Mother’s Day Encouragement: God’s Guidance for Happy, Respectful, Obedient Children

By Larry Tomczak – May 12, 2019

 

I heard a man of God rehearsing his upbringing when he inserted the following, evoking a hearty laugh from the audience:

“People ask me in my mischievous childhood if I ever got spankings? I surprise them when I say I was never spanked. But I sure got some ‘wuppins!’”

Enjoying Turner Classic movies and reruns of wholesome family shows like Andy Griffith or Lassie, an occasional spanking for little children was just the norm when they persistently misbehaved. A little protoplasmic stimulation to the backside of learning got a wayward child back on track with a lesson learned.

Celebrating Mother’s Day brings  pleasant memories for moms along with some persistent questions like the appropriateness of spanking in our hyper politically correct culture.

Years ago I authored a book now titled, “The Little Handbook of Loving Correction.” It was formerly called, “God, the Rod and Your Child’s Bod” but I changed it out of cultural sensitivity.

For every wonderful mother in America struggling with this nagging issue, receive this biblically informed reassurance as a gift. May it bring peace from alignment with God’s plan for raising happy, respectful and obedient children.

Realism in Raising Kids

Raising children requires a realistic perspective on our inherited sinful nature and a rejection of the “inherent goodness of man.” Adam rebelled and all of us have ratified that rebellion because of our inherited sin nature.

We don’t have to teach children to be selfish, lie, hit their siblings, steal or pout when they don’t get their way.  We do have to train them to learn to control themselves and do what is pleasing to God.

Don’t you just love it when parenting “experts” expound their views on TV in their world of Utopia? A couple living together with no children confidently shares their “wisdom” philosophy about raising their future children by simply reasoning with them, calmly affirming them and ignoring clear cut disobedience as “a stage they’ll grow out of.”

Yeah, right. Wait ’till they confront strong-willed little Grayson in all his glorious defiance one day! This is why seasoned veterans wince at this idealism and understand bumper stickers reading:

“Insanity is inherited. You get it from your children.”

Going God’s Way

Better to approach parenting God’s way and embrace the truth that appears on a plaque we had in our home:

“It is better to build children than to repair men.”

If you permit a child to nurture destructive habits, which they will one day be forced (with greater difficulty) to break, you are living beneath the revealed will of God concerning your role as a parent.

There is a difference between abusing a child and lovingly, responsibly disciplining him. Children know the difference between an objective spanking ministered in love and a smacking springing from pent up anger.

  • “Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Pr. 29:17).
  • “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Pr. 22:15).
  • “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Pr. 29:15).
  • “Do not withhold correction from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and deliver his soul from death” (Pr. 23:13).
  • “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Pr. 22:6).

God’s method for curbing harmful attitudes and nurturing healthy ones in young children is not parents going ballistic, threatening, screaming, hauling off in anger, or tuning out destructive conduct, bribing with candy or by banishment to a room to brood and fester in resentment.

Loving correction, which includes spanking at times, is an expression of love! Though not literally, have you ever experienced a “spanking” from the Lord for persistent, ungodly conduct?

“My son, do not despise discipline from the Lord nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him for whom the Lord loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:5-6).

Loving, Legal and Logical

Research reveals that in America up to 85% acknowledge they’ve used corporal punishment. Every state in America allows corporal punishment of children.

Due to disciplinary problems in schools many are reevaluating their policies like the Arlington school district outside Memphis, Tennessee. They voted to reinstate corporal punishment saying:

“Teachers need all tools possible.”

Former NBA superstar, Charles Barkley, has joked:

“If corporal punishment is a crime, then every black parent in the South is going to be put in jail!”

10 Essentials of Loving Correction

May this acrostic for CORRECTION reinforce the “basics.”

  1.  CLARITY: Loving correction always begins by clearly defining and communicating reasonable boundaries before they are enforced.
  2.  OBEDIENCE: Spankings can occur if there’s persistent, deliberate disobedience. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).
  3.  RIGHT ATTITUDES: We are to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps.100:2), so persistent whining and complaining have to be addressed.
  4.  RESTORATION: Embracing and reassuring a child afterwards enables us to avoid leaving them feeling guilty or rejected.
  5.  EXPLANATION: Taking time to explain the offense as well as enabling the parent to calm down (if needed), makes this essential.
  6. CONSISTENCY: Loving correction requires an investment and persevering commitment… “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him dearly” (Pr. 13:24).
  7. THOROUGHNESS: Shaping the will without breaking the spirit requires being authoritative not authoritarian so the child experiences some pain, versus simple “love pats.” “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pr. 19:18 KJV). “Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous, yet afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11).
  8.  IMMEDIATELY: With exceptions, loving correction should be given in the moment not “when daddy comes home” hours later. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed swiftly, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11).
  9.  OUT-OF-SIGHT: Discipline is administered in private so as to not humiliate or embarrass a child.
  10.  NEUTRAL OBJECT:  Scripture states a “rod (a small, flexible branch) of correction” not a hairbrush or the nearest object. Hands should be instruments expressing affection and tenderness; we don’t want children flinching or retreating when a hand is raised.

