I will NEVER punish my child!

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 by Anthony in

Most Saturdays I allow my mother to pick up my 2 year old daughter so they can spend a few quality hours together. Somehow, those few hours end up being ALL DAY the majority of the time, but that's a story for another time. Let's talk about the incident that occurred between them this past weekend. About twenty minutes after my mother picked her up she called me and I could sense something different in her voice. She proceeded to ask me, "How do y'all discipline Quinn, since you don't whip/spank her?" I chuckled and asked, "What did she do?" My mother replied, "She keeps telling me NO and STOP!" I continued to chuckle and simply told her, "You better not HIT my child!"

The truth is her question caught me off guard because I haven't had to give much thought to it at this point. My prayer, since I found out that Quinn was on the way, has always been that God would parent her through me and that I would simply be a conduit of His love towards her. When she "acts up" I usually just give her "the look" to let her know I'm displeased. She'll usually realize she's wrong and start calling my name repeatedly, and I'll just ignore her until she can't take it anymore. She then comes over and kisses my leg or something, and lays her head on my lap. This scenario has played out many times but it's not something I theorized over, or even realized was a spiritual principle until today during my prayer and meditation time. 

I simply asked God for a word for TODAY and then I opened the bible app on my iphone and it was already displaying Hosea 5:15 which says, I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 

At first glance that passage meant absolutely NOTHING to me and I was prepared to dismiss it as a random coincidence and keep looking for something that sounds more exciting. But somehow the Holy Spirit was able to get me to connect the dots and hear what He is saying to me today! The way I discipline Quinn is the same way God disciplines me!

Since I mess up ALOT, when things go wrong in my life, I wrestle with whether or not God is punishing me for my sins. I know there are many out there who are wondering that very same thing at this very moment. However, a LOVING parent has no interest in PUNISHING their child for something they did wrong. Their focus is on DISCIPLINE so that their child will do better. In other words, punishment focuses on the the past and what was done; discipline focuses on correcting my future behavior and points me to what I should be doing!

When Quinn told my mother "NO" and "STOP" she committed the very sin that we ALL commit against God. I don't believe He categorizes and rates our sins. Whether it is whoring, lying, stealing, or hating, I think all God hears is "NO" and "STOP"... When our actions disagree with what God says is right, we are very disrespectfully yelling "NO" in His face. When we choose a direction contrary to the place His Spirit is leading us, we scream "STOP" to His plan for our lives! A toddler has no right to yell those things to an adult just as the creation has no right to scream them at the Creator!

Thankfully, God poured out all of His wrath and punishment on Christ so that all we receive now is discipline. The bible says He corrects, not punishes, those whom He loves! His method is simple. If you look back at the passage in Hosea, He says, If you keep saying NO and STOP to me...
  • I will go [and] return to my place: I don't "leave you" but I do leave you to experience the consequences of your choices. You know where to find me because I return to MY place. This is like when I give Quinn "the look", go sit on the couch, and wait for her to stop her bad behavior and come over to me...
  • ...till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: That's pretty self explanatory. At some point we must see and acknowledge the error of our ways. The negative results of my offence (saying no and stop to God) will lead me to seek His face. It's at this point when Quinn can't stand the loneliness of my lack of interaction with her and begins to call my name repeatedly.
  • in their affliction they will seek me early: Only a fool keeps doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. God may not punish us, but our decisions sure will. Remember DISCIPLINE focuses on behavior modification and leading us to do what we should have been doing all along, seeking God EARLY! Quinn is starting to look for my approval before she touches certain things or does certain things. My previous reactions have caused her to move more slowly before she acts. Sometimes we say NO and STOP to Him inadvertently. Our lack of prayer and fellowship leaves us ignorant to what His desire is and we end up offending Him before we know it. Seeking Him EARLY, before we make decisions is the behavior He's trying to instill within us. 
Today, I ANTicipate a more peaceful existence as I develop a lifestyle that seeks God EARLY. I'm tired of making bad decisions, suffering the consequences, and THEN seeking God for relief. I'm grateful for Him withholding punishment and developing discipline within me instead. 


  1. D.Mack says:

    And the WORD LIVES... Great insight Anthony!

  1. Alana R. says:

    Great insight! I love how you break things down! Your blogs are ALWAYS very encouraging! Keep encouraging and inspiring others through your life lesson and the word of GOD...

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Very well put. You also made me think about how I correct my son, age 3, but completing the correct in such a way that is pleasing in the sight of God. I am thankful that God has allowed you to be a vessel for others. You have a gift Anthony, God is going to use you in more ways than you think, feel and can see. Be blessed in the name of God.

  1. I had a chance to read the entire article, I will NEVER punish my child! First I must assume that you are a young parent under 40? 50? My question to the author is, what happens after "the look?" How do you backup or enforce "the look" if the child continues to violate the rules? You quoted a lot of things in your article as to what God said. But wasn't it also God who also said,"Spare the rod and spoil the child?" I am just asking because there are a lot of parents who spared the rod and and said, "I will NEVER punish my child". Instead they put their child in "time out". Now most of those children are "doing timeout" are either in prison, or six feet under."