Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child – Neither Biblical nor Proper Parenting

| 09/30/2012 | Comments (4)


In June 2012, right after Creflo Dollar was arrested for abusing his 15 year old daughter, I penned an Open Letter to his wife Taffi. In the letter I denounced her “stand by your man” behavior which sacrificed the physical and emotional health of her daughters in favor of Creflo’s violence.

All over the web the incident was discussed. I was astonished that so many black women – many mothers themselves – were the primary supporters of violence against a female child. The alleged Christian women were vicious in their accusations and judgments, going so far as to accuse the girl for somehow being responsible for Creflo hitting, choking and knocking her to the floor.

Really, I should not have been surprised because black women usually support males in a situation where it is male vs. female – especially if said male is a pastor or minister.

In support of Creflo, black women quoted what they said the bible instructs parents to do in order to control unruly children. He was right to hit and choke her because he was just doing what any God-fearing good father would do…

“Spare the rod and spoil the child!” they said with glee.

Amazingly, not one of those read their bible enough to know that the quote “spare the rod and spoil the child!” is not at all from the bible but instead from a poem entitled “Hudibras,” by Samuel Butler (1613-1680).

Wikipedia states:

In his poem, Butler coined the phrase “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” PROBABLY a modification of a Biblical injunction about child-rearing given in Book of Proverbs: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24). In the context of Hudibras the phrase is a bawdy metaphor suggesting the best way to curtail amorous passions or, through double entendre, to prevent conception:

If matrimony and hanging go
By dest’ny, why not whipping too?
What med’cine else can cure the fits
Of lovers when they lose their wits?
Love is a boy by poets stil’d
Then spare the rod and spoil the child (Part II, Canto I, ll. 839-44).

So you see, the line “spare the rod and spoil the child” in context has nothing to do with spanking or punishing a child for misbehavior, but is instead talking about using a bit of pain as a form of birth control to cool lovers’ passion… thereby spoiling the likelihood of a child being born from a sex act.

It’s funny that those so vehemently defending Creflo’s attack of his young daughter would quote Butler in Creflo’s defense since he was two things Christians hate the most… gay and Atheist! (

Don’t you think that’s interesting how few people claiming themselves to be devout Christians have ever investigated the statements they’ve been “told” are Biblical and verified them to be so? Just going on blind faith, believing every word of what their pastor tells them, black women in droves believe in lies and regurgitate them over and over again as facts.

Though in the dark ages of man’s ignorance, the word chastise meant to beat, we now live in the Information Age. In today’s world people of all races and socioeconomic levels know how to read, and can communicate their thoughts clearly in both spoken and written form.  Chastising children now means that one uses their words and calls a child to the carpet, reprimands, lectures, reproofs, scolds, or chews out the kid.  There is no reason to attack a child and beat on him or her in a manner reminiscent of a street brawl. We also have laws  that punish parents and others from committing crimes of violence against children.

So if you believe that “spare the rod and spoil the child” is biblical, understand that you have been lied to.  Understand that is not the only lie you’ve been told about what is in the bible.  It is also not the only way your mind is being manipulated to believe what men say without question.

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Click here to read the Open Letter to Taffi Dollar

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: The Black Church, Women's Issues

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  1. swirlygirl says:

    Really? Now you also just “cherry picked” that garbage book. Look, you pointing out the “prettier” sounding verses is just as bad, and shows you just can’t pull away from systematic brain screwing yourself! You can’t write about this topic and then come back and justify one of the bibles many violent passages by using a nicer passage! You can’t criticizes those black women and then make it sound like you are less ignorant than they are. Your rebuttals make you appear just as ignorant as those you criticize.

  2. swirlygirl says:

    The bible still out right tells you to abuse your child! What are you talking about woman? The buy-bull itself is full of bs and contradictions please! You are giving into the same idiotic dogma most black women give in to! No, I don’t respect Christianity or Islam because black people are very stupid to believe in such nonsense. Don’t try to twist the words in that evil book.

  3. DUsher says:

    Thank you for the clarification for where the “spare the rod”  comment comes from BUT to say there is no reference to using the rod in the bible is incorrect there  are 3

    Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

    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.I post these for reference, you do not have to agree, but they exist.

    • Deborrah says:

      DUsher No where in my piece did I say that there were “no reference to using the rid in the bible”. I said the defense black men and women gave of “spare the rod spoil the child” was NOT biblical. I said that dozens of times in the piece and not once did I say anywhere what you are arguing.However, I will say this. If a parent ignores modern laws and thinks rodding a child is appropriate behavior, don’t be surprised when the law comes knocking and you are carted off to prison. Children and women HAD NO RIGHTS in the biblical era, however now we do. And no one, no man, no father has the right to take something out of some ancient book and think it supersedes the laws of civilization where men, women and children are afforded equal protections under said laws. Lastly, since you went through so much trouble to research and find where in the bible you have permission to pound on a kid, you must also understand that the Proverbs are not the word of God or the words of Jesus. They are the words of MEN. Most attributed to the musings of King Solomon and a few other folks of high social rank. Just because their words are included in “the Bible” does not mean they have any power, are Holy, or are what God intended for parents to do to their children. Your selections conveniently ignore the following:1. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.-Ephesians 6:42. Provoke not your children that they be not discouraged -Colossians 3:213. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6Folks really need to get a clue and stop cherry picking the parts of the bible they want to follow because its convenient, justifies some b.s. they want to do or say, or benefits them in some way, .

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