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The Godly Home 3. The Rod of Discipline

By Denny Kenaston


      The 3rd of 11 messages on The Godly Home

      Let's all kneel together for prayer. "Our Father we come to you in the name of Jesus tonight. We thank you Lord that you've put within us those kind of desires. Lord, we're the people of God. We're your people. We're different. People don't understand us. But oh, our Father, we've committed our lives into your hands, and we've committed our hearts to you God. We shall follow you. We shall walk with you. We shall obey your commandments. Though many will not understand us God, it doesn't matter to us. We come to you tonight in Jesus' name, and Lord I pray that you will meet with us tonight. I pray, oh Father, for the sweet presence of your Spirit to be with us tonight. I pray Lord, that you will illuminate the eyes of our understanding. God I pray that you will make your Word alive to each one of our hearts tonight. God I pray that you'll change us, and I pray Lord, that you'll change our homes by the message this evening. Lord, may we not be the same after we leave this place tonight. Lord, we ask it in the name of thy son, the Lord Jesus with thanksgiving, Amen.

      We greet each one in the name of the Lord Jesus. We're going to change the direction this evening, the direction of the messages; and we're going to speak about disciplining children tonight. My goal for this evening's message is to convince you that using the rod is one of the most loving things that you can do for your children. I found one of these downstairs - there's a couple of them down there, and I found one; that I'd like to just use it every now and then through the message. But I would like to convince you this evening, that using this rod, this paddle, whatever you want to call it, is one of the most loving things that you can do for your children and with your children. I'd also like to convince you that's it's a sin if you don't. God doesn't leave it as just an option for some to choose and some not to choose; but I'd like to convince you that it's a sin if you don't.

      My mind goes back to a time when I had a couple in my home who did not believe in spanking their children. It was very interesting to sit and visit with them and watch their children. Their children were just like everybody else's children - and they were unruly and they were moving this way - and running over here, and going this direction... I kept watching the parents and they kept gently pleading with the children to be good and sit still and the children would get up and move again. Then they'd go over and say, "Please Johnny, would you please calm down..." This happened all evening long as I sat there and visited with them, and of course they already told me that, "They don't believe in spanking their children. They believe there are other ways they can motivate their children to be good." And this was a little bit the discussion that we had had earlier, and I was watching all of this. It's very interesting to me, that about, I think about three years after that little meeting in our home, somebody else gave them a set of the Home Tapes and they listened to them, and when they came to this tape, they listened to it with an open heart, took an evaluation of their children, and realized they'd made a great big mistake by not chastening their children. And the father picked up a rod, and he said, "His home will never be the same."

      Well that's what I'd like to do this evening. I realize that when I hold this up here that a lot of you have different feelings about it, and maybe your father and your mother used it in a wrong way on you, and because of that, you don't have very good ideas about it. Well I hope this evening by God's grace, to change your mind, so that you don't view this as some "mean" thing that I have in my hand tonight, but rather you see it as one of the loving ways that God has ordained that you train your children up to be godly, and a godly testimony upon this earth.

      I want to say this also: We use this at our house. We use it often at our house. It gets used more on the younger ones than the older ones. But we use it often at our house, and my children love me. They love me very much. They honor me. In fact, they honor me and love me more than I deserve. I find myself many times sitting down in my house, and just weeping over the honor and the love that my children give to me.

      I believe that the using of this rod is one of the reasons why my children love me and honor me so much. Because I use this rod. And I want to convince you this evening, of the benefit of using it to train and guide your children.

      This may surprise you, but many times after we use the rod in our house, the children will come to us and say, "Papa, thank you. Thank you for spanking me. I needed that." That may surprise you. But little Samuel, he gives this testimony, and he says it all the time around the house, "I don't enjoy the spankings, but I sure do like the feeling that I get in my heart after one."

      We're going to learn why this evening, why, the children can come and say thank you after they've received a spanking. And if I could just say a few words to the children in this room this evening: I prayed for you today. All you children that are here, I prayed for you today - that you won't despise me this evening. And that's a prayer that I pray almost every time that I spank my own children. That my children would not despise me, but rather, that they would love me. I claim the promise in the Word of God, that the children would not despise me, but love me after I spank them. And I prayed for all you children; that you would not despise me. I'm not your enemy tonight, I'm your friend! Even though I'm going to do everything that I know by God's grace to convince your parents to use something like this on your bottom. I'm your friend, and this is your friend. You may not understand that now, but you will understand it someday. You'll know what a blessed paddle this is up here. This one's broken, by the way. Someone glued it, but it's broken already. I'm not concerned about that, especially this one, it's only made out of pine. But it's not so bad if you have a paddle like this and break it. Now if you have an oak one, I'd be concerned about that. This is just a thin, Pine paddle. I don't think you ought to be so worried if you break a thin, Pine paddle on the behind of your children.

      The devil has lied to us. He has lied to us. We have swallowed the philosophies of the world that tell us that this is a negative form of discipline. It's not a negative form of discipline; it's one of the most positive forms of discipline you can use. Now there are others, but this is a positive form of discipline. And if in your mind, even now, while you sit here, you're thinking those kind of thoughts, you know, "Oh - that's terrible..." and "How can he stand up there and hold that thing so boldly like that?" If I'm making you feel uncomfortable, I'd say you swallowed some of the philosophies of the world, and you ought to acknowledge it already in your heart and say, "God, maybe I haven't looked at this right. Would you just teach me tonight?" Open up your heart! This is not some "mean" thing. This is a loving stick that I have in my hand up here. The devil has lied to us.

      This rod will bring order, where there's chaos. It'll bring peace, where there's turmoil. It'll bring freedom, where there's in your children's lives. It'll bring zeal, where there's apathy in their lives. Many people, many people react to the spanking of the children. In fact, it's getting more and more that way in America, that it seems if things keep going in the direction that they're going, we'll see the day when it will be against the law to pick up a stick like this and spank your child. There are countries in the world where it is already against the law. And there are countries in the world where Christians will not spank their children, because they'll be thrown in jail if anybody finds out about it, and they'll lose their children if anybody finds out about it.

