How to Not Go Overboard

I give a great deal of advice on how to apply discipline in marriage, and get down to many particulars. I want to offer some advice on what not to do, or more specifically how to avoid going overboard with the discipline process. Just as can happen with any system of rules it is possible to take them too far, or punish to freely. If we would not ourselves desire to be over-regulated, or punished for minor mistakes, we should recognize others don’t want that either, and it’s not really normal. I believe an overly-regulated and overly-punitive discipline system fails to accomplish its goals. It can even cause some harm.

The most central thing to remember is the purpose of disciplining your wife — that is to aid her in submission and correct bad behavior. When she strays, through disobeying your rules or harming the household in other ways, you will correct her verbally, and give her a spanking she will never want to repeat. The central purpose of any discipline has to do with keeping the order and punishing bad behavior. That’s what yours should accomplish. It is true that your wife should desire to honor you as much as possible, and she should desire to be a shining example of godliness to you daily. However, no human being will be without flaw, or fail to make mistakes. As human beings we make them regularly. So in marital discipline, you need to make sure that firm correction of any kind, or spankings, are used for the more serious wrongs. Punishing the smaller matters enters into being totalitarian, and demands of your wife the impossible.

Most small mistakes, or failure to live up perfectly to standards, can simply warrant a gentle verbal correction. You can also offer her encouragement in that area, and praise her for the much good that she does. Verbal correction, whether gentle, or more formal and strong, can handle many of the smaller matters without a spanking. This lets you learn to lead well through your words, and it lets her learn to follow you and accept correction, through a few small words. That gentle lead and following is a natural part of marriage, and husband and wife are attuned to each other this way. The ordeal of the spanking should be saved for willful bad behavior or serious negligence. It would say little for your ability to lead if you could only get your wife to follow through spanking her. It would say little for her submissive heart if she needed a paddle on her bottom to ever listen to you. The ordinary, daily form of instruction by the man, and of correction, is in calm, loving words. Let warnings and spankings come during the occasions they are really needed.

As I say elsewhere, I discourage men from making long lists of rules for their wives to follow. It is very difficult for anyone to remember such an abundance of rules, and likewise difficult to carry them out. Many husbands themselves cannot keep track of them all. Moreover, as with spanking contracts, if written lists of rules become the standard, then the wife will turn to a piece of paper to know what she needs to do, rather than straight to the source, her husband. Rules are also rigid, and sometimes need to be adapted slightly, or applied differently depending the situation. I recommend keeping rules and standards in the home to simple ones. She will need to be submissive, respectful, and honest with her husband. She needs to follow basic standards the man has made for the home; this could be standards of dress, clean language, and punctuality. It could be common sense health regulations. This by itself takes some amount of learning and dedication. To pile on heavily beyond that adds both complication and stress. Naturally, individuals will be different, and only you can judge how well your wife is responding to your leadership and to your discipline. You will need to adjust accordingly. However, I strongly recommend not placing an abundance of rules on her or the whole household.

Not punishing your wife for smaller wrongs, also helps her see the seriousness and need for change of her larger ones. When she ends up over your knee and her bottom is on the coals, she knows it is because she stepped over the line, she rose up toward her husband. She knows it’s wrong and she should never do it again. To spank for every flaw would make the punishment for real wrongs come across as little different, and present her also with the impossible calling of being flawless. It would present her with the great discouragement of seeking her work to be better but never improve, and never be pleasing to you. It would be an unfair situation, and even the deserved punishments would begin to seem unfair. When your wife is spanked she should know she made a real choice to do wrong. She feels ashamed of herself. She could have done rightly, but she willingly stepped off the path. Those stripes coming down are a penalty she earned. She sees this clearly and understands your strong displeasure with her, through the strap and your words of correction. She is ripe to learn now.

We all naturally ought to want to seek perfection. We should shoot for the mark, not short of it. We run the race to win, not lose. Yet we also know in doing this, as Christians seeking goodness and holiness, our failings are abundant, and even our thoughts and words are less than they should be. We know in our life in Christ that our Lord passes over many of our failings. It’s not an excuse not to try, but it lets us know we serve a loving Lord, and one who forgives. Christ does punish His children, do not be deceived about that, as Scripture gives many warnings of this and several examples. Yet we know much goes unpunished, especially those small failings which we quickly seek to fix. We talk to Him in prayer. We look to the Word of God and correct our behavior. It is simple, gentle correction. Our attitude should be similar. Chastisement is not for everything. It is to correct a serious wrong and lead to improved virtue and peace in the future. It’s not to do justice for every minor wrong that occurs. Christ chastises us as a loving father. So should husbands with their wives.