A closing question:

“Where is the rod administered?”

God in His wisdom prepared a strategic place on the anatomy of our toddlers and children which has ample cushiony, fatty tissue and sensitive nerve endings to respond to Spirit-led stings. “Fannies” are gifts from God! In 47 years of ministry, I’ve discovered that all children come equipped with one!

“On the lips of him who has understanding wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense” (Pr. 10:13).

Here’s the deal: Scripture tells us:

“reproofs of instruction are the way to life” (Pr. 6:23).

May this Mother’s Day gift of God’s timeless wisdom educate and encourage moms across America. God’s ways are always best when carried out consistently and in faith for His glory.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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VIDEO 8 Moms in the Bible Who Served God Well

 

Eight mothers in the Bible played key roles in the coming of Jesus Christ. None of them was perfect, yet each showed strong faith in God. God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in him.

These mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as second-class citizens, yet God appreciated their true worth, just as he does today. Motherhoodis one of life’s highest callings. Learn how these eight mothers in the Bible put their hope in the God of the Impossible, and how he proved that such hope is always well-placed.

Eve – Mother of All the Living

Adam and Eve
God’s Curse by James Tissot. SuperStock / Getty Images

Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become “Mother of All the Living.” She and her mate Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God’s plan of populating the Earth.

Sarah – Wife of Abraham

Sarah
Sarah overhears the three visitors confirming she will have a son. Culture Club / Contributor / Getty Images

Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act.

Rebekah – Wife of Isaac

Rebekah
Rebekah pours water while Jacob’s servant Eliezer looks on. Getty Images

Rebekah, like her mother-in-law Sarah, was barren. When her husband Isaacprayed for her, God opened Rebekah’s womb and she conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. During an age when women were typically submissive, Rebekah was quite assertive. At times Rebekah took matters into her own hands. Sometimes that worked out, but it also resulted in disastrous consequences.

Jochebed – Mother of Moses

Jochebed and Baby Moses
Public Domain

Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed even became her own son’s nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year, bondage of slavery and take them to the Promised Land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today.

Hannah – Mother of Samuel the Prophet

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Hannah presents her son Samuel to the priest Eli. Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (circa 1665). Public Domain

Hannah’s story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. Like several other mothers in the Bible, she knew what it meant to suffer long years of barrenness. In Hannah’s case she was cruelly taunted by her husband’s other wife. But Hannah never gave up on God. Finally, her heartfelt prayers were answered. She gave birth to a son, Samuel, then did something entirely selfless to honor her promise to God. God favored Hannah with five more children, bringing great blessing to her life.

Bathsheba – Wife of David

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Bathsheba oil painting on canvas by Willem Drost (1654). Public Domain

Bathsheba was the object of King David‘s lust. David even arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed to get him out of the way. God was so displeased with David’s actions that he struck dead the baby from that union. In spite of heartbreaking circumstances, Bathsheba remained loyal to David. Their next son, Solomon, was loved by God and grew up to become Israel’s greatest king. From David’s line would come to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. And Bathsheba would have the distinguished honor of being one of only five women listed in Messiah’s ancestry.

Elizabeth – Mother of John the Baptist

Elizabeth - Mother of John the Baptist
The Visitation by Carl Heinrich Bloch. SuperStock / Getty Images

Barren in her old age, Elizabeth was another of the miracle mothers in the Bible. She conceived and gave birth to a son. She and her husband named him John, as an angel had instructed. Like Hannah before her, she dedicated her son to God, and like Hannah’s son, he also became a great prophetJohn the Baptist. Elizabeth’s joy was complete when her relative Mary visited her, pregnant with the future Savior of the World.

Mary – Mother of Jesus

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Mary the Mother of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1640-1650). Public Domain

Mary was the most honored mother in the Bible, the human mother of Jesus, who saved the world from its sins. Although she was only a young, humble peasant, Mary accepted God’s will for her life. She suffered enormous shame and pain, yet never doubted her Son for a moment. Mary stands as highly favored by God, a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.

Watch Now: Learn About Mary, the Mother of Jesus


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What Did Mary Know? (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur