Voddie Baucham, Shy Kids, and Spanking 5 Times Before Breakfast

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Julie Anne Smith’s blog Spiritual Sounding Board. It was originally published on June 17, 2013.

One of the traps that we got ourselves caught in was looking to religious leaders for guidance on how to raise our children. It’s ok to seek guidance, but we didn’t always check what we learned with scripture. We read a lot of books and went to parenting seminars/classes over the years:  Train Up A ChildShepherding a Child’s HeartTitus2.com, Ezzo’s Growing Kids God’s Way, etc.

We weren’t the only ones. Some of these books/classes were trendy and many churches across the states would jump on the bandwagon. During the mid 1990s, I spent time visiting homeschool forums online and I’d hear of new parenting books/programs popping up all over the country. Next thing I knew, our own church was now promoting the program I had just read about online.

In general, we tried to adopt ideas that worked for our family and leave the other stuff behind. That seems like a balanced approach, but we still got ourselves in trouble and I have had to apologize to my kids for the way I treated them.

It’s interesting, but the Bible really doesn’t have a large amount of verses on child training, yet some of these Christian leaders were able to write meaty books on the subject or speak for hours on the subject,  showing us how to parent our children the “biblical” way. Yet how much of what they write or speak about really is in the Bible?  It’s really more of their interpretation of the Bible and the application of it. I don’t know about you, but none of my kids were born with an instruction manual and coming from a dysfunctional family, I wanted all the help I could get.

I now get red flags when I see big names being promoted as being the expert on a particular issue. Voddie Baucham is one such pastor whose name is in the celebrity pastor limelight.  I don’t quite understand why people elevate certain pastors to the level of celebrity status.  It’s high time we start removing people from pedestals and acknowledge that God has given us parents the same ability to discern that He has given them.  They were not given a direct line to God any more than we have been given.

From Mr. Baucham’s “about” page at his church website:

Voddie Baucham wears many hats.  He is a husband, father, pastor, author, professor, conference speaker and church planter.  He currently serves as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX.  He has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, TX, and Union University in Jackson, TN.  He has also lectured at Southern Seminary.

Baucham is a big proponent of homeschooling and his 8 children are educated at home. He and his church also promote family-integrated church model, meaning families worship together and there is no age segregation for Sunday school classes, youth groups, etc.

In this article, we read about his involvement in the Homeschool Movement.  The Homeschool Movement is a subculture within the homeschooling community which subscribes to specific teachings and ideologies:  Courtship, Patriarchy, Purity/Modesty teachings, Quiverfull, etc.  He believes the Homeschool Movement has the ability to turn the tide in recapturing this current generation for Christ.  Here’s one quote:

”The one hopeful sign I see is that the home-schooling movement is thriving. If there is an answer, I believe that is it.”

Along with his support of the Homeschool Movement, Google searches will show that he is a strong supporter of Courtship and Patriarchy. He also does not think adult daughters should leave the home to go to college.

I’m not going to discuss those specific issues, but only bring them up to give a little background information.

What I do want to focus on is his parenting ideas, namely, spanking. Listen to his words. Line up his words with what the Bible says on parenting and see for yourself if this man is speaking biblically or his own agenda. Does the Bible say anything about shy children? Does the Bible say anything about how many spanks a child needs each day? Where does that come from?

*****

The following was transcribed from the above video:

Voddie Baucham

November 4, 2007

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

SPANK OFTEN

Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 1-4: I want to take you through three things, I want you to see three things, three phases in the training of our children. Phase number one is the discipline and correction phase. These are the first few years of life incredibly important. This is where we lay the foundation for everything else. The discipline and training phase. In this phase is where we are saying to our children “give me your attention, give me your attention.” “You need to pay more attention to ME than I do to YOU, give me your attention.” “The world doesn’t revolve around YOU, YOUR world revolves around ME.” That’s what we need to teach our children in those first few years of their life. Because they come here and just by nature of things they believe that the world revolves around them. And for the first few weeks that’s okay, but eventually we need to teach them that that’s over, that, “The world no longer revolves around YOU. YOUR world TODDLER, revolves around ME, around me.”