25 responses to “How to Not Go Overboard”

  1. Would you then believe that a continued use of weekly maintaining spankings that are what a husband believes necessary for keeping his own wife focused and calm are not righteous, maybe “going overboard.” Or would it be safe to say what works and is right for some may not be for others? I am curious to have your opinion in this matter.

    1. Thanks for your question, Mia. I lean toward the second view you suggested — it depends. I realize in some situations maintenance can help a wife immensely in her attitude, and that they usually are not as harsh as a punishment spanking. While I don’t recommend using them in an ongoing way throughout a marriage, whether it amounts to going overboard really depends on the couple and on its overall effect.

      I have no strong objection to it in principle. However, I think that if man is leading his wife well in all areas — including verbal instruction and punishment when needed — such continual maintenance will become unnecessary. She will grow out of any real problem behavior, and desire to do her best regularly for her husband.

      Moreover, many women who are sincerely desiring to be a good wife, may feel unnecessarily punished by maintenance, and frustrated by it. It may seem like they can never be good enough. So a husband should pay attention to his wife’s response.

      That’s just my opinion, and certainly in a situation in which she did not learn, then ongoing maintenance could keep her in check very well. Some women have more to overcome than others, and some are more sensitive. So as you have said and as I agree to — it depends.

  2. Nice post, aronhusband. I think a measured approach is called for even more these days when we see how quickly things can spiral out of control. Modelling proportionate response, etc., is so important.

    1. Thank you. That’s so true. I definitely want to encourage that measured approach. Most husbands will come to know what that means over time, although the details are unique to every marriage.

  3. Long Time Practitioner Avatar
    Long Time Practitioner

    A lot of times all I have to do is look at my wife and she knows she is getting toward the edge. I do not have a long involved list of rules but there are some that if broken will earn her a glowing bottom. As I have said before her behavior the week of Thanksgiving made sitting very uncomfortable until the middle of December after her court date for her traffic tickets. I spanked her New Years Eve just before midnight into the 1st minute of the New Year. Her Dad noticed her behavior at Christmas and remarked on it. There are some health problems with other family members that are causing some strain on my wife. I am giving her some latitude to handle things and not being strict where certain household things are concerned. She has required more intimacy and cuddling which I am more than pleased to give her. Thank you again Aron for your excellent site.

  4. With regard to my question, I do know many woman,(one being myself ), that struggle with certain chemical imbalances and do not want to take medicine to correct it, but rather submit to the regular and lighter discipline of weekly maintenance to help them keep balanced in their behavior. My husband is very considerate with me but truly believes I benefit from these weekly spankings. However, I wonder if this is necessary and maybe it’s just that the punishments, which are less because of maintenance, have not been fitting or thorough enough?

    1. That’s an interesting question. It’s sure possible. Your husband might evaluate whether it is necessary continually if he gave you harsher punishment spankings. A good hard spanking will leave a long-lasting reminder in a woman’s mind, and that reminder will help her when temptations arise in the future. She knows she really wants to avoid it. That’s something your husband has to decide based on what he has seen in you, and the overall effects of correction.

  5. Sergeant Avatar

    Very thoughtful and important article AronHusband.
    I too keep the rules at our home simple and very clear, when I feel there’s a new rule to add I talk to my wife so she’s aware of what is acceptable or not regarding the rule added, there’s not a written list or a list at all, I just make sure she knows what’s expected.
    As far as punishments go I try to keep a balance on what’s mild and what’s severe enough to earn a physical penitence. Although I shall say my wife has not yet developed full acceptance of correction, I can feel her biting her tongue when she is verbally corrected, she may control her words but the attitude is still there, however I try to let those little things slide otherwise I’d probably be spanking her daily. The spankings though are so despised and feared by her that I see no attitude remaining after she’s gotten one.

  6. All wrongdoing receives some correction. Minor things are often only verbal. Spanking is always used for things that are not minor.

