"I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still." Sylvia Plath

Archive for the ‘Spanking’ Category

“That one is mine!”

About 8 months ago my oldest daughter bought a package of princess sippy cups for my two youngest princesses. Just about the 1st time after I’d washed them once when I went to give them to the 2 girls there was an immediate protest from the one who had adopted the pink cup. She said, “No! The other lid is mine!” (meaning the darker lid). But, that just didn’t look right to me to put the dark pink lid on the dark pink cup. SO, I insisted that, “No. This is your lid!” (meaning the lighter one).

Well, the 2-year old is the one who had the green cup and she was a-ok with the darker lid so she said, “Yeah! This one is mine!” And, I thought it was, too, so I found the 5-year old’s insistence that the dark lid was hers to be very annoying. And, she didn’t give up on it. No. She kept on and on about it!

She cried.
She crossed her arms.
She insisted.
She said, “No!”
She fussed about it, kicked, and fought about it…for a few weeks…then finally let it go and accepted the light pink lid.

Well, as it turns out after years of needing sippy cups in my life, these cups proved to be the bestest ones ever! They have no “inserts” or hidden crevices to collect eewie stuff. No parts to lose. Nothing gross. And, they never spill! They’re great!

So, I decided I wanted to get another package of them before they’re no longer made…and I thought then that I’d switch the dark pink lid off of the one I’d buy and let the 5-year old have a dark pink lid, too.

Well…guess what I found out when I grabbed a new package off the shelf?

Left is the new pink sippy cup I just bought…

I was wrong. Totally wrong. She was right.

And, she was right to argue with me and to fight for the fact that she was right and being falsely accused and dismissed!

What if…when I was convinced that I was right that I’d have identified her defiant attitude as “disobedience” or as “rebellion” and had spanked her for arguing with me about the lid?!

Just IMAGINE the damage that coulda’ been done to her? It horrifies me to think of it! And, now you can’t tell me that fallible parents who use corporal punishment don’t sometimes make those errors? (How many times did I do this with my other kids before I stopped doing this?)

Just listen to the music that’s most popular with teenagers…the themes in these songs are, “grown-ups don’t understand me”, “life’s not fair”, “grown-ups don’t listen to me”…etc… Teenagers rebelling is common…but we’ve mistakenly come to believe that that means it is a normal stage of development. It is not normal. It is common because of the way we Westerners raise our kids.

On the positive side of this story…

The coolest thing happened with my 5-year old when I came home with the cups. I immediately went to her and showed her the package. I said, “Elisa…do you see what lid is on the pink cup? I was wrong. I am so sorry! Will you forgive me?”

Her reaction was so awesome! She jumped up and put her arms around my neck and gave me a tight hug and said, “I love you Mommy!” and THEN…she ran off and found Dad and told him all about what I’d just told her! It totally touched her so much!

She had been wronged and she hadn’t forgotten it…
I am thankful that I do not have the memory of myself hurting her for it…

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Learning to skate…

Yesterday I went to the ice skating rink with the kids again. It was our 3rd time there. My 5 year old has progressed really well and it got me thinking…

Her 1st time there she could not even stand on the ice without help and I had to literally hold her up the whole time. The 2nd time there she found a “crutch” to use to get around on the ice. They have a bunch of those orange construction-site cones (can’t think what they’re called) there and the kids can hold them and skate. It’s really helpful. Plus then the highly unskilled skaters are “marked” with an orange marker!

Well, this time, she started off right away out onto the ice with one of those cones. Then, later I noticed her standing on the ice alone and I went to her, “Do you need help?”
She smiled and told me, “no.”
She had now progressed to scooting along the outer perimeter and grabbing the wall when she’d slip. It was the cutest thing!

I followed behind her and just shadowed her for the rest of the time we were there in case she needed help and of course, I was just thinking about child training and what I was doing and what would happen to her if I did something else instead…

What if when she would fall on her skates…I would make her go have a “time-out” and sit and think about why she’d fallen.
What if when she’d fall on her skates…I’d take something from her that she likes like a privilege and tell her that as soon as she can make it the whole way around the rink without falling she can have it back?
What if when she’d fall and totally wipe out and take out another kid with her…what if I’d take her off the rink and spank her?

What would any of these techniques REALLY accomplish as far as her learning to skate?

You all know it…it would crush her. It would ruin her zeal to learn to skate. It would take all the joy out of it. It would take all the pride out of her accomplishments. And, it would cause a huge rift in our relationship.

