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What a great article! I nursed each of my four children until they were older and can really relate to what the author, Diane Wiessinger, is saying. Here's a quote from her article: "I was one of those mothers who nursed way longer than our culture says we 'should.' Like most of us, I never asked myself, 'Why on earth should I keep going?' I thought, 'Why on earth would I stop?' Each time I nursed my two sons, it was just a response to a need—a need I met in the simplest, easiest, most effective way I knew. I wasn’t a martyr to some child-rearing ideal. It just felt right." ♥
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Today is the two year anniversary of the death of Lydia Schatz, a precious girl whose parents followed the Pearls' methods. If you follow their teachings, I urge you to prayerfully research the many concerns with what they teach. +Why Not Train A Child is an excellent source of information about the Pearls' teachings. Quote from the GCM statement regarding their teachings: "Not only are their methods extreme and outside the realm of normal and healthy child rearing practices, but the doctrinal foundation for these methods contain a level of heresy. . . . which leave them without biblical basis and at odds with the truth that all are in need of salvation which has been provided through Jesus alone." I'm going to copy and paste below the full statement that we wrote it back in Feb 2010.

A GCM Statement: It is Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl

This statement may be re-posted in its entirety.

The admins of Gentle Christian Mothers (GCM) have felt led at this time, as we mourn the loss of seven year old Lydia Shatz[1], to issue a statement of disagreement with Michael and Debi Pearl and their child rearing methods. Not only are their methods extreme and outside the realm of normal and healthy child rearing practices, but the doctrinal foundation for these methods contain a level of heresy, including denial of the Christian doctrine of original sin[2][3], which leave them without biblical basis and at odds with the truth that all are in need of salvation which has been provided through Jesus alone[4].

Though the Pearls affirm the value of relationships in parenting in their attractive "tying heartstrings" message, their harsh teachings are in diametric contrast to building healthy relationships. They advocate "training" and "chastisement" of children, starting in infancy[5][6], using methods and means not described in Scripture -- including using ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument[7] and claiming that a "proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain"[8] -- for stated purposes of absolving guilt and cleansing the child's soul[9].

The combination of an adversarial us vs. them mindset where the parents must "win," physically "disciplining" children until they surrender their will and show total submission, and false doctrine makes the Pearls' methods dangerous. They present a very distorted picture to the world of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a Christian parent in the world today. It is time for Michael and Debi Pearl to be held accountable for their teachings. We urge other Christians to join us in speaking out against what Michael and Debi Pearl have been teaching for far too long.


1. Godly discipline turned deadly: A controversial child "training" practice comes under fire -- this time from Christians themselves, Lynn Harris, Feb. 22, 2010
2. Second Council of Orange (529)
3. Teaching tape on Romans 5:12-21 by M. Pearl
4. "Michael Pearl on Original Sin: An Analysis," Catez Stevens, October 11, 2005
5. To Train Up a Child, M. Pearl, D. Pearl, chapter 1
6. "In Defense of Biblical Chastisement Part 2," M. Pearl, October 2001
7. Ibid.
8. "Angry Child," M. Pearl, August 1998
9. "In Defense of Biblical Chastisement Part 1," M. Pearl, May 2001
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When I was little, looking out the window into our backyard I said earnestly, "Mommy, God carrots for those birds!" I had learned 1 Peter 5:7 in the KJV and made a mistake on the word "careth." But that became my favorite verse, and the truth of God's care brings great comfort. Through everything our strong and loving God desires to carry your burdens. Cast your cares and worries upon Him, for He "careth" for you!
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Thank you for coming to earth, dear Jesus. Thank you for being the Light of the World. Thank you for being our Savior, our Lord, our Friend. ♥ I pray you all have a beautiful day full of His grace, mercy, love, and peace!
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Did you know that a newborn's frequent and fervent desire to nurse is acknowledged in the Bible in a very positive light? In I Peter 2:2-3 we read, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (NIV). We should hunger for God's Word the way newborns long for their mama's milk. ♥
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Check out the out-of-this-world changes made on GCM today!
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Use of the Shepherd's Staff in "Joseph: King of Dreams"

Years ago, my friend Crystal Lutton, author of the book Biblical Parenting, showed me a portion of the film Joseph - King of Dreams where Joseph's father fights off the wolves with his shepherd's staff, his rod, as a scene which helps to paint a picture of true discipline. In the part that she showed me (9:30 minutes into the movie), Joseph stands with the sheep, his job being to watch and care for the sheep. After awhile Joseph lays down his shepherd's staff, and a little lamb runs off. He picks up his rod and runs after the lamb and sees the wolves. Joseph then again lays aside his staff and grabs the little lamb and runs with it, the wolves in close pursuit. Then suddenly his father shows up using the shepherd's staff to defend them and fight off the predators. The wolves run away, and Joseph and the sheep are safe.

Why is this a picture of discipline? Well, in the Bible there are verses that use the word "rod" in the context of discipline, and the Bible uses the "rod" as a picture to help show us how to discipline our children and to help us understand the importance of our job. So figuratively we are shepherds of our little ones, and we need to carry our shepherd's staff, our rod. It's a sign of authority, and God has given parents authority over their children. And just as it is crucial that a shepherd not lay aside his rod, it is crucial that parents not lay aside the rod of authority and discipline. This does not mean, though, that we are to hit our children -- on the contrary. A good shepherd does not hit his sheep with the rod, but rather reserves hitting for the predators who attack his sheep. In like manner, we as parents should not use the "rod" to hit our children, but rather we are to protect them, guide them, and defend them.

