Here is an interesting biblical interpretation.
The King James Version of Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd,” contains the phrase: “I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The “rod” in this context, refers to the governing of flock so they don’t wander. The flock refers to sheep, but metaphorically it refers to people.
There are some who use the biblical reference of the “rod” to justify using spankings as a primary and frequent form of discipline—as in “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” This phrase is a modern day proverb that means if a parent refuses to discipline an unruly child, that child will grow accustomed to getting his own way. The youth will become, in the common vernacular, a spoiled brat.
But there is another interpretation about the rod and the staff. Taken in context, the rod and staff were symbols of authority in ancient times. These passages, therefore, are more accurately interpreted to mean that parents who spare (don’t use) authority will certainly spoil their children.
For thousands of years—and even today—only a few wise people understood that using authority was not synonymous with coercion.
Tip: Learn how to use authority without coercion.