I had a first grade teacher who used a ruler to tap or slap the hands of any kid who misbehaved or wasn’t performing. Afraid of being beaten by my teacher, I tried to be as invisible as possible. I came from a family who did not use a rod to punish us kids—except for severe misbehavior, and I only remember one incident when I deserved the razor strap on my behind.
As of 2008 more than 24 countries has banned corporal punishment (“punishment of a physical nature such as caning. Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus volume 1) There are debates now as to whether corporal punishment should be allowed again in the schools. From witnessing children being hit by a ruler, I say, “No,” as I do not believe the whole classroom should live in fear that they will receive punishment for something as minor as whispering to a kid next to you. Nor do I believe physical punishment works in the home or classroom.
King David dialogued with God about being punished for his sins. “Don’t be so hasty with your punishing rod.” (vs. 1) He had repented his sins and tried to live a life pleasing to God. Yet, he knew he constantly lived on the edge of sinning again because all humans do.
Lord, we thank you for sparing the rod and offering us grace and forgiveness. Amen.