I found the clip from the movie on youtube. The part I mentioned is at the beginning.
David Erdman II's profile photo
Talk about lost in translation. Something to always watch out for when your trying to find modern-day meaning on a text written thousands of years ago to a people we could barely begin to understand.
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"Consider that you're into parenting for a lifetime. Shaping a child's behavior is a gradual process. You will not see daily change. Coping with slow improvement may be especially difficult if you are a person used to quick fixes. Remember, you are dealing with a person, not a machine." ~ Dr. William Sears, "Parenting the Fussy Baby and High-Need Child" page 98
Taylor H (Mama Java Crafts)'s profile photo
My toddler is definitely high needs, and this is one of the hardest things
to remember.
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"Over and over in the Bible, God's people poured out their hearts to Him even when it was messy. They were honest with themselves and with God. They even talked back and argued, and there were times when God counted that as righteousness. He doesn't demand that we lie and pretend to follow Him. In fact, hypocrisy seems to bother Him far more than questions or even emotional outbursts." ~ Dulce de leche in her article "Defiance and the Thought Police."
Of all the things that disturb me about punitive parenting, one of the most deeply alarming is the elevation of parents to prison guards over their child's emotions. It isn't enough to punish ...
Rachel Beasley's profile photo
My goal is NOT to teach my children that they must never say "no", but how to do it respectfully (yet firmly.) This will help them more in the long run than pasting on fake smiles and pretending they agree.
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This is such a beautiful article by Sally Clarkson. Here's a quote from it: "So today, if you wish your children would respond to you in love, in gentleness, with grace, with loyalty, with words of life, just do unto them as you would have them do unto you." ~ Sally Clarkson
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We believe that "Children's nighttime needs are as worthy of being met as their daytime needs, and each child has individual nighttime needs that should be respected and met to the best of their parents' ability." For many that involves co-sleeping or bed-sharing. ♥ Read Dr. Sears' article for helpful information about the benefits of sleeping with your little one and how to do it safely.
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The Hippie Housewife's first in a three-part series on the "rod verses" included in Proverbs.
The Rod Verses: Taking the rod verses literally. This is the first in a three-part series on the "rod verses" included in Proverbs. Part 1 (Taking the rod verses literally) will be followed ...
Gentle Christian Mothers's profile photo
Here is a link to part three of the series: The Rod Verses: What are they really saying?
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Christian Attachment Parenting
Gentle Christian Mothers -- Christian Attachment Parenting

Gentle Christian Mothers™ (GCM), founded in 1997, was born out a desire to help unite mothers who believe that God has given mamas a mothering instinct and whose hearts' desire is to nurture our children gently. GCM provides safe place to grow and learn along with other likeminded mothers who love the Lord.

Through a supportive message board -- "An Alternative-Minded, Evangelical Christian Community for Attached Mamas" -- and informative articles and helpful links to online resources, we hope to uplift mothers in their incredibly important role of ministering to their children. Five of our main goals are as follows:

1) To encourage mothers to minister to their children heartily, as unto the Lord.
2) To help mothers learn to parent more gently.
3) To offer mothers information so they can make informed choices.
4) To strengthen and build mothers' confidence in their choices and in their ability to parent their children as God guides them.
5) To encourage mothers to love their children, their husbands, and, above all, to love our Lord God.

Our Christian Beliefs

1. The Bible is the complete, infallible, inerrant, inspired written Word of God; it is the final authority on what a Christian is called to believe. We do not hold Church Tradition to be on equal footing with Scripture.
2. There is one God: He is of one essence yet He has existed eternally in three persons - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
3. Jesus, God in flesh who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins and rose again the third day.
4. We are sinners and could never be "good enough" to make it to heaven or to please God in any way, and, without Christ, we are enemies of God and destined for eternal punishment and separation from God. Romans 3:10, 11, 12; Romans 3:21-24; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 6:23a
5. Salvation is a free gift from God, and we are not saved by our own works, but rather we are saved by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone. His righteousness is credited to us and in Him we have assurance of salvation. Romans 6:23b; Ephesians 2:8, 9
6. Those who are saved have been given a new heart which desires to do His will and which loves Him above all else. II Corinthians 5:17; John 14:23; James 2:26
7. We embrace all members of the invisible Church.

Our Parenting Beliefs

1. All children are a gift from God. Psalm 127:3
2. The husband/wife marriage relationship is the scriptural model for creating a family.
3. Life begins at conception, and unborn babies have a right to life and should be nurtured and loved. Psalm 139:13-16
4. Babies deserve the most natural and gentle birth possible.
5. Babies communicate through crying, and their cries deserve a quick, nurturing response.
6. Parents should not put an unnecessary emphasis on schedules.
7. Children greatly benefit from lots of physical touch, and babies can not be held too much.
8. Breastmilk is God's design in infant nutrition.
9. Breastfeeding satisfies not only babies' hunger and thirst, but it also is a great way to pacify and comfort them.
10. Breastfeeding babies on cue is important not only to help them grow strong and healthy, but it also helps them to learn to trust.
11. Breastfeeding into toddlerhood--and for as long as mother and child desire--continues to provide health and emotional benefits and serves to strengthen the foundation of trust laid in infancy.
12. Children's nighttime needs are as worthy of being met as their daytime needs, and each child has individual nighttime needs that should be respected and met to the best of their parents' ability.
13. There should be minimal separation between mother and baby, and parents need to be sensitive to their children's need to be close to them and not force separation before their child is ready.
14. Everyone benefits when children are an integral part of the family's daily life.
15. A father's involvement in raising his children is vital.
16. Parents have been given authority over their children from the Lord. Scripture is clear that discipline and correction are our responsibility as we raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
17. Fear and purposely-inflicted pain have no place in gentle, loving, Biblical discipline, and children should be discipled from birth with an appropriate mixture of kindness and firmness in a manner that respects their feelings and their developmental, emotional, and daily needs.
18. Parents are responsible for making informed decisions regarding their children's healthcare.
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