Spanking is Bad, M’Kay (Part 1 of 2)

Most people who practice wife spanking aren’t overly swayed by the opinions of the culture. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. However, the opinions of the culture do demand the practice is usually private, and often the culture demonizes those who discipline their wives. For that reason, I want to take the time to answer some of the accusations against wife spanking, both from the secular world, and from misinformed Christians. Their false claims and accusations deserve an accurate response.

First, let me say, I don’t think as many people have trouble with couples doing spanking as a kink, since they write it off as a bedroom thing. Not everyone has trouble with the theatrical end of the fetish community, or the “gay” leather crowd. They just put that in a special box. What they MOST have a problem with is a man spanking his wife as a part of their marriage, because he is the authority, and she needs to learn submission to him. The society hates that the most because they hate the man’s authority in a real marriage the most, and they hate the Christian faith that lies behind and within the traditional family. A sexy spanking is not everything they hate. A Christian home where the man is the head, IS everything they hate, so it is this form of domestic discipline that seems to get the most attacks. If it were sodomites in leather, far fewer people would be complaining about the whips.

The commonest cry against a man spanking his wife is that it is abuse. The word abuse in this culture is basically a cuss word that people level against anything they don’t like which is forceful. They really can’t prove it is wrong, they just label it abuse, and anyone who believes the charge regards it as evil. The word abuse often has little more meaning than the word doo-doo head. Since we can see it acts as a mere cuss word, let’s look instead at the possible content of the word abuse, and see if the content fits the practice of wife spanking and describes something which is wrong. I think we will find it doesn’t.

Abuse suggests that an act involves the misuse of physical force, but to prove that wife spanking is abuse then, you’d have to show that this is a misuse of force first (try and say that ten times fast). Is a police officer chasing down a suspect abuse? It certainly involves violent force. Nearly anyone would say — no it isn’t abuse — and they’d be correct. It is not abuse because the use of force is good and just. The man is a criminal and it is the job of the officer to arrest him, and the officer represents the state, which has authority. We say the same thing when the officer puts the criminal in jail. We don’t compare it with a psychopath picking up a random victim and putting them behind bars. We recognize it is a just act which punishes evil. We discern that based on the officer’s job and the authority of the state.

Similarly we see in marriage that the use of force in discipline is not an arbitrary attack, but is a punishment  by the one in authority. The man has rightful authority given by God, and he may punish those he has authority over when they do evil. A spanking then is not akin to street crime. It is not an assault. A spanking is a just punishment of an offender, in this case, by someone who loves and cares for the offender much more than the state loves and cares for us.

Moreover, abuse generally connotes that there is a victim who is unwilling who is being assaulted. The word abuse suggests the person’s will is not being respected. However, even this basic facet of the word abuse does not describe wife spanking. That is because the will of the person receiving the spanking was absolutely necessary for the marriage to take place in the first place, when she accepted her man’s authority over her. Most commonly, her will was also involved in accepting a relationship which included spanking as a form of discipline. That’s actually much MORE respect than is shown to the will of the criminal, whom the police chase and tackle, since in his case he likely was born a citizen, and was born in subordination to the state, forced to accept its authority. The wife being spanked has more will involved than the citizen being arrested, since she actually accepted her husband’s leadership. So where is the will being violated by wife spanking? It clearly is not.

Next, there is a nearly intangible quality in the word abuse that suggests a person is being treated in a degrading fashion. They are being treated like they lack dignity. This is a somewhat subjective area, but we all recognize it nonetheless. We would be horrified to see anyone treating another like an animal, or like a machine, or without any respect for their basic dignity. Yet a spanking does not treat anyone as though they lack dignity. rather, it respects their dignity. A spanking puts the wife through a very short term correction, in which she will be lectured, instructed, and spanked in a painful way on her bottom. Then it will be over and she will be restored. That actually shows more respect for her dignity than many other forms of discipline in society, be it the state that locks a criminal up and throws away the key, or an employer who fires an employee, never to care again what happens to them in the future. A husband fully respects his wife’s humanity when he spanks her for her wrongs.

