by Timothy Tay
A couple with 11 children have been told by the Department for Child Protection that they cannot become foster parents because they sometimes physically discipline their children.
John and Pat Wieske say the family see fostering as their Christian duty and a chance to give something back to the community but during interviews with the department they revealed that they occasionally smacked their children and the department consequently deemed them unsuitable to be foster parents.1) | | : Parents denied right to foster for smacking kids, thewest.com.au March 12, 2010, http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/6923383/parents-denied-right-to-foster-for-smacking-kids/
The often quoted bible verse in relation to child discipline is found in Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.“
The verse in its context refers to the warning of the damage injustice brings by those ill-disciplined in society2)23 A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. and the blessings for those who stick to the straight and narrow3)25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry., however, this need to inculcate discipline in the young under our charge often got lost by the debate on the peripherals and the symbolics.
23 A poor man’s field may produce abundant food,
but injustice sweeps it away.
24 He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. Proverbs 13:23-25
J.C. } Your interpretation of Prov 13.23-25 by suggesting the verse on ‘sparing the rod’ is in some way related to verse v23 re ‘societal justice’ – to me is stretching the hermeneutical rule of interpreting in context. J.C.
Editor.} There is grounds to link Prov 13:23-25 together taken contextually as well as external evidence. The concern I expressed is our pre-occupation with associating caning with violence in disciplining children that we have avoided disciplining all together.
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