      A lot of people react to the spanking of the children. The world says, "It's cruelty. It's suppression. The child will hate you. It will cause rebellion in their hearts." But nothing could be further from the truth. Those who withhold the rod are the ones whose children put them in the rest homes. Did you ever think about that? The rest homes are just full and running over today. Who puts their father and mother in the rest homes? But the children who never had the rod used on them. That's an interesting observation.

      The using of the rod goes against your natural love. If you're here this evening, and your poor heart says, "Oh, I could never spank my children." You are a victim of natural love. And natural love is okay. I think we need to love our children. I think we need to be filled with love when we see them running to us. But if that natural love stops us from disciplining them with a rod, then that natural love needs to be crucified and replaced with spiritual love, which is agape love, which is God-like love, which is love that love's by principle, and not by feeling. That's what we're speaking about this evening - disciplining the children, a love that loves by principle and not be feeling.

      Now the Holy Spirit inspired some very powerful words on the use of the rod. The Bible says that the rod will give wisdom unto your children. The Bible says that the rod will cleanse away evil from your children. The Bible says that the rod is an expression of love. The Bible says that the rod will clear the conscience of your child. The Bible says that the rod will keep your child from going to hell. That's what the Bible says. The Bible says that it will give calm and order into your child's life. So let's look into some of these verses this evening.

      We're going to be in the book of Proverbs, as we talk about the disciplining of children. And we'll start in Proverbs chapter 13, and just go down through the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 13:24. Now in my Bible, I have a few words circled, then I have a little definition by the words that I have circled. I would encourage you to do that if you feel free in your heart. Reading Proverbs 13:24. "He that spareth his rod, hateth his son. But he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes." Now in this verse we want to look at a few words. The first word we want to look at is "spareth". That word spareth means, "hold back". He that "holds back" the rod, hateth his son. That word "spare" doesn't mean that you never use the rod; it means you "hold back" the rod. You won't use it like you should. It doesn't mean you never use the rod. We know what the word spare means. "He that soweth sparingly reaps sparingly". It just simply means, "He who holds back the rod, and doesn't use it like they should, hateth his son."

      Now the next word we want to look at is the word "hateth". The Hebrew word picture for the word "hateth" is "one who is standing and facing the enemy". The Hebrew word picture for the word "hateth" there is like one who is standing and ready to fight against the enemy. If you can get that picture in your mind. So look at it again. "He that spareth the rod, that holds back the use of the rod, is hating his child." "He that holds back the use of the rod, is giving forth a spirit of hatred to the child." That's something I'd like to convince you of this evening. "But he that loveth him..." Now that word "loveth", here's the picture for the word"loveth". Just like this: A couple minutes ago I walked out of the prayer room downstairs, and little Hannah saw Papa, and she took off running across the room down there, and I got down on my knees so that I could hug her, and she ran right up to me and I put my arms out, and we just had a good old hug down there in the basement. That's what the word "loveth" means. Arms out like this, reaching out to the child, and loving them.

      "He that spareth the rod, gives forth a spirit of hatred to the child. But he that chaseneth with the rod, gives forth a spirit of love to the child." That's what this verse is saying! And then the last word that I want to look at is the word, "betimes". Are you ready for this children? "Betimes" means, over and over and over and over again. Some say it means over and over again. Some say it means early in life. I'll take either one of those. "He who spareth the rod, gives forth a spirit of hatred to the child. But he that chaseneth the child, gives forth a spirit of love." And God says you need to do it over and over and over again. That's what this verse is saying!

      Now I'd like you to think on this for a moment. Everyone of us know, maybe you know somebody like this that is married, but yet they're divorced in heart for many years. Father lives in the home, mother lives in the home, and they know that they cannot separate, though they are at odds with each other and they live that way for many years. They're married, yet they're divorced in their heart. What a miserable way to be married, amen? To dwell together in the same house and yet be divorced in your heart. You are missing heaven on earth if you live that way. But this verse right here is speaking about just as shocking a relationship between parent and children.

      The Bible says, a child that is without chastisement is a ! Or it's a child who does not have a father! And if your children are without the proper chastisement, they are missing some of the sweetest experiences of their life! And by the way, so are you! If your natural heart tonight says, "But I just couldn't spank my children." You are missing some of the sweetest experiences of your life. You're missing them. And a child that is not disciplined is missing the fullness of a love relationship between father, mother and child. Maybe you've heard this said before: "I was never close to my father." How many of you have ever heard that before? "I was never close to my father." I wonder. I'm sure there are many reasons for that, but I wonder if any of them would have to do with this right here. "I was never close to my father." My children are so close to me, when we have a spanking, I mean, it just takes that heart and my heart and just goes like this (hearts meshed together). It's one of the closest heart-knitting things you can do. "I was just never close to my father." By the way, I was never close to my father. And my father never spanked me. Not one time. My mother did the spanking, and I was never close to my father.

      Remember tonight, God's ways are not our ways. God's ways are very different than man's ways. Here I am standing up here and telling you an awesome paradox, that doesn't make any sense to the natural mind. Just like the Bible says, the way up is down, the Bible says, the way to a close relationship is to use a rod! How can that be? Well, God's ways are not like man's ways. They are not. If you want a close relationship with your children, use the rod! By the way, I plan to qualify that through the evening, because I realize that some of you in this room, your parents did use this rod, but they didn't use it right. Many of you were spanked in anger; many of you were just plain beaten. Many of you were driven and chased out of the house with a stick, and I'm not talking about any of that. That is not Bible chastisement. But we're going to take a look at Bible chastisement. And maybe tonight, maybe just tonight, your attitude towards the rod is wrong because of your past experiences. Oh, open up your heart, I just plead with you to open your heart, let God show you there is a better way.

      Many times we over-react to our childhood experiences and our children suffer for it. Let's go on then to Proverbs 19:18. Proverbs 19:18 reads like this: "Chasten thy son, while there is hope. And let not thy soul spare for his crying" Now in this verse we'd like to look at two things. First of all, the little phrase that says, "While there is hope". That very phrase signifies to us that there will be a time that there will be no hope anymore! "Chasten thy son while there is hope..." Because there will come a day when it won't work anymore! There will come a day, when it won't have the same effect anymore! There will come a day when you will not be able to have an influence upon your child with the rod. So God is using this verse as a motivational verse to us. Spank your children while they are pliable! Spank them while they're bendable! Spank them while they're moldable! Because the day is going to come when you will not be able to mold them anymore! And it's a motivational verse to us. There will come a day when you will not be able to mold your children with the rod anymore and you'll have to then say, "God, I've done all I can do, now you take over." And then God can spank them. And God will do a real good job of it. But the admonition to us this evening is, "You do it while there's hope, while there's opportunity, while they're pliable, you do it."

