Guest Post: Kinderen Van Mijn Hart (Children Of My Heart) By Hannah Klassen

They twist the words, thus, making us out to be fools.  They are very good at their verbal gymnastics. I fall to the floor; the grief within my heart weighs down on me like a boulder. Tears flow down my cheeks, like a river.  I weep for thousand years.

Oh, *Kinderen van mijn hart, they hurt you, and they confuse your minds, they make you believe that you deserved it, that it was love that drove them to do it. Oh my dear little ones, so young, so trusting, and they twist that and warp that.

Oh beloved Papa, the darkness consumes and devours, distorts and destroys. How dare they use Your name!  How dare they say it’s Your will and Your command!  For what they do is of great darkness. To wound a child like that.  It is not just the body they harm, but also the heart, soul, spirit and mind. They say that they do it out love, but what kind of love would force a child into a helpless position and strike them, inflicting pain and fear?

While within their hearts, they have great love for their children, but what drives them to slap the buttocks is not love, but fear.  It is fear that drives their hand.  Fear of what will happen if they don’t.  Fear of what others will think if they don’t. Fear of what God will do to them if they don’t.

Oh, what a twisted web of deception, those who sit on their thrones and tell us what to do, that their way is the right way.  Why have we made them our “gods,” and obey them without question?  They are mere humans, like us.  So why do we take their words as if they are holy?  Just because their kids appear to be wonderful, productive, and responsible citizens. We know that things aren’t always what they appear.  How many times have horrible crimes become known and we cry out in shock, because we really bought the act that person was playing.  We say, “how could they have done that?”  They were such a good person and we list off all the things that we believe makes someone a good person.
Are spankings from God?  Does spanking cause a child to fear?  Is there fear in love or does love cast out fear?  Does it cause a child, when they have done something wrong to lie, hide and escape a spanking? Does spanking soften a child’s heart or does it harden it, thus, they have less compassion for their sibling who gets spanked too?  Does it produce life, light, and love?  Does it produce peace, gentleness, kindness and compassion for others?  What is the fruit of spanking?

As I explained, and article explains, spanking isn’t violence! You obviously have no clue! My mother was spanked, her mother was spanked, I was spanked, I never felt threatened, I never felt unloved, I never felt abused, neither did my mom, or hers! And their generations where better behaved,more Morgan’s, respect and values, today people are raising spoiled rotten brats who feel privileged and manipulate and get bribed! That turns out thugs and brats! Spanking is not hitting, a big difference! Hitting is in anger, uncontrolled and teaches nothing.”


“It’s kids today who are more violent and harsh and less sympathetic! Back when I was a kid, kids where kind and we all got along, a bully was humiliated and kids stood up for bullied. The generations before where respectful and kind and had more values. Kids today are rude and brash,curse and ignore authority and rules!”


“And I work with kids! Even in early nineties/ late eighties they where better behaved! Today you can get cussed out and assaulted by a three year old! Oh….and mommy doesn’t spank so kid will never empathize because he doesn’t know what it feels like!”

When I read these words, my heart becomes broken.  If this person is the posterchild for a properly spanked kid, then we all should weep until there are no more tears to shed. When Jesus was here on earth and was with people, who was the people He hung out with?  The very people this person is calling names.

Our Papa does not see any of His children in this light.  Yes, He sees all of our brokenness and wrongdoing. But, that doesn’t cause Him to despise us, rather, it moves His heart with compassion. Tears fall from His eyes, for He feels our pain and empathizes with our struggles. When we’ve really screwed up and feel like a piece of (expletive deleted), what does Papa do?  He embraces us, holds us in His arms, and tells us over and over again that He will love us forever and ever and there is nothing we can do that will ever change that. He pours His love upon us, with eyes so soft and caring, with a face of such affection, this is our God, this is our Papa.

*Kinderen van mijn hart (children of my heart).

image

Advertisements

Spanking ALWAYS Leaves “Marks,” Therefore It IS Abuse AND Spanking IS Hitting!

I’ve dealt with a great deal of pro-spankers and EVERY time they emphatically insist that spanking is not hitting, and that, if done “correctly,” it is not abuse.

There are so many holes in these two arguments!  First, spanking IS hitting!  Let’s look at the definitions of “spank” and “hit”:

Spank:

1. Verb: “to strike (a person, usually a child) with the open hand, a slipper, etc., especially on the buttocks, as in punishment.”
2. Noun: “a blow given in spanking; a smart or resounding slap”
(www.dictionary.com).

