I am grateful for the fact that my parents spanked my siblings and me as I was growing up.  The interesting thing is that while I’m aware that I was spanked as a child, I don’t really remember any specific times.

Except one.

It is one of my earliest memories. It happened at church, when I was maybe four or five.

There was a boy at our church who was perhaps a year or two younger than us. As a five year old, I was aware that the adults found him cute. This really bothered me. I was jealous of him. I didn’t think anyone deserved to get this much attention – well, no one besides me. So I didn’t like him.

One Sunday morning, as our family was getting ready to leave, I saw that he was walking by me. I can clearly remember the location (for those who know Calvary Church – the drinking fountain near the northeast corner). There weren’t many others around, so I did what any sinful selfish five year old would do. I stuck out my foot and tripped him. He fell. It hurt.

And then I looked up and saw my Dad down the hallway. He had seen me do it.

If ever a child deserved a spanking, at that moment I did. And I got one. I don’t remember the pain. I remember the humiliation. Because my Dad spanked me at church.

But my humiliation was not only due the public nature of my punishment. It was because I saw my sin. I saw what my sin made me want to do. I think I began to see the foolishness of being jealous when another person was being honored. I saw the pride that was in my heart.

I’d like to say that this spanking cured me of being bothered if all praise didn’t come to me. I’d like to, but I can’t.

I can say, at the very least, that the spanking began to teach me what was happening in my soul and the evil that was there. And that it needed a cure. I wouldn’t be surprised when I get to heaven, to find out that my Dad’s choices that day played a big role in my eventual salvation.

Dads: Help your child see what’s in their hearts.