spank their children. Aren't we full of ourselves! My God and my bible does not tell me to beat my children! I disciple my children and they're great! I was spanked as a child. I never received a beating without anger attached to it and all I did was hate after those spankings! I don't know any parent who administers any degree of spanking without anger. People spank their children and it's ok but if someone else, such as a teacher, hits their child, it's assault. Insanity! This is just another example of ordinary people interpreting the bible to justify their abhorrent behavior!

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this much, my oldest daughter was the happiest child after a "spanking" not a beating, children KNOW that they are loved if a parent gives them the belt if the behavior deserves it!! A child that is undisciplined bc his mother doesn't want to "ruin" his self-esteem is a troubled child.

Pastor Sonny Thomas said...

Mary Jo, regardless of our view of spankings, corporal punishment, and the reasons why we believe individuals do what they do, the Scriptures are very clear. In Proverbs 29:15, the Bible declares, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

Notice in this verse that God clearly provides two remedies for the shameful behavior of a child - 1) corporal punishment, and 2) non-corporal punishment. The term "rod" is used, and contrary to your assertion, it cannot be interpreted in various ways. Without even delving into the original Hebrew, the context clearly indicates the two types of discipline can be, and at times should be, administered together.

"Rod" is from the Hebrew meaning a branch or a stick. It can be akin to a parent/grandparent using the old "hickory switch" to admonish poor behavior. It cannot be interpreted any other way.

With that said, there are times when "reproof" is all that is warranted. This is a non-corporal discipline/punishment which literally is defined as chastisement. For some children, a good scolding is all that is needed.

Though there may be present a personal opinion of enmity as it pertains to administering corporal punishment, we must never allow our opinions to usurp the authority of the Word of God. When we do so, we set ourself up as god with the final say.

ana said...

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

What does #13 mean? When a kid says, "it's mine!" and doesn't want to share, we should say ok?

Heather Mahon Estey said...

Anonymous--I dont think that is what she meant. I think it is dealing with children and their personal items. If someone has something special and another child wants it, it is ok to teach them to share, but not to the exclusion of the child having to give up permanent rights to their possession. Everyone should have things that are only theirs. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm solemnly concur with this article, today mine parents and the society are proud of me and mine siblings cause almost every measure of this article relatively played a role to our upbring. But i'm not saying mine parents read this rather i'm telling nowadays parents that have the opportunity to take this article for something and not for granted. From Rotr. Nwosu Uzochuks(Nigeria)

Anonymous said...

Sadly I read Susanna's book (and list) when my kids were small and didn't stick with all of it like I should have. I'm thankful that my kids are pretty good kids and have good behavior because we used the rod and always tried to follow it with prayer and a hug. People that don't understand how to do this have a hard time using the 'rod.' I love going out in public and people comment on how good my kids behave and are happy, even when they don't get everything they want. What I'm finding now with raising my youngest is that if children are taught consistently and "brought into submission" when they start to move around and get into things (yes, I'm talking 8, 9 months or so), then most of the work is done by the time they are 3 or 4 years old or younger. If you continually have to spank "beat" your child past that age then there might be a problem with how you went about it. I was told it's 'quality not quantity!' I know there are different situations and different kids, so don't get discouraged. I know I didn't do it perfectly! The main thing is to pray and read the Bible. A lot of people (including myself at times) think they can do it without that last step but it is so important if you want to discipline correctly. oh and being humble and forgiving helps too!
Diana

Anonymous said...

The Bible instructs us to use a rod--not a hand or a belt or anything else. Sometimes a hand is the most convenient, but perhaps the instruction to use a rod was put there to ensure that we administer physical punishment mindfully, with preparation, instead of just hitting suddenly out of anger, like you can do with your hand.

Anonymous said...

As far as # 13 I don't think that it means a child's possessions. It means don't let them take other's things (from your wallet, a cookie that is not theirs, a piece of gum from your purse) I believe that is what number 13 is focused on.

Anonymous said...

Why can't u eat between meals? Pls explain peeps

Anonymous said...

You eat between meals, child doesn't eat well AT mealtime and becomes very fussy. I have huge struggles with this having a child with mild Autism. I can't use a rod method as she wouldn't understand it. Discernment is wise here. Love the house rules, wish it would apply to all but children with learning challenges are a tough one.

Joyce S said...

Woooow. This list is so fabulous!!! It helps a lot.