And, I know that people who are sold out on spanking being God’s way are like, “No, it’s not the same this it totally different!” But, HOW? Doesn’t the Bible refer to us as “falling” into sin? Don’t you think of the “fall” in the garden? Sinning is when we fail at the “skill” of being moral. And, our little kids are just as wobbly and unskilled on those “shoes” as my daughter is right now on skates.

1 Tim. 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…
1 Tim. 6:9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Heb. 4:11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
2 Pet. 3:17 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
1 Cor. 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
And, there are MANY OTHERS!

If I trained her to skate the same way people train their kids to be moral…she would fall (which would be humiliating enough) and then just imagine how you would feel if you were 5 and your parent took you aside and spanked you for falling? Imagine it. Don’t you feel it? Don’t you almost wanna just say, “Forget it! I’m not even gonna keep trying!” That’s rebellion. You know, there’s this “common” stereotypical thing people expect – that teenagers will rebel. It’s as tho’ it’s a normal part of development. But, I believe it’s a normal consequence of “traditional” (kid falls and you punish them) parenting. That’s why it’s so common for pastor’s and missionary’s kids to rebel. Those are the type of people you’re going to find to be most diligent in using physical force/coercion to get their kids to have moral behavior…

As I skated around with my little girl yesterday I was more solidified in the understanding as to how wrong it is to ever strike our children. Her precious little body with those tiny skates scooting along faster and faster…so focused…so joyful…so smiley…happy…proud she was! She’d once n’ a while slip and hang off the wall and she’d just look up at me with the cheesiest grin it was so sweet! And, there I was…just “ever-present” beside her…and when she fell I picked her up fast (if I didn’t catch her) or I’d catch her. I’d brush her off and comfort her. Twice she had a bad fall and she got really sad and I’d just pick her up and hold her tight for about 30 seconds and then she’d quit crying and get back to it again. I just thought the whole time about how I was “being like God” just being right there to pick her up…not offering criticisms…not punishing her for failing…just following her and watching for obstacles…ready to help her…feeling so close to her and enjoying her every tiny gain in her skills…

Training your child in any skill should be a reason to whip out your camera…should be a time when you can even get tears in your eyes as you see your child growing in whatever skill it is. But, the most important skill we’ll ever be responsible for teaching our kids is normally none of that. A parent teaching morality is normally following behind their child not to protect them (as is the Biblical rod) but to use that rod to whack their kid every time their kid messes up. Parents follow their kid in order to criticize and to punish…and when the kid falls rather than “brushing off” the effects of their “fall” and “cleaning them up”…we treat them like dogs and “rub their noses” in it, “Look at what you did!”…and there is no enjoyment in it…

We make our kids feel shame about their falling…and we make them separate themselves from everyone else and “think about what they did”…we make them “dwell on their sins”…”dwell on their mistakes” and then we wonder how they get older and can’t forgive themselves and have self hatred because they can’t get over things they’ve done wrong in the past!

The truth is just right there…right there in front of our faces every day…(Romans 1)

Once my 5 year old has the skills to skate she’s going to remember the pain that came from her own failures and the times she fell but the pain will not be remembered as coming from me. She’ll remember as she looks back that I was a source of safety, comfort, protection, and “salvation” from the dangers that were all around her as she learned this skill.

Parents, your children should be able to see you that way to in the area of learning morality, because, that’s who the Bible says God is for us. And, we’re to be showing them what God is like…

Do your kids think of you with fear and know pain comes from YOU when they “fall”? Do they think that getting away from you when they fall is where they are safest? Do they see you as following behind them to catch them (in the act) when they fall so you can cause them some pain? Have you made it so that they feel like it’s safer not to even try?

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

Eph. 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy…don’t continue to be robbed of the most precious, awesome, and rewarding relationship that you’re supposed to have with your kids…

Na’ar in Proverbs…what kind of child are parents to strike?

(This is an excerpt from a posting I found this week that has some seriously compelling evidence against a common practice which I engaged in for 20 years…You can go here to read the full posting this is from… http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/)

Child (Na’ar) in Proverbs

In modern day English, we use a variety of words to describe the different stages of a child’s development. The progression of terms even begins in the womb with words like “embryo”, “fetus”, and “unborn baby”. Following birth, we use “newborn”, “infant”, and “baby”, some use the word “nursling”, then comes “child”, “toddler”, and “preschooler”, and then “school-aged”, “prepubescent”, “pre-teen”, “tween”, “adolescent”, “teenager” and “young adult”. We rarely use the word “child” to describe a “teen”, except when people of ANY age tell “how many children” they have. 