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the ROD of correction will drive it far from them. In other words God says your children desperately, desperately need to be spanked.

Amen, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord and spank your kids, okay? (laughter from audience)

And, they desperately need to be spanked and they need to be spanked often, they do. I meet people all the time ya’ know and they say, oh yeah, “There have only been maybe 4 or 5 times I’ve ever had to spank Junior.” “Really?” ‘That’s unfortunate, because unless you raised Jesus II, there were days when Junior needed to be spanked 5 times before breakfast.” If you only spanked your child 5 times, then that means almost every time they disobeyed you, you let it go.

Why do your toddlers throw fits? Because you’ve taught them that’s the way that they can control you. When instead you just need to have an all-day session where you just wear them out and they finally decide “you know what, things get worse when I do that.”

THE SELFISH SIN OF SHYNESS

Let me give you an example, a prime example. The so-called shy kid, who doesn’t shake hands at church, okay? Usually what happens is you come up, ya’ know and here I am, I’m the guest and I walk up and I’m saying hi to somebody and they say to their kid “Hey, ya’ know, say Good-morning to Dr. Baucham,” and the kid hides and runs behind the leg and here’s what’s supposed to happen. This is what we have agreed upon, silently in our culture. What’s supposed to happen is that, I’m supposed to look at their child and say, “Hey, that’s okay.” But I can’t do that. Because if I do that, then what has happened is that number one, the child has sinned by not doing what they were told to do, it’s in direct disobedience. Secondly, the parent is in sin for not correcting it, and thirdly, I am in sin because I have just told a child it’s okay to disobey and dishonor their parent in direct violation of scripture. I can’t do that, I won’t do that.

I’m gonna stand there until you make ‘em do what you said.

*****

46 comments

  • I was spanked for shyness. Even when I wasn’t rude and just was mostly quiet, I’d be spanked for that calm temperament.

    • The thought of that, and this idiot’s self-centred interpretation of the Christ that cautioned those who harmed even one hair of a child’s head would wish they had never been born…. makes me want to take a belt to this man and give him everything he would give a shy child. Shyness is not a choice, you are born with it. Being evil like this man IS a choice.

    • I just want to say that I’m sorry for the abuse you suffered. My abuse was not from a religious standpoint- My step dad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 24 or so. My mother thought for years that I should forgive him of all the abuse because of his mental illness. Now, I’m 37 and he died 2 years ago. I forgave him 2 hrs before he died.
      The abuse I suffered made me shy- especially around males. That of course led to dating way to many people and my mother constantly saying “don’t lay your pearls before swine”… I never understood that statement until I checked in to the women’s violence shelter to save myself and my daughters from my (now) ex.

      Every story I hear about someone’s abuse by a parent or spouse makes all those memories resurface. We, as victims, may have ‘healed’, but there will always be scars. And I will always feel broken. So, I say I’m sorry that you have THESE memories in your head because I wish you didn’t have to know what it feels like.

      But I made a promise to myself as a child. I will NEVER harm my kids and only God can help the bastard that tries to hurt my kids. I now have 100% custody of my girls and my ex (who USED to be a cop) lost his reputation, then his job, then his kids. All because I finally figured out that as an adult, I can finally do something about abuse.

      I am very powerful. I have stopped the cycle of abuse for me and my kids. I have control over what happens to my body. My one regret? That it took half my life to learn how to become self empowered.

  • Yeah, I’d listened to this before. It’s pretty sick.

  • The sin of shyness? Really?

    I’ll be looking forward to reading Voddie’s kids stories here on Homeschoolers Anonymous.

  • What could a child possibly do to be in need of 5 spankings before breakfast?

    As for being shy, I would have been in serious trouble if my parents had taken his approach. Shyness is not fun and to be spanked for it only intensifies it.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      What could a child possibly do to be in need of 5 spankings before breakfast?

      Insubordination?