Not eating between meals ensures that the child is actually hungry at meal time so that they eat healthy.

I personally love number 7. That is soooo fabulous.

Never ever ever give a child something because they cry or whine.

I have a five year old who can speak very eloquently but I realize that sometimes he reverts to being a baby by crying and whining or being rude.

Number 7 has certainly worked for me.

Now he knows that no matter how hard he screams or kicks or whatever, it will not work!

He only gets something from me when he actually asks or it politely.

jenniferO said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing!

Lana said...

Wow a mum of 19 children!!! Wow....Thankyou for posting this, it is helpful, I have been struggling lately with my 3 year old twins, I'm a single mum and need help to now the best way to lead and guide them. I want them to grow up with the Lord, to know His ways and learn that each choice brings consequences, good or bad. As the Lord says "Choose Life". I am grateful for the passing on of this mother of 19's advise...I will certainly use it, God Bless You All.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how someone can interprets disciplining by the rod a form of beating a child. There is a difference in spanking to beating. As a child my grandfather would calmly let me know what would happen if I disobeyed. And it was the threat of a switch. That he never used because I knew he meant it. I know though that had he, he would have never beat me with it. He always corrected with a calm and loving nature. I am thankful for the wisdom and biblical teachings I was raised with.

Anonymous said...

i stumbled on this website by chance and must say that this article is truly amazing.19 children you dont say!. she really had her hands full and still made a success of raising two of the best the world ever new.

Discipline and using the rod (when necessary) can not be seperated. Mary Jo needs to understand that for every word that is written down in scripture God really meant what he said. it is not a question of interpretation. He is the porter and we are the clay. the clay can not decide what the porter has in mind to mould.

Every child of God knows that Gods word can not change. the secret is the wisdom in apply the word. you discipline with love. first let the child know why he is been spanked. if the offense requires scolding then that should do but in every discipline the child has to understand that the father or mother loves him enough and just has to discipline him so that he can turn out to be the man or woman that God want him to be. also prayer is needed for the heart to be change because it is the root cause of all disobedience.

May God help us mothers. the world is confused and we do not need more confused Christians.

Mother of Action said...

I agree with the statement above mine. I enjoyed reading this post also. Any woman who can raise 19 children---KNOWS what she is talking about. *Mainly because she was a biblical woman (most important factor).

Michelle said...

You either believe God's word or you don't. A "rod" is a "rod". The Bible says "beat" your child with a "rod".

For those arguing with this, the argument is really between you and God. You either believe you know better than Him, or you accept that corporal punishment is taught in the Bible.

If you deny this, you are simply stating that you know better than Him, which is absolutely your prerogative. However, you to condemn those who believe God's word is simply wrong.

Is my opinion offensive? I find your opinion~ that I should NOT obey God's word as it is clearly written~ to be extremely offensive.

Anonymous said...

Preserving property rights is so essential. How can a child ever be taught to respect somebody elses ‘no’ if ALL toys or kids things are a free for all and they are ‘forced’ to share? My kids have a few things which i label with their names and they are told that these ‘belong’ to them. As such, the other children do not have the ‘right’ to simply take them and use them without first asking. (Isn’t this what adults do? We do not go around demanding or taking what does not belong to us and calling it sharing. We call that stealing!) They must ask to ‘borrow’ whatever toy or object they desire and if the owner says ‘no’, they MUST respect that no. In other words, no whining or grumbling at all. I find it very perplexing when parents say they are teaching their children to share, by simply ‘stealing’ things from them and giving them to any kid who asks for them. Sharing is a heart matter ultimately and it brings it’s own reward. As kids get older they begin to grasp that and share their things willingly. IF they have first understood and been shown what it means to possess something in the first place. ‘Sharing’ something because we were forced to do is not sharing at all is it? Sharing something which we know (and others know and respect) is ours and nobody is ‘stealing’ from us, but we are freely giving/sharing is Christlike. I agree with every single one of these rules and seek to instill them in my kids lives. But bedtime is 7pm here. :) And i do struggle to be consistent in using the rod. But that inconsistency always bears bad fruit (in my kids and myself) and whenever i properly obey the Word of God, by His grace, through prayer, good fruit is always seen and the rod barely needed at all. When i deal with disobedience Gods way, there is far less opportunity for me to fall into sinful anger etc. But when i neglect the rod, i nearly always then have to battle an ever increasing frustration which gives birth to sinful anger if i do not quickly repent and return to Gods ways. Not that the end justifies the means. Just an example from my life as to the blessing of a parent obeying God in this matter, as in all things, and the heaviness and misery of not obeying Him. I have read books which have totally changed the meaning of Proverbs and the authors say the rod is not now Gods instruction to parents. I have also read books which verge on child abuse manuals. Human nature always finds comfort in extremes. The only way to be on solid ground is to daily and at length study His Word from start to finish and pray, pray, pray.