There is a very detailed collection of words that accurately describe the development of a child. The author of the book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me, compiled a list of the NINE Hebrew words that concisely describe this beautiful progression of life.

yeled (yaldah feminine) – newly born, baby

yonek – suckling, nursing child (nursing without solids, birth to approx. twelve months)

olel – still sucking, nursing, but one who is also starting to eat bread (nursing with solids, twelve months to three years)

gamul – completely weaned child (usually between the ages of three and four) [In our culture, which does not encourage extended breastfeeding, that would mean the child no longer uses bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, and thumb sucking]

taph – little children, age of closeness to one’s mother, clinging to mother (between four to six years)

elem (almah feminine) – becoming firm and strong, pre-teenagers

na’ar (narah feminine) – youth, he who shakes off, or shakes himself free, younger men and women who have yet to marry (after and including the teenage years)

bthulah – young women just immediately prior to marriage, virgin

bachur – ripened one, young warrior, marriage starts to become reality

It is significant to note that the words referring to the youngest stages, yeled, yonek, olel, taph, (as well as bthulah) are never found in Proverbs!

When we read the word “child” in the rod verses in Proverbs, we naturally assume it means child!

In three of the rod verses in Proverbs, the English word we see is “child”, but the original Hebrew word is na’ar. It means the “one shook lose” and refers to the young adult or teenage years.

None of the words translated as “child/children” in the book of Proverbs actually refer to those under the age of ten or twelve. This is significant!

The rod verses are NOT directed toward little children.

(Note: In the Old Testament, na’ar also very accurately described Baby Moses. To save his life, they put him in the river. Definitely “shaken off”. It is not a word that would describe a typical baby. The same word was also used for Samuel when he was weaned and taken to the temple. Again, “shaken off” and not a typical experience for a young child.)

When we look at the original Hebrew word, na’ar, we see that it means male youth, young adult. Not even taking into consideration other aspects of the verses that may be misinterpreted, have a look at these verses with this translation of the word na’ar.

Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a na’ar (teenage boy/young man); [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the na’ar (teenage boy/young man): for [if] thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a na’ar (teenage boy/young man) left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.”

We believe all the parenting experts who cite the Proverbs rod verses in English as a mandate to spank young children are ignoring the actual text. (e.g. Pearl advises spanking as early as four months, Dobson at age eighteen months, etc.)

When we examine the evidence, we believe those who rely on the rod verses in Proverbs to argue that parents are Biblically mandated to spank young children, especially those under the age of ten or twelve years, are mistaken. You can’t take a word and try to make it fit another word, even if your purpose is traditional, cultural, acceptable, and legal.

The actual age of the “child” in the Proverbs rod verses is about the age when most authors and parents decide a child is too big for a spanking, at which time they have to find new ways to “discipline” the child.

When you read the book of Proverbs, you will notice that the material is targeted toward young males, certainly not babies and toddlers or even young children. The themes discussed in Proverbs are generally appropriate for only more mature adolescents and those preparing for marriage. Most of the topics found in Proverbs would not even be appropriate to discuss with small children.

End of excerpt from http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/

(me)

You know, this is not like about “preferences”. This is our CHILDREN and someday we’re going to stand before God and answer for what we did with them…and if there is the slightest chance that hitting them is wrong…my goodness why would you even persist in going there? The “damage” that can be done if you do NOT spank is well…I have a very not-terrible 2 who has never been spanked and so I can’t see that there is any damage to NOT spanking because not spanking does not equal letting your kids do whatever they want (aka “permissive parenting”) …but there is ample documented evidence that hitting our kids hurts them.

This isn’t some attack by the devil or liberals against “Christian parenting”. For that matter Hitler woulda’ taught TO spank and I’m pretty sure that if satan had kids he’d enjoy hitting them as well…So this is no attack by the anti-Christian “left”…

This excerpt does not mention (the full article does) that the “rod” that the Proverbs would be referring to is a 5 foot tall stick used for beating off predators…So, how does God feel, I wonder, looking down from heaven seeing Christian ladies with spatulas in their hands (thinking this is a “rod”?) just going to town whacking and whacking their little ones on a private place (their butts) thinking that this is somehow “God’s way” to raise godly kids???