The word abuse also connotes that something is “cruel,” or harsh in an excessive way. This is also a bit subjective, and no one would argue that some spankings can be cruel if they are done wrongly, but spanking in itself is not especially cruel. In fact it is practiced in a way that makes sure there is no long-term injury, and nearly all husbands do their best to make the harshness of a spanking simply appropriate to the offense, neither too harsh or too lax. The humbling and the pain are non-injurious, short-term events.

By comparison, as I point out in my introduction to this manual, most people in society approve of the state using methods which are about a thousand times crueler. The state sends its offenders to prison, a place of danger so great the level of assault is incalculably high, as are the number of rapes. A person loses their job long term while in prison, and is separated from their loved ones long term. The chance of divorce increases greatly every year one is in prison, and the rate of suicide is 7-10 times higher than the national average. Now THAT is a cruel punishment. Spanking, by comparison, is a walk in the park.

That is to say nothing of societally approved divorce, which is linked to a variety of terrible ills, including greater chance of criminality in children, greater chance of promiscuity in children, greater danger to women and children, lowered economic level, lowered educational level, lowered psychological health, increased risk of real abuse, and a high rate of violence and suicide that follows a divorce. Society approves of this demonstrably destructive act. For the same people who approve of divorce, and other similar acts, to attack marital spanking as “cruel” is unspeakably irrational. It is pure hypocrisy on the grandest scale. Spanking is a calm, firm, loving way to correct a woman. After her punishment she is restored, and the fullness of the beautiful marriage union continues. It is a very humane and thoughtful punishment. Not cruel on any meaningful level, unless it is grossly misused.

Others object to spanking a wife because you’re sure that — spanking is for children. Honestly, I don’t know why they are so sure of that. It’s true children do get spanked. But where is the logic that demands that because children get spanked, adults do not? Children read books. Adults also read books. It’s just that the adults read more advanced books, and a wider variety of topics. Children ride bikes — any childhood would be incomplete without tricycles and bicycles — and adults ALSO ride bikes, they just use a larger kind and go on more challenging paths. Children get talked to when they are bad as well. Adults also get talked to when they are bad. We could compile a list much longer than this, but I think so far it accurately shows that there is no logic to the claim that children being spanked means adults do not get spanked. It’s just a common assertion.

Adults certainly DO get spanked. Spankings in marriage are an ancient practice, and even today are more common than you’d think. Many would testify to the good that marital spanking did for them; how it helped bring peace to their relationship, put bad behavior behind them, or brought them closer to their spouse. Spanking has also been practiced as a civil punishment for millennia, so I guess all of those governments and magistrates didn’t get the news that “only children” get spanked. Granted, those punishments are more accurately called flogging or something similar, but they amount to corporal punishment as spanking does. Considering the great number of people rotting away in prisons, and the great number of people who learn to be more hardened criminals in prisons, the use of flogging ought to be seen as a legitimate alternative to mass incarceration today. It is a deterrent, at least for some people, and avoids lengthy prison terms. The modern nation of Singapore is famous for using caning, and they run a very orderly, peaceful, clean society. I see no basis to tell them they’re wrong.

For many modern secularists, the biggest problem is that spanking “disempowers” women. They’d be more accepting if it were men being spanked. But their philosophy just cannot accept a woman being handled firmly by a man. In their minds, she needs to have power. This is wrong on two different levels. Firstly, it assumes that women ought to either be in power, or have the same tier as men, without actually proving it. Take away that assumption and their case dissolves. A woman is not on the same tier as a man, nor was she made for the same role. God has placed woman under man in marriage, and our basic biology affirms this role and aids her in gentle submission to her man. She is designed to be softer. To be nurturing. He is designed for leadership and strength. More importantly, those roles have been given by God. Our Creator is the same One who gave us our design, and gave us our biology which assists us in those roles. Once you drop the assumption that women should hold authority, or should be equal in some hammered-flat sense, a spanking no more disempowers a woman than being given a ticket disempowers a citizen. It is simply a corrective act on one who is under authority. Their level of power has not been harmed in any way.

