DESPITE PETERSON: Discipline Still Parents’ Prerogative

Published on December 17, 2014

by Dennis Albini
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

The recent events within the last 9 months regarding domestic violence in the NFL (National Football League) have significantly elevated the public consciousness in these matters, especially when photos and/or videos are involved.  The most recent infraction involves the star running back for the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson.  He administered corporal punishment to his four year old son using a switch, which resulted in some graphic bruises.

Last Friday, Peterson’s appeal of his NFL suspension was rejected. NBC Sports reports: His “suspension stems from felony charges … of reckless or negligent injury to a child that were filed in September after Peterson was accused of hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch.”

This incident raised the issue as to whether this should be classified as child abuse, or simply misapplied discipline.

Will this be the new cause celebre to foment outrage against all types of corporal punishment to usher in broad changes to the rights of parental discipline?    Time will tell.

Proverbs 22:15 says: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 23:13-14 – “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruits of his doings.”

(all Biblical references are from the King James Version)

Truth be told, parents have the Biblical mandate to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)   This includes the proper and judicious use of corporal punishment. 

Obviously, this would not condone child abuse, neglect, exploitation or infanticide.  In these instances the church and/or governmental authorities must intervene. Otherwise, let parents raise their children according to the dictates of their conscious and convictions.