Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"The Rod" as an instrument of protection

I was thinking about the reason I even ever began to question the rightness of "spanking". I had been asked by a friend with 3 or 5 kids…or 3 kids with 2 on the way…what I thought about "spanking". I had a 21-yr old at the time and a total of 8 children so I oughta' know, right?

I'd been taught in Sunday School class the "who, what, when, where, and why" of spanking. I knew all about it. So, as I sat at my computer to begin explaining to her "who, what, when, where, and why" she should hit her kids…I first thought to do some searches on some websites to have, you know, some sites to send her on the subject. I had even requested the Sunday School materials from my former church in order to further my help of my friend.


Well, I found something in my searching that I was not expecting. Something…that stopped me dead in my tracks. As tho' all of the wheels in my head came to a loud…screeching…halt.


I found a website that explained that the ancient shepherds…carried a rod…and a staff. Two things. And, that the rod…was a short stick with spiked on the ends. It explained that modern shepherds now carried guns instead of rods.


The "rod"…was a weapon.

It was an ancient "gun".

What???


This meant…It was not for the sheep at all…but for predators. It was for protecting the sheep from predators. (Now, do you hear my foot on the brakes as I screech to a halt?)

That was in January of 2008. It's been 3 1/2 yrs now since the last time I spanked a kid. (Sound like Spankers Anonymous)

What I experienced was that for the first year or so…was pure misery. I found that I could not handle any stressful situations with my kids without threatening them with a spanking or spanking them. I felt totally lost.


What a change I had to go thru!


So, over these years I have read a lot of books then, met a lot of people, and read a lot of articles online about "spanking". Remarkably, you never find any scientific or psychological studies done which show that spanking is "good for people". Always it's bad news. Brain damage. Lessened IQ's. More violent behavior. Depression. Anxiety. Sexual dysfunction. The list goes on...


The only proponents of "spanking" seem to be those who currently do it and feel that it is "God's idea." The only "evidence" for the goodness of spanking is a few verses in the Bible.


Well, as I thought about the ancient shepherd's rod as a weapon against predators and not for use on the sheep and how if this object were used to literally strike the sheep that it would harm, cripple, or weaken the sheep to such a degree as to actually make them more vulnerable to predators…I thought that, "Well, spanking proponents could say that the rod is a spiritual weapon against evil that when used on their child...it deters them from evil…and the Bible says to resist the devil and he'll flee from you."


(This only works if you believe children are sinful...and have evil "in" them...which I do not believe...but for the sake of argument I'll go with it here)


So, try to imagine…a child who has been trained well to obey. Obedience to whatever command the parent gives. Imagine a very good kid. You know, the bumpersticker, "Question Authority" is of the devil, right? So, we don't want kids to ever question the parents. (Because that is disrespectful) We could call this "blind obedience" because the children are not supposed to know "why" they are doing something, only if the parent says, "Jump!" The child is to ask, "How high!" If the child asks, "Why?" then they have entered into a rebellious realm and we tell them, "Because I said so."


I was given the example of the need for this back when I was learning about spanking…
I was told of a boy (not a real boy I don't think)…who was so obedient to his dad…that one day…his dad yelled out a command. He told him to, "Drop to the ground and crawl to me now!" and the boy did it without question. Then, the boy, safely at his father's side now, was able to look back and see that there was a snake dangling from the tree above where he had been standing.


That's a compelling story, isn't it?


But, I wonder…what would a child trained to so blindly obey…do in another type of situation?


What if this boy were at camp or somewhere that a pedophile could get him alone…and tell him as an adult…in an authoritative tone…to do something very bad…or else he'd be spanked and he'd tell his mom that he was a very bad boy…


Then what?


Then what of this blind obedience to authority that the child has been instilled with? 


Would the boy be well-equipped to know how to discern "right" from "wrong" commands?


Would he be well-equipped to know how to decide for himself whether or not he should follow a command from an adult telling him to do something he feels is wrong?


Would he be well-equipped to be able to "question" that authority and know he was right to "rebel" against that adults authority?

Or, would he have been well-equipped...many times...after many spankings...to ignore his own discomfort with a grown-ups command...and obey "Mister Bob"(whoever) with a submissive, "yes sir."

In a case like this...and there would actually be many literal real-life cases like this...has the "rod" which has been used to strike "the sheep" proved to be a rod of protection?
Or, has the rod, when used on "the sheep", proven to be a means of crippling and harm and of making the child more vulnerable to "predators" because that child learned to never...question...authority?


Romans 1 says…"that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."


If in the literal world…hitting a sheep with a spiked club would make it more vulnerable to predators…it's pretty clear that that means that striking your children physically with "the rod" will do the same…it does not "beat the devil out of them"…it opens them to him.



Pic of a shepherd's rod...

I guess if you still wanna "use the rod" on your kid, you should at least abandon the wooden spoon/spatula type because they are not Biblical...and get yourself a real rod and use that on your child...because THIS is what the Bible was referring to...



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