As I mention in my piece on societal illusions, looked at from the right way, spanking actually empowers the wife. It doesn’t empower her in the feminist usage of the word, but it empowers her according to the basic meaning of power — it gives her greater power to do what her actual role is. Her role according to God and nature is in submission to her husband and in helping him. Time over her husband’s knee empowers her to that aim, by growing in who she is, and toward who she aims to be. Since a woman is also to be virtuous, gentle, and holy, whenever her husband corrects her bad behavior it is empowering her toward that desired end. It helps refine her. It softens her. It corrects her for acts that harm her, the marriage, or the home. Like any loving chastisement, it aims to better her toward being a godly person. Since her aim is to be a godly woman, the correction empowers her.

Have no doubts about it, when secularists complain about male heads of the home spanking their wives, their ultimate beef is not with a spanking. It is with the authority of the man. It is more greatly with the authority that lies behind his — which is the authority of Christ. That is why you will find just as many disgusting and vicious attacks on male headship in the home coming from godless men as you will find against wife spanking. Spanking is a mere characteristic of some homes, but it is the male authority they hate. More than that the Christian and natural family. More than that the Savior. The Savior demands we have a light shined on our sins, recognize our own guilt, and repent. He demands we recognize the authority of God over man, and the coming Judgment. He may offer a simple way to be forgiven and have peace and life forever if we trust in Him, but for those who love sin, turning away from our present life sounds like an assault, and an insult to their ego. The Christian husband is a Christ figure, and they despise what he reminds them of — that there is a God, and that their sin WILL be exposed.

Finally, the secular objectors to marital discipline lack a basis for their attacks on the practice. Not only are their arguments against it confused and lacking in understanding, but they simply have no foundation to call it wrong. That is because when you deny the God who made all there is, you deny the basis for the moral law itself. There is no thing right or wrong on any fundamental level for the atheist. Some are honest enough to admit that in open debate. If you and I are just bags of chemicals that evolved accidentally, there is nothing wrong with a bag of chemicals spanking the bag of chemicals that lives with them. Not only that, but there is nothing wrong with one accidentally evolved creature raping and murdering another accidentally evolved creature. In fact, rape and murder could be argued as very advantageous from a naturalist perspective — it gives the one raping and murdering and advantage over his enemies, and may give his people group an advantage over their enemies.

Look how successful the Mongols were with building an empire, and slaughtering anyone who stood in their way. Do you have any idea how many people across Asia and Europe have Genghis Khan’s DNA in them? It must be many millions. The Mongols did so much rape, they spread their genome much more successfully than others. From the atheist perspective that actually makes them very successful, and those whom they defeated, simply losers. It is not good or evil: it just is. So for the secularist to come about claiming spanking is wrong, when he cannot even show from his own worldview that rape and murder is wrong, is pure hypocrisy. If there is nothing wrong with rape and murder, there is nothing wrong with spanking your wife either. It’s just what some chemical accidents prefer to do, for their pleasure or their advantage. Learn to live with it.

Now that we have seen how weak are the contemporary secular claims that wife spanking is wrong, let’s have a look at the Christian objections to the practice. Do these lean mean biblical exegetes have anything stronger to offer, or are they just blowing more hot air?