Anonymous said...

The persons who oppose the rod probably do so because they think of beatings instead of spankings as another poster said. I disagree with hitting in anger and frustration, and hitting wherever your hand reaches at the moment. My father had to spank me only twice in my life and both times i cried not because of the pain but because i was so ashamed to have disappointed him. I had to hold my palm out for each hit and i was not bruised or sore after. Looking back i would not have wanted it any other way.

Lisa V said...

Love this! I have 6 children and it sooo hard to train them. I try to get to the 'Heart' of their motives..not just the act itself. My husband and I believe in corprol punishment and it does work! Spare the Rod, Spoil the child!.. The Word says it, and We STAND on it!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe there are so many people who believe in hitting their children! It doesn't matter if you use a rod or your hand, and it doesn't matter if it's a "beating" or a "spanking", no matter which way you try to slice it, you are still hitting a child, someone much smaller, less wiser, and more defenseless than you. I was brought up in the Methodist church, and the most important thing I've learned is to treat others as I would want to be treated. If a child hit their mother every time the mother hit the child, we would live in a terrible world indeed. The people who support corporal punishment are obviously the people who take every word of the Bible literally, something I have never done despite my strong faith. I guess we just have to agree to disagree there. But I personally think it's pathetic to have to resort to hitting your child as punishment. You say it merits better results, but my brother and I were never hit as children and we turned out just fine. Better than most actually, when you consider we're the only ones we know who don't drink, don't smoke, haven't had premarital sex, etc. I'm not trying to brag or claim we are perfect saints, I'm just saying that it is never necesary to hit a child.

Anonymous said...

And by only ones I meant that all of our friends did that stuff, but neither of us ever did in high school or college.

Anonymous said...

@AnonymousWow!There is so much anger from those who are against spanking. I just wanted to say that spanking is not hitting and it isn't a last resort. The way it is used to correct a child is never to be done as a "last resort" and out of anger. I believe this is why so many are against it, they picture this cruel parent hitting there child out of anger and crushing the child's spirit. This is not the case at all. It has already been stated how the correction should come about so I won't say again. Every child is different and some children never need that sort of correction. Other children have very strong wills and a scolding or discussion simply does nothing. We all know that we don't have the answer to everything and we all have to remember that God made each person different, so what works with one doesn't work with the other. God's grace covers us differently, if you absolutely love God and you grew up with an abusive parent, I personally believe that his Grace would significantly cover that area with your children because he knows your pain. But we cannot judge others for following God's Word. Simple. There are abusive parents out there. This website is to support Godly parenting without angry abusive parenting. Stop judging each other, Let's not forget "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear what all the pro corporal punishment folks think about Michael Pearl and his advice to spank babies (whose brains aren't formed to understand it), keep plumbing supply hose on hand for hitting, and pulling a baby's hair if they pull yours. And yes,I've read his book. Sick. Sick. Sick.

Michelle said...

My fourth dear little "buggle" is 9 months old. Amazingly, she (like my other three) is starting already to show that she understands what I say and can learn what is ok. I teach her gentle touches when she pinches and scratches or hits by taking her hand and saying "gentle" while I show her how to touch gently. Usually she is ok with that, but sometimes she tries to pull away and hit/scratch. She's showing signs of having a will of her own. She's persistent, trying to get things she's not to have (glasses, earrings, etc.). She gets frustrated when she can't have them. It's totally developmentally right on. That doesn't mean that we are going to just let her do those things. We can start "training" her even now.

It amazes me that "teach children to fear the rod" is interpreted as "beat your child for every offense". Um, that's not what it says. My kids fear wasps, because they've been stung ONCE. They don't have to be stung every day to know that they need to leave wasps alone. That said.. yep I spank my children if it's appropriate (and that's my decision, not anyone else's).