      And then the last part of the verse; and God put this in there I believe because God knows what we're made of, everyone of us - flesh. We're made out of flesh and God knows that we have natural love for our children. And it's not wrong to have natural love! So God puts this in there. "Let not thy soul spare for his crying." We all know what that feeling is like, don't we? If you've ever spanked your child, you know what goes on inside. "I don't want to keep going. I hear my child crying, and I want to hold back." And I believe God breathed this little part of the verse out there for everyone of us, to just kind of come along behind us, and shore us up, and say, "And by the way, don't hold back because the child starts crying." Children are pretty smart. They know if they let out a wail that sounds like they're about to die, that you'll let up before you're suppose to. How many of you children know that, let me see your hands. What? None of you? Children know that. But parents - don't do it. Don't spare because the child cries. Just because the child starts to cry, does not mean the job is done. Sounds pretty mean, doesn't it? But it's not.

      Let's move on to Proverbs 20:30. "The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil. So do stripes, the inward parts of the belly." God's method for clearing the conscience of your children, here it is. Here we see it right before us. I'd like to ask you this question. I think most of us that are in this room, know the sweet experience of responding at a revival meeting, and going to the altar and breaking our hearts before God and getting all the sin out and confessing it to God, and having our heart washed away by the blood of Jesus. And oh, the brokenness that's there. And oh, the sweetness that is upon our heart after we've had a revival meeting like that. We all know the joy and the blessing the yieldednes, the obedience that it wrought in our lives. Well brothers and sisters, this is God's method for producing the same thing in your children. You see, our children don't understand all the things that we know. They don't understand about the blood yet. They don't understand about yielding their will yet. They don't understand everything about God. They can't hit the mourners' bench and have an old-fashioned revival meeting in their life, they can't do that! But this is God's method of producing the same kind of spirit in them, that we get when we hit the mourners bench at a revival meeting. This is God's method! Help them have a revival! Some of your children need a revival! This is how they get it! And you're the one that God wants to use to help them to have a revival!

      Do you know something? I can spend about five minutes with most children and tell you within five minutes whether or not they're being spanked properly. I can do that. It's very simple. A child that's being spanked properly will have had it's conscience cleared. And a child that has a clear conscience has a clear countenance. Many people will say, I heard it said many times of our own children. "Your children's countenances are so bright!" And I thought, "Yes, they sure are" (holding the rod to explain why). I can tell whether a child is being disciplined properly! By their countenance. A child who is being disciplined properly has had their conscience clear. Their heart is broken. Their will is yielded. They're obedient to their parents and their countenance is clear! There's another way I can tell - a child that is being disciplined properly responds properly to other authorities. I can spot it just like that. It's very simple. And you say, "Now wait a minute. How can you be so sure of that?" Well, you ladies - you ever walk out into somebody's garden and spot, and know it just like that (snap of finger) what this person needs to do to take care of this plant or that plant? You ever do that before? You can walk into somebody's garden on a Sunday afternoon and give them 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 things they could do in their garden if you see the thing out of order. How come? Because you know the principles of gardening!

      You see, God wants us to learn the principles of training children! And once we learn them, if we become a student of training our children, we'll learn the principles, they'll be just as simple and just as easy as if you walked out in the garden and saw, "Well those tomato plants don't look very good. This is what they need! You do this and you do this and you do that and they'll be standing tall in a week." We can do that in the garden and God wants us to learn the principles of training our children so that we can also spot a need in their lives very quickly.

      GOD'S PRINCIPLES WORK! They work very well! I've often thought, as I've seen parents struggling with their children, I've often thought, "I wish I could just take that child home for about a week." Because to me, it's as simple as going out in that garden and finding the problems that are there. And I often think those thoughts, "Oh, I wish I could just take that child home for a week."

      Many years ago, I guess, twelve years ago now, when I was working on the bus route in Chicago, Illinois, I worked on the bus route and picked up the little ghetto children. There was one lady on my bus route, she had four children. She was not a good mother, she had no husband, she never did have a husband, but she had four children. She was a neglectful mother and her children were very wild. She had twin boys, four years old, and they were two little wild Indians. One Saturday when I was up there visiting on the bus route the mother came to the door in total frustration and she said, "Get them out of my life. Take them. If you can't do something with them, I'm going to get rid of them. I can't take them anymore." That's what she said. It was during the holidays at Bible school, and I knew I'd be home all week long so I told her I'd come back and pick them up when I get done visiting the rest of the children. And I pulled in there and I picked up those two little twin boys, four years old, and brought them home to my house. And for two days, I followed them everywhere they went around the house. Giving them guidance, giving them an admonition, and when I saw a willful breakout of disobedience, I just took them into the other room and I got out the rod and I used it on them. And I did it in a right way. And then we came back out into the living room and went about our day and I just kept following them around and after two days, those two little fellows had figured it all out in their mind. They knew where the lines were, they knew how they were supposed to behave, and they knew that I loved them. They knew, I was Mr. Denny to them. I'd been picking them up on the Sunday school bus for months and months and months before this happened. I was the closest thing to daddy to those two little boys. But after two days, things started falling right into place. And by the end of the week, those two little fellows would sit up at the supper table and eat with a spoon instead of with their hands. They would say please and thank you when they wanted something. They ate their food all gone when we sat them down at the table. And they were good little boys. And after a week I brought them back and gave them to the mother and went on my way and visited the children. And then a whole other week went by and I came by and knocked at the door there, and mother came to the door there and said, "What did you do to my two boys? I can't believe it! They're so good! Their nice little boys, what did you do to them?" I mean, she'd been beating them since they were four years old! Slapping them in the face, chasing them out of the house, beating on them and yelling at them and all those things, but she didn't get any of that. But one week of loving discipline with the rod and those two little boys were good little boys. I could have adopted them and made them my own, they would have been good boys. And others have given me testimonies just like that of similar experiences of problem children that they brought into their home and they just simply applied the good old garden rules of raising children, and they got the good old garden results! It works!