  7. […] on the receiving end of discipline, is that if their husband takes up spanking them, it will be a totalitarian affair, or that it will venture into extremes of pain. What exactly am I getting into is a natural […]

  8. […] against fooling consistency. It has to be noted that one shouldn’t be consistent with the wrong system, such as punishment for any minor error or flaw. To consistently punish for anything would push a […]

  9. […] is also a fear beyond the ordinary fear of pain; that of whether your man might go to some extreme in punishing you, and take pain to an unbearable level. Anyone accepting discipline naturally wants […]

  10. TryingtoSubmit Avatar

    I was so scared to confess to my HoH that I had flirted with a man at our church 10+ years ago. (It was an on-going relationship that and this man and I clearly had attraction and sparks between the two of us. We played on the worship team together. I know his wife knew, too.)

    The guilt was eating me alive. I finally told him last night. His anger and disappointment was real, but he stayed calm. I’ll never forget that Discipline Session with the leather strap. I know I belong to him. I won’t be tempted again to stray. Furthermore, he said I am forgiven and it’s behind us. I feel a huge weight lifted. I don’t have to carry this around anymore.

    I know the Lord forgives when we ask, but this was a sin against my husband and I had to tell him to be truly free.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Trying to Submit. You did the right thing. That is good of you to confess not only to God, but to the person that you wronged. So much gets set straight with honest confession.

      A good hard spanking like you describe often is what it takes to make clear the seriousness of the wrong, and how destructive it can be. Then afterward, it acts as a great reminder to stay on the right path. It is much better to have that cleared and in the past, than to walk around with it on your soul.

      Your husband surely sounds like he knows how to handle things.

      Lord bless you.

  11. john of arc Avatar
    john of arc

    I have a question I didn’t manage to find an answer in your posts. What if my wife is mentally ill? How to apply discipline then, for what cases? She has borderline personality disorder and it’s hard for me to apply the instructions since:
    1) her behaviour is sometimes something completely out of her consciousness and she can’t regret the argument or be taught anything during the borderline episode
    2) I think she can treat spanking as a form of masochism in her case – she had abusive partners and her attachment to such methods might be a symptom of unhealthy coping mechanisms.
    She was the one that encouraged me to interest in domestic spanking, to wash away guilt as she said, and to bring me some confidence and authority since I have really low self esteem and decision making problems. What is your opinion on that?

    1. Hello John, Thank you for visiting my website. It’s a challenging question, but more than a tiny handful of people need to deal with similar situations. Your wife is clearly in the right mindset to understand she needs your leadership, and that spanking helps her, but as you describe she also has episodes when she is at least partially out of her mind.

      Applying discipline in any home is going to require some discernment in how and when to use discipline. Your judgment calls may be more careful and consequential. However, it’s not beyond our understanding in how to deal with someone.

      If you find she is so beyond understanding as to be incapable of knowing right and wrong — something more associated with psychosis — then like the state you may find she is not fully ethically responsible. You may deal with it in terms of treatment and healing, and finding away to protect against that future harm. But if she’s truly crazy, punishment does not fit.

      However, many people who have confused episodes spend much of their time lucid, so there needs to be care in knowing if a person was aware of their actions and understood them, or if they truly didn’t know what they were doing. Even diagnosed schizophrenics can spend much of their time lucid, and would be legally responsible for any crime they committed.

      In my understanding of what is termed borderline personality, the vast majority of behavior is far from psychotic. However, some severe cases of it include what are psychosis-like experiences, appearing as wild fantasies the person may temporarily believe.

      I don’t see any reason why discipline cannot or should not be applied to a wife with this personality. It just requires care to know if the more severe episodes amount to being insane, for ethical purposes. Otherwise, I can see how discipline would help her, and help you manage her.

      However, you need to decide what you think is best, and also judge by what is successful. Naturally as a husband, you should be leading and guiding her on multiple levels, and they all come together to help her follow your will and behave with virtue. They also help her understand you and understand herself. Make sure that you are shepherding her clearly, and with love each day.

      Your wife is right to encourage you to lead. Making regular decisions will help with your low feelings about yourself, as will more greatly trust in God who made you. You are in charge, and God communicates his will and his love through you.