I know we all can’t be “perfect” parents…so we have to admit that at least once we’re going to spank our kids out of anger or because whatever they did personally offended us and not because what they did actually was “bad”…this “weapon”…the rod…is a dangerous tool that parents should leave where it belongs…in the field with shepherds beating off predators…

And, the reason I fuss about this so much is because it’s new and exciting to me…because I have to live in a world full of people beaten to obedience…I love my friends and hate that they lose some of the God-giving amazingness of their relationship with their kids because they have been taught to do this…because some parents because their senses have been dulled by hitting their kids and so it’s an easy step to begin BEATING them…and…God is the biggest loser in this. He is hurt by this and robbed of fellowship with humans because of this…and I hate when He’s hurt…

Again…go here for the full posting…http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/

How we teach…

I know that I should work on using less words…but…for someone who is truly interested in this it won’t matter…and those who aren’t truly interested…it won’t matter either… But, believe it or not I actually feel like I am being brief and that I could go on and on and on ane expand on everything!!! :)

Yesterday we went for the first time to an ice skating rink…and there were parents there who clearly loved skating (because they skated as naturally as I walk) helping toddlers in teensie tiny skates to learn to skate. I thought about how young parents will begin to indoctrinate or introduce their children to the things they value and love…and I thought about “how” they do it. When you have kids…there are countless things you need to teach them, really.

You teach your children to talk, walk, write, sing, play, work, cook, hunt, drive…all kinds of things!

How do we teach them all this stuff?

Talking…
We begin by believing that our child will learn to speak…
We talk to them a lot…and in the beginning we will even babble at them at times…
We repeat things over and over…
We’re careful what we say in front of them because we know they’ll imitate it…
We laugh at and with them as they begin to talk and really say some funny things!
Experiencing a baby learning to talk is a beautiful thing!

Walking…
We believe our child will walk…
We first start by cheering them on when they can roll over!
We then cheer them on when they can crawl. We crawl with them…
When they’re still too weak to walk we will hold them up (bear all their weight) and let them just kick their legs and try to walk…
We hold them as long as they need us to…
We run to help them when they fall…and we encourage them that they did good ’cause they tried and encourage them to keep trying!
Experiencing a baby learning to walk is something you bring your camera out for…it is a beautiful exciting thing!

Writing…
We believe our child will learn to write…
In the beginning with my kids I get them to hold the pen and I will hold and guide their hand to show them how to make the letters…
I print out sheets of writing that’s light gray so they can trace it to learn how to do it well…
I get them to practice.
When they make errors…like writing “WOW” for “Mom”…we smile and enjoy it!
I have some of those papers scanned into the computer to keep forever because the fact that my name is currently “WOW” is a beautiful thing!

Skating…
We picture our child winning the gold medal in the Olympics! :)
The parents I saw put the skates on their children and held them up the whole time on the ice…
Just like learning to walk except a little colder…
Seeing your child learning to do something you love is a fun and beautiful thing!

BASICALLY…you can see a consistency in these examples that the way to teach something to a child is to:
First believe that your child has it in them to learn what they have to learn…
Model what you want to teach with repetition and consistency…
Support the child completely in the beginning until they get to the point where they are capable of doing the skill on their own…and never leave their side…
When they mess up you go to their aid, and encourage them to try again.
When they fall or mess up you are sad for them and do your best to fix their owe…and sometimes you totally laugh and love and want to always remember their errors and you scan in the picture of “Wow”. The process of learning is a fun and beautiful experience!

And, pretty much kids raised with these techniques learn to walk, talk, write, read, play, hunt, drive, etc…Imagine!

We teach everything we teach our children with these techniques…except…morality.
The most important of all skills we seem to have a whole other approach to it that is not…beautiful…

No. With morality. We do something entirely differently…and imagine, not all humans seem to grow up to become happy well-adjusted moral people…hmmm…

