Friday, August 19, 2005

The Pearl's Are Wrong

I discovered the To Train Up a Child series about a year ago. We were struggling with disciplining Piper and raising three children. The Pearl's appeared to have all the answers. On the surface their materials made sense. And they seemed very Christian.

I quickly realized that if I were to discipline Piper the way the Pearls recommended, the "training" would border on abuse. I found in the beginning that it worked, but the price was too great. My children didn't trust me anymore. I became a hitter. They feared me, certainly, but the respect was deteriorating. I could sense my connection with them slipping away. And the initial good results were short lived.

The Pearls talked about tying heart strings. It was really wonderful stuff, actually. But I couldn't teach them the non-violence I wanted to while continuing to accept that it was okay for me to hit simply because I was bigger, or the "authority". I am the authority, but I don't have to spank to prove that.

The more I researched the Pearls, the more far-out I found them to be. In one article in their NGJ magazine they actually referred to homosexuals as "sodomites" and used the possibility for homosexual marriage as the reason that none of their children are legally married.

Ultimately, after considering the materials, and the consequences, I had to disregard the Pearls entirely. I could never imagine Jesus telling me to hit my children. I looked into Attachment Parenting, which was my natural style, and have found it to be just what the Dr. Sears ordered. I'm still healing the rift I caused with Reagan by following the Pearls.

Now they've gone a step farther into what I believe is the endangerment of Women and Children. I'm going to put parts of the original article in italics. The original article can be found HERE.
If you or your children have been hit (other than the children being spanked) so as to leave discernable marks two hours later, and you genuinely fear that he will repeat his battering, you can take legal steps without divorcing your husband.

My mother was hit by her second husband. He knew exactly HOW to hit her and not leave marks. Hitting is a violation of the vows that the husband agreed to. It is a deal breaker.

    In a moment when he is not angry, calmly inform him that the next time he physically assaults you or the kids, you are going to call the law and have him arrested... I visit prisons every week. It is a great place to mull over the consequences of one’s deeds... Think about it, lady; it is a great time for writing love letters and sharing a three-minute romantic phone call once a week. Guys who get out of prison run straight home to their ladies and treat them wonderfully—for a while anyway.

    Wow, that's what a battered woman should do? Risk the wrath of the abusive husband who might snap and kill her? Time in prison that it can be a great time to work on the romance? I'm sorry, but this is not right.

      If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets.

      No, the abusive husband has already proven he lacks control. I don't buy this, and I wonder what research the Pearls have done to back up such a statement?  Everything that I have read about domestic violence says just the opposite.  He has an anger problem and a control problem, and the family is not safe with him.

        But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is willing to seek counseling and repent, then fine and good. If not, then go to the law and have him arrested.

        Seek counseling? Repent? But remain in the home with the children he's molested? This is downright dangerous advice.  Men sexually abusing children will say whatever it takes to remain near the children and continue the abuse.  Children are too great a risk to take with someone who has already crossed that boundary.

          Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution.

          I'm sorry, but if someone, anyone, molests my children, my duty is to stand by the children, not the man who hurt them. What message does it send to the child molested that the person who did this to them is accepted back into their mother's waiting arms? And mothers don't get to decide how much time a pedophile does.  Very often they get short prison sentences.  And a woman who brings the man back into her home risks the children's safety and her ability to retain custody.  This advice is dangerous and wrong.

            God hates divorce—always, forever, regardless, without exception.

            I agree that it displeases God when families break apart. But that is NOT without exception. It is clear within the Scriptures that it is permissible to divorce under some conditions.  Adultery being the one that Jesus gives.  Sexual molestation of a child is a form of adultery, and the worst kind.  It not only violates the sacred covenant between man and wife, but also the sacred covenant between parent and child.  As a woman, I see no biblical command to honor that.  I do, however, see a great responsibility given by God to be a steward of our children.  That means protecting them from harm, even if it's from their own parent.

              The Pearls state their opinion in such a way as to appear to speak the Word of God, and are leading people astray. How many women will damage their children by staying with abusers and molesters in an attempt to "glorify God"?  If the answer is even one, it's one too many.

              I hereby revoke any endorsement stated or implied of the Pearls and their materials regarding home, family, and child rearing.

              May God have mercy on those who spread this kind of thing in His name.

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