      1. john of arc Avatar
        john of arc

        Thank You for your answer and for your time to take care of this uneasy case. But what still concerns me is your opinion on how to set the line between masochism and unhealthy desire to take from her the responsibility of caring about her own spirit. Do you think it’s still good to use this method? When is it masochistic and when is it healthy?
        She begged me to do it for some mistakes in the past she still feels sorry about, and I did it, with bare hand on her butt. She asked to do it 3-4 times since she was… glad to be punished, and despite the fact she was spanked really hard and long did complained it didn’t left any serious bruises that would hurt her. After this I felt quite… used by her. Not as an authority, but the occasion to break my own soul, break my will, break my conscience. The same day, I heard in church: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13) and I thought: what if sacrifice of my wife is just what ascetics do whipping their backs and teach her no sense of mercy for her sins, only the sacrifice? I think I would prefer woman to learn from emotional, spiritual etc. consequences and long talks. Isn’t spanking just a shortcut way of correcting not with her intellect to reflect on her whole process of growing and becoming a better Christian, but with an ascetic training? Don’t we treat them by this like there is no deeper thinking in them?

        In addition to this, thinking more holistic – isn’t applying DD methods make the process of atonement only concerned on the fear of punishment in long term? Since I will never know if she understood the lesson by herself or she just absorbed it with pain, and I think I want her to understand her mistakes not by operative conductioning but with free will God gave us.

        I would be glad if you reply to these questions and concerns without thinking I’m completely against your methods – I’m just trying do understand what is going on with my wife and what to do since I’m very analytical man. I’m also deeply immersed in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, want to apply some discipline between us as much as she asks for it. I just have some concerns and be happy to hear your statement on that.

        I must add to the topic to your understanding of bpd itself: in treated borderline the borders (quite a wordplay here:) ) between conscious and unconscious don’t exist, it’s a mix of different states (it’s really hard for me to explain it, but she often seems to struggle from a thousand different changes of mind and speaks about it openly).

        1. Hello John, Thanks for explaining further. I see no reason to think in terms of masochism. A healthy desire for justice, and to receive punishment, is not masochism. It is human nature. The woman, being softer and under authority, is more sensitive to her need to be corrected, but men have it too. It is a result of the human conscience, and the vertical structures that are built into society. Discipline brings peace, freedom from guilt, inner cleansing, and a renewed peace. Anyone can appreciate those things. So a desire to be spanked is not some masochistic attachment to pain itself. It’s a desire that human relationships be ordered correctly, and that wrongs are brought to right. These are very good desires.

          Punishment should be given for bad attitude and bad behavior. There is no formula for the exact frequency, and there is no formula for the exact method or hardness of discipline. There are judgment calls to make concerning what bad behavior is serious enough to warrant a spanking, and plenty or room for disagreement about small matters of how it is applied. You should correct her when it’s needed. I recommend spanking for disobedience, irresponsibility and negligence, disrespect, and other bold rule breaking or sins. Small matters such as imperfections or passing mistakes should be overlooked, or treated gently. When a problem is just beginning, sometimes a verbal talk or a warning is sufficient. But clear bad behavior ought to be punished firmly when it happens. She should be spanked hard and lectured.

          You will misguide yourself if you think of it in terms of a sacrifice. I see you getting confused by trying to wrongly apply a Scripture about one thing to just punishment. The Bible commands just punishment over and over. Jesus Christ warns both of earthly suffering and eternal hell because of our sins. So do the Epistles and Revelation. The passage Jesus cites there is the prophet reminding Israel that obedience is greater than the animal sacrifices of the Temple. Go back and read the surrounding verse from Hosea. Simply going through the mandated sacrifices without real love and obedience to God is to miss the point entirely. The prophet is not teaching that there can no longer be any justice in society. That’s not even in view. In fact, if there really were no need for justice, God would not repeatedly command it even after the prophet says that, and Christ would have no need to die on the cross for our sins. The apostles would have no need to warn brethren of the consequences of sin. So God’s desire for mercy, over mere ritual sacrifice, has nothing to do with just punishment. It legitimately points out what is at the heart, but it does not just wipe away every other teaching of Scripture.