With morality…(Christian) parents will teach their kids this way:
Start off with believing the worst in their children and expect their children to fail; that their child is ALREADY a sinner and that everything their child wants to do is to be naughty.
They often model the opposite of what they want their children to learn…(they will ignore their child when they cry though they do not want their children to grow up and ignore others who cry out to them, they will spend too much time on Facebook or writing blog posts while the children run wild ;), they will tell their children to do something and then not follow through like “we’re leaving in 3 minutes” and 20 minutes later they haven’t left, and they will model for their child how to force someone smaller and weaker than them to do what they want regardless of what the smaller weaker person wants, they will force their children to address people as “ma’am” and “sir” and “miss” etc…to treat the child “respect” yet do not respect the child…and actually I will need a whole separate posting to point out what all certain things we do actually teach our kids…)
They will “let go” of the kids way too soon…even as early as in the crib…thinking they are teaching the child “independence”…
And, when the child “draws outside the lines”, or “speaks a wrong word”, or “falls down when taking a step” by behaving in a naughty way…the parents will threaten the child, punish the child, or hurt the child (spank)…
They will also see, and accuse other parents who do not use these techniques to be doing “nothing” to teach their kids anything (and call it “permissive parenting”)

Don’t ya find that…interesting?

Imagine using the same techniques preached for teaching a child moral behavior to teach them to talk, walk, or write…

Imagine threatening or scolding the child when they say, “Ma-ma” instead of “Mom”…
Imagine punishing the child because they wrote “wow” instead of “mom”…
Imagine spanking a toddler because they took a step and fell down…
Imagine a parent teaching their child to ice skate and spanking the child every time they fell on the ice…

It would be ridiculous.

I’m a homeschooling mom…and if you knew that I would spank my kids for getting wrong answers on their papers or you saw me training my baby to walk and saw me spanking them every time they fell…you’d likely call the Child Welfare people on me…

“…since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
Romans 1…
always…

The obviousness of the physical examples of this…tells you the truth…about the spiritual…

I see examples of the wrongness of “spanking” and the parenting “style” that goes along with that everywhere…and would really challenge anyone who disagrees to begin to look at the world around…look at nature…and find beautiful examples of “spanking” in nature and how it has beautiful results. If “spanking” were how to “raise kids God’s way” there would be examples of it in nature and it would be beautiful…

Everyone knows that if you were to spank a kid every time they made a mistake when learning to do anything…writing, talking, playing an instrument, playing a sport, ANYTHING…if when they made a mistake they were intentionally hurt for it, you realize what it would do to that whole learning process and their love for learning whatever it is…

Intentionally causing pain to a child who makes an error in judgment is not helping them to grow to love moral behavior…or to love the Author of morality…and it is not going to encourage them to keep trying…because in many cases they WERE trying. They were trying to reason and their reason was most likely not, “Because I want to please satan today!” No! Even naughty or rebellious behavior has a reason behind it and the reason should be your focus…not the behavior! You can change the behavior, sure! But, the reason is still in there! It’s just masked now! Covered! Hidden!

I have seen it in friends and experienced it in myself where a harsh punishment occurs and there had been a thought process going on…however immature it was…but it was there…a spiritual form of saying “socko milk babul” (one of my kids words for chocolate milk bottle)…and if the child actually had a reasoning process going on that still resulted in them getting intentionally hurt by their parents…if their reasoning led them to be in pain…the only thing the pain will deter them from is reasoning. They will cease to try to “reason” on their own and will focus on making their behavior pleasing to the one who hurts them…

Moral behavior requires the ability to reason.
Spanking your kid to teach them moral behavior does the exact opposite to them.

The truth is on your heart…
The truth is in the Bible…
The truth is in nature…


Truth Suppression 101

Matthew 7:22-24 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Knowing God is of primary importance in life. So, it makes sense that God…made it evident. He plays fair. No one is going to show up on judgment day and be able to say, “No fair!” He made it fair…

Romans 1…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

God…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4)
God knows that the truth is critical for our being saved…
God wants us all to be saved…
And…God knows there is a force out there who lives to steal, kill, and destroy…and deceive…

So, God put the truth inside us because He knows that there is a force out there working actively to prevent us from knowing the truth…

So, if you were working with the forces of darkness to prevent humans from “knowing God” you would need to do something to prevent humans from understanding, interpreting, identifying, and responding to that truth which God put inside them…

So, hmmm…how would you work to make humans fail to recognize the truth that God put on their hearts? Probably start with the children!

Truth Suppression 101

1. As soon as the humans are born do everything you can to get their parents to dysregulate their bodies so that the baby will not learn how to read his own body’s signals. Convince parents to completely ignore the baby’s body’s signals and fulfill their body’s needs based on an outside system or schedule. Convince mom and dad to completely ignore what the baby says and decide when baby eats, doesn’t eat, sleeps, wakes, etc. In this manner all of the baby’s natural systems will not recognize that their natural drives are to be responded to at all and that all needs come from an arbitrary outside source and that they themselves have nothing to do with the fulfillment of their needs.