[Read Part 2: Jesus Says Spanking is Bad, M’Kay]


12 responses to “Spanking is Bad, M’Kay (Part 1 of 2)”

  1. […] your wife is a loving form of correction, and quite safe compared to the rest. Those who’ve got a problem with spanking are quite disoriented in their judgment. If you object at all to it, you’ve […]

  2. […] begin to buy into that illusion. For that reason, as a result of many decades of conditioning, the popular view of wifespanking is severely warped. It is so bent you cannot take it […]

  3. […] For these reasons I believe it is good and healthy to find friends to share this part of your life with. Just be prepared that there is no perfect method of privacy. They could be a bad friend, or they could just let slip accidentally. I believe it is worth the risk for the right companions. The discipline community is larger than you’d think, but online you will only find a small portion of them. A close friend of family member you can trust is also a good option, if there is brotherly love between you. They are more likely to be there as well, present in your life, and physically close. Spanking may be private by its intimate nature, but it should not be a dark secret. […]

  4. […] It is for the aid of marriages. I don’t think such a guide should need to be anonymous, but in this culture which demonizes wife spanking, it should be. The cultural change I speak about, which I look […]

  5. […] to know where they can find someone to spank or be spanked by. It may seem like a difficult task in a society that either does not talk about spanking, or looks down on it. I suspect that most people learning […]

  6. […] is wrong are the same people who want to make rules over your life and demand you keep them. They slander the man as an abuser if he firmly leads his wife, yet they want every man and woman to be led by the truly […]

  7. I will allow this comment opposing wife spanking from a Christian perspective, to give everyone a chance to see what alleged problems are, and to give them a strong reply below. This person left other long comments. I’ve also had an e-mail communication with her, in which she could not produce any Scriptures which condemn men who spank their wives. I don’t think it’s hard to see how confused her reasoning is (and they are common arguments), but you make the call for yourself:

    Yur portraying a man as some kind of semi God to his wife. you are called to lead with love….the Bible says present her without wrinkle or blemish. It says do not be harsh to your wife or your prayers won’t be answered. Stop twisting the word of God. Stop using it to promote your failures as head of your family. You spank ur wife like a child like she has a mind of a child is to devalue her. The Bible doesn’t tell you to ensure your wife submits it tells you to love love love… Hosea married s whore en nowea does it show he discplined her for that … He loved her bought her back over en over again….you not serving God…your serving the father of lies who is known to twist the word of God. You take the truth and twist it enough to fit your dirt. It’s disgusting. A wife is to be honoured. Corinthian 13 tells us what love means. Love does not insist on it’s own way…. You are a liar.

    1. No, I do not make a man a “semi-God” but only accept him as “the authority” that he is in the home. Being the authority, making rules, performing discipline does not make one a deity. It makes one in charge. Factually speaking, the man has authority over his wife.

      This entire website would agree with your claim I am called to lead with love. I encourage men, and other leaders to lead with love. Embedded in your statement is the assumption that to discipline is NOT love, but that assumption is wrong. The Bible itself would show it to be worn,g since the Bible commands and permits various authorities to use discipline, and God himself disciplines those He loves with a perfect love, a love more brilliant that we can imagine. I assent that the husband leads with love, but this is not in conflict with disciplining his wife.

      I ALSO agree that the Bible teaches a husband to present her without wrinkle or blemish, just as Christ will do with His Bride. Yet this is nowhere in conflict with correcting a wife. In fact, correcting a wife is a part of the process of keeping her pure — it helps lead her away from wrong attitudes and from sin. Moreover, since part of Christ’s leading of His Bride includes chastising her (this is promised us in Scripture), it should not seem odd if part of a husband’s leading his wife includes chastisement. This helps her to be without blemish, as she learns from the correction and grows from it. Thanks for bringing up that Scripture.

      I do not “twist” the Word of God, but you twist it by calling spanking a wife sin. I simply note the God-given authority that a man has in the home, and recognize that there is nothing sinful about giving a spanking. There is no misuse of Scripture there, but there IS misuse of Scripture when you condemn men who spank, and level false accusations of sin or abuse against them. The man is head of the home, and every head in the world has the right to enforce its authority. In multiple e-mail communications with you you have failed to produce the Scriptures that call spanking a wife a sin, so you should know by now that you are making your personal opinion into the Word of God. That itself is sinful, and you need to repent.