Hit:

1. Verb: “to deal a blow or stroke to.”
2. Verb: “to come into violent contact with”
(www.dictionary.com).

Abuse:
Abuse is defined as any thing that is harmful, injurious, or offensive. Abuse also includes excessive and wrongful misuse of anything” (Gulli & Nasser, 2002, http://www.ask.com/health/galecontent/abuse).

As we can clearly see, these three definitions are pretty similar. Because spanking and hitting is always intended to inflict pain on a child, it is covered under the definition of abuse. Pain means harm is being done to the body. The body uses pain to alert us that injury is either taking place or is about to take place.

There are many euphemisms used when speaking about corporal punishment, such as spank, whack, beat, whip, tap, smack, swat, paddle, physical discipline, correction, and slap. The need for euphemisms indicates a certain amount of denial within our society regarding the harm of inflicting physical pain on smaller human beings.

Hitting is never used to describe corporal punishment among those that support and practice it. The reality is that no matter how we try to make it sound nicer, we cannot spank without hitting the child with either an open hand or an object. It physically is the exact same action.

image
A note: This quote is actually from Phil Quinn. I cited him in my book.

Second, every spank/hit causes physical and emotional pain even if it’s done “lovingly.”  Love does not mitigate the emotional, psychological, or spiritual harm of physical punishment.  In fact, it makes it worse!

Many people believe that if a mother spanks her child, but is generally warm and affectionate toward her child, the spanking will not be harmful. The fact is, science does not support this cultural belief. We have known for some time that spanking is strongly linked to increased aggression in young children. Recent research in a study of over 3,000 children now shows that the warmth of the mother does not prevent the negative effects of spanking. This means children who are spanked are at much greater risk for being more aggressive – period. A mother’s warmth does not decrease the risk. Wow! How can that be?


It is important to understand what causes the increase in aggression. One obvious reason is, violence is being modeled and children are incredible mimics. Even more importantly, spanking interferes with proper development of the brain’s regulatory equipment, which develops in the first five years of life”
(Peters, 2013, http://stopspanking.org/2013/06/25/maternal-warmth-doesnt-make-spanking-less-harmful/).

The fact is, being hurt by the people who are supposed to protect and love you is extremely traumatizing.  Therefore, even if it’s done “correctly,” (I’ll never understand how one can “correctly” inflict pain on a child!) it still harms children emotionally.  This fits the definition of abuse.

Also, I read a disturbing blog from a Christian pro-spanker about how she spanks/hits her infants and toddlers with paint brush sticks and will use a belt to spank/hit them when they’re older. She had her husband spank/hit her with a belt to see how it felt and said it wasn’t that painful. Many Christian pro-spanking advocates recommend parents “flick” themselves before spanking/hitting their children to make sure they don’t hit too hard. Yet, they say that the spanking must be painful in order to be “effective.”

I want to remind everyone that children’s bodies are usually much more sensitive and vulnerable than ours. What may not hurt YOU, will HURT the child. Not to mention the emotional and spiritual pain being inflicted on them by those who are suppose to love and protect them. Plus, we all have different tolerances for pain. What would hurt my husband a little would hurt me A LOT! Don’t use your pain tolerance to justify spanking/hitting your children.

Also, this news story shows children can be killed through being physically punished.  Here are more horrific stories of children dying from being “lovingly” and calmly spanked/hit.  What if the child has a high tolerance for pain?  What if their wills don’t break?  That’s when we see these deaths.  Repeat spankings cause tissue to break down which can eventually enter the bloodstream and kill the child.

One last thing to consider is children with dark skin have to endure much more pain before bruises, welts, and abrasions are visible.  This is not fair!

Yes, all spanking is hitting!  And spanking is abuse!  Period!  If we can’t spank/hit adults or animals, why should we be able to spank/hit children?  They are humans too!

Instead of spanking/hitting children, please use true discipline.  That IS Biblical!  Spanking/hitting is NOT Biblical whatsoever!

image

References:

Gulli & Nasser. (2002).  Abuse.  http://www.ask.com/health/galecontent/abuse.

Greven, P. (1992). Spare the Child. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Peters, R. (2013). Maternal Warmth Doesn’t Make Spanking Less Harmful.  http://stopspanking.org/2013/06/25/maternal-warmth-doesnt-make-spanking-less-harmful/.

Sacrifice And Love For Others–Especially Our Children

Romans 15:1-7:

“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”

I think this Scripture is key in how we should interact with others, especially our children. It seems that many Christians are not willing to self-sacrifice for the betterment of others. If it’s not convenient for us, then we won’t sacrifice for others.

Guess what!  Being crucified on a cross was not convenient to Jesus, but because He loved us so much, He died a horrific death for us–His beloved children!