2. Convince all humans that the body which they are born with is by nature/naturally God’s enemy so that they will not listen to anything the body has to say. Convince them that their body only wants to do what’s evil so that they will question everything their body tells them. In this way, as the humans question all of their body’s signals they will begin to “suppress the truth”. (This is important because this will ensure that parents fulfill their duty in the dysregulation or else mothers would respond to their babies when they cry because of that truth which is programmed into them. If the mother believes that it is her “flesh” which desires to go to her baby when it cries, she will suppress that truth and not respond to it, and in this way continue with the dysregulating conditioning of the baby.)

3. Convince all humans, that tho’ they are fallible, that under no circumstance is it acceptable for children to question authority. Convince parents to punish children harshly any time the child dares question or argue with the parent. Teach the children that this is disrespectful and will result in pain. This is important training which will make the child less apt to respond to the truth on their heart (for fear of being disrespectful and fear of pain) and make them more apt to blindly accept whatever situation or teaching they find themselves in. This conditioning is essential for truth suppression. In life then…whatever Tom, Dick, or Harry happens to be their pastor and no matter what he teaches them the child raised this way will not think to question or challenge any of it.

And, that seems to me to pretty much get that ball rolling well enough…after that the humans sin training should be smooth sailing!

The truth is so evident…so clear…that God’s wrath is revealed when we suppress it…it’s THAT clear…

“Letting your kids run wild”…

I think what happens often with parents…maybe even most of the time with parent’s whose mindset is that they are to “train” their children…is that they ultimately send the message (that they actually believe but don’t realize they believe) that their child is not acceptable for who they actually are and that only the parent’s imagination of who the child ought to be is acceptable. Any deviation from the parent’s ideal for who the child should be is dealt with, snuffed out, dubbed “bad” and worse yet, with Christian parents, is deemed to be “against God”.

When false church teachings get mixed in there…then we…based on false teachings that our children are “evil” from birth…will see any manifestation in the child’s personality that is not what we imagine the child to be like as a manifestation of this inherent “evil” in the child. “There’s Adam coming out in him” I’ve heard parents say.

Then, we add injury to the insult and after falsely accusing the child of being “sinful” we then punish them by hurting them. We, the people they look to to learn what “love” is find out at an early age that we do not understand them at all and that, “Love bites! Love bleeds! It’s got me down on my knees!” (Def Leppard)

Children then grow up under these circumstances learning that love is harsh, and critical, and that they are not good enough unless they are who the parent thinks they should be. We make fun of how so many people spend time trying to “find themselves” but there is legitimacy in this for the child who is raised this way because every day is spent trying to behave the way the parent wants and who they really are and how they really want to behave is lost…

There is no mystery why teenagers are so drawn to music which cries out, “Grown-ups don’t understand us” and have angry undertones. Children who have been rejected for “who” they are from the moment they were born…children who have been falsely accused of being “evil” for the natural curiosity they were born with that God gave them…are going to grow up angry and confused…

Parents, especially Christian ones, need to wake up. We need to look at children the way God describes them as “fearfully and wonderfully made in His image” and stop seeing these children as “made in the image of the devil” (Adam). We need to see the curiosity and wonder and vitality and excitement about life in our children as God-given and enjoy it. We need to stop worrying about “training” our children and instead; enjoy and love them.

Sadly, to a thoroughly indoctrinated mind that last paragraph will sound like fluff and sound like, “Let your kids run wild” and that’s not that at all. If your mind has been “trained” you will be blind to the reality that yes, in some sense, we are to let our kids “run wild” because what is “wild” is what is the natural state for something.

“Wild” animals are simply animals who do exactly what God intended them to…well…not originally but (under “plan B” in the post flood earth) they currently follow their God-given instincts and nothing more. And, is that not what you think you want for your kids? For them to follow their God-given instincts? Don’t you want them to develop the way God designed them to be?

“Wild” animals live in the environment created for them and fight to stay in that environment. Satan came to enslave us (cage us) and the last thing any “wild” animal will allow to be done to them is to live in a cage! Isn’t that what you want for your child for them to resist the “snares” of the devil? To resist enslavement and being “caged”? Wild animals… they eat when they are hungry not on a schedule. They sleep when they are tired not on a schedule. They live the way God has programmed them to “instinctually” to live and they resist cages.