      Your children are not different then everybody else's children. You don't have a special problem. No you don't! Now I recognize there may be a very few that do have a special problem. In these years since I've been preaching on the home, a lot of questions have come my way, and there've been a few of them that I just couldn't answer. But for the most part, it's just simply obeying the simple garden rules of raising children.

      Now I want to explain to you this evening how we spank our children. It takes between 15-20 minutes to spank the children. And you may say on that one, "15 minutes! I don't have time! Whose got 15 minutes?" Well, if you do it right when you'll do it, you may not have to do it as much! I agree! If you have to do it 10 times a day, 15 minutes times 10 is a long time! But if you'll do it right, when you do it, and do a thorough job and do it right, you won't have to do it so many times. We never spank the children in anger. NEVER, NEVER NEVER! And if you have a problem with anger, and spanking your children, I suggest you send them to a room and wait for thirty minutes until you're completely calmed down. You will absolutely make the whole thing worse than what it was before if you walk into that room in a spirit of anger, ready to reel out punishment on that child. If you do it in a spirit of anger, I believe that you're missing the whole concept of chastisement. Chastisement is not punishment! It's correction for future conduct! There's a big difference. If it's punishment, then here you go into the room; fire in your eyes, paddle in your hand and foam coming out your mouth, and "You're going to get it now young man!" If you do it that way, then you are missing the whole concept of chastisement. Chastisement is for future! It's for correcting future conduct! Not punishment for past deeds. There's a big difference.

      By the way, your children are sinners. And they are going to fail. Plan on it! Here's how I look at it: Every time my children fail, transgress my law; I just look at it as another opportunity to correct their future conduct! I expect them to fail. They're going to fail! That's how they're going to learn! By their failures, by their transgressions, by their disobediences to our laws, are they going to learn godly character. Number one, you need to expect that they're going to fail. I think many times we get angry at our children because they failed, and they're not supposed to fail! They're my children! That's wrong! That's motivated by pride in your own heart! It's pride! "My children aren't supposed to do that! And if they did something wrong, then they're going to get it for it!" It's all wrong! The motivation is wrong! The heart attitude is wrong! Completely wrong. They're going to fail - plan on it! Plan on it so well that you know what you're going to do, the next time they do! And look forward to it! In fact, I've done this many times. I've seen a child and known, "you know, this child is just off." You know how it is. They're off, they haven't done anything yet that warrants a spanking, but you know they're off. You know that there's something not right in the heart and you know that it's not long that they're going to do something wrong. Well, when I see a child like that, I just sit back and wait. "Okay. It won't be long and I'm going to have an opportunity to take care of this child." That's not mean! That's being loving!

      And let me say this, before I go through this. Spank your children, the way that God spanks you. If we could just grab a hold of that, and meditate upon it, you wouldn't need anybody to teach you how to spank your children. Spank them the way that God spanks you! How does He spank you? Does he grab you by the scruff of the neck? And holler at you? And tell you how wrong you were? Is that how God spanks you? Then don't spank your children that way! We know how God spanks us. He very lovingly and calmly reveals to us a need in our life and picks us up in the comforting hands of His presence and spanks us. And when He's done, He very lovingly puts us back in His arms again and tells us how much He loves us, "You are my child. I want you to do right. I want you to go the right way. I have eternity in mind. I love you my son." And He sends us on our way. If you could just get that picture in your mind, and then turn around, and then reproduce the same thing when it's time to spank your children, you've got it. That's it!

      So, here's how we spank our children. When the child transgresses one of our laws, we very calmly inform them that they have transgressed our laws and they're going to get a spanking. We do not raise our voice. Raising your voice doesn't do a thing for you. In fact most parents raise their voice because they're not using the rod. And they think that they'll get authority out of it. You don't get any authority by raising your voice. You know how it is - you give the correction. Then the second time you see it, you raise your voice a little bit more and you give the correction again, hoping that that will take care of it. Then the third time you see the same thing happening again, you raise your voice just a little bit higher, then finally by the fourth time, when you should have spanked them on the second time, you say, "THAT'S IT! YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM!" And the whole spirit of that thing is frustration, because you neglected what you should have done, two corrections before!

      Oh how well you can establish your authority if after you correct one time you back that thing up with a calm informing of the child, "You have done wrong. I've corrected you once. Go to your room, you're going to have a spanking." That's what we do; send them to the room, they go there, sit down and wait. We go to the wall, and get the rod off of the wall, and go and pick up the Bible on the way, and we go to the room. With these two. When you walk into the room, the child is already crying, because they don't like spankings. And I know you children don't like spankings - they hurt! And there is the child crying. And we just sit down together, and we just cry a little bit together. The child is crying, Papa's crying, mama's crying. And what I'll usually do is I'll just kind of put my arms out like this, and the child will come and sit on my lap, and I hold them. I've heard people say before, "Don't you give your children any comfort when their supposed to get punished." That's so wrong! It's so punish oriented. It's so judgment oriented. I think they probably see God that way too. Here's God up in heaven waiting for you to do something wrong. How many of you have felt that way about God before? He's up in heaven just waiting for you to do something wrong, and when you get up; He's going to let you have it. Well if you feel that way, that's probably how you deal with your children. But God is not up in heaven with a stick waiting for you to do something wrong, and then He's going to let you have it.

      So I just put my arms out and of course that child you know, they're afraid they're going to get a spanking, they know it's going to hurt, they're trembling already, and I just put my arms out and they'll very gladly jump up in your lap. And I just hold them for a couple minutes and love them and tell them "I love them, and tell them I'm sorry I have to give you a spanking but you know you've got to have a spanking. Papa loves you and I'm not mad", I'll assure them "I'm not mad at you." So we'll do that for a couple minutes. Then it's a time of instruction. A time of instruction for two things. Number 1: We take the opportunity to instruct the child very clearly so that the child knows exactly why they're going to get a spanking. And sometimes that takes longer than others. In fact, and this will tickle all of you, it takes a little longer when they get a little bit older, because they get a little bit wiser and they think that they can talk their way out of it. So sometimes it takes a little bit longer to clearly show that child why they're in there, how they transgressed, why they're going to get the spanking. But we clearly instruct their little heart, as to why they're in there. Then we also take the opportunity to just get the Bible in the hand and say, "Now you know what the Bible says we're supposed to do? The Bible says we're supposed to spank you." Maybe I'll read them a verse, or maybe I'll quote them a verse out of the Bible. See - the two go together just like this... (The Bible, and the rod of correction). I'm not some mean man sitting there in the room, ready to spank my child. I'm a godly father who believes the Bible and I have all of heaven on my side when I go in there to spank my child.

