Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Would Jesus Spank?

Since Jesus had no biological children, we seldom think of him as a model for parenting. But he did effectively mentor twelve young followers with the kind of assertive toughness and tenderness we could all learn from, and shows a great deal of concern for the wellbeing of the young, as follows:

1) Jesus gives high priority to children and condemns in the strongest possible terms anyone causing harm to an innocent child.

2) Jesus affirms the teachableness, defenselessness and dependency of children as models adults need to emulate. 

3) Jesus teaches by example, explains things by using simple illustrations, meets his followers' needs, shows them honor and respect, prays for them, answers their questions, engages them in ongoing conversations and is assertive in confronting them as needed.

4) Jesus corrects by word and by reproof, not with any form of physical force. He nowhere advocates the use of a rod or any form of physical beating for anyone of any age.

5) Jesus’s teaching about dealing with someone who commits a wrong (Matthew 18:15-17) can serve as a model for correcting behavior at all ages:

     a) Appeal to the offending person respectfully and in private.
     b) Address the issue (the fault) rather than attack or put down the person.
     c) Appeal for change rather than simply administer punishment.
     d) Take another with you if necessary to appeal for a change of heart and behavior.
     e) As the ultimate sanction, remove the offender from fellowship with the rest of the family or faith community (a form of time out!) until the misbehavior is acknowledged and corrected.

So how do you think Jesus would parent?
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