On Discipline

I've been slowly reading My Life for Yours: A Walk Through the Christian Home, by Douglas Wilson. A couple things in the chapter on discipline are noteworthy.

First, Wilson lists the basic principles of fair discipline, or as he says, of "biblical jurisprudence." They are:
1. "Two or three witnesses give us the requirement of independent confirmation. (2 Cor. 13:1)"
2. "If a child tattles to get a brother or sister in trouble, and the report turns out to be false, you shall do to him as he thought to do to his sibling. (Deut. 19:19)"
3. "Parents must take trouble to sort out conflicting stories, (Deut 19:18) however great the temptation to spank them all and let God sort it out (Prov. 18:13)."
4. "A full opportunity must always be given for the defense even if the defense promises to be pretty thin. (Prove 18:17)"
5. "And discipline, when meted out, should be sharp, painful and over. (Heb. 12:11)"
Also, on spanking:
"The liturgy of spanking often teaches as much as the spanking itself does. A child when grown will no doubt have forgotten all the various offenses he "caught it" for. But he will remember, and fairly clearly, how the process usually went. Even if he doesn't remember that process consciously, all he needs to do is wait until he begins disciplining his own children, and it will all come flooding back. Here is a suggested liturgy: First, the child has the offense explained to him. It's very important that this be calm and judicial and not done in anger. Then, the spanking is administered, with the swats varying according to the offense. Next, the child is held until he stops crying, the child is assured that everything is completely forgiven, and the world is a new place. Finally, parent and child pray together, thanking God for the forgiveness."

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