"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Christian Parenting

I feel like I haven't really been a sparkling example of motherhood lately. I've been too impatient, too quick to answer, too slow to listen. I want to blame it on lack of sleep, as anyone who has ever dealt with chronic insomnia will tell you that it makes you feel a little... well, crazy. But I know that's no excuse. I can do better.

For all the lengthy writing I could do on the subject, my parenting philosophy is really very, very simple. I want to be the kind of parent that I imagine Jesus would be.

Kind.
Caring.
Compassionate.
Loving.
Patient.
Gentle.

No where in that description - or in any biblical description of Jesus - is a man who would hit (or spank or swat or switch) He would not hurt a child in any way. Which is exactly the reason I have never, nor will I ever, follow any of the tenets of so many of the "Christian" parenting books and methods that not just condone, but ENCOURAGE hitting. Michael and Debi Pearl - or just The Pearls as they're widely known - wrote the book To Train Up a Child. This book is one of the saddest things I have ever read. James Dobson is another popular Christian writer (who, it should be noted, refers to children by demeaning names such as tyrant, dictator, terrors, brat, bratty, rebel, tornados) that espouses the use of objects to hit and whip children into "obedience." This is supposed to be Christian?

I'm not a bible scholar by any means, but I do read it, usually daily. I've read it from beginning to end several times. Not once have I read a single scripture that leads me to believe that God would want me to hit - or shame, belittle, or otherwise hurt - my children. The day I do is the day I stop reading it.





5 comments:

theKing'sdaughter said...

Hi!
I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your children, but I would like to point out a verse that you seem to have missed in the bible.
Proverbs 23:13–14 (NIV)
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.

jen said...

No worries, I wouldn't let anyone tell me how to raise my children ;-)

No, I haven't missed that verse, nor any of the other verses that mention the "rod." The rod in that verse, as well as the others, could either be a figurative - rather than literal - rod, or used in reference to a shepherd's rod, which was used to GUIDE sheep, not hit them.

*If* it was in fact talking about a literal, physical rod, and was meant to instruct parents to actually hit their children with it... it's an old testament verse, and we are no longer under the old testament law. Christ fulfilled that law. They stoned people in the old testament too.

theKing'sdaughter said...

Wow! I truly hope I didn't offend you. That was not my intention :)

On your post you stated, "Not once have I read a single scripture that leads me to believe that God would want me to hit - or shame, belittle, or otherwise hurt - my children. The day I do is the day I stop reading it." I was merely calling your attention to that verse, in love. :)

All families are going to parent their children differently. We shouldn't judge each other, we aren't the judge. However, we do need to examine our lives in light of scripture.

The ten commandments are in the old testament as well. Do you think it's okay to lie, steal, and murder just because we aren't under the law??

jen said...

No offense taken.

I was aware of that scripture, as I mentioned, and I do not believe that it is telling me to hit my child.

As for lying, stealing, murdering, etc... I'd like to think those are basic moral principles that I would follow whether I believed the bible to be true or not :)

theKing'sdaughter said...

Hope to see you at the next raising hearts event. :)

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