Our days have been fairly uneventful, but I’ve had to deal with a lot of flesh lately. There is a spirit that has been slowly creeping up in this house, one of disrespect. Also, somewhere in our day-to-day interaction, we’ve forgotten that whole concept of “kind words are like honey”. I have prayed over it, we’ve spoken scriptures over it, and I’ve talked until I’m blue in the face (which, for a Black woman, isn’t easy!). I talked to my husband about what was happening, and I talked to God about it, realizing that I was a part of the problem. I had threatened to spank for a long enough time until my kids didn’t take me seriously, and even my toddler had begun to mock me (“I’m going to get my ruler!”, she would say). I repented in part for the laziness that wouldn’t allow me to stop what I was doing long enough to discipline correctly, and allowed the Holy Spirit to remind me that sparing the rod is spoiling the child. My father-in-law sums it up nicely: you make a child cry now or he’ll make you cry later. So today I had to move to a level of discipline that the kids hadn’t seen in a long time.
I have determined in my mind not to spank the kids the way I got spanked. I grew up in the get-your-own-switch era where we actually had to choose the rod of correction, so to speak. My mom’s idea of a spanking would have probably landed one or both of us in CPS-type counseling in this day and age, but it was effective; she didn’t have to apply that rod more than once over the same issue. Also, she was one of ten children, so I can only imagine that she applied the same intensity of discipline that she saw growing up. As for me, I believe in spanking, but I also believe that other forms of discipline can be equally effective, and I try to reserve spanking for the more severe offenses. This time, my own procrastination in doing what I needed to do was the offense.
Kudos to the kids—they took their punishment much better than I did at their age, and they were back to their normal selves. I would pout and sulk for hours! I reflected on another memory of my mom this evening, and she was again correct: it did hurt me more than it hurt them.