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The great author Walter Wangerin has a wonderful story, called "Matthew, Seven, Eight, and Nine" where he writes:

"I tried to stop my son Matthew from stealing comic books. I even took him to the police station and reported his actions to a detective who I thought scared the pants off him, but nothing worked!

Finally, I resorted to something I rarely used: a spanking. I did it deliberately, almost ritualistically, and I was so upset when I finished, I left the room and wept. After pulling myself back together, I went in to Matthew and hugged him.

A number of years later, Matthew and his mother were doing some reminiscing, and Matthew happened to bring up the time when he kept stealing comic books and he said, "Mom, you know why I finally stopped?"

"Sure," she said, "because Dad finally spanked you."

"No!" replied Matthew, "I stopped because Dad cried."

Source: From a sermon by Gene Edwards, "The Blessing Of Letting Go!" 2/17/2009.

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