This is a verse people love to quote -- but curious how many actually know what a *rod* is? The word describes a shepherding implement -- I'm including some pictures and as you can see it's a very large implement. In fact -- it was a weapon.
Many use this verse to advocate for hitting children -- if you hit your child with a shepherd rod you'd kill them. Sincerely.
So what does the verse mean?
Let's think through it -- it clearly advocates utilizing the rod because we love our children. Chasten is a word associated with discipline which really means to train and guide by instruction and practice. Discipline can include punishing, but definitely means to train, teach, guide, and instruct.
Ok....so what did the Shepherd use the rod for? Well it was an implement used primarily to protect against wild animals. It was a weapon -- and a very hefty weapon. He didn't use it to hit his sheep in his care -- but rather enemies and predators.
Why is this important? Because people need to seriously think twice before using this scripture in conjunction with hitting/spanking a child. It's not advocating for that -- or against it. It's advocating that fathers do not foresake their Shepherd duties -- guide, protect, discipline, lead, train, instruct, and most importantly model good behavior.
As for hitting/spanking a child -- there is always a better choice. And no I don't mean *time outs* -- there really are more than 2 options for discipline when you really think it through. Let God's spirit guide you and I assure you you'll be surprised that He doesn't encourage you to get a rod and hit your children with it. Shocking.
Look to Psalm 23 for our example -- God uses His rod and staff to comfort and guide us. We follow and He leads.
Incidentally if you choose to comment and say *I was beat with a switch and I turned out fine* -- I will spare you the effort. My response will be *congratulations you deserve a cookie*. I've included a picture of one for your benefit.
Also please spare me the whole *the problem with kids today is they were never spanked*. 94% of American parents of children aged 3 or 4 reported spanking them in the previous year. There is no shortage of spanking. if you think behaviour of children is a problem today -- it's not because of lack of being hit. That statistic is from 2012 btw.
And third "don't tell me not to spank my kids". Fine - I won't -- but I will say don't use Proverbs 13:24 to justify it. Unless of course you'd like to go get a shepherd rod and hit them with that -- then by all means justify the action with this verse to the courthouse and see if you get a lesser sentence.
Peace be with everyone
Just thought I'd share. If I've offended anyone -- I apologize in advance. It's a touchy subject. Hopefully this is informative - it was definitely long.
~ Daniel Smith