          Now it IS correct to understand that all of our relationship is not ordered on rules and punishment. Of course not. Our relationship, whether in marriage or with other authorities, should be based on God’s love and the good of mankind. It should be a reflection of the divine character and will. The rules, the dos and don’ts, spring from that love and help apply that love to our reality. Discipline is one tool among various to keep people from straying from the path. Don’t base a marriage more than anything else on discipline. But use discipline rightly as a tool for good purposes. Then it is an instrument of love as it is meant to be. God endorses and mandates discipline.

          If discipline is a “shortcut” as you say, it is a biblical shortcut. There’s nothing wrong with having a helper to guide the human soul to righteousness. We also have the Word of God. We have the Holy Spirit. We have gentle correction, encouragement, and verbal rebuke. Discipline fits in well among these tools, and is no less legitimate than the others. There may certainly be an element of fear in it, but there’s nothing wrong with it. The evildoer ought to fear justice. The evildoer ought to fear the strong arm of the law. The Bible teaches fear at times, and warns in the strongest possible language, MANY times, about the wrath of God on us. So experiencing fear is not an evil, though it certainly should not be the only part of any relationship, or the daily experience. Remember, Jesus Christ promises to chastise His own beloved people. He promises that people will even die because of their sins. So discipline is very good.

          I hope you take time to think about the picture I have painted for you. It takes time to see, especially with a wide variety of inherited values, which are often secular, affecting our minds. I believe anyone can see the value in discipline, and understand its helpfulness.

          I did many years ago go out with a woman who likely had borderline personality disorder. She probably fit the more extreme end of it, could make best friends in a heartbeat and become worst enemies in a heartbeat. She occasionally expressed belief in wild fantasies, and could be very threatening. However, I think it’s best not to rely on philosophical or psychological categories, when we build our relationship. Rather, we ought to trust in what Scripture teaches about human nature and behavior. God’s way can work for any man willing to come to Him. It will bring the borderline, the depressed, the sociopath, the psychotic to righteousness, though often while leaving some of their mental material the same. Work on biblical terms and biblical commands. I don’t think anything in her condition will prevent her from benefiting from discipline. We’re all human.

          Bless you,


          1. I just want to mention in passing that a woman with borderline personality disorder may be quite capable of begging for discipline and then calling the police when she gets it.

            As a man with borderline personality disorder may be quite capable of telling his wife firmly to do something and then disciplining her harshly for doing it.

            Both probably would benefit from discipline of some sort from someone on some level, though it’s hard to see how to approach it. “Presenting reality” can help–which is kind of what you cover, Aron, in talking about helping a wife to see her responsibility, but this won’t be as straightforward as in dealing with a healthy person. Proceed with caution.

            Blessings and love,


          2. aronhusband Avatar

            Thank you. Certainly, it is true that people with serious mental problems may distort or damage the discipline process. This is just as they may harm the marriage in other ways. The needs of the individual need to be taken into account in deciding how to manage discipline, and other matters with them.

  12. Faithful Husband Avatar
    Faithful Husband

    I don’t have many rules for my wife to follow. She must care for our home, be modest in her dress and behavior, and show me the respect I deserve as her husband and the head of this house. But in the beginning, I spanked for any slip up, big or small. I believe that was necessary for my wife to learn that there are consequences for her choices. Also, we had been married for a few months before I introduced real discipline, and I needed to set the right tone. My lectures and rules hadn’t been followed the way they should before (she tried, but she was weak), and I wasn’t going to leave any doubt in her mind of exactly where the line was between laziness and obedience. If she left dishes in the sink or her clothes on the floor, she got a spanking. Every time. Sometimes if it was something small like that, I’d skip my normal routine of a longer lecture and wait time in my study. I’d just lift her skirt right there in the kitchen and spank her with my hand or whatever was around. A wooden spoon or a hairbrush get the job done just fine. Like I said, I think she needed that consistent message at first. But now that’s it’s been almost a year, I’m seeing maturity in her that wasn’t there before. She doesn’t let things slide like she used to, and I know that’s because she learned the hard way where that got her. So I’ve been experimenting a little with using a warning for the smaller things. Any bit of back talk is rare, but that always earns a spanking no matter what. For little things, though, I’ve tried giving a direct warning and the order to get it done now rather than an immediate spanking. It’s worked so far, and she seems grateful. She’s pregnant, and I know she’s more tired now than she used to be. But things aren’t going to get any easier once that baby comes, and I expect her to keep up with her duties. I know the only reason warnings are working for my wife is because I have been so hard on her. I’ve tanned her hide more times than I can count, and she knows I’ll do it again. If any men reading this have advice about how they strike the right balance with disciplining their wife, I’d love to hear it. I love my wife, but I’ve put a lot of time into training her well, and I don’t want that to go down the drain because I’m being too soft on her.