      As for being shy, I would have been in serious trouble if my parents had taken his approach. Shyness is not fun and to be spanked for it only intensifies it.

      You can’t beat Fluttershy into becoming Rainbow Dash.

      No matter how much Bible you use for backup.

      • H.U.G., you are my hero. And not merely because you reminded me of Rainbow Dash for the first time in a quarter-century.

        Now that I recall- our ponies got taken away, and we never did get a clear explanation as to why.

    • You’d be surprised.
      Not getting up on time/when told. Not doing something else immediately and happily when told. Not eating breakfast quietly. Fighting with siblings. Not sitting still for devotions. Not obeying (family) rule #1… Not obeying one of the other various family rules, “talking back”, making wise cracks.. I could go on.

      I was often one that was spanked before/during/after mealtime.

  • Let the pastor touch you whether you like it or not. Yeah, that’s a nice, safe, not-at-all dangerous thing to teach kids. 😛

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      I’m sure every clergyman fingered by SNAP would agree.

      (And despite the Catholic reputation for pedophile clergy, pedophile clergy are popping up all over — including in some of the most rabid anti-Catholic not-a-denominations you can find. Check Wartburg Watch for some of them.)

  • Oh my word. I was so lucky that my parents never subscribed (or heard) of these teachings. That is barbaric! Also, what does he mean by “an all day session where you just wear them out”???? Holy f@#&!

    • I wrote this article and actually tagged Voddie Baucham on Twitter and we had an interesting exchange (I’m @DefendtheSheep). He claims that “wear out” is a “black southerner” expression. He offered to send me his book. I also invited him to come to my blog and clarify his remarks. He hasn’t done so. I’m not too surprised.

      • Boy, I wish people like this would stop pretending they are speaking their words in a vacuum. Even if “wear out” wasn’t supposed mean “harass/abuse/punish to exhaustion” (which I am dubious about) THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO WILL TAKE IT THAT WAY. Good intentions mean NOTHING to a child that is abused because of this man’s poor choice of words.

        Do you remember the NC pastor last year who said “if you see your son dropping a limp wrist, you crack that wrist. Give him a good punch. Tell him to man up.” He said afterwards that “of course, I wasn’t actually telling people to break a child’s wrist or punch them forcefully. I’m sure my congregation understood what I meant.” I’m sorry, Mr. Pastor, but if your words imply child violence, some people WILL take that as an excuse to put their violent tendencies in action. You are validating child abusers. You can’t pretend that your “actual intention” somehow negates that. Everyone chooses poor words sometimes, but these folks need to immediately own up to it, and forcefully advocate against such behaviors in order to mitigate any damage those words may have done. Anything short of that is aiding and abetting child abuse and it is SHAMEFUL.

      • You’re right. At his level of influence (I noticed over 26K followers on one Twitter account), he has a responsibility with his words. He is not speaking to predominantly “black southern” (his words) audiences.

      • That non-response? That is typical for people who said something indefensible. I recently got phoned by a pastor after blogging on him (in Afrikaans) and he said he is unhappy because I never gave him the chance to offer his side. I told him he is welcome to comment his side on my blog, so the exact people who read my side would read his. He never did.

        Spanking 5 times before breakfast? Good for you for taking him on.

      • I’m not sure he’s right. I was brought up hearing “wear out” as a term for spanking rigorously in my Southern family and communities. If a child misbehaved, we were going to have to have our butts “busted” (bust their butts), “Wear our butts out”, “give a whooping” or some other euphemism for beating the crap out of us. Sometimes it’d be something like “beat ya till the candy come out” or something along those lines. However, we were lower middle class and lower class folk, so there is some chance there was some more intersectionality and cross cultural terminology going on in our end of the community.