“Wild” animals do not fare well when they are taken from their natural environment and put in cages in a zoo. They do not thrive. They do not often reproduce meaning they don’t create LIFE with their lives. (Just like Romans 1 says…the animals do not thrive when caged and neither do humans…Satan’s cage for us robs us of life and we do not thrive when we are “in sin”…)

“Wild” animals who have been raised in environments where they were prevented from being who they were designed to be…where they have been prevented from responding to their needs according to their instincts…where they have been fed by a zoo keeper or a trainer on a schedule having their food brought to them…animals who are forced to obey trainers and behave in ways not natural to them…these animals cannot survive in “the wild”…they cannot survive in the environment that they were created to live in…they have no idea how to take care of themselves…if they are turned “loose” and allowed to live “on their own” after years of being controlled and living on a “schedule” they will die…

The human animal’s natural environment is one of community…living in community with other people…having needs and getting them met and seeing to the needs of others…and loving and trusting God…and children raised in a “cage” cannot survive in this natural environment…in “the wild” once they are released from their zoo-keepers/trainers…And, this is evidenced by the high suicide rates, high divorce rates, high rates of people on anti-depressants…and the like! The human animal struggles to live “in the wild” because they cannot take care of themselves…and they “die” inside because of the cage they grew up in…and I believe that the doctrine of “Original Sin” is one of the main culprits in this huge problem in society…

I have an example of how I think the doctrine of original sin is harmful…from a reality that happens in our home…

Scenario #1: Tori is 2. She has a special blanket and a special sippy cup she enjoys chocolate milk in. Sometimes she will want the blanket on her and when one person will attempt to give it to her she’ll react, “No!!!! I want MOM TO DO IT!” or Dad…either way. But, what I’m getting at is that sometimes she insists that a CERTAIN PERSON respond to her. She is only satisfied when the person she is requesting finally gives her her request. (Most of the time it is mom, but sometimes it’s dad or big sis)

My husband and I are both aware that if “certain people” we have known were to see this drama unfold in our living room that we’d get the head shake of disappointment and the “tsk tsk” finger shake of disapproval because of the pedagogy that drives most Christian parents as they “train their children up right” and because of their indoctrination…

Now, if I were to agree with those who’d disapprove of this and look at this situation from an “original sin”/child-training perspective, I’d look at Tori saying, “I want MOM to give me the blanket!” and see this as rebellion in her. I’d see this as behavior to be curbed and snuffed out…for her own good! I’d certainly not let her “have her way”! I would “not give in” and let this tiny tyrant tell me what to do! And I’d maybe even punish her for it. I’d see her insistence on “me” serving her as an expression of her “sinful nature” as “Adam coming out in her”.

So, based on my beliefs in this situation I would not give her what she wanted and I’d (basically) accuse her of “being evil”.

But, what if this is NOT an expression of a “sinful nature” in her? What if this is not “Adam coming out in her?” What if what Tori is feeling is, “My mom hasn’t paid much attention to me today ’cause she’s reading that crazy book on child-rearing practices thru the ages and typing on her computer and all I’ve seen today is the back of her head and I want my mom to pay attention to me ’cause I need to feel some love from her and I feel neglected!” What if THAT is what Tori is feeling? What if she’s feeling that way? Whether I react accordingly or not is going to do some significant TRAINING of one type or another, true?

Lesson #1: What if Tori is feeling that way and so she cries out, “I want mom to give me my blanket!” and mom comes…and gives her her blanket and sits down with her for a second and snuggles her and says, “I just love you so much!” (which is what actually happens when this happens) In that scenario…Tori FEELS neglected and FEELS a (natural God-given) need for love. Tori uses her capacities to express that need, “I want MOM to give it to me!” And, then, Tori is shown that her need is legitimate and she is rewarded for properly responding to it. She gets what she needs in the way God intended her to get it.

That’s what we happen to do here in this house. But, now what about the parents who would look at the whole thing playing out with Tori demanding that I bring her her blanket as her manipulating me? “Oh you’re letting that kid rule over you”.

“Woe to those who call good evil and evil good”. Why does the Bible say that?

