Corporal punishment, the Christian and what the Bible teaches

Do not spare the rod on childrenCorporal punishment may not be heard of in many parts of the world because it is banned and practicing it is often punishable by law. It defined as physical punishment (physical discipline) intended to cause physical pain on a person. It is usually inflicted in settings with a substantial disparity of power between partakers. It is normally practiced in homes, schools, churches and in various social groups.

Given the definitions above, corporal punishment covers a number of other physical punishments that the Bible clearly does not suggest but specifically mentioned ‘the rod’ as a means for use with children. The world has classed the ‘the rod’ under corporal punishment. Verses that talk about ‘the rod’ include the following:

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him (Proverbs 23:24)

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. (Proverbs 23:13 – 14)

Folly is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him (Proverbs 22:15)

This is God’s command on raising up a child, which the world and many governments oppose with no compromise. The will of God is that children be corrected by the rod.

There may not be specific sizes for specific ages or the number of whips according to age but the Bible is talking to parents who are expected to still observe Biblical rules of loving their children. Love will force the parent to limit the level of ‘the rod’ punishment to the age and magnitude of offense made by the child.

Allow me to quote what the United Nations (UN) says about corporal punishment:

United Nations – the Treaty Bodies combines corporal punishment with sentencing children to death and life imprisonment, which things are not at all the same or even related. However, the UN makes it clear that freedom to one’s religion or beliefs may be legitimately limited in order to protect the fundamental rights and freedom of others. (CRIN,


The behavior of governments

Governments around the world have since banned corporal punishment particularly in schools. This has long terms negative effects in the behavior and character of the pupils as they grow and when they reach adulthood. Stories of children that report parents who were using the rod on them are all over. This kind of behavior may cause many parents to fear using the rod and opt for other none effective methods suggested by such governments.


The religious question to think about

Is man smarter than God such that mankind methods of raising a child are more effective? Would it be true that God was misleading mankind by instructing for the rod to be used on children? It is not right for mankind to do things that are against God’s will, using the rod on children, being one of these.

I believe the question is actually beyond the use of the rod on children but on whether the world believes that the Bible is the true Word of God. I believe that if people were to completely believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then there wouldn’t be any questions on what He says about anything. God’s will would be done on earth at all cost as it is done in Heaven, just like Jesus prayed ().


To the believer

When the Bible says in Jesus’ words, ‘I quote’;

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:11

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22

These verses and many others gives notice to believers of such things as facing persecution for the sake of believing and practicing what the Bible says. When a believer stands accused of being an offender in a court of law, it should spell loud and clear to everyone that this world is not at all a home to believers.

I pray for believers to gain strength to practice what the Bible says in diligence and be ready to stand for the truth.

Tagged believing in Jesus, corporal punishment, God and the truth, God will judge all, holiness commandment, Jesus Christ and children, Jesus loves little children, spare the rod and spoil the child, Thy will be done on earth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Musawenkosi Dube

I'm a believer in Jesus Christ. It has been revealed to me through the study of the Word of God, teachings of other men of God and testimonies that God has given us His grace just so we can share it among ourselves in the process leading each other to God. I invite you to learn who our God is with me in this blessed!

3 Responses to Corporal punishment, the Christian and what the Bible teaches

  1. I firmly believe that corporal punishment is called for in the bible. It is meant to be used on adults to go along as part of religious teachings. Is there any established church that use spanking as penance for sin? If so I’d love to get in touch.

    • I’m not sure if corporal punishment would work for adults as much as it does for children. My take is that adults tend to be more difficult when subjected to physical punishment. I wouldn’t recommend corporal punishment on adults neither do I know a church that practice it. I believe it is also the reason why Jesus Christ would not beat or punish anymore to force them to accept Christianity.

      Be blessed.

    • Casey Cheshire says:

      I grew up in Arkansas and the church we went to applied corporal punishment until the age of 18. It was only practiced in extreme cases with older kids and only in front of whom was offended, not necessarily a public setting. One of the elders would decide who would administer the punishment and who was to be allowed to witness it, usally only the offended family and family of whom was to be punished. If the offensive nature continued, that person and the family would be banned from the church.I was never punished beyond the age od 14 thankfully. May yiu have a blessed and enriched day.

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