Incidentally, as this wonderful blog reminds me over and over again, how our kids turn out isn't always directly related to how "good" we are at parenting. We do our best (spanking or not) and trust God with the outcome. At least, that's what we're supposed to do. :)

~Michelle

Michelle said...

Incidentally, I don't spank my 9-month old! :) But when the time comes, if she's about to wrestle herself off a changing table, I'll try to distract her with a diaper or toy... if it doesn't work, yes, I will give her backside a light pop/swat. I do not allow my children to wrestle during diaper changes!

Anonymous said...

Amen to that. As a born-again believer who follows the Bible I am presuming the previous comments are from non-believers who have Neva read the bible. I got some harsh whacks as a kid even up to teenager, but I got love and discipline
and an explanation of what I had done wrong. Its one to use this punishment but love must be given also.I thank the lord I got that punishment it literally saved my life as I was a very angry, rebellious and fatherless youth and I don't know where I would've ended up without that punushnent .

Eryn said...

The Hebrew word that they translate as "rod" so often also means "tribe".

How would that interpretation change people's reaction to the passage?

The same word is later translated as spear, club, & authority.

Spare the spear, spoil the child?

Anyway, it's not possible to say that it was meant as a whipping stick with full certainty.

This is a fantastic post. Thank you for posting it. I am most interested to discuss #15 & it's weight.

Anonymous said...

My problem with people who state that we MUST use a rod to beat (spank) our children--because it's God's word and He dictates it--is that they so often overlook other commands of God in the Old Testament. They do pick and choose what they will implement and what they won't, despite their claims to take the Bible literally and to obey every word.

Leviticus 20:9 says that any child who curses/dishonors his father or mother must be put to death. Do we dismiss this verse, claiming that it was part of the Law and that we are no longer under the Law, yet reach out and grasp firmly to the Old Testament "spare not the rod" passages in Proverbs (which are not commands but pithy sayings)?

Raising Godly Children said...

@Anonymous
Our model for parenting is our Heavenly Father. Hebrews 12:6

Anonymous said...

This day and age "the rod" could mean anything!!

"rod" = punishment.

Simply-Priz' said...

@Pastor Sonny Thomas
amen pastor..if we love our children, we must use the 'rod'.

Anonymous said...

It is right and proper to correct a child of serious misdemeanours by using the rod because their minds cannot understand any attempts to reason with them. The use of the rod or the threat of using it is an effective deterrent for their age. Many parents refrain from caning their kids for fear that it will cause alienation between them and their darlings in later life. This fear is unfounded as I've never heard or read of adults hating their parents for having caned them in their childhood. In fact, many praise their parents for giving them tough love.

shirli5718 said...

Well, everyone is focusing on corporal punishment and I think that if we focus on discipline in many forms, it is just as effective. I gave my children "corrections" and administered them without anger. If I was angry, the child had to wait until I was no longer angry. I administered the same number of smacks each time and they knew what to expect. They were not disciplined if they confessed their wrongdoing and were repentant. They were smacked with a paddle (the red ball paddle was great) on their bottoms and never anywhere else on their person. I do not like "belts" or "switches" or anything else that lashes and leaves welts and bruise. They did not have bruising and there was no intent to "hurt" them in such a way as to make them feel powerless against the wrath of an adult. That is abuse. When I was done with the 3 smacks on their posteriors, they were not allowed to have an attitude or cry like they were beaten unmercifully. Those things signify defiance. However, if you are the kind of parent that "beats" their children in anger, I truly don't know what you expect. By the way, they were never disciplined with the rod for things they didn't have clear instruction and understanding of. Only for acts of direct disobedience, did I feel they were deserving of smacks with a paddle (never, never with the hands) and, even then, they seldom were crying for more than a a couple of minutes. I was consistent and kept my word and they learned to expect correction if they directly disobeyed, Anyway, it's good to know that everyone is drashing about discipline. I see some very unruly children out in public sometimes. Simply put, it means someone is not doing their parenting job at home.

Far Above Rubies said...

The list has some fine points, but I would not follow all of them. What works well for one family may not work well for another.

Our ultimate authority is God and His vision for each individual family.

I appreciate your blog. Keep up the good work. May we have ears to hear and eyes to see.

Jasmine

Danik said...

@Mary Jo

Unfortunately, Mary Jo, there is only one interpretation for Rod. The Hebrew word Shebet means an actual branch and not a small one. a small branch is Chotter. A rod was not used for measurement. a rod was most often used to strike oxen or animals to drive them when farming or for defense. As strange as it may be to many Christians today who have strayed from the Bible, physical punishment is permitted and encouraged in the Bible. Abuse is when the punishment does not fit the crime. There is hardly a thing a child can do to warrant excessive punishment, but there are plenty of examples of children who should not have been spared.

say said...

We spanked our children for three offenses: lying, stealing(which we never needed to enforce), or direct disobedience (refusing to do what they were told to do). We discussed what they were being spanked for and made sure they understood. They received three spanks. Then we prayed with them, hugged them, and discussed how to stop the behavior. Our oldest was only spanked once, our second oldest 2-3 times. The rest pretty much learned from example.
God's word works for all generations.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with so much I've read on this site because from this post and others, it seems the ultimate goal of discipline is to stamp out any independence and spirited behavior on the part of a child. I understand why this appealed to a parent of nineteen or many parents throughout history. But, I don't see why that thinking has not evolved when we live in a society that values critical thinking.

I know many people reading this will not agree and will judge my comments as ignorant of what the Bible says, and I am sure I do know much less about the Bible than many of you. As a human being, I believe in leading, the best I can, by example as many of these house rules encourage. What example do we set when we spank a child? We demonstrate that we can no longer use our reason, our creativity, our time and energy to redirect, discipline and guide in other ways. I imagine it would be much easier to spank a child and be done with it, but I did not become a parent thinking it would be easy.

I do not believe sparing the rod means leaving a child to himself. I set boundaries and give consequences to my children. Though I do not have it, I understand and respect religious devotion and the desire to live a Godly life. I just feel if something feels inherently wrong to you when you are spanking a child but feel it's your responsibility because of what someone else has told you, you should stop and ask yourself if this is truly the right choice for you.

One thing I can never understand as far as interpreting the Bible is why, if Jesus used parables to teach lessons and the historical discrepencies in the Bible have been raised, why it's considered illogical to think that aspects of the Bible could have used literary techniques like metaphor, hyperbole and allegory in order to appeal to the audience. If I were a believer, I would not feel that idea disproves God or his message but instead clarifies some of the ambiguities.

I know most parents simply strive to raise the kids in the best way they know, so I wish each of you the confidence to consider other perspectives and make the choices you believe in.

Georganne said...

Funny how so many disagree with the discipline policy of Susannah Wesley, yet probaby have not raised the number of children she did nor have ones who impacted millions of people for Christ. You have the right to disagree with her method, but you can't refute her success.

Anonymous said...

Those who think there is no reason for corporal punishment are fools. That's like saying there is no need for violence in the world. It is a lie and perversion of reality. Justice requires violence at times, and this is EXACTLY why corporal punishment is condoned by God. Have you not read how many nations were smitten by God...even Israel, God's very own people, were destroyed.
And no, it is not necessary for all children but those of you with 'cotton candy hearts' who think that kids are just sweet and lovable creatures and don't need the fear of God in their lives need to get your heads out of your delusional asses. These words may be harsh but they are required for those who disobey just as spanking is required. Your interest isn't about discipline at all..its about you skating free for your own sins and not desiring punishment.
I will say it right now...that the best thing my dad ever did for me was whoop my ass when I was in 8th grade. And he only had to do it once. And my disobedience wasn't even THAT bad...it was for for not taking heed of my curfew which I had broken several times before.
And even though he was also physically, emotionally, and spiritually abusive to me at times from being on drugs, this was the one time he truly punished me in discipline and love.
Not all discipline requires punishment, however, and we would be well to learn from the mistakes of others rather than experiencing it ourselves. Fear God for that is the true purpose of man. For if you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God--good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Anonymous said...

What was the rod used for at the time the book of Proverbs was written? It meant to strike with an instrument back then and the meaning hasn't changed today. The subduing of the human will is the whole point. You cannot expect a person who will not submit their will to the Word to follow Biblical instruction. Rebelliousness is as the sin of witchcraft. Yeshua said, "Why do you call me Lord and do not as I say?" He also said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." If you can look at Scripture and ask, "Did Yehovah really say..?" You are not following Him. Spanking your children has eternal consequences. So does not spanking them, if not for their failure to yield, then for yours. Would you presume yourself a better parent than Yehovah?

