I am feeling pretty heartbroken right now after going to a new Bible study group that handed out the book Shepherding a Child's Heart in order to start a parenting series. The leaders just said this book is amazing and that they feel led to teach it. I had never heard of it and just assumed it would be gentle if not crunchy.
In convo with one of them she mentioned spanking and my eyes probably widened. She must have assumed (we don't know each other at all) that I was on board and she said that the humiliation of being spanked (this book advocates parent's hand on bare bottom until a vague age then on underwear) teaches the child to be humble to God.
I was horrified! When I got home I read the spanking chapter and it made me sick. It wasn't lukewarm like most spankers I am acquainted with (who say it's last resort but don't find it wrong), but it said parents who don't spank don't take God seriously and that it's a must. It also said if the child is upset with the parent after spanking then they need to be spanked again until they are "sweeter".
I flipper through the rest of the book and it's all bad. The author's tone is condescending and punitive.
So I was really upset and agonized, prayed, talked to my husband, and just tried to come up with a solution that won't cause ill feelings or was unloving in any way. I thought about handing out alternative info (Christian and GD) when we got there but my church, like most, has an approved list that I haven't seen (my next step is to look that up and make sure the other side is there too).
So after sleeping on it I felt like God was leading me to lovingly bow out. I sent her an email with a link to a GD Christian site that goes verse by verse and explains a different perspective, just a reason for my decision and wrote that I'm not trying to change her mind. I wrote that I respect her family and can see they love their girls and that we both want the best for our kids. I said I hope there's no awkwardness.
How do you guys navigate this issue? I feel like I don't fit in and I don't understand how other people can't see what I see regarding Jesus being gentle and loving in all areas.
Sorry so long!