      I am not responding to any “failures” as a husband, as you suggest. In fact, you don’t know me nor do you know my home life daily, so you slander me to say I am responding to failings. What failings are they? I have a happy home life, I run it as best I can according to the Word of God, my wife is a wonderful submissive godly woman, whom everyone praises as a wife, our marriage is one that friends, family, and acquaintances praise, and our children grow up in virtue, and everyone notes that they are wonderful children. What failings are you speaking about?

      No one spanks their wife “like a child.” They spank their wife like an adult, because they are adults. There is no law that says only a child gets spanked. In fact, countless governments in the world used whipping as a civil punishment to criminals, the Torah institutes flogging as a punishment for some crimes by adults, and permits it within reason for adult servants. Spanking is no more for children than reading a book is for children, or talking is for children. They are all activities for adults too, but we do them differently as adults, because we are bigger and more mature. Adults get spanked.

      The Bible does not need to tell me every last detail of how I lead my life. So the suggestion I cannot spank my wife because I don’t have specific instruction to discipline her fails. Husbands do not have specific biblical instructions to bring their wives flowers, or take them out on their anniversary either, but we do so anyway. Why? Because the Bible does not need to provide every detail or decision in our lives. It gives us truths, commandments, principles, etc, but it doesn’t need to tell us everything. Just as I know I can bring my wife flowers because biblically I should cherish her and honor her, I also know I can discipline my wife, because biblically I am the head of my wife and she needs to obey me. In fact, the very leader I am compared in Scripture — Jesus Christ — commands His Bride and punishes her for wrongdoing. (Hebrews 12:6) So clearly these things are within the domain of headship, which I know a husband has.

      The fact that Hosea married a whore, didn’t force her to change, and took her back has no bearing on whether I may spank my wife or not. It is an Old Testament example of behavior that happened for a specific purpose and communicated a prophetic truth. Nothing in that passage says men may not discipline or otherwise correct their wives. Where is that teaching in the text? If I had to live according to every last OT example of behavior, I’d need to marry a whore as well, right? If I followed Elisha’s example, I could kill children who mocked me. If I followed Phinehas’ example, I could kill sinners on sight without a trial. If I followed Abraham’s example, I could have several wives. So don’t try to interpret the Bible by saying we have to do something we read an OT soul did for a unique purpose. That is an absurd way to understand Scripture.

      Hosea’s example gave Israel a picture of their relationship with God, with God as a husband who was married to an unfaithful wife, and would accept her back if she came back. That was the purpose of that example, and it still communicates truth today. It pictures God’s suffering love, and willingness to let us return. But the passage neither teaches you may not spank your wife any more than it teaches you need to marry a whore. You have no passages from the Bible at all that condemn wife spanking, so you are trying to tell a tale with your own words. If we listen to the words of Scripture itself though, your claims are nowhere to be found, Abigail. That’s because you make your opinions out to be truth. Yet they are not.

      Moreover, if we do gain insight from God’s relationship with Israel (which Hosea’s marriage illustrated), let’s look at what God did more broadly. He gave her commandments. He warned Israel many times about breaking them. He punished Israel, first temporally, and then with utter destruction as a nation, for her disobedience and rebellion. He didn’t just sit there and let her slut around. So looking more fully at that relationship, if we are to see any example at all regarding man and wife, we see a man can lead a wife, make rules, and punish her for breaking them. That is repeated many times in Scripture, not just in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 should put to rest entirely the idea that Jesus is a softie with His Bride. He is not. He commands, warns, and punishes her. Read the WHOLE Bible, and let it speak for itself. It doesn’t say what you say.

      Despite your claim, I am indeed serving God in my home. God instructs me to lead my wife, to be faithful for life, to keep her pure and unblemished, to honor her as the weaker vessel, to provide for her needs, never to withhold my affection from her, etc. I seek to do ALL these things in my marriage, and those are things which each glorify God. I may not do them flawlessly, but they are the godly path to be on. My marriage is rooted in God and purposed for Him.

