The switch on my behind saved time

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My father was not much different from any of the father’s during that time and they all believed in the biblical admonition, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” These fathers were united in making sure none of their children would be spoiled.

One rule we had in the house I did not fully agree with was, if you got a spanking in school (and in those days we got spankings in school) you got a spanking at home. Talk about double dipping!

The assumption was that the teacher was right and that the one receiving the spanking was wrong. Back then, 99.9% of the time that was true. The spanker was in charge, the spankee took it like a man and you know where.

I spent 12 years in the public education system and during that time, my teacher was never wrong. I will not divulge how many times I was wrong, that is between me and the area I sit on.
I clearly remember that my teachers back then had what was called “the Hickory stick.” And boy did those teachers know how to use that Hickory stick and where it would do the most good.

My father did not have a Hickory stick as such. Hanging on the wall in the kitchen was an old wooden paddle engraved with, “I need thee every hour.” I am surprised that that one wooden paddle lasted during my entire childhood.

I made one mistake during those childhood days. I was going through a period where the paddle and my bottom were close friends. I was getting a little weary of such friendship and decided I would do something about it.

My father had gone to work early that day, as I remember it now, and I was going out the door to go to school when a thought danced in my head. I would take that paddle and dispose of it so that it could no longer be attached to my person.

I had forgotten about that and two days later, I got into some trouble. It was the kind of trouble that could be resolved only by that wooden paddle. My father went to get the paddle and to his chagrin, and my posterior harm, it was not there.

Very seldom did my father paddle me when he was really angry. There was one case when that happened, and this was it. I will not repeat the lecture that he gave at that time, but I will say that it had a lasting impression upon my posterior. At that time, I wished he had been a man of fewer words.

I know times have changed, but I am not sure they have changed for the better. There was a time when parents were in charge of children and responsible for the discipline. Sadly, that day is far-gone.

The only thing I would say is, are we better off today than we were back then?

The Bible admonishes us, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Discipline, not abuse, is drastically needed among our children today. My father would put it this way; lack of discipline is a form of abuse.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail or website

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