  • This guy speaks A LOT, too. These are the homeschooling conventions he was featured at in the last few years:

    2013: Teach Them diligently (NE)
    2012: TX HS Coalition, CHHC (WA), Teach them diligently (SC), CHEA (CA),
    2011: TPA (KS), INCH (MI), CFS (CA), GHEA (GA),
    2010: Nevada HS Expo, TCHEN, CHEO (OH), ICHE (IL), MHEA-MS, Valley Home Ed (CA), CHEC (CA), CHEC (CO),
    2009: TX HS Coalition, HEAV (VA), NICHE (IA), CHHC (WA), CFS (CA)
    2008: OCEAN (OR), CHEC (CO), MPE (MO)

    • This guy is a respected leader/speaker in the homeschool community. His teachings on spanking children is common place among homeschoolers. He tried to say that the comments were taken out of context. How can you take 5 spanks before breakfast out of context?

  • He’s so out there that I can’t believe people listen to him.

  • what a jerk. honestly – I teach my kids they are allowed to have a say in their interactions that involve their own body. they never have to hug, kiss, or touch any person they aren’t comfortable with. Ever heard of Grace? or a sypathetic heart. His address in regards to shy children is all about him, and the attention “HE” feels HE deserves somehow……ugh….

  • This is REPUGNANT. The above clearly betrays Dr. Baucham’s complete ignorance of child development, his apparent comfort with grooming children to be less able to resist inappropriate attention (i.e. sexual, etc.) from adults, as well as his rampant narcissism. Because apparently, the world revolves around HIM.

  • This guy is so wrong on so many levels. First, he needs to know a lot more about child development if he is going to be an “authority”. Two-year olds are just starting to understand they are a distinct person. (Well, I guess that is the time to “beat” that concept out of them if you don’t want them to develop as a normal child). Second, as some have pointed out, making a child respond to an unfamiliar adult, or just when they feel uncomfortable, is a set-up for abuse. Third: shy children won’t get less shy by beating them, ever. I could go on…

  • …”the child has sinned by not doing what they were told to do, it’s in direct disobedience. Secondly, the parent is in sin for not correcting it, and thirdly, I am in sin because I have just told a child it’s okay to disobey and dishonor their parent in direct violation of scripture. I can’t do that, I won’t do that.”

    Here I thought “sin” meant things like killing people. But in this clip he makes “sin” sound better and better.

  • My dad spanked me a lot. I’m thankful to God he did. It wasn’t done out of rage or anger, but love.

    Parents today don’t expect their kids to obey. They base their parenting style on the kid rather than what the Bible says. Spanking is very biblical.

    PS The whole “5 times before breakfast” is called hyperbole folks, he was using it to make a point. ALSO these clips were taken out of context, the entire argument wasn’t heard in its entirety.

    • Please show me, in the original Hebrew and Greek, where parents are directed to take an instrument or hand and strike their children upon the buttocks.

      For that matter, please go find me a sculpture or painting from Bible times, in any culture mentioned in the Bible, that shows an adult striking a child upon the buttocks with a hand or with an instrument.

      You won’t find either.

  • God doesn’t call shyness a sin. I teach my kids that it’s okay to NOT talk to strangers! If his kids need spanked 5 times before breakfast then I’d say he’s not doing a very good job of parenting! He’s just a “special” kind of abusive jack@$$!!

  • Anne Garboczi Evans

    Wow. I don’t even have words. If my toddler were to get 5 spankings before breakfast, I would expect him to have at least deliberately set the house on fire.

  • Reblogged this on lit! and commented:
    First, my wife educates our children at home.
    Second, the faddish curricula denounced by the author in her post below are indeed poisonous.
    Third, something is extremely wrong with the Bible-believing Protestant outlook in the United States when Voddie Bauchman becomes an expert to anyone about anything (then again, he didn’t invent the idea of spanking little kids constantly for each minor infraction).
    While Ed Stetzer and others try to revitalize churches in the U.S. through studious engagement with missiology and evangelism, they remain silent about the plethora, the hoards, the multitudes galvanized by dangerous kooks. It takes a certain amount of brainwashing, “groupthink,” or “social proof” for the galvanized multitudes to exist, but meanwhile, outsiders look at the child-rearing beliefs propagated by the dangerous kooks and intuitively know those beliefs are horribly misguided. I’m not sure how Stetzer and his well-intentioned followers will distance themselves from people like Bauchman. Apparently, on the surface level, in the sense of daily language, the former believes nearly the same theology and doctrine as the latter. There will be no success, however, for Stetzer and his cohorts when “Christian” means everything from child abuse to self-help, and when the Bible can say anything, when any slender biblical phrase becomes an adequate foundation for a crazy interpretation — which sounds like a caricature of Freudian literary interpretation. Also, consider: Maybe Stetzer would have more help today if Christian adults hadn’t years ago wrecked their children by following egotistical, over-confident men with a smug sophomore’s ability to assemble proof from a text.
    CAN YOU BUILD A MOVEMENT THAT CONSTANTLY POISONS ITSELF?
    No — but don’t stop believin’.

