Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Greater Sorrow

I am at a loss for words because of a great tragedy I read about this morning. I was following Amy's links and read the following very balanced critique of Michael Pearl's To Train Up a Child. I recommend you click over and read it, but I warn you that if you follow the links, you will read about the death of a precious little adopted girl from Liberia at the hands of her normally gentle parents. You will read, and you will weep.

I have to say this: the name of the ministry "No Greater Joy" is based on a false understanding of the book of 3rd John. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." has NOTHING to do with parenting if you read it in context.

The book is a personal letter from John to Gaius. The theme of 3 John is steadfastness in the face of opposition. The recipient of the letter, Gaius, faces a troublemaker named Diotrephes.

I don't think there's anything wrong with quoting the verse and applying it to child-rearing, as long as the truth that we are referring to is the TRUTH. And the truth of the gospel is that Jesus came and died, that He showed mercy to the undeserving, that He loved His children with an everlasting love.

Parenting is a difficult calling. The only way to do it well is to rely on the Holy Spirit, not on man-made philosophies. When you have a rebellious child, cry out to God. When you have a disobedient child, cry out to God. Ask Him to guide you. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him to help you.


  1. I am also someone who is critical of the Pearl's ministries/teachings. However, having read the child training books, and even ordering their newsletter for short time, I do not believe that they advocate violence. They are definately harsh and lacking in mercy in alot of their teachings - which is one reason I stopped reading them.

    However, in the midst of a horrible story of this young girl's death, the fault lies in the parents. No man-made ministry should take over the way any christian thinks or acts in the aspects of life. That's where I see the problem. God expects us to 'study and show ourselves approved' in all areas.

    I don't agree with everything my pastor preaches because I, with my husband, come home and study the scripture he uses for his preaching and seek out God's lead, not the pastor's lead.

    No doubt, I am singing to the choir about this - you have always shown yourself to be well studied in scripture. I just wanted to express the thoughts I had while reading the link you provided. Sorry for carrying on...

  2. Oh, don't be sorry, Kim. Well said!

    I have often stood on my virtual soapbox and exhorted others to glean wisdom where they can, but always remember that they are accountable to the LORD, to follow HIM first and foremost.

    I have also often said "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." Where there is wisdom and truth that lines up with Scripture, a person can gain insight. I don't think we can discard everything just because we don't like something a person says.

    Thanks for commenting.


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