Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Discussing Christian Domestic Discipline......(? !)

Revised 3Feb13

From An Open Discussion on Domestic Discipline and Patriarchy (on another blog) on the blog entitled Church Discipline (I will no longer link directly to the post in question):
This is meant to be a placeholder post on the issue of domestic discipline and patriarchy. There is no article but the comments section could be quite long. This topic comes up inevitably on various patriarchy discussion, and the idea is to create a place for people to discuss this topic without any rules.
Yes, there are actually patriarchalists that practice physical discipline on their wives. If you go to this discussion, you'll find links to some strange sites including Loving Christian Discipline and Christian Domestic Discipline, etc. Because some of those within the Christian patriarchy movement believe that women are to follow a pattern of "submitted sonship" under the Doctrine of Subordination within the Trinity, it gives to reason that this might be practiced in some of the homes and families that follow patriarchy. I've read discussions where Christians have argued this point.

Visit at your own risk and keep in mind that this is not really a warm, fuzzy discussion. I take no responsibility for what might be discussed there, but I did participate in such a discussion a few months ago. The discussion there was tame and very thought provoking, but it was equally disturbing. My concerns about this involve neurophysiology and the fact that men (but not women) process sex and violence in the same regions in the brain. They are in close proximity to one another, and for those who have been abused, these two areas can "fuse" in the brain. So I believe that what takes place for a man who would engage in this behavior is very different from that which takes place for the woman.

Be advised that this is not a Christian site and is not administered by a Christian but an interested party who has served by helping Christian clients. I think that it is a practice that we Christians should be informed about, anyway.
[Late entry/Addendum 17Jan08: I did not explore the Domestic Discipline links listed on the Church Discipline website, but a comment was made that they many of them are "rated R" though the links do not indicate this. I'm not sure about the desired direction of the discussion either and am somewhat disappointed. I believe that this practice is another facet of spiritual abuse with great potential for continued psychological harm and potential physical harm and not consistent with healthy Christian behavior.
The Church Discipline blog host informed me that he purposed to direct others out of this behavior. I would encourage anyone who practices domestic discipline to read the recommended literature concerning spiritual abuse, as I believe that domestic discipline as a Christian practice is spiritually and psychologically damaging and rooted in shame. There is no condemnation for the believer in Christ, and loving Christians in a marital relationship should likewise have no need for condemnation, shame or punishment.]


CJ said...
In investigating the various aspects of the Patriarchy movement, I found plenty of evidence of this.The old Patriarch’s Path website used to link to the Phil Kent Family website.Here is what Mr. Kent had to say on the matter:

Does a Husband Have the Right to Discipline His Wife?

This was a question on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood forum in early May, 2000.Mike Klos answers,

“No, the husband does not have a right
to discipline his wife, he has the responsibility to.”

I totally agree that the husband, as the spiritual leader for the entire home, have a responsibility to discipline both his wife and his children.

Someone suggested these definitions for Discipline:To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to.
To teach to obey rules or accept authority.
To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.
To impose order on: needed to discipline their study habits.
I do not believe that these definitions fit the above question well. 

I do not agree that any Biblical definition of discipline should ever include the word “punishment”. I believe that punishment is a word that communicates the wrong thoughts in our day and age, and is best avoided. 

It is my understanding that most Christians parents move away from corporal discipline as the child get older. The one area where we still continue to use corporal discipline with my older children is in the area of rebellion. If you are interested in learning more about Biblical discipline and instruction for children, I would highly recommend the book Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp. A review of the book is available at:

Ted Tripp is a Reformed Baptist pastor in PA. As I understand it, the Biblical church does not use corporal discipline with church members. It seeks to train, and help members to understand what God requires of them. Rebellious church members are disciplined by removing them from church membership (Matt 18, 1 Cor 5). Discipline should include some form of corrective influence, but the more important aspect of Biblical discipline is training. Without this training (pay me now) we will have many problems (pay me later). 