  • Anybody in the audience call CPS? Not sure why Mandated Meporters wouldn’t see this as a time to report a case of child abuse.

  • I remember as a young teen I was told that shyness came from the sin of pride, that really messed with my head

  • I honestly don’t understand how they can teach that this type of discipline is taught in the Bible. Even if you take the spanking part out, are we called to force our children not to sin by teaching them to fear us? Does this somehow help them spiritually? I thought that salvation came through faith. Justification through faith, sanctification through the work of the Spirit in our lives? Familiar to anyone? How is it that for children it’s appropriate to remove the element of choice? Does the resulting “correct” behavior put them in good standing with God?

    I don’t think it’s a big mystery what kind of picture of God this type of parenting will give these children!

  • shyness wasn’t acceptable in my family, either, but don’t recall being spanked for that. I was threatened with various privileges being withheld, but this certainly did not improve my ability to speak up.

  • This was completely taken out of context! He didn’t say to spank the child for being shy but because of disobedience! And Voddie didn’t say spank children five times before breakfast he said a child needs more then 5 spanks in their life! Listen to the whole sermon before making stupid assumptions!

    • “And, they desperately need to be spanked and they need to be spanked often, they do. I meet people all the time ya’ know and they say, oh yeah, “There have only been maybe 4 or 5 times I’ve ever had to spank Junior.” “Really?” ‘That’s unfortunate, because unless you raised Jesus II, there were days when Junior needed to be spanked 5 times before breakfast.” If you only spanked your child 5 times, then that means almost every time they disobeyed you, you let it go.”

  • This is very, very, sad! 😦

  • Thank you for this information! We were invited to hear this guy speak but I had never heard of him. You provide specific evidence from his own words of why this guy is the opposite of what I believe is Biblical. You also say in this article:
    THE HOMESCHOOL MOVEMENT IS A SUBCULTURE WITHIN THE HOMESCHOOLING COMMUNITY WHICH SUBSCRIBES TO SPECIFIC TEACHINGS AND IDEOLOGIES: COURTSHIP, PATRIARCHY, PURITY/MODESTY TEACHINGS, QUIVERFULL, ETC.
    I had no idea!
    Our children choose to learn at home and we have raised children ages 14 to 24 who thank us regularly for being good parents and not crazy like the typical homeschool or church families. Many years ago I started my own support group because I could not stomach the way the patriarchy movement and was taking over our state and local groups. That anyone would see those crazy Pearl authors as anything but abusers was a shock. Staying out of that system I am sad to learn how huge these strange teachings have become. It ruins it for any healthy home educators. Even worse it makes a loving God seem like a monster.

    • Thank you Jackie, for standing up to the nutbags and their crazed child-hating fanatics, and starting your support group. More are needed to counteract the poison out there !!

  • Pingback: 6 Things You Should Know About Voddie Baucham | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • Pingback: “Direct Link Between Sin and Mental Illness”: The Mental Health Denialism of Voddie Baucham | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • Pingback: Transcript of Voddie Baucham’s “Child Training” Sermon at Hardin Baptist Church | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • Abuse! No understanding of child brain development. Ignorant hate. I hate this!

  • Pingback: Injustice: an Open Letter to The Gospel Coalition – Sparking Conversation

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