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Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog. I am honored to have you visit. I hope you'll find my articles a blessing. I welcome your input and especially comments and questions.

I write as a Christian from Jerusalem, Israel about Biblical subjects.

I am particularly interested in the subjects of children, families, women's issues, corporal punishment, science and nature as these subjects relate to the Holy Scriptures.

For more information, see my website: www.biblechild.com

With every good wish - Samuel Martin

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guest Post from Heather Schopp - A Personal Testimony

Introduction: Heather Schopp is one of my dear friends and I am honored to have her here on my blog. I have hosted Heather's posts before (http://samuelmartin.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/jesus-christ-our-true-calling-guest.html) and plan to again.

Of late, I have been asking for some more personal testimonies from Christian mothers to share their stories about their experiences with the issue of corporal punishment/spanking/smacking.

Heather has here given us own testimony.

This post originally was posted on Heather's FB account on February 18 2014. It is used by permission. I have also added several comments which appear on the original thread found here - https://www.facebook.com/heather.schopp.1/posts/10152043822624495?comment_id=28826721&notif_t=like

These additional comments are too powerful to be ignored. Some of them are some of the most powerful things I have read in many years. Get ready to be blessed. I have not edited Heather's original post.

A personal testimony

recently i received an email from a dear friend in which he stated that the bible clearly teaches we must scourge our children.

there are many arguments out there, for and against, i’ve read some of both. and i encourage you to read them, do some searching. God speaks to us, if we are willing to listen, if we do not confine our thinking to the rigid lines drawn by people, by ourselves.

ultimately, what i have on my side, and on my conscience, is my experience. as a wise college professor once told me, “share your experience, no one can argue that.” so here is a bit of my journey….

when forrest (my first born) was a toddler, i was given a book from a Christian whom i trusted and respected. the book was _shepherding a child’s heart_ by tedd tripp. i read it and immediately began applying its (tedd’s) principles (because i thought i should), principles such as: expect instant obedience; spank if there’s not instant obedience. those are two i remember most clearly. and i also remember he made it clear that God expects parents to “discipline” little ones this ways; if we don’t, we’re disobeying Him. so i told little 2 year old forrest, “when i call you, if you don’t come, i will spank you.” and of course, he didn’t come; so i spanked. as i continued to read tripp’s book, i felt more and more unsettled with his teachings. and spanking never felt right (that was the Holy Spirit). mostly, as i look back, the only “rightness” i felt was that i was doing what supposedly God says, and what everyone else (whoever that may be) expected me to do. by the time i finished the book, it turned my stomach so much that i pitched it (now i wish i would’ve kept it as a resource). i still spanked on rare occasions; i wasn’t yet convinced it was ok not to…but that still small voice was still speaking.

another turning point (although not yet a full 180) was hearing a friend, karen campbell, speak. her daughter mollie encouraged me to go, and that’s why i did (i’m not a retreat sort of person—i don’t like sitting; plus i and a three year old and a one year old, both of whom nursed, and i didn’t care to leave them—even though i knew they’d be fine with neil, and they were). i don’t remember many details, but i remember she talked about the one-anothers in the bible—and that those all applied to our children and our relationships with them. and i had never heard or thought of them that way. i’d always heard/seen children children and parents placed on tiers, and thought of them almost as different sorts of animals (which in some ways they, we are), as outside the realms of “normal” behavioral, relational patterns and expectations…and hearing this, i began to see children, my children, as “my neighbors.” “love your neighbor as yourself”—the ultimate one-another….and i thought, how does hitting them (because that is what spanking is) fit into that? so after her talk, i went up to her and said, “it sure seems like you’re saying spanking doesn’t fit into the one-anothers” and she said “then you heard me right.” i asked her what book(s) she recommended. i don’t remember if there were more than one, but i ended up reading _heartfelt discipline_ by clay clarkson, and in it was an exegesis of those passages that many christians have used to proclaim that spanking required by God—and mr. clarkson came up with quite a different conclusion.

and basically, i came away seeing that the bible really contains little explicit instructions regarding parenting and discipline….the Holy Spirit had led me to karen and to clay, who had taken me a bit further down the path away from spanking.

and from that point on it was just a continued journey down that path as the Holy spirit worked in my heart, and showed me through my children and Jesus’ teachings and God’s character and others’ wisdom just exactly what spanking really is—hitting.

and eventually, i can’t tell exactly when, there was no more traveling down a path; there was a closed door. and a complete paradigm shift. and this is where i am: these children are precious gifts from God. they are His children, just as much as we adults are. and they are not only my children, but my sister and my brothers. being their mother is a privilege. what an honor to be able to show them God’s love. just as God desires a relationship and unity with us, so do i with my little ones….and hitting has no place in that.


 The first comment is from Karen Campbell (www.thatmom.com) who we all know and love dearly!

Heather Schopp yesterday I was talking to a very influential man in homeschooling circles who lamented with me the fact that there are so many teachings that promote an adversarial view of relationships in the body of Christ. I told him this, and I believe it, moms in their heart of hearts don't want to be adversaries of their children. They just need to be encouraged that there is a better way and that it has already been given to us in Scripture. My desire is to spend all the rest of my years, whatever the Lord gives me, preaching that message! It is only saying what moms already really know!

The next comment

I look back with regret at all the "Bible teachers" who led me astray years ago. I wish so much that I could go back and do things differently with my kids. Thankfully I didn't succumb to the extreme end of the whole spanking thing though. I once went to hear a guy talk about child rearing who actually emphasized that we should spank our disobedient children all the way til they left home. He shared a story of spanking his 18 y.o. daughter just prior to her leaving home (she was soon to be married, I believe). Absolutely nutso!

The next comment - One of the most powerful testimonies I have ever read anywhere!

L Janel Martin My two younger, of four, children were not spanked. My older children do not spank. I love my daughter, now 20, so much that I will would risk hell for not scourging her. If I even say something harsh or see a flicker of hurt on her face or in her eyes, I feel like hell. i can't imagine that God the Almighty who loves me so much he would allow his own child to be killed for me, would want me to hit my child for any reason. His Son's teaching and life was to not harm a child. It breaks my heart that I harmed my older son the few times I did spank -hit - him. and I am grateful that they do not hit their children.

If it's ok to hit children, my son has every right to hit me. Or any one, really. And, that's not allowed. Adults can't hit other adults.

The next comment from Cindy Foster, who has come out aggressively against corporal punishment/spanking.

Cindy Foster I read Tripp's book after leaving The Baptist Taliban 13 years ago. I have 8 children and had always believed CP was the only Biblical way. After spending so much of my life in a severely rigid 'church', I actually found his book very gracious and recommended it to others as a balanced view on child discipline. Well, I have come a loooooooonnnnng way since then and no longer have those blinders on. Takes a long time to undo false teachings. Anyway, here's my personal testimony. I so appreciate Samuel's work. It's what put me in tune to my conscience.


The next comment


Here we see a number of Christian mothers telling us how the Holy Spirit is leading them and has lead them away from family violence. 

Here are some more testimonies of 22 other Christian mothers. 


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