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Spare the Rod Spoil the Child!

Foolishness bound in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15)

He who spares his rod hates his son but he who loves him discipline him promptly (Proverbs 13:24)

Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell. (Proverbs 23: 13-14)

The rod and rebuke gives wisdom but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29:15)

These are verses from the bible that are associated with rod and the child. The phrase ‘Spare the rod spoil the child’ is not in the bible. It was coined by Samuel Butler in his poem Hudibras in 1662. The closest verse in the bible to this phrase is Proverb 13: 24.

Over the years, base on the above verses, we have been led to believe that the rod is a stick that is used to beat the child into submission to authority. As stated in these verses this rod will drive foolishness far away from the child’s heart and it will deliver his soul from hell.






These are tremendous responsibilities that are placed upon a rod. Is the rod able to perform such huge tasks? Is it possible to beat a child until he becomes filled with wisdom? Or is it possible to prevent a child from going to hell by beating him with a rod?

These are questions that bombarded my mind and troubled me. I know that some of you may be thinking that beating an unruly child with a rod or whip is a form of punishment so that the child will behave correctly. This is a logical belief because society teaches us that misconduct or unlawful behavior will be punished.

But even though someone may be punished for a misdemeanor it does not guarantee that the person will be transformed and repented from his bad behavior. I have seen many parents who punished their children by spanking or beating and they returned to their misbehavior without any change in their conduct.

Therefore this prove to me that beating as a form of punishment is not very effective. So there must be a better method. Since the bible is the word of God then the best way of correcting your child must be found in the bible. This method is found in the same verses above.

The rod is truly the best and only method that should be use for correcting your children. But is this rod the same as the beating stick that it is attributed to? Let us go deeper and find out the true meaning of the rod.

The true meaning of the rod

The English dictionary defined rod as a round stick or branch that is cut from a tree. It is a switch or wand. Another definition of rod is that it is a symbol of office or authority.

The bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit but they were instructed by God to write in parables. This means that each literal word or story from the bible has a deeper spiritual meaning which the Holy Spirit will reveal to you. So whenever the term rod is used in the bible it represents a symbol of authority not a beating stick.

Most of us are familiar with Moses’ rod which he used to perform many miracles such as the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the red sea. The power to perform the miracles was not in the rod itself, the power was from God. The rod was used to symbolize the authority and power of God.

The parting of the Red Sea by Moses with his rod.

The parting of the Red Sea by Moses with his rod.






With this in mind let us delve deeper into our bible to find the rod that has the power and authority to correct children, drive foolishness from their heart and prevent their souls from going to hell.

This rod is found in Isaiah 11:1-2

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jessie, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of council and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Notice that this rod was humanized and called ‘him’. This rod from the stem of Jessie is Jesus Christ. He was from the lineage of David who was the son of Jessie. Jesus Christ was given the spirit of wisdom, understanding, council, might, knowledge and the fear (reverence) of God. He was also given all power and authority from God.

He is therefore the rod that parents must use to remove foolishness from their children’s’ heart; and to correct them from wrong doing in order to prevent their souls from going to hell.

How to use this rod

When you receive Christ in your heart you will also receive the same power and authority that he has. You will also receive the spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge so that you can teach your children in order to correct their misbehavior. You will be able to council your children in love and understanding so that the spirit of foolishness will be driven from their heart.

This is the best and most effective method of correcting your children which will guarantee success. This is the method that the Lord taught me to use on my children and so far the results are amazing. It is far better than using a stick or whip to beat your children. I sincerely hope that you will use this method on your children.

Share with us your thoughts. We want to hear from you.

Additional references: Exodus 4 -10; Ephesians 1: 15- 22

Featured image by Clovis/Jamaica Observer News.

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