    1. Hello Faithful Husband, I would warn you that this is frivolous use of marital discipline. You provide an example of proudly giving punishment for small infractions, and passing mistakes. I don’t think it takes a great deal of examination to call this a misuse of authority.

      A discipline system simply does not exist for this purpose. Nor is marriage essentially totalitarian. Punishment is there for real wrongs, not minor mistakes. Leading a wife in virtue, and in doing her job well, does not involve regulating everything, or punishing minor matters. Any man who uses punishment so frivolously needs to recognize they themselves would never desire such a thing.

      For example, no one goes to work expecting serious discipline from their boss for tiny mistakes, although in theory it could happen. Most people expect that minor matters at work are dealt with through a simple conversation, or a warning. The hammer doesn’t come down every time there’s a mistake with minor consequences. While I’ve worked for a few grumpy bosses in my life, I’ve never worked for any boss who wasted his time and energy giving serious discipline for tiny matters. It would be truly irrational if he did, and I’m sure even short-tempered bosses know it would be a waste of their time, and beleaguer their employees. The goal is to succeed in your work, but nobody is flawless.

      The same is true of the state. No one expects severe punishment for minor violations or regulations. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone serving hard time in the slammer because they let their grass get too long, or their tax returns were a little late. Things like that get dealt with through a warning, or at best a fine. If you incarcerated everyone who broke a minor regulation, it’s hard to imagine how you’d pay for such a massive prison system, and you wouldn’t have enough workers outside of prison at any given time to run the country.

      The same principle applies in the home. Punishment, at least the serious end of it, is there to correct serious wrongs, or ongoing problems. It can be very effective at that. However, to punish for minor matters, is essentially to correct nothing at all, and to aim for a goal so perfectionist, no one could reach it. Moreover, a wife who is spanked for every mistake, will essentially find spankings are unavoidable, and she cannot meet her husbands’ standards. It’s not fair to give an unreachable goal. Discipline is only there in marriage to correct her bad attitudes and behaviors. There are times it may indeed become frequent, but this is when a wife is truly rebellious, or refuses to do her job. Otherwise, spanking comes in far less often.

      It is true spankings tend to be more common earlier in marriage. However, this is not because there is some rule they have to be. It is because many wives still have bad habits to leave behind, and some have learned to resist their husband’s authority. Spankings are far from rare in those cases because they are needed. Then as she learns, they become less. Spankings are there to solve a real problem, not to pursue perfection. If a wife is generally submissive and does her job, there’s no reason for them to be common.

      There is a word from a “real man.” Doing the job of a real man, does not require a totalitarian effort. I’d encourage you to step back from such a rigorous approach, which you would never desire to be applied to you, and use discipline more responsibly in your marriage.

      1. I think I have to disagree with you there. Faithful Husband didn’t do anything wrong in my eyes. The wife knows what her duties are and that she’s expected to complete them. The Bible specifically says women should not be idle.
        Perhaps I emphasize more because my own methods and rules are similar, but in my opinion if it’s something the Bible says is wrong it’s something to be punished for. Perhaps there’s some I missed but I can’t think of a verse that says women ignoring their duties should be ignored because they’re pregnant or tired. I don’t come home from work until all of my responsibilities for the day are done, and I go to work even if I’m tired. It should be the same for a wife.
        God bless.

        1. aronhusband Avatar

          Hello Michael, I am speaking primarily about giving harsh punishments for small mistakes. I do not believe that is the right use of discipline. Moreover, discipline should take into account situations which might limit what a wife can do, including pregnancy. Often times there are so many tasks, that some need to take priority over others, and the smaller matters wait. Responsible people do things like that all the time. A discipline system must take account of these limitations, or it will seem unavoidable to receive harsh punishment, and become a frustration. Discipline is there not to regulate everything, but to make sensible rules, and punish serious infractions. It motivates a wife, and deters her bad behavior. It is quite easy to manage a wife in smaller matters with words and verbal correction. I would save a spanking for truly bad behavior.

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