      So we use it as a time of instruction, for what they've done wrong, and also, the principle of spanking. That's how you get your children to thank you afterwards, when you enlighten their heart and they understand the blessing of getting a spanking. Hannah is almost 3 and she doesn't thank me yet for her spankings, she's not quite sure about that. She can't quite figure that out when Samuel will come back and say, "thank you Papa, for giving me a spanking". She hasn't come to that place yet.

      Okay. After we have a time of instruction, then it's time for the spanking. And we'll have the child lay over the bed, or lay over the chair; depending on what room they're in. And the child must lay still and take the spanking. We don't let the children jump all over the room. If you're chasing your children all over the room to give them a spanking, may the Lord deliver you from that this week. That is out of order. That child is not getting anything out of that spanking if they're running around the room and you're chasing them. Have you ever had to do that? And you're chasing them around and they get hit on the leg, and sometimes on the bottom and sometimes they get hit on their hands, and oh, all kinds of terrible things go wrong when you try to spank them that way. No! They must lay still and get their spanking. And they do! And if they don't, they just get another one on top of the other one, and it doesn't take very long for the children to all of a sudden develop a determination to hold still when they get their spanking. Because nobody wants another one! Nobody! So we make them hold still. So we've got them laying over the bed, and we've reminded them that they must hold still while they get their spanking, and then it's time to give them a spanking and when it's time to give them a spanking, they get one. They get a thorough spanking. Someone said, "Do you tell your children how many swats their going to get?" You don't spank them by swats, you spank them until you sense that their will has broken! When you sense their will has broken up. Do you know what happens if you say, "Okay, you're going to get 10..." Then they say, "Okay, I'm holding on." You say, "I'm going to spank you until I feel like you've had enough, and your heart is broken and yielded. That's going to cause them to say, "Okay, I'm going to yield my heart. I'm going to give into this spanking. I'm going to let it happen. I'm going to let it do it's work in me, so that it will get done sooner." See the difference? It's a different mentality there, isn't there? So when we give them a spanking, we give them one, and it hurts. And some of you parents, I would just encourage you, maybe you spank through pampers and things like that, your children - That isn't doing anything. That's not doing anything. Now if you've got a little baby, I can see that. But if you've got a one year old, one and a half, two years old, that's just bouncing off the pamper, that's not doing them any good at all. It's supposed to hurt! It's supposed to be a shock to their system! It's supposed to drive the evil right out of their heart! That's what it said back there in that verse we just read. It's supposed to hurt!

      Then when we get done, I fall on my knees next to the child. And we cry together some more. And I pray and then the child prays. Then I pray, "Oh God, I pray for my son, I pray oh God, that you'll help him to know I love him very much. Oh God, I pray that you'll help him to know that I'm very proud of him, that he makes me so happy, almost all of the time, but he just needed a spanking..." And I claim the promise, right there while we're on our knees together, "Lord you said to spank them, I'm believing in you that they will not despise me, because I've spanked them, in Jesus name. Amen." We finish our prayer, then we get up and I usually hold them on my knee again. Give them a hug, tell them I love them, get a Kleenex, help them to wipe their eyes, blow their nose, and then we have a little instruction again. And we just go over it again. "Now do you realize why we were in here? Do you realize what you did wrong? Do you realize why papa had to give you this spanking?" Then sometimes we have a little song. A lot of times we sing, "Everything's alright, in my Father's house." And they're just a crying away while we sing the song. Then a little later on, the child usually comes back and says, "Papa, thank you. Thank you for spanking me." And we're friends all the rest of the day. Good buddies, good friends. Close companions. I've never seen a spanking done right, drive my child away. I've heard parents say that, "when I finish spanking my child, they just go in the corner of the room and they look at me like this and they don't want to be around me." I've never seen that one time. I've always had my children like this (one in heart) after we've done a spanking the right way. They want to be close to me. They love me! They know that I love them!

      Just a couple weeks ago, Hannah had her lesson on hitting. We don't hit in our house. I mean, it's the law of the Medes and the Persians. We do not hit in our house. You know how all little children are? They all will do it. Walk up and (slap). And maybe you snickered when they did it the first time, and snickered when they did it the second time, but after they started doing it a little, it wasn't very funny anymore. Well at our house, the first time we see it, we go after it. And Hannah, lifted up her hand about two weeks ago and hit Samuel. Because he was doing something she didn't like. She's a sinner! She's just lifted her hand up and hit him! And she was given a correction about it. And then two days later, she did it again. That was it. It's time to have the lesson on hitting for Hannah. And we just took her into the study there, and we had a nice, we just went through all these things that I just talked about, had a nice little talk with her, we cried, I gave her a spanking; oh she begged me to stop spanking and I just kept right on spanking until I felt she was completely broken. And she is completely cured of hitting. I don't think we'll see it again. Honestly, I don't think we'll see it again. You know what she says about three or four times a day now? She'll come up to papa or momma and say, "Papa, Samuel did something that I didn't like, and I didn't hit him." That's what she'll say, three or four times a day! "I don't hit Samuel. We don't hit with our hands." Big ol' wide eyes you know... That lesson is done! Isn't that a wonderful lesson?

      Turn to Proverbs 22 in verse 15. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." A couple words we want to look at here: The first one is "foolishness". How many of you have seen foolishness in your children, let me see your hands. Oh, good, we're well enlightened to that word right there. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child...." That word foolishness - here's the word picture of that word foolishness: It's an uncontrolled spiral. The best way to describe it to me, the way that I found to describe it is an uncontrolled spirit. You know these little springs that they have...you fold them up and put them in a box, and then you give it to somebody for a joke, and when they open up the box the spring goes out in every direction? That's a good illustration of what foolishness is all about - just an uncontrolled spirit - doing this and doing that and going here and going there and doing this and saying that. Just out of control. Well the Bible says that that uncontrolled spirit, is bound in the heart of a child.

