Spare the rod and spoil the child

I was really enjoying service last Sunday, because my pastor I must admit is good at what he was called to do- crack jokes and preach the word of God - Spare the rod and spoil the child introduction. He shared a story about his childhood during service and that gave me the inspiration for this write up.

A young pastor Tunde (not real name) apparently set out to grind pepper for his mum, so that dinner could be made without hassle. And so Tunde went to the grind-man’s house and got the pepper well grounded, but instead of going back home decided to play “one-set” of football. “One set” led to “two sets” and more and Tunde was running late for dinner preparations, but at least he had grounded the pepper. Done with football practice and catching up with friends Tunde was on his way out of the sandy football pitch when a more excited friend on the football pitch decided to smash one last shot at goal, but missed by a long mile and caught Tunde’s hand and the grounded pepper spilled on the sand. Afraid and panicking, Tunde managed to get a hold of himself and packed whatever spilled on the sand, alongside the sand and put it all back in the bag and ran straight home with the ‘perfect excuse’.

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Tunde’s mum asked in earnest what kept him so long, and Tunde said he had to wait in line for his turn. Tunde’s mother refused to dwell on that and collected the (sandy) pepper from his hand and went back into the kitchen. It was there she saw a rather new mixture of grounded pepper and sand (delicious) and required from Tunde as to what came about this combination. Already a successful liar once, Tunde brought out another great line when he said the grinds-man, on putting the pepper inside the machine brought out this mixture and he had no choice but to take what the machine had given to him. Cutting the story short, now born-again Pastor Tunde revealed that he still vividly remembers the slap that was dished out to him when he was done with his ridiculous response. It was in line of that story that Pastor Tunde revealed a bible passage (Proverbs 22 vs. 15) to back his claim that a child must be disciplined, to set his ways straight.

While the church burst out in laughter, I was taking notes. I took notes because I was never beaten as a child by my parents, but at school I got my share and for emphasis sake I am not against it. I just find the topic fascinating anytime it comes up that you must be disciplined by the rod, else you grow up wayward. That assertion does not sit very well with me and so I decided to express myself in my own words. I believe it is the call of a parent to discipline their child however they feel is right, as long as it is done with a high level of tolerance. I definitely agree that a parent reserves the right to spank their child to reality should he default as truth be told, growing kids are the most manipulative people you can ever come across. From the trickery in their moves when they’ve just stolen a bar of chocolate, to the animated tears that form up immediately they have been caught, parents must face the facts that children are indeed manipulative.

What then leads the best way to discipline? I grew up knowing that charity began from our home but even then it took a few strokes on my behind in school to correct some of my errors that could not be detected at home. My understanding of that phrase is that whatever basic values you might need as a child, including discipline, you must first get that experience at home. Not being a parent puts me at a slight disadvantage to this debate, but I have watched my little cousins and nieces and nephews grow and I do understand why this needs to be addressed by public opinion. Therein lies the argument, to beat or not to beat.

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