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Fundamentalism, Michael and Debi Pearl, Parenting

Why I no longer “train up” my children

Ok, I admit it. I used to be a “Pearl-ite.”

That is, until I realized it was damaging our family.

I’m a slow learner. You see, I really thought that they had good material. After all, I had been “rebuked” while reading Created To Be His Helpmeet. Though I didn’t actually finish the book. I got too “convicted” and put it down. However, I still thought highly of it, so when I came across their book To Train Up A Child, I thought they had the answers to my child training issues.

My husband and I started implementing some of their techniques on our first-born when she was about 18 months old. Things went well, for the most part. She responded fairly well when disciplined. However, our next two kids were more spirited, and well, boys.

Here’s an excerpt from a note I wrote on Facebook last year:

Certain recent events in my life have caused me to evaluate my life. And as part of that evaluation, I have also been re-evaluating my parenting. To be honest, in recent months, I have become more easily frustrated as a parent. I’ve been reading parenting books for over 5 years. I’ve gleaned tips from other moms. We train and discipline them like we should. Why then, are my kids not responding as the books say they should?

The main book I was thinking about when I wrote that was the Pearl’s To Train Up a Child. And I had bought into the lie that if I did the right things with my kids, if I disciplined them the right way, if we gave them all the Bible teaching we could, that they would change how I wanted them to change and become the children I wanted them to become.

But I had left God out of the whole process and I was left frustrated.

Have you ever been there?

One of the many verses out there that is shared with many parents is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And even though some will say it’s not a promise, per se, they live like it is. The problem is not in believing that God will bless our efforts; it’s in believing that how our children turn out is up to us.

Question: Have you ever experienced frustration from parenting advice not working for your family?



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