Spare the rod?

So there I was online looking for some inspiration to get myself back into the Pope’s good books when I came across a website called There I discovered a cute little quiz on parenting from a biblical perspective.

The quiz consists of 25 true or false questions and the answers are backed up by a quote from the Bible. I got to 11 before I packed it in having gotten several wrong such as: Disciplining Children Shows That You Love Them – true or false? I said false. Wrong! Because Proverbs 13:24 says – ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.’ 

Next came ‘Children Are Inherently Good, true or false.’ I said true. Wrong! Because Proverbs 22:15 says – ‘Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.’

Basically their reasoning here is that all kids are little shites and you have to bliksem them to keep them in line. And by beating them you are demonstrating how much you love them. Yup, I was about ready to pinch myself at this point. But I continued bravely, the Pope still refuses to answer my calls. So I was desperate to continue.

Next came All Children Bring Joy To Their Parents – true or false. I said true. Wrong! Because, Proverbs 23:24-25 says – ‘The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.’ I am beginning to think that the dude who wrote Proverbs had some serious issues.

Well, I lost interest in the quiz at this point. The scary thing is that there are probably millions of parents who take the Bible literally on these and many other issues. But hey, what do I know?

I’ll tell you what I know, I probably have more experience at parenting than whoever wrote Proverbs back in the year dot.

Isn’t it time for an overhaul of the good book, something more practical and relevant to our times?

What role should the Bible and other religious texts have in parenting?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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