The other day I got to be witness to, for better or worse, an argument about whether or not the quote "Spare the rod, spoil the child." was indeed in the Bible. Mostly out of curiosity, I decided to find out and put the matter to rest once and for all.
The fact is that the quote is NOT from the Bible. It from a poem called Hudibras by Samuel Butler written in the 17th Century. And...the line is actually a tongue in cheek reference to prevent conception. ( I bet you are all looking at this in a WHOLE new light, aren't you?)
The actual Bible quotes that this gets confused with are from Proverbs. "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." (Proverbs 13:24) "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death." (Proverbs 23:13-14)
I would also like to take this time to remind everyone that Proverbs is part of the Old Testament. When you are asking yourselves the question, "What would Jesus do?" I don't think the Prince of Peace would EVER hit a child.