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Gentle Christian Mothers
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Christian Attachment Parenting
Christian Attachment Parenting

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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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Check out the out-of-this-world changes made on GCM today!

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.

References

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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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.

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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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"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

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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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"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."

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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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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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