The Spanking Stick

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

Ephesians 6: 1-3

I recall, when I was growing up, a spanking stick we had that was housed in one of our kitchen cabinets. It seems to make a noise every time the cabinet was opened as if it were coming to life. My Dad’s soda for work was also housed there so every time I heard the cabinet open, I would spring to attention. It would be 6:30 in the morning, and I would start to think of all my possible shortcomings. I would hear the cabinet shut and count to ten to see if my parents were headed to my room. In most instances, they were not headed to my room, but my heart still pounded with fear.

I think of the many times my parents gave me commands and the many times I chose not to obey. There was a week in particular where I got into trouble at school for my disobedience in class, and then a few days later, I got a poor report card. I had received a good spanking for my disobedience and another one was forthcoming for my grades. My Dad cried as he pleaded with me to obey to avoid spankings as my seat of understanding was still battered from my disobedience. In the moments that I was placing my hands on the bed, I would often ponder my poor decisions. I would desire to make better choices, and I regretted whichever sin I had partaken in that time. I remember memorizing the verses but not fully applying it to my life. I chose to disobey these verses, and sin brought corporal punishment into my life. My parents used the spanking stick in obedience to the Word of God, and my strong will was no match for its power.

I am now in my adult life, and I am still commanded to honor my parents. I am not given many commands from them at this stage in my life, but I find it so much easier to honor them now. I am grateful for the influence the spanking stick had in my life. Although I am no longer in danger of the spanking stick, I still seek to honor my father and mother. I know I have wasted many years not honoring my parents, but I long to do so now. I know they long for me to live according to God’s will, and they want God’s best for my life. I have been blessed to be exposed to the truth of God’s Word, and my parents did their best to bring me up in the training and admonition of the Lord. I have no excuses for my wrongdoing and poor choices, but I am thankful to God for the new path He has called me to.

We often look at these verses and feel they apply to adolescents. We often forget that these verses apply to our lives until the day we die. The moment we leave the house does not absolve us from God’s command, and we are commanded to honor our parents, no matter our age. We are given a promise of long life if we will obey and honor our parents. I also think of this as obeying and honoring our Heavenly Father. We are always faced with two choices daily – will we obey our fleshly desires, or will we honor and obey our God?

Where are you today, friend? Are you honoring your father and mother? Have you heeded to God’s command of obedience? Are you honoring your Heavenly Father? Will He find you in obedience when He comes again or calls you home? May we seek to live a life of obedience and may we bring honor to our earthly parents and more importantly, our Heavenly Father.

Stay in the Fight!

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