cjam asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 decade ago

The phrase , "spare the rod and Spoil the child' is misquoted, dont you agree?

A lot of folks see that verse in the Bible, "spare the rod and spoil the child, " and they immediately think a rod is for punishment. But thats not what it means at all.

Jesus was referring to children as a shepherd refers to his sheep. We see pictures of the shepherd standing close to his flock, with a crooked staff in his hand. Now I didnt understand this passage until someone explained it to me.

The shepherd didnt hit the sheep with his staff whenever they took a wrong turn. No, he used the crook of the staff to get them gently by the neck and "steered " them from the path they took if they went the wrong direction.

This is how parents need to treat their children also. Whenever the child takes a wrong turn, the parent should sit down with the child and explain what is wrong with this or that. And explain it in words the child can understand. Guidance with kindness goes a long way for the childs betterment. Spanking never taught anything but violence..

20 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Personally I have no opinion on the interpretation except that who ever thinks they are 100% correct on it's meaning is WRONG. It could mean ANYTHING! It could mean literally using a rod for punishment, or that the term "rod" meaning punishment it's self (spanking but not with a object), Or it could mean like your opinion that it's instruction on guidance, giving no hint of punishment whats so ever. Who knows, personally I think you can make a argument for all three (or more, these 3 just seem the most popular).

    In conclusion the people making an argument for literally using a rod to beat their child black and blue, to me sounds just as ridiculous as someone suggesting the quote has nothing to do with physical discipline.

    -NOBODY KNOWS!!! Lets just move on.

    • Splendid4 years agoReport

      Spare the rod spoil the child is talking about Proverbs 13: 24 & Proverbs 23: 13.

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  • Wandra
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Ok, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this an "if-then" phrase? As in, "If you spare the rod, then you'll spoil the child"? If so, too many of these answers make little sense. I think we could all point to instances such as "My friend was beating and he's cool" or "My cousin never got touched and look how she turned out." But these do not answer the question. As of yet, there is no evidence that hitting children benefits them in any way, so until then, I think I'll refrain.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think you have a question. I think you have formed an opinion and you just want someone who agrees with you to answer. However that scripture is interpreted is up to the reader. What happens when you talk to the child with guidance and understanding and they still do what they know is wrong. Your answer to your own question doesn't address all scenarios with children of different ages. When I read your answer, I think about how you would deal with a young child. Spankings teach discipline. Beatings teach violence. When you spank a child on the hand, it teaches them 'no'.

    When you see someone's child acting up in the grocery store, what is the first thing that you think? They need to get their child under control. Or that child is spoiled. All the talking in the world does nothing for that 5 yr. old. But if the parent is teaching discipline at home, they don't have to worry when they get out in the community.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I starred you. I applaud you even. I don't think spanking is the answer for everything but sometimes it's all you can do.

    I have the most stubborn child I've ever known. There were a few times where I've had to resort to spanking his little bum. Once we had just talked about the danger of power lines - ironically not ten minutes before he reached for one that had been down from a power-line. I didn't even see it. I parked my car right next to it.

    Thank God it wasn't a live wire or my son would not be here. But I did spank his little butt pretty good that day. They have to know you mean what you say.

    Have you considered how much Violence has increased through the generations? There is more violence being shoved down their throats through games and t.v. and more and more parents have moved away from spanking. But people didn't have to worry about their own neighbors.

    I will spank my child when I need to.

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  • 5 years ago

    Personally, I think your answer is very apropos, for it embodies the very principles which have initiated such a Ground Swell of ill informed, ill mannered, and undisciplined Children that roam our land today. To educate you have to have the child's attention, Discipline is the Key to Attention, in some children the spanking is necessary to establish discipline. I have to think, A person who does not instill discipline in his/her children, is Spoiling that very individual. My father used to tell us, "To get a Mule to Work for you, bust him/her across the face with a 2x4 first thing in the morning to get their Attention (aka, establish who is boss)", I thought he was just making a point on punishment, but it turns out, if you want to have a Mule Work for you, the Stubborn Mule will do as it wants if you don't take control. Are Kids like Mules? No Way, kids are much more stubborn, and much more difficult to keep directed, thus the touch of the Rod, might leave a red streak on their asses..... (pun intended)...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Contrariwise, too many kids are allowed to grow up like weeds, without any restrictions, which is as scary to to kids as following a steep mountain road, alongside a deep canyon, that doesn't have any guardrails. The parents think they're being kind, but they're just being lazy.

    Note, however, that shepherds don't "explain" to their sheep which path to follow, they do physically coerce them. When I pray, I usually invite God to kick me in the seat of pants if necessary to get me to follow His path. Some children do respond better to an occasional swat on the backside rather than an endless, wordy diatribe from mom or dad. Every child is different.

    This isn't to condone beatings. Those who beat their kids and attribute their continual misbehavior to not being beaten hard enough, often enough, soon enough or long enough need to have their heads screwed on straight. I'd say they need a taste of their own medicine, except that almost always they've already had more than their share in that that was how they themselves were raised. The sad thing is that kids raised that way are nearly always brainwashed into believing that they deserved it and that's why they treat their own kids the same way. Like endless tribal wars in the Middle East, we need to break the cycle. Eliminating the Biblical rationale is a good start.

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  • Dj
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    do you know the passage that is? I actually didn't think that was in the Bible, I thought it was like,

    "God helps those who help themselves" or

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

    neither of which is a direct quote from the Bible...

    And, I agree, the point is to rear your children, and "steer" them in the right direction....whatever method ppl want to use, that needs to be the whole point.

    It's not any healthier to say, 'I never, ever hit my children b/c spanking is wrong' when your children are also never learning a lesson about anything, than it is to hit your child needlessly, when perhaps another discipline could've been more effective.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, this oft-misquoted "bible verse' is actually from a 17th century poem, by Samuel Butler. It is a call for ending violence inflicted upon children. The closest thing in the Bible is in Proverbs, which says he who spareth the rod hateth his son.

    Another verse say that "If you beat(your child) he will not die' But of course, children die from being beaten every day.

    My six, well-behaved, respectful, children are or have been good students were never corporally punished, not so much as a slapped hand. We taught them to be respectful by being respectful, and it worked wonderfully!

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  • tll
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I am sorry, but i was spanked as a child and I am not a violent person today. I do spank my child, nothing serious, but it gets his attention, and I only do it after a warning. I think yes, children do need guidance, but even w/ that they can go into the wrong direction. Spanking has been taught for many centuries and look what has happened once people have turned away from it....teenage pregnancy, murder, rape, abuse, school shootings, etc....I am not saying spanking works for every child, but honestly since parents have decided not to be parents but "friends" to their children this country has gone down hill....I am not saying spanking has been the only problem either I feel that also parents have not been taking their children to church and havent been really teaching morals and values to their children.....

    I will stop my ranting: but in short I dont think it has necessarly been misquoted or misinterpreted...it never said 'spare the beatings' just dont let your children get away w/ everything and run all over you!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I agree wholeheartedly that this was the true interpretation of the passage, but I also think that some parents take it to the opposite extreme and give their children zero discipline. After 10 yrs. of child care experience, I fully expect to see the kids that have no boundaries on the Springer show someday. Boundaries and consequences are a necessity, I think we'd all agree on that, but you're right...violence only begets violence.

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