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

As a child who had a very literal rod administered frequently, I can attest that it is a valuable way to discipline.
My parents would allow themselves time to calm down before administering a spanking, for multiple reasons:
1: Their anger would have time to cool, and they would not spank too hard
2: It taught us that we cannot hit in anger
3: It gave them time to think if a spanking was indeed, necessary.

Spanking was not the only form of punishment in my house. We were not yelled at when we were spanked. My parents prayed with us before and/or after a spanking.
They also would occasionally test the spankings on their own selves, to make sure that they weren't hitting our posteriors with too much force.

I am grateful to my parents for spanking me, and I feel as though I am a better person for having been spanked.

Anonymous said...

Amen!!"!

Anonymous said...

All great comments. It gives all of us parents something to think about. Its encouraging to hear other parents views and opinions. i believe as long as we are being led by the Holy spirit in all our decision making is crucial. Whether we spank or dont spank. Lets pray and be led by the Spirit. And we cant judge one another. We all were raised differently, think differently, and our circumstances are all different. God is love. So i think most importantly is to show our children they are loved no matter what our choice of disciplining.

Anonymous said...

This is very helpful to me thanks of this!! I need this!!

Anonymous said...

I've often read that most of the children had unhappy marriages. John's was terrible! I've read that Charles' was one of the only happy marriages. I can't help but wonder what this says about Susannah's mothering. Just thinking out loud here.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. It is this way of thinking that is ruining today's children.

Anonymous said...

Being a follower of Christ, I believe the Bible is truth. I understand that it is saying "rod" as in spanking as ONE means of discipline. My concern is that my children are very sensitive to any physical contact. We do not strike our children because on the few instances that we have, our children have later flinched, hidden, asked not to be hit again. This is after a very calm explanation of what was going to happen, why, where in the Bible is says to do this, and a hug and kiss after. No welts or excess force. But to have my child associate a spank with being hit & violence is something I have a hard time understanding. It makes them afraid for their safety which is not at all the same as love or respect or discipline.

How do you get your children to understand the difference (again, knowing that we did not spank excessively, we left no marks, we talked about what was happening, etc).

michael mcclain said...

whoa! eye-opener for me... just probably not in the way you might think.

Anonymous said...

Our son is about to turn five and he gets spankings - but in all these years he has only had 7 and I remember each instance. We have only used our hands to spank and in our house the intensity varies based on the issue. We don't ever spank right away, we calm down, we explain why he is getting spanked to him and give him an opportunity to repeat why back to us so we make sure he understands, we let him know we love him and are trying to help him to grow into the man God wants for him and he needs to understand right and wrong. We spank. We hug, kiss, cry, and then go back over why the spanking took place and end with an I love you.

The only times so far we have had to spank "hard" are for things that could harm him (instigating with the dog, etc.).

WE NEVER, NEVER, NEVER spank for something that has not been discussed before. He is learning...and part of learning is the teacher letting you know what is expected of you. I don't have a 5,000 page book of expectations that I discuss with him and make him memorize. Lying...well after he lied the first time (about food) we admonished him and told him the next time would have to be a spanking because he needs to realize the severity of what a lie (even if it seems little) really is. He lied again, he was spanked. He has food allergies and he needed to know the importance of telling us what he eats everywhere he goes when we are not with him. If spanking my child for lying to me about what he ate is going to help him LIVE...yes...I'm going to spank him(and yes, he had eaten something he was allergic to, but the reaction was not severe and he was NOT spanked during a reaction, it was after we knew he was ok and everyone had wrapped their heads around what happened).

I know all children are different, but I think in all these responses there is something missing...I believe if you are raising your child correctly and seeking God first and teaching them to follow Him you will find that you don't have as many reasons to administer "the rod"(not just raising them by biblical standards, but also showing them that YOU are living that way, too).

Children need to know what is expected of them and what the consequence is. A parent should never administer a spanking until they pray about it first and explain it to the child and let that child know they love them.

A spanking that is not done in love (or that the child doesn't see is done in love) is going to do more harm than good. I know I only have one child and he is barely 5, but I was raised in an agnostic home that wanted nothing to do with any gods (thankfully this is all different now) and I WAS spanked and I watched my siblings get spanked and I know all the stories of my father and his siblings getting the belt ALL THE TIME in their agnostic home.

My husband's nephew gets spanked all the time because they can't control him. But they have never gone any other route of talking first. They yell, they spank. Yet he still doesn't listen. I believe whole-heartedly there is a right way and a wrong way. And your home should never become a place where the only action being taken is yelling and spanking. Our children need to feel disciplined (and I still believe in spanking) but they need to come home and know that they are loved and safe.

Corporal punishment IS important, but it needs to be done in love and the correct way. We cannot spank our children for everything or because we feel like it.

Anonymous said...

@Bernadette
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14

Anonymous said...

Do you believe God or think he was not sure of himself...when he said "dont spare the rod"...with practical applications.?

Mother of a Preacher said...

@Anonymous
Never use a belt on a child. It is horrendous. A rod is a stiff piece of light wood, or a switch. And it is to stop a behavior and to incorporate dominance of will over the child. To teach that there is an authority to answer to , to gain attention. NOT to inflict bruises or marks. Discipline means to teach. If you teach enough you will rarely need to use a rod but they know it is there. That is the fear of the rod that Susanna Wesley infers. A belt is akin to a whip like the one used on Christ. It is a form of torture. Use a paint stick, a thin bamboo spatula or a thin switch if you must use something. BUT never use it until you have prayed before you go to them.

Anonymous said...

Spanking for correction and "beating" as you keep saying, are two very different things. When you say that we are "hitting" our children you are suggesting that we are hurting them through physical abuse, and secondly, suggesting that we are taking our fists to their faces. No one loves their children more than I do...no one.....furthermore, I was spanked as a child and grew up to respect my parents and more importantly never felt abused in my life. My mom and dad are two of my very best friends. I take serious offense to your suggesting that I beat my children, when I choose to follow God's Word and use "spanking" as a tool to guide my children in the things of the Lord. Also....if you seriously think it's wrong, then I hope you don't lay a hand on any animals as a form of correction. In todays world that is considered animal cruelty.

Anonymous said...

Because Of The Rod Approach I Was "Spanked" Severely. It Went Far Past Punishment And Into Abuse. It's A Fine Line Many Parents Cross When They Let Emotions Get The Better of Them, Which Is Often The Case In Physical Reprimanding.

Anonymous said...

I am glad there is still a remnant who want to obey God and raise up Godly seeds for Him.Its important for us to note that our children turning out right is ultimately for God and not for ourselves or positive appraisals of others who see them.May God give us the grace to honor Him in parenting in Jesus name.Amen.

Shirley Thomas said...

Amen, Pastor Thomas.

Trina Riepe said...

Troubled by this. I am NOT arguing against rules, boundaries, or discipline....but I am very concerned that a spirit of legalism and a focus on external behavior rather than the heart is the fruit of this 'method-ology'. The Wesley brothers are the founders of Methodism and held wrong views of both the Doctrine of Salvation and of Sanctification. Without proper focus on the depravity of man and our inability to please God outside of Christ, a child who is compliant and obedient to lists of rules will not see his/her need for the Savior. I know, I was such a child. As much as she managed her home well and had her children in subjection, she missed the heart issues. This is a huge problem in the church today (think the current Vision Forum controversy and the legalism and hypocrisy that has been revealed). I can't help but acknowledge that as good as she was at parenting, the fruit was sons who promoted a works religion. "John Wesley argued in favour of 'Christian perfection' and opposed Calvinism, notably the doctrine of predestination. He held that, in this life, Christians could come to a state in which the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", allowing them to attain a state of outward holiness. His evangelical theology was firmly grounded in sacramental theology and he continually insisted on means of grace as the manner by which God sanctifies and transforms the believer, encouraging people to experience Jesus Christ personally."

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the viewpoint. It seems contradicting. I grew up in a different religion. I don't understand how his promotion of an experience of Christ through Grace is an issue. Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Anonymous said...

Hitting a child in any form is abuse and very common amongst the bible bashers. The majority of beaten kids grow up to be psychologically damaged and lead miserable lives. Thank god (pun intended) I'm an atheist...and yes, thank you for asking, my children are wonderful, caring adults

Theresa Garza said...

I know that many of you think tht hitting a child is abuse but today I see children as young as 2 or 3 years old hitting and abusing adults. I believe the Bible. Children need to be disciplined and at a young age don't understand words. But they understand the sting of a spanking. I teach and I see children that are out of control every day. 10 years ago I would tell a child that I am going to call your parents to make them act correctly. Today I have parents that tell THEIR children that they are going to tell me so they can correct THEIR children.

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