Much has been written about how to handle the strong willed child. Parenting has got to be one of the toughest jobs there is in the world. And parenting can be especially tough when the child you are parenting possesses a strong will. God himself knows this because he is a parent himself and we are his children. This is why he commands Christians to discipline disobedient children with the rod of correction in the book of Proverbs.
I teach elsewhere that God has replaced the Old Covenant commands given through Moses by the New Covenant commands given through Christ. However, it is important to note that the commands in Proverbs given through Solomon, though in the Old Testament, are not part of the Old Covenant, the contract given through Moses to the Jews. Thus the command to spank disobedient children with a rod of correction still stands. So parents spank your children!
However, also be reminded that though parenting is a tough job, there is another tough job, that of being a kid! The Holy Spirit brings a balance of grace to parent and child relations by also speaking about the strong willed parent. God says in Ephesians, "You fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4 WEB). And again in Hebrews, "For they [fathers] indeed, for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but he [God] for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).
Two hard facts come to the surface here. First, God warns fathers not to exasperate our children. Why? Because we often do! Second, God does not even give fathers the credit for disciplining children for their good. Instead, he warns that only God our Father has motives of benefit in discipline. Unfortunately we fathers are often inclined to discipline our children simply when their disobedience inconveniences us. Sadly we fathers also are corrupted with stubborn and strong wills.
The command to spank our children still stands. However, the Holy Spirit’s words ought to bring a measure of sober judgment as we discipline our children. Let’s keep in step with God’s goal that Christian parents and children would grow to be brothers and sisters in the Lord under his fatherhood.