      And the next word we want to look at is the word, "bound". And the best way to describe that is if we just get somebody and stand them up here tonight and get a rope and go around them, and around them and around them and around them, and then get two men to hold on to each side of that rope and tell him, "Go ahead and get away..." I say, "I can't get away!" Why not? "I'm bound!" Bound, like Samson was bound, after he had his hair cut off. He couldn't get away. They bound him, and they poked out his eyes, because he was bound. Well the Bible says that foolishness is bound in the heart of your children! The desire to do wrong is bound in the heart of your children. You can yell at it, and it won't go away. You can stand it in the corner, and foolishness will not leave. You can talk nice to it, and foolishness will not leave. You can give foolishness reward! And it will not leave your child. You can slap foolishness on the hand, and it will not leave your child. You can take foolishness and shake him real good, and give him a good ol' talking to! And foolishness will not leave. Foolishness is bound in your child! And the Bible gives us a clear way to get rid of it. And look at the words that God says! "...The rod of correction shall drive it FAR from him!" Way away from him! The rod of correction is God's ordained way to drive foolishness out of your children. And we all know the experience! We all know what it's like. We all know that one time or that two times, or we know those times when we spank that child, and we spank them right, and they had a good spanking, and what were they like when you got done? Peaceful, content, they shared their toys, they were kind, they spoke nice to momma...they were just a good little boy or a good little girl the rest of the day! Why? Because you drove that foolishness far away from them.

      I just plead with you tonight. Do your children a favor, and drive that foolishness out of their hearts. It's not right for you to leave it there. God never intended for your children to live with all those things on them! See this is what happens: A child does something wrong, that they know is wrong, and their conscience gets guilty. But nobody saw them do it. So then, with that guilty conscience, they do something else wrong, and the conscience gets more guilty, and more guilty, and more guilty. It's not right to leave them like that. You know, to me, it's a terrible injustice. It's a terrible unloving thing, to let your child go around for days needing a spanking. Their frustrated and they're discontent, and they can't seem to be happy with anything, and you know it...you know how it is. You've got children, you know how they are! It's not right to do that. That's why I say, when I sense something is just not quite right with the child, I'll just sit back and wait. It won't be long, and I'll have a reason to take care of the need that is down inside the heart. And see again, I'm not just spanking for the thing they did wrong, I see the need down inside that heart! This child has got that foolishness bound in there again, and I need to drive it out, and I'm going to watch for a good excuse to give them a good spanking. And it won't take long when they're that way. When that old conscience of theirs is all guilty and they're discontent and they're frustrated and they're doing this and doing that. They seem to be out of order in everything...it doesn't' take long. They're going to do something that's worthy of a spanking, and then you can just take them into that room, and set them at rest! Let them have a good day! Let them have a happy day! God meant for the children to be happy! Clear, bright, cheerful, content. Here's how you do it - (example of the rod).

      Now, I want to readily agree, there are other forms of discipline besides this rod. And we use them. I mentioned some here. Standing in the corner - we use that some at our house. Just as a gentle reproof and a warning, "Correct your ways here and you'll be alright. Don't - and you're going to find yourself with worse discipline." You can stand them in the corner. You can encourage them when they're doing right! You can encourage them to do right, when they're doing right. Sometimes we give rewards to the children if they've done a good task. Sometimes if it's a smaller child we will spank the hand. With a real little child you can break their will by spanking their hand, just one time. One or two swats on the hand, good and smartly, and that child will just break and cry - everything's taken care of.

      So there are other forms of discipline. But when you have a child, and you can see that that foolishness is bound up in there, and that old conscience needs to be clear, this is the only way that I know that you can do it. And it's not right to put it off. It's not right. It's unloving. You think about it. If all through your life, while your children are growing up, you hold back the rod; all you're saying silently is, "I don't love you, I don't love you, I don't love you, I don't love you, I don't love you." That is what the verse is saying. If you spare the rod you hate your child. You're hating them! But you think you love them. But you're hating them.

      The old saying goes, "Spare the rod and spoil the child". Do you know what that word "spoil" means? It means to make them rotten. Make them, ineffective. Make them so they're no use. Make them so they are like garbage and have no value. Spare the rod, go ahead; and spoil the child. That's what it means!

      All right, let's move on to Proverbs 23, just over the page a little. Proverbs 23:13-14: "Withhold not correction from the child." Isn't that interesting? God just keeps saying it again and again and again. He's convincing us. He's reaffirming His Word to us. "Withhold not correction from the child. For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die." Now that's an interesting verse! That God breathed out by His Spirit. "If thou beatest him with the rod, he won't die..." He may sound like he's going to die, the way he hollers! But he will not die, if you spank them good and smart, they won't die! But look at the next verse, "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Now that is a very sobering verse to me. What that tells me is this: You hold back too much on this rod; you spare this rod too much; you have your little emotional, natural love too much, and they'll go to hell over it. And that's no little thing. "Oh my poor little child, I could just never spank him." Yeah - well they'll probably go to hell too. It makes your natural, emotional love look pretty weak, doesn't it, in light of that?

      You say now, "How can that be? A child that is not spanked will go to hell?" Well, let me ask you this: What is man's part in salvation? Is it not the yielding of his will to the God of Heaven? That's man's part in salvation! That is the core of salvation on the part of a man, of a human being - a man or a woman! No yielding your heart to God, No salvation! No continual yielding your heart to God, No continual walking in the grace of salvation! And the use of the rod breaks the will and brings it into subjection. And a child who has had their will broken, and broken and broken, and broken; someday when God says, "My son, daughter, follow Me!" They'll say, "Yes Lord, I will follow you!" But a child who has not had their will broken, has a rebellious heart! And a rebellious will! And when God says, "My child follow me! Give me everything! Yield it all up to me!" They'll say, "I'm not going to do that. I'm going to do what I want to do..." And go to hell over it. And some of us in this room, we know, don't we? I mean, I know! I didn't get spanked very much when I was a child! Christianity goes hard for me sometimes because of it! I want to do what I want to do! Yet I have to deal with those things. Do your child a favor. Spank them. Break their will.

