"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

May 19, 2010

In defense of Michael Pearl

...even though I know he doesn't need my help. : )

First, I have to say that my hubby and I are big fans of the Pearls. We love their magazine!
-When our friend did an amazing bathroom remodel for us, my hubby made sure to have a magazine holder made just for our No Greater Joy magazines! Now that is saying something! LOL

Our family doesn't resemble their typical fans...
We live in the city, attend a big church, let our kids be involved in a youth ministry and we read the NKJ and the NIV versions of the Bible....to name a few differences. Obviously, we don't agree on everything. But their child training books changed our parenting and continue to bless our family!
(and don't even get me started on how great Debi's book "Created to be his Helpmeet" is! Every woman should read it)

Anyway, we have learned some invaluable lessons about 'tying strings' and delighting in our children that totally changed our way of parenting and gave us all more joy.
This article sums up what I love about what their books teach and it works!

I was so grieved to hear that someone who read one of their books, beat their child to death and I was even more grieved to learn that the media blamed it on Michael Pearl. That is the craziest thing ever. Why blame an author because someone read his book and did the opposite of what it said?! Don't we all have free choice?

I like what Mike said here:
"If a man leaves an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and gets drunk, do you blame the twelve step program? If a man under psychiatric care commits a heinous crime, do we charge the psychiatrist? If a teen kills himself in an auto accident after taking drivers ed at school, do we stop the program? When an angry, abusive parent recognizes his need to reform and seeks help through our material, but lapses back into his predisposed habits, injuring his children yet again, is our material that teaches caution and moderation to blame?"

Most certainly not would be my answer.

Go here for the whole article.



TulipGirl said...

"Why blame an author because someone read his book and did the opposite of what it said?!"

Maybe because they read the book and did EXACTLY what he said, down to using 1/4 inch plumbing supply line?

Quote from DA Mike Ramsey:
“…the seven-year-old [Lydia Schatz] was held down for several hours by Elizabeth and beaten dozens of times by Kevin on the back of her body, causing massive tissue damage. “It was torture.”"

Quote from the Pearls:
“…then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.”

“Otherwise, tell him to bend over on the bed or couch; and while he is in this position give some choice admonition. You have his undivided attention. Slowly begin to spank. . . . I found five to ten licks usually sufficient. Sometimes, with older children, usually when the licks are not forceful enough, the child may still be rebellious. . . . A general rule is to continue the disciplinary action until the child is surrendered.

“Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain. . . For the under one year old, a little, ten- to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (striped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. . . . A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective.”

From To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl
Chapter 6: Applying the Rod

It's very common for parents like yourself to remember only the folksy bits of helpful ideas from the Pearls -- and forget that there is a significant amount of advice that is harmful.


Grace and hope,

Becky said...

I understand your opinion completely. Thanks for sharing.