Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child

Raising children is no easy task. We try our best to do right by God, and to do right by our children, hoping that they grow up to be responsible and Godly adults. We can find good counsel in the Bible to help us, where we learn that it is important to discipline our children, yet there is a balance so that we do not discourage them.

“Spare the rod and spoil the child” – Samuel Butler, 17th Century Poet

We have all heard the quote “spare the rod and spoil the child”, and I’d venture to guess that most of us have thought it came right from the Bible. You might even be reading this right now, sure that it’s wrong, and searching your Bible to find the proof. I had heard it many times before: “spare the rod, spoil the child, it’s in the Bible”.

The actual quote was written by Samuel Butler, a 17th century poet, but it is likely inspired from the Bible verse in Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Very close in meaning but they are not exactly the same; perhaps Samuel Butler was just concisely paraphrasing the meaning.

So the next time someone tells you it’s Bible, you know that it’s NOT really.


Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child — 2 Comments

  1. The exact quote ‘Spare the rod, Spoil the child’ is of the poem. Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13,14 and 29:15 all state that discipline is a necessity for your children are found in the NJKV Bible.

  2. Pingback: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” | Freedom. Truth. Marriage.

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