If your wife does not understand the importance of Biblical Roles for men and women, there will much she will need to learn. I know that there is much I need to learn, and to regularly practice as I assume my responsibilities as a servant leader in my home. If my wife was to blatantly go against my authority, I would seek to understand her point of view, before I begin to try and help her understand what I want and expect from her. God has given us our wives to help us, and we men are foolish to not listen to them, and consider their wants and needs. However, God holds men accountable for leading their families. If we believe that our wife is continuing to sin, and we are at an impasse with them, we should seek help from spiritual brothers and sisters (Matt 18). The failure to discipline rebellion will have serious impacts on those who are aware of the situation, especially our children. I believe this is why God dealt harshly with rebellion. 

My experience has taught me that I would have had an easier time being a spiritual leader in my home, and had less problems with my wife and children, if I had been more faithful earlier in my marriage and parenting. I’ve only myself to blame as I seek to discipline myself and my family to live Biblical lives. As the marriage is a covenant relationship, I believe we should draw our conclusions on the restoration of other covenant relationships in the Bible. We should continue to love our wives as Hosea loved Gomer, and as God love Israel. And yet we should never back down from where we believe God is leading us. However, there are many minor concerns that should be overlooked and given over to God. If she fails to put the cap back on the toothpaste, don’t get upset about it. It’s not important! If we feel that we need to correct every problem in our spouse, we will be in for a never ending battle. 

To summarize my thoughts: Discipline should include both training and correction.God holds men responsible for spiritually leading his entire family, and this includes discipline.Discipline should match the age and maturity of the one needing discipline.I ask God’s wisdom on all of us as we seek to better understand His will for our lives.

Phil Kent

January 16, 2008 9:27 PM

CJ said...
oops... That link should be here.... of course it will soon disappear, now that we have brought attention to it.
January 16, 2008 9:29 PM

CJ said...
There is a Yahoo group, the Complementarian Christian Coalition Forum, which bills itself as a "forum for complementarian Christians to discuss current issues in gender theology" --- Phil Kent, the author of the article I shared in my previous comment, and Mike Klos, whom Phil's article cites, are members there.

For a time, the CCC Forum used to link to a couple of pretty nasty sites, until a reader brought them up short about it, with the folowing comment:>>Here's another suggestion for promoting complementarianism, if I maybe so bold - try to make it clear that 'physical discipline of wivesby husbands' is not something that CCC suppoorts. For example, one ofthe links in your 'bookmarks section' on this list is to a DomesticDiscipline list, that advocates husbands physically disciplining theirwives (spankings, etc.)<<>
Here is the description of the list at the yahoo site:
** This is a controlled and safe list. This list is for Christian Singles, who are interested in domestic discipline, where the man is the covering of the house, and the wife is loved, honored and cherished, but she is obedient to her man. Where her man loves her enough to correct her with domestic discipline, such as spanking, so she becomes a better lady. We believe the man is the leader of the home and protects, loves and provides for his family. This is a singles list ONLY, no married individuals allowed. Whether you are interested in Genuine DD, a somewhat "pretend" version of DD within a very traditional relationship, or are just curious, please know that you are welcome. We are not REALLY about kink as most people think of it (most people here are not into anything like dungeons, etc.) but a far more domestic version where there are elements of sexuality, traditional sexuality, mixed in with discipline. So, if a spank is part of both your sexuality and "The way things ought to be" please enjoy your stay.We have a short list of rules, please read them before joining In addition, each pending member will receive an automatic message that contains a survey that must be returned to list management before membership is approved **
Also, there is another link from a member of this list who has a link to a Domestic Abuse Site for men (there is nothing list under the women's section for domestic abuse, btw) and it is pornographic in nature. Highly disgusting. The site is not a serious site but one of rabid hatred. No different than the rabid feminists and what they huff and puff about. I am talking about the extreme "ists", not at all what represents the majority of men or women."January 17, 2008 7:48 PM

Cindy said...
Cynthia,Thank you so much for contributing so much to this discussion. It's not a topic that I really want to investigate too "thoroughly" so I am most grateful.God bless you and thanks!January 17, 2008 7:53 PM

CJ said...
LOL.... well, this is one aspect of Patriarchy that I don't really want to discuss in depth either. But, since I've already done quite a lot of investigation into the movement, including this yucky aspect, I'll continue to post what I have archived as I run across it, as well as anything new I happen to run across.January 17, 2008 8:09 PM