I am not prepared to make judgments about who, how, why God punishes in the present day. But I think I have some sound opinions and advice about such a matter.
So let me tell you some personal stories. We were parenting when spanking was common, and we punished our boys with swats with a belt. In my father’s family it was a razor strap. I don’t think we (Sammy and I) had a razor strap, mostly I remember using a belt used for holding up trousers.
Sammy and I with Carl our older son who was about five or six at that time were visiting Sammy’s sister. One evening at bed time Sammy was in bed, Carl was standing by the bed doing something with a belt. Sammy told Carl to give him the belt, Carl refused. Carl continued to refuse to turn lose the belt. Sammy gripped the belt near Carl’s hand and swatted Carl with the end of the belt. Carl still refused to turn loose. Sammy struck him several more times each time telling Carl to turn loose. Carl would not. Carl was crying, I was heart broken but supported Sammy in not letting Carl win that battle. Finally Carl turned loose the belt and of course Sammy didn’t spank anymore.
For some reason Sammy and I referred to that incident just this summer and Sammy cried these many years later. I assured him he had acted as a loving father would. In the first place, Sammy was laying on the bed, probably propped on an elbow holding Carl’s arm, but he certainly was not hitting Carl in an angry, vicious, or bullying manner. Carl was pretty close to Sammy or they could not have both been holding the belt. But most of all it is significant that Carl could have turned loose that belt at any time and stopped the swats.
Now one on myself. When I spanked Roger (second son) with a belt he would pull and holler. I would hang on and swat. 😀 I assure you his pulling away from me resulted in harder swats. If he had just hugged my waist while I swatted, it couldn’t have hurt much. I probably would have hit my own legs. 😀
Another story about myself and Carl. Both my boys grew fast; they were each six feet tall by fourteen years of age. Sometime about the time Carl was 14, he did something I was going to spank him for. I got the belt and told him to bend over. He did. I was suddenly struck by the fact that his “spankable” rear was almost as high as my head. I thought any kid who will do that – bend over to take his swats without a word of rebellion – should never have swats again, and he didn’t. That was the last one he got from me.
So what are the lessons?
Obeying quickly will result in less punishment.
Get as close to the Lord as possible, it won’t hurt nearly as bad.
Submit to his authority and you may not need punishment again.