Friday, July 03, 2009


Have you ever read Michael Pearl’s book “To Train Up a Child”? This book talks about teaching a child to have the correct attitude and to obey. He first tells parents to tie heart knots with their child so there is a lot of love. Then he tells them to spank (their small child) when they disobey in order to teach them to listen and obey (eventually transferring that obedience to God). I can attest that this method works as it is the one my mother used with me (long before the book was written) and I have used with my children who are absolute delights.

In his book, Rev. Pearl tells us that some women tell him in counseling sessions that they love their child too much to spank them. His answer is always, “No you don’t. You love yourself too much to spank them.” You see, the parent is too afraid of losing the approval of their child to give the child what he needs to grow up right. This is selfishness, not love.

“Why do you write so hard some times.”
Because I love you enough to risk losing your approval in order to move you to godliness.

The Bible says that God spanks those who are His children. It also says that if you do not receive occasional spankings from God, you aren’t His child. Now what would God use to deliver His spankings?

My Experience
My father was the pastor of the church I grew up in. I have seen many people come and go through the church. I have observed many mistakes and many triumphs.

Here are my observations in one area I write on frequently: children following God into adulthood.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen elderly people come to church and cry for prayer because their adult children don’t know God. It is seldom a case of the parents raising their children and then coming to the Lord. It is usually the case where the child was raised going to church (Sunday school) every week and being in the youth group. For some reason almost all of the children of the elderly as well as the Christian friends I grew up with left the church as soon as they reached adulthood. What happened to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not DEPART from it?” (Proverbs 22:6) This sounds like a promise, doesn’t it? This doesn’t’ say “when they are old they will come back to it.” It says they won’t leave The Way at all. ALL these people raised their children in church…BUT… they almost all sent them to public school, too.

Now as an adult I find the statistics that 80% of Christians send their children to public school and 80-88% of “Christian” children backslide upon reaching adulthood; exactly my observation.

How very depressing to spend twenty years investing in a child to only have them turn their back on your King. No wonder Christians don’t have any more children than sinners do. Obviously God didn’t mean Proverbs 22:6 when He told Solomon to write it.

The Solution
But what if all these children weren’t raised in “in the way they should go?” Maybe two hours of Sunday school and one hour of youth group coupled with 30 hours of atheist school and 40 hours of materialistic TV is the “way of the sinner.” The truth is, every one of these children continued in the way they were trained; the way their parents had them spend the majority of their time.

So how do you raise a child “In the way he should go”?

Homeschool. 94% of homeschooled children stay in their parent’s religion once they become adults. NINTEY-FOUR PERCENT!!! It seems educating them for 30 hours per week from a godly perspective instead of an ungodly perspective makes a huge difference.

Don’t send them to Sunday School, Children’s Church, or Youth Group. It seems that those homeschoolers who are losing their children are pinpointing their local church as the point where godless ideas are entering their home. And churches that don’t have these programs are retaining 85% of their children (remember that those who do the “traditional” Christian Sunday school with public school are LOSING 85%) Children learn to love God better when church is something they do instead of something that is done to them.

Don’t watch TV or allow then to spend a lot of time with other media outlets. The media is, by their own admission, 80% atheist/ socialist. “Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Your child will become whatever he puts in his brain. Do you really want him to become what he is watching on TV or listening to in his music?

Have family devotions. 2-3 hours per week at church is simply not enough. You need to have a little church in your home. When the parent makes reading the Bible important enough to stop everything else for on a daily basis (right after breakfast or supper seem to be the universal best times with just before bed a close second), it teaches the child that reading the Bible is important. Twice a day would be even better. Honestly most parents really are (unintentionally) the hypocrites their grown children accuse them of being. The parent says he loves the Lord but won’t spend any time talking to Him or learning of His will. How long would he stay married if he treated his spouse this way?

Now by “family devotions” I don’t mean anything fancy. Just read one chapter out loud from the Bible per day and say a little prayer. Of course the prayer must be sincere, but it doesn’t have to be anything worthy of printing in the next prayer manual out there. Just tell God you are thankful for His blessings and ask Him to help you all to understand what you read. Throw in an honest petition for the things that concern you and you have a prayer that will please God. Prayer is really just talking to God like you would your spouse or best friend.

Some of us add a nightly song to this. You can buy a tape to sing with and God doesn’t care how you sound as long as you are joyful and sincere. “Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord!” it doesn’t say “make pretty music unto the Lord” but “happy noise.”

I have come to the conclusion that the above are the solutions by my observations and study. (and, yes, we do them in our own home) They don’t guarantee your child will choose God (as we all have free choice) but they do significantly hedge the bets.

Today, I am still the pastor’s daughter but am also the assistant pastor’s wife. I am still seeing the elderly crying for their lost children. And I see the young raising their children the exact same way their elders raised theirs. My heart breaks for what I see happening. I have watched children go from little innocents through dedicated “Christ’s kids” to sold out heathens. I know adults today whose parents raised them the “traditional” way who, today, are living like they never heard the name of God before. Yes, a few have come back to God in their older years, but most haven’t. And oh the lost time and damage done to the lives of those who do (illegitimate children, divorces, brain damage from drugs, etc.)

It is enough to make me cry.

Or yell warnings to those headed down the same path.

That is why I write hard.

To quote Mark Driscol:

“I love you. That is why I am angry.”

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