I think it’s beyond sad that many popular, mainstream “Christian child-rearing experts” actually discourage parents from self-sacrificing for their children. Instead of rearranging their lives to include children, these “experts” teach parents to force a new human being to fit within the parents’ lives so the child knows that he/she is not too important.

How is that obeying what God clearly lays out in the above Scripture?  Children are indeed weaker than us. They need constant care and guidance from us which should involve major self-sacrifice from us.

Leaving infants to cry-it-out so that we can get a good night’s sleep is not self-sacrificing nor is it accepting infants for who they are.

Staying up with them and engaging in nighttime parenting despite being absolutely exhausted is self-sacrificing and accepting them.

Spanking/hitting, using time-out, shaming, arbitrarily taking things away, yelling, and other harsh punishment with our children is not self-sacrificing or accepting children.

Doing the hard work of disciplining (teaching, guiding, correcting) using positive, respectful, and gentle techniques such as modeling, child-proofing, validating feelings, fulfilling the child’s physical and emotional needs, setting realistic limits and boundaries, helping children comply, giving choices, and using natural and logical consequences with children is self-sacrificing and accepting of our children.

Most Christian claim that if they don’t spank/hit and “teach” their children that the world does not revolve around them that their children will turn into self-entitled brats.  Let me tell you this: Children learn by our actions. Some of the most self-entitled people I know grew up in punitive households where they were constantly “put in their places.”  Their parents were so focused on forcing their children into self-sacrifice that the children never truly learned how to sacrifice for the sake of others.

True love means being willing to sacrifice, accept, give grace and mercy for another no matter how inconvenient it is to us. We must model this to our children.

Biblical love does not involve inflicting pain on children as many Christians still believe due to errant interpretation of this verse:

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently” (Proverbs 13:24, NASB).

In order to understand this, we need to understand that the Biblical Rod was a big, heavy stick with spikes on it. Shepherds never hit their own sheep with the rod. Rather, they used it to protect their sheep from predators. We need to do the same with our children. We need to sacrifice ourselves in order to protect our children from the enemy, satan, who comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).

Biblical love is clearly defined as:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cornithians 13:4-7, ESV).

May we use self-sacrifice to truly love our children and everyone!

image

Knowledge Does NOT Equal Understanding

I watched this video called, “The Backwards Brain Bicycle.” In this video, a guy has to re-learn how to ride a bike that was built exactly opposite of how typical bikes are built. He was totally taken aback by how difficult and how long it took him to learn how to ride this bike. He had been riding bikes for over 20 years. Finally, he gets the hang of the bike, but then, when getting back on a normal bike, he finds that it takes him a bit to be able to ride it again.

Interestingly, his young son was able to learn to ride a backwards bicycle in just a couple of weeks, thus, showing that young children’s brains have far more plasticity than our adult brains do.

What really hit me with this video is when the guy says, “Knowledge does not equal understanding.”  He had plenty of knowledge on bike riding, but make a change to the bike and all that knowledge went right out the window because he just had knowledge without a true understanding of bikes.

All of this got me thinking that the Church today may have a lot of knowledge, but not a lot of understanding. They can memorize Scripture, but do they truly understand the Scripture?  I mean, I’ve memorized Scripture as a young Christian because that was the thing to do. However, it never really touched my heart until God revealed Himself to me through particular verses. I may not have exact verses memorized anymore, but I can come up with them when needed because it’s the meaning of Scripture that matters more than just rote recall.

I think when teaching children Scripture, our focus should not be on rote memorization.  It should be on getting them to truly understand Scripture.

Let’s look at what the Bible says about being able to truly understand Scripture and, ultimately, the true character of God.

“And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven'” (Mark 4:11-12, ESV).

“And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Cornithians 2:13, ESV).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6, ESV).

*Note: I know Hosea says knowledge but I think it can also mean understanding as God’s people knew Him and His laws, yet they still turned from Him.

“And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.  Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear'” (Matthew 13:3-9, NASB).

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25, NASB).

Also, many people seem to believe that they know a lot about children.  Some of these people are called Christian child-rearing “experts.”  These “experts” claim that all “misbehaviors” stem from children’s “sinful nature” or “defiance” and must be dealt with swiftly through spanking/hitting the children and the use of other harsh punishments. They clearly do not understand child development!

Understanding child development is crucial to disciplining children appropriately. When we see that God actually created children to go through each developmental stage, we can figure out kinder, more merciful ways of guiding them through each stage. The Bible says that children are blessings from God in Psalm 127:3.  Jesus says we are to be like children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 18. Jesus raised the status of children.

We must take time to truly understand Scripture, the true character of God, and our children in order to effectively live our lives as Christ-like as possible.  Knowledge may be power. But I believe understanding is where the true power lies!

image