25 Bible Verses About Spanking (With Commentary)

Spanking and discipline are controversial topics. Today we’ll look at what the Bible says about disciplining children, examining verses that discuss punishment, guidance, and the balance between discipline and love.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Materialism

Bible Verses About Spanking

Proverbs 13:24

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of discipline in parenting. It suggests that parents who choose not to discipline their children are actually acting out of hatred, while those who lovingly discipline their children are showing care and concern for their well-being.

Proverbs 22:15

“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”

This verse acknowledges the inherent foolishness that can be found in the heart of a child. It advocates for the use of discipline, symbolized by the rod, to help remove this folly and guide the child towards wisdom and righteousness.

Proverbs 23:13

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.”

This verse urges parents not to withhold discipline from their children, specifically referring to the use of the rod as a physical form of punishment. It assures parents that such discipline, when carried out in a controlled and loving manner, will not cause harm or death to the child.

Proverbs 29:15

“A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.”

This verse highlights the dual role of discipline in imparting wisdom to a child. The use of both physical correction (the rod) and verbal rebuke (the reprimand) is seen as essential in fostering a child’s understanding and personal growth. Failure to discipline a child is seen as bringing shame upon their mother.

Ephesians 6:4

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

This verse addresses fathers directly, advising them against provoking their children to anger or frustration. Instead, fathers are called to raise their children in the ways of the Lord, nurturing them through training and instruction that is centered on God’s teachings and principles.

Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

Similar to Ephesians 6:4, this verse admonishes fathers against behaving in a way that would cause their children to become bitter or disheartened. Fathers are encouraged to foster an environment of encouragement and love, nurturing their children’s emotional well-being.

Hebrews 12:7

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”

This verse draws a parallel between the hardships we face as God’s children and the discipline we receive from our heavenly Father. Just as earthly parents discipline their children, God disciplines us out of love and for our own growth and development.

Hebrews 12:11

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

This verse acknowledges that discipline is not enjoyable in the moment, as it often involves correction and discomfort. However, it also assures us that discipline, when embraced and learned from, yields positive results in our character, guiding us towards righteousness and inner peace.

Proverbs 3:11-12

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

In this passage, we are encouraged not to reject or resent the discipline and correction that comes from the Lord. Instead, we are reminded that God disciplines us because He loves us and delights in us, much like a father loves and delights in his child.

Proverbs 29:17

“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.”

This verse highlights the positive outcomes that can result from disciplined parenting. By instilling discipline and guidance in their children’s lives, parents can experience peace and enjoy the fulfillment that comes from seeing their children grow into honorable and virtuous individuals.

Deuteronomy 8:5

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.”

This verse draws a comparison between earthly discipline and God’s discipline. Just as a human father disciplines his son, God disciplines His children out of love and for their ultimate benefit. It serves as a reminder that God’s discipline is an expression of His fatherly love for us.

Psalm 94:12

“Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law.”

This verse recognizes the blessings that come from receiving God’s discipline. When we are open to being corrected and guided by God’s law and teachings, we are positioned to grow and mature spiritually, bringing forth the fruits of wisdom and righteousness in our lives.

Psalm 119:67

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.”

In this verse, the psalmist acknowledges that it was through affliction and discipline that they were able to course-correct and return to obedience. It demonstrates the transformative power of discipline in redirecting our paths and drawing us closer to God.

Psalm 119:71

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

Similar to the previous verse, here the psalmist recognizes the goodness that can come from experiencing affliction and discipline. It is through these challenging circumstances that we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s decrees and teachings.

Proverbs 15:10

“Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.”

This verse highlights the consequences of rejecting correction and discipline. For those who stray from the right path and resist correction, stern discipline awaits them. It emphasizes the importance of being open to correction and taking heed of the discipline that is meant to guide us back to righteousness.

Proverbs 15:32

“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.”

This verse emphasizes the relationship between discipline and self-respect. By disregarding discipline, we are ultimately despising ourselves. However, when we humble ourselves and heed correction, we are able to gain greater understanding and wisdom.

Proverbs 19:18

“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.”

This verse underscores the significance of disciplining children. It suggests that disciplined parenting provides hope and guidance for children to grow and mature in the right way. Neglecting discipline, on the other hand, can have disastrous consequences for their well-being.

Proverbs 29:15

“A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.”

This verse highlights the dual role of discipline in imparting wisdom to a child. The use of both physical correction (the rod) and verbal rebuke (the reprimand) is seen as essential in fostering a child’s understanding and personal growth. Failure to discipline a child is seen as bringing shame upon their mother.

Proverbs 19:20

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.”

This verse encourages us to be open to receiving advice and accepting discipline in order to grow in wisdom. By humbly acknowledging our need for guidance and correction, we position ourselves to become counted among the wise.

Proverbs 27:6

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Though not directly referring to parental discipline, this verse highlights the value of correction and rebuke from those who care about us. Just as wounds from a friend can be trusted because they come from a place of genuine concern, so too can a parent’s discipline and correction be trusted as an expression of love and care.

1 Corinthians 11:32

“Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”

This verse reminds us that God’s discipline is meant to protect us from ultimate condemnation and separation from Him. When we face judgment and discipline from the Lord, it serves to correct our ways and steer us towards repentance and salvation.

Revelation 3:19

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

In this verse, Jesus Himself reassures us that His rebuke and discipline are rooted in love. Recognizing this, we are encouraged to respond with sincerity and repentance, humbly acknowledging our need for correction and guidance in our lives.

Hebrews 12:10

“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”

This verse draws a comparison between the discipline we received from earthly parents and the discipline we receive from God. While human parents discipline us based on their limited understanding, God’s discipline is always for our ultimate good and for the purpose of conforming us to His holy nature.

Hebrews 12:9

“Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!”

This verse highlights the natural tendency for us to respect and submit to our earthly fathers when they discipline us. In light of this, the writer of Hebrews urges us to wholeheartedly submit to our heavenly Father, recognizing His authority over us and the life-giving benefits that come from this submission.

What Does the Bible Say About Spanking?

The Bible does mention discipline and correction, but it does not specifically mention spanking. The book of Proverbs emphasizes the importance of discipline and correction for children, stating that “whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24, NIV). This verse has been interpreted by some to support the use of physical discipline such as spanking.

However, it’s important to note that the Bible also teaches that parents should not provoke their children to anger (Ephesians 6:4) and that love should be the motivation behind any form of discipline. Additionally, Jesus emphasized the importance of treating children with kindness and care, stating, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV).

We also see in the Bible that God’s discipline of his children is motivated by love and is ultimately for their good (Hebrews 12:6-11). As such, any form of discipline, including spanking, should be done in a loving and responsible manner, always seeking the well-being of the child.

In light of these biblical principles, it’s important for us to carefully consider how we approach discipline, taking into account the individual needs and temperament of each child. It’s also crucial to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and wisdom from God’s Word as we navigate the challenges of raising and disciplining children.