      Susanna Wesley said this: Susanna Wesley was the mother of John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist Church. Charles Wesley was a songwriter. We sing his songs all the time here. Susanna Wesley had I think 19 children. Thirteen or fourteen of them lived. She said this: "I set out at an early age to conquer the will of each child. Then I continue to bring it under subjection until it is totally yielded to Christ." What a beautiful picture! Isn't that a beautiful picture? I set out from an early age to totally conquer the will of my child. Once I have it conquered, I keep it conquered! And I keep it that way until I see that it has been totally yielded to Christ. Then you don't have to worry about it anymore!

      I would just like to encourage you to set out to totally conquer the will of your child. When Samuel was growing up, we don't have to say it anymore, but when he was a small boy, about 4 - 4 years old, we often said, "Samuel, until Samuel's will becomes Papa's will, you are going to be an unhappy boy." Set out to conquer the will of your children. You're supposed to be the boss. You're supposed to be an authority. They're supposed to be under authority. They're the ones that are supposed to obey. They're the ones that are supposed to sit up and listen. They are the ones!

      It grieves my heart so many times when you go to a grocery store and see a 3-year-old child ruling a father or a mother. Have you ever seen that? That happens sometimes among God's people too. What a sad thing that a 3 year old would rule a father or a mother. I've seen them pitch a fit, and the mother will go over and say, "What's the matter Johnny? What's the matter?" "I want a candy bar!" "Here Johnny, have your candy bar." Ohhhh. I mean, I am exactly opposite of that. If a child fusses for a candy bar, they'll never get one. If I see the child's will going after something, I'll go right against their will. I'll do it every time. Set out from an early age to conquer the will of the child.

      By age one, we begin clear training of the will at our house. We have lessons on "coming" at our house. We'll teach the child to "come". As soon as they can understand the word "come", as soon as those little legs can go across the floor, we start having lessons on "coming". The child is across the other side of the room - "Hannah, come to Papa!" She'll come a runnin', and then just give her a blessing, "Oh, what a good girl you are! Go on, go back to the other room!" And I'll tell her, "We're having lessons on coming. Go in the other room" and then she'll go in the other room. And she'll wait in there, and I'll call her again, "Hannah! Come to Papa!" And here she comes running in the other room. "Oh, good girl! Good girl!" Pick her up and give her a hug, and send her back in the other room 'til I clearly know that this girl knows what it means to "come" when Papa says, "come". Then I make it a little bit harder. And some people think I'm mean for this, but it doesn't matter to me. Then I'll wait 'til she's busy playing with her favorite toy, and I'll see, "Ah, she's got her favorite toy. I'll go in the other room on purpose." "Hannah! Come to Papa!" Where's Hannah? Why she's playing with her favorite toy. She don't want to come now, this toy's more exciting than running to papa. And then I go and get her. And I don't spank her right away. We make sure she knows exactly what is required of her. But I'll bring her in the other room and say, "Hannah, Papa called you and you didn't come! Why didn't you come? Even if you're playing with your toy, when Papa says "come" you come!" And I get that clear in her mind, and we wait another time. And finally, it happens, it always happens, the toys are there, she's so involved in them, she's enjoying them; I'll go in the other room. And I mean, I know what's going to happen, and I've already got the stick in my mind, and I already know what I'm going to do when she fails! "Hannah! Come to Papa!" "I'm not coming to Papa, I'm playing with my toys!" "Okay Hannah, let's go. You disobeyed Papa. I told you to come; you didn't come. Go to your room." By the way, we don't use this on her. We have a good hard ruler. Just a regular ruler that we use on Hannah.

      But we start training sessions. It's almost like dog training isn't it? I mean if you're going to train a dog, you do it on purpose, don't you? You know you do! You go out there and you say, "We're going to have a half an hour of training for this dog. Sit! Stand! Let's Go! Sit down! Fetch! Good Boy!" All that! You do that for about a half an hour and put him back in the cage again. Well that may seem a little crude to some of us here this evening, but that is the mentality that we ought to have about our children. Not that you take them out of the cage...but that you take special care and plan out how we're going to train this child. Oh, I just get delighted! I look over at the child, and maybe they found a food that they don't like and I just think, "Well, here we go! Now it's time to learn our lesson that we all learn about eating our food all gone." See, I'm not mad at them. I'm not mad at them! I'm waiting for them so that I can take an opportunity to train that will! So that someday God will get it! I'm after their will! Not just spanking them for punishment, I'm after their will! So they can give it to God someday! And I do it on purpose.

      With a littler one, lessons on laying your head down, when it's time to go to sleep at night. Lay them down in that crib, and work with them. "Lay your headdie down." And push their head down. "Lay your headdie down." Push their head down. So that they learn those words, what they mean, what is expected of them, and then finally, and it's Esther now, not Hannah. Hannah lays her headdie down. But Esther, Esther's 8 months old. "Esther, lay your headdie down." You know, and they'll look up at you like that...put their head down. And finally if they don't lay their head down, you give them a good swat on the back of the leg, with two fingers, just like this (example shown). "You lay your headdie down." And then they'll start crying, and down will go the head. And they learn!

      You see it's easy, if you do it while they're 1,2,3,4 - it's simple! They're simple little lessons. Why wait until they're ten years old and then the lessons are hard and you don't know what to do, and it gets more difficult. It's so easy to teach them great big giant lessons on obedience, while they're learning to eat their green beans. Or while they're learning to come to Papa. Or while they're learning to share their toys. Or while they're learning not to hit when somebody goes against their grain. It's so easy. And you don't just teach them not to hit, you train their will and bring it under subjection!

