Prayers for Parents

Day 15: To Spank or Not to Spank

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” —Hebrews 12:11

Spanking is one of the most hotly debated topics in today’s parenting culture. Some believe spanking is taboo, that it teaches children to hit or causes them to have emotional issues later in life. Others believe, when administered properly, it’s an effective form of discipline that helps to modify attitudes and behavior.

If you choose spanking as a form of discipline, the best approach is to be balanced (stern but loving), sensible, and controlled. It is not delivered out of anger, frustration, or violence, but out of love and concern for the child’s well-being, safety, and guidance. It is administered calmly and with a measured amount of pain, and is bookended with expressions of love (see 1 Corinthians 16:14). The goal is not that our children will fear us, but that our children will respect and obey us as we train them to live righteously.

Whatever forms of discipline you choose for your children, and there are many, remember that discipline—administered with love and grace—is for their safety and well-being because you love them.

Prayers for parents
  • Ask God to give you wisdom for determining the best forms of discipline for your children.
  • If you are married, pray together that God would help you to come to an agreement about the forms of discipline that you will use in your home. Also, ask Him to help you operate as a team and to be consistent.
  • If you are a newly adoptive parent, foster parent, or stepparent just beginning to develop a relationship with your child, ask God to show you other ways that you can effectively correct and discipline your child (as spanking is not advisable in these situations).
  • Ask God to help you consistently administer discipline with love and grace, no matter what form or method you use.