Let’s now look at Tori asking for her blanket from the perspective of the parent who has that attitude…

Scenario #2: Tori sees me sitting on my computer all day and feels a need for an expression of love from me. Dad offers her a blanket and she responds, “I want MOM to give me the blanket!” Dad sees this as Tori attempting a coup  in the house and says, “No, Tori you will take the blanket from me!”

Tori now feels threatened and misunderstood by Dad and feels an even stronger need for mom, so she insists, “I want MOM!”
Dad sees this as Tori displaying her “sinful nature” and accuses her in his heart of not being herself (of Adam coming out in her) and of behaving “sinfully” in her insistence and sees her as being disobedient. So, Dad either forces her by his stern look and angry voice to stop crying out, or, has to take it to the next step and strike her and cause her physical pain in order to get her to stop expressing her desire for mom’s love. Once Dad has accomplished this and Tori is sitting peacefully and obediently in her chair with her blanket he feels he has “won the battle” and done something good. But, what did Dad do?

Lesson #2: Dad falsely accused Tori of being “sinful” when she expressed her God-given need to have attention from Mom.
Dad taught Tori that when she FEELS that God-given need, that that need is WRONG and it’s useless, wrong, and even painful to dare express that need. Eventually when this type of thing happens often enough, Tori will not learn what her God-given needs are. She will not trust her own feelings on anything. She will eventually see all of her own “desires” as potentially “evil” and cease to express any “desires” for fear of being found out as evil or being punished. Dad will sit back and proudly smile at his complacent and obedient daughter who never complains or causes a fuss. Then, someday Tori will be 40 and married to a man she cannot express anything to either…she will have desires but not know what to do to fulfill them.

All sin is the fulfillment of a good thing in a wrong way…so what has Dad just taught Tori to do?

Woe to those who call good evil and evil good…

In reality…when Tori feels like she needs love from me, she has learned to acknowledge that need and how to convey it. She’s learned that when she has that feeling and when she does something about it; her world changes. She’s learned that mom and dad see her need as legitimate and worthy of our time and energy. We give her what she needs in the right way so that she’s learning by repetition that when she feels the need for “love” that WE are who she should come to. Not a bottle. Not a toy. Not an activity. Not another friend. US. We are the safe place for her to fulfill her need for love.

The most beautiful thing about Tori “right now” in life is every time I tell her, “I just love you so much!” her response is always, “Yes.”

Someday when it is just Tori and God and God says, “Tori I just love you so much!” she won’t struggle with that. She’ll say, “yes!” And, when she feels unloved or neglected, and someone “else” comes and offers to comfort her, she’ll know how to say, “NO! I want GOD to do that!”

It’s taken me till kid 8 to figure these things out…but I’m figuring…daily in life I am figuring more and more out…thank God that I “call good evil and evil good” less and less every day!!!!! HOPEFULLY for those of you who actually read my rantings, that you can learn from my years of mistakes…and from my searching…and really…I’m sure some who have been thoroughly convinced otherwise will want to argue…but JESUS SAID we’ll know stuff by its FRUIT. LOOK at the society we live in! Even within the church we have a 50% divorce rate! Divorce happens because people can’t relate well! People divorce because they can’t get what they need/desire in a proper and honoring way to others and because they are not capable of fulfilling the needs of their spouse…WHERE did all this come from? WHERE did this inability to maintain relationships come from? We learn it…we are taught it…we are “trained up” in this way and we go and when we’re old we do not depart from it!!!!! WOE TO THOSE WHO CALL GOOD EVIL AND EVIL GOOD…woe…

No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Do you all think that violence, torture, threats, or imprisonment were ever a good way to make converts for Christianity?

(I hope not.)

Then…I wonder why so many Christians who would find this to be a ridiculous way to make “Christians”…use these same tactics with their children thinking that somehow this is the way to “raise them up right”?

Violence…spanking…
Torture…taking away their cell phones and other things they “can’t live without”…
Threats…threatening to do those things…
Imprisonment…”Go to your room!”, “You’re GROUNDED!”

Even if a “convert” was made while someone was in a torture device…was it sincere?

You can make your kids change their behavior by spanking them and punishing them…but you will never touch their hearts with it…

The fact that so many pastor’s kids and missionary’s kids end up “rebelling” as soon as they’re old enough not to get beaten with “the rod” anymore…should be all the evidence anyone needs of that…sadly it’s not!

Recommended reading: “For Your Own Good” by Alice Miller

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