      Esther, she just started crawling about, oh just after I got back from Africa, maybe it's two months now, or maybe not quite two months, she's learned how to crawl, and at our house, we don't put everything away when the child learns how to crawl. That's when we start teaching them what "no-no" means. "No-no" (slaps of a hand a few times), "no-no". And I don't start with a real hard hit on the hand. But just training that mind, "no-no" and pull her hand away. "No-no, and pull her hand away; no-no, and pull her hand away. I mean she's learning it! I see her doing it. She'll go over, she likes all the books on the shelf in the family room where we have devotion, and she'll go crawling over there you know, and she's got her eyes on those books and she'll reach up like this and go like this (looking behind her). She knows! She knows she's not supposed to put her hand on that book! Once you get them to that place where they know they're not supposed to put their hand on that book, then when they put their hand on the book (slaps of the hand and rebuked) "No-no, Esther, no-no!" And she'll cry, big old crocodile tears and she'll just shake and shudder and she'll learn a lesson! She won't forget it either!

      Another lesson on obedience, that I've done with the last two I think, maybe three. I can't remember with Samuel, but with the last two, when I'm working, I wear bib overalls. And bib overalls, they have a place right here where the pen fits, of course, they have a pocket here and I put my checkbook in it. And the pen is okay, but the checkbook is a no-no. And honestly, it's such a simple little thing, but it works! And I trained Hannah. She knows she can play with the pen, but she can't play with the checkbook. And the way the whole thing started was, you know how the babies are, everything they get in their hands, what do they do with it? Well they have to see what it's like, and they put it in their mouth! And I just decided, "She's not going to take my checkbook and stick it in her mouth, and I'm not going to put my checkbook in my back pocket; she will learn that this she can play with, and it goes right into the mouth, but this checkbook you cannot touch it." And to this day, Hannah's almost three, if I sit her on my lap and I've got my bib overalls on, and the pen is here, and the checkbook is here, she'll say, "That's a no-no Papa, I'm not supposed to touch that." She knows! And Esther is learning the same thing right now. I'll sit her down, and she'll reach for both, or maybe she'll reach for the checkbook. And I'll push her hand away, "No-no, no-no!" And I'll take the pen out and say, "Here you can play with this!" And she puts it right in her mouth like usual, and I've got to wipe it off when she gets done. But, she is leaning! "This you can do, this you can't do!" See how simple that is!

      We're talking about bringing the will of the child into subjection. See? Oh, would to God, we would just get a vision of becoming students of training our children! That's all! You know there are hundreds and hundreds of illustrations like this and you can think of your own! If we just become students of training our children! We'd do them such favors. We'd just give them a head start on life by ten years. If we start when they're young and we just start working through these kinds of things with them.

      Turn to Proverbs 29, and we're going to close here. I have some more, but I'm going to save it for another night. We'll look at these verses in closing. Motivational verses for us.

      Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom." Can we see that? Can we see after we've looked at all these verses and we've looked at the illustration that the rod and reproof really do give wisdom! "But a child left to himself, bringeth his mother to shame." That ought to be a motivational verse for us. And look at this. While I was studying this afternoon, I saw some verses in a new way. Let's just read the context here. The next verse, "When the wicked are multiplied..." That's the children that are left to themselves, "transgression increases. But the righteous shall see their fall." Now look at the next verse: "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest! Yeah, he shall give delight unto thy soul." Now look at the next verse: "Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keepeth the law, happy is he." "But he that keepeth the law, happy is he!" "Where there is no vision, the people perish." And that word perish, I have written down here in my Bible, they're wild and scattered. Can you see the context there? God is pleading with us here! Chasten your children! The rod of correction and reproof will give wisdom to your children! It'll give righteousness to your children! Your children will be righteous! The nation will be righteous! The people will be righteous! If you'll chasten your children, they'll be filled with wisdom, they'll be obedient, they'll be righteous, and they'll go the right way! But if you leave them to themselves, they'll bring you to shame, and wickedness will reign in the country. So chasten your children! And it will give you rest!

      I've been in some homes, that were absolutely the opposite of rest. Listen, children are the greatest joy! One of the greatest joys this side of heaven, but some people are so frustrated with children, they don't want anymore than one or two. And the way they raise them and the way they behave, I don't blame them for not wanting anymore! But if we'll just do what God says, they are the greatest blessing to have around! They're such a joy! You fathers, if you'll do your job, you'll be a king at your house! And every father ought to be a king in his own house. I mean honored! I mean revered, respected! Your children will rise up and kiss the hand that you spanked them with, if you'll just follow these clear, biblical laws. If you'll just follow them, God will bless you, and you'll have rest in your home! And they'll bring delight to your soul. And they do! And they will! Can we get a vision of it tonight? Here's the prayer that I wish that you'd pray to God. That you'd just pray, "God, make me a student of training children." That's all. If you have that desire, everything else will take care of itself. Because God is a teacher to those that are willing to be a student. He is a teacher. I have not sat down with anybody and said, "Teach me how to train children. I've not done it. I've simply said, "God, I don't know how to train children. Would you teach me how to do it?" Let's kneel for prayer.

      "Our heavenly Father, we come to you in Jesus' name. God, we come with thanksgiving tonight. Oh Lord, my heart is full. It's so simple, it's so clear; it's so at our fingertips Lord. Oh God, I just pray tonight Lord, will you not give these parents a vision Father? Will you not put a hunger in their hearts that will make them rise up and learn how to raise their children? Oh Father, there's such a dearth in the land. There's so much wickedness everywhere. Oh God, I pray, let us be known as a people who train their children, Oh father. God I pray you'll take away the exclusiveness of a Godly home and give us about 5 dozen of them Lord. Take away the exclusiveness of a testimony of a Godly home and give us 5 dozen of them Lord. God I know it's possible, I see it, it's so clear to me as I look at all of these verses again and again, and as I pour my heart out to these people Lord, it's so clear and it's so simple! And it's so at our fingertips Lord, I just pray, do a work in each one of our hearts father. Make us students God. I pray your blessing upon each one of these families here tonight. God, I pray, let not your word fall to the ground, but let it do that which is purposed for. And I pray father, you'll bring us all back here tomorrow evening, for more instruction. God I ask these things in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen

Back to Denny Kenaston index.

See Also:
   The Godly Home 1. A Godly Heritage
   The Godly Home 2. Bible Pictures of a Godly Home
   The Godly Home 3. The Rod of Discipline
   The Godly Home 7. Where are the Men?
   The Godly Home 11. Spiritual Leader Will Have a Radiant Wife

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