      If you want an example of serving the devil, that would be in a rebellious woman, a woman who bad mouths her husband, a woman who is negligent in her duties, practices witchcraft, disregards her children, teaches over men in church, practices dangerous behavior, withholds affection in bed, embraces heresies, etc, THOSE are some ways that people serve the devil, and those are things that good leadership and discipline by a husband ensure DO NOT happen, or ensure happen far less frequently. Discipline helps a woman follow God. It discourages her from following the devil. You leave this out out your equation, as I have pointed out to you before. Discipline is godly, and lest you forget . . . God uses it too!

      As I say above, you meet with no disagreement that a wife is to be honored. I honor and I praise my wife daily. I care for her needs and wants. She knows that I cherish her. People who know us see this, and regard our marriage highly. You are under the false belief that if you honor someone, you would never discipline them. That’s completely false. A husband can honor his wife and treat her highly, and also discipline her, because it’s good for her and it helps her grow as a woman of God. He knows she needs help sometimes. He knows she is the weaker vessel. That discipline protects and strengthens her, even if it feels bad in the very short term. There is no contradiction between honoring a woman and giving her needed discipline.

      Likewise, I see no argument for your side in 1 Corinthians 13. Who claims that a man should not love his wife? Of course he should. Yet love no more contradicts discipline than honor does. Discipline is in fact an expression of love, as a husband cares for her good, and helps prevent trouble both in her life and in their marriage. Discipline then, APPLIES love to our lives by correcting us. If discipline were in conflict with love, then we would not worship a loving God. The God of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be unloving psychopaths. For discipline is in the Bible from start to finish, from Adam’s fall, the expulsion from the Garden, the curse, to Israel’s many chastisements, to Christ’s promise to scourge the Church, to the final end of the ungodly in Hell. That’s a whole lot of discipline, and it all comes from a perfect God of love. As Scripture says — God is light, and there is no darkness in Him. (1 John 1:5)

      Likewise, a husband is filled with light, when he lovingly leads his wife. He is showing a godly character when he takes the time, concern, and energy to discipline her for her wrongs, and work to ensure she is cleansed of them. It is a priestly role, along with his other roles in the home. It is also in harmony with every other authority on the planet, which also use discipline. He looks after her soul this way.

      You make many slanderous remarks about me, and other men like me. As you learn, and grow, you will regret making those remarks, and understand how false they are. I believe you will wholeheartedly repent. A man who corrects his wife is not a cruel man. He is a righteous leader and protector of her, and he acts from love.

      I would never lie to you. But I do speak plainly. I call you only to repent of making your opinions into the Word of God. You will find, if you step back from your cultural assumptions, how much of what I say to you is truth.

    2. Dear Odd Girl,

      It is the Word of God that makes a man a “semi-God” over his wife, at least metaphorically. Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of woman. He is in the place of Christ with regard to her.

      He is no deity; merely human; Christ is the only one Who is God and Man.

      I do not put my husband before God or on a par with Christ; that would not be to honor him but to make an idol of him. But on the ladder of authority, if I look up toward God, inevitably I see my husband there on a rung somewhere above me. He is below God, below Christ. Above me. 🙂

      My husband does not put me before God or on a par with Christ; that would not honor me but make an idol of me. But nor does he put me on a par with himself as that would be a similar error. We are equal. We each have dignity and worth. I have recourse to God without going through him if need be. But for my husband to honor me is to recognize that I am on the rung below him, and neither of us has the authority to change that.

      You would have to twist the Word to claim otherwise.

      Grace and peace,


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    There is so much said in this post. The naysayers may miss that the wife consents to discipline. It’s agreed to. If a wife does not agree, she can openly discuss concerns.
    Discipline exists in every marriage whether people recognize or not. Using agreed methods such as spanking/talking through, keeps communication clear and open. I really like when Aron points out how discipline allows a wife to grow.

    1. Anonymous, “discipline” comes from Latin “discipulus” or student, as does “disciple” which also means student. It pretty much means teaching, which of course promotes growth.

      Just another way in which man and wife picture Christ and man—Teacher and student. 🙂

      Grace and peace,


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