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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
R7blessings
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Default Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

I am noticing more and more books and DVDs with the same theme as 'Jumping Ship' by Pearl.

They all seem to have a few things in common--
- youth leaving the faith
- what we should do so they don't

One thing I clearly remember after reading Jumping Ship and watching these various other videos---- is ---- panic.

I remember feeling like I had to do xyz or my kids were going to hell.

In my opinion-- they all have one thing in common--- you end parenting from a place of 'fear' --- instead of 'love'.

It seems to me--- that if we would just focus on loving our children instead of controlling them--- they wouldn't want to 'leave the faith'.

Hope I'm making sense.
Just thinkin.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Our pastor is big on "parenting in faith not fear". He argues that if a child is brought up in a loving Christian home, taught the Gospel from their earliest years, with parents who live the Gospel and involve them in their faith, then the default is that that child will grow up believing. Some will fall away, but he says we shouldn't assume that will happen and parent accordingly.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

This is the sort of thing that first made me think I wanted to parent that way. Its sold as the sure way that your kids will grow up to love Jesus.

My parents parented that way and with that fear, so did all of our best friends parents. They were all excessively strict and punitive and their belief was that we wouldn't stray from the faith.

Over the last several years though, I have had a chance to see what the kids who were raised that way grow up to believe and do. Keep in mind that these were all "quiverful" families so Im talking about a few dozen kids who were all raised this way and are all still close to me for the most part. Im' so heart broken to report that the majority of these kids now have either:

1.rejected Christ outright (became atheist or agnostic)
2.believe marginally in Christ but don't believe there's any way to please him so they don't bother and live in sin.
3.lead such a hugely rebellious and sinful young adulthood and adolescence that now that they are parenting children of their own they are being CRAZY with their kids in terms of strictness and punishments, thinking that if they are more strict with their kids then the kids wont fall away as they did.

So, once i started seeing that definite pattern....I got really scared. If I'd had a child a year and a half or two years ago, I would have fallen into category three (only minus the rebellious period) I would have redoubled or re tripled my parents efforts and been more devoted to STRICT adherence to rules and disciple. Because at times i really thought all my friends turned out as they did because their parents were not consistently strict and punitive enough (that my parents were not either.)

Im SO SO GLAD that God has done a work in my heart. I still have a HUGE fear that I wont raise my children right and that they will grow up to go to reject Christ and go to hell. Im really scared of "doing it wrong."

Its easy to see how they can sell books/movies/etc that play on a parents fear.

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

My observation has been that:


Some punitively parented kids will stay "in the faith".

Some punitively parented kids will not.

Some Attachment parented kids will stay "in the faith."

Some Attachment parented kids will not.



That being said, I still believe that Gentle parenting and gentle discipline will net the best results for kids to understand love--God's love, Parent's love, self-love (in a good way). I also think that for those who "fall away" that gentle parenting is more likely to win them back eventually. If you think about it logically, do you have better memories of the people and interactions you had when you were younger that were grace-filled or those that were punitive?

I remember a couple of instances when I was young and someone took the time to find out what was going on inside of me. Even though I needed some correction it was done in love and I was shown the proper way to do x,y,z. My best interests were taken to heart.

I remember many more times when I didn't perform a task properly or something similar and I was yelled at, belittled, hit, etc. even though I did not understand how to the task I was expected to do.

Guess which memories I prefer to revisit?

All of that to say that I think that "winning" kids back to faith is more likely when they are parented out of love and not fear. Out of faith and not control.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

From the time I was 11 until I turned 18, my family was involved in Exclusive Brethrenism. Punitive parenting was the norm. Sadly, a lot of the children I grew up with have little to do with their parents now that they've become adults. There was so much rigidness when it came to religious beliefs that it seems they decided to scrap it all. A few nights ago I was reading a journal I wrote when I was 16. I had all these doubts and no one to talk to. I was afraid that if I vocalized those doubts, I would be scorned by my parents and treated as an unbeliever. It wasn't until I was married at 19 that I felt safe enough to question my beliefs. I remember asking my husband if he would leave me if I decided I didn't believe. He was so loving and reassuring. Ultimately, the love and care he showed me during a difficult period of my life woke me up to what Grace really is.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainash View Post
A few nights ago I was reading a journal I wrote when I was 16. I had all these doubts and no one to talk to. I was afraid that if I vocalized those doubts, I would be scorned by my parents and treated as an unbeliever.


I experienced something similar growing up.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Quote:
Some punitively parented kids will stay "in the faith".

Some punitively parented kids will not.

Some Attachment parented kids will stay "in the faith."

Some Attachment parented kids will not.
So very true, as I look out across the landscape of my friends and all of our children. God's own "children" Adam and Eve had problems "staying in the faith". I don't know how much better we're going to do as parents than He did. I am thankful that He is all about redemption. It may take a short time or it may take a long time, but He doesn't give up easily. For every parent who has made mistakes with their kids--or is on the way to making mistakes with their kids--the good news is that God is seeking and saving the lost.

Quote:
In my opinion-- they all have one thing in common--- you end parenting from a place of 'fear' --- instead of 'love'.
Yes--my worst parenting mistakes came from a place of fear.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Thank you for this thread.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

have not read that book or any similar one, but the first thing that came to mind is that rats flee a sinking ship and I was thinking of something like
Jumping Ship by Ima Ratt or something
or
it also reminded me of that captain of the Italian cruise ship that sank
who I think will be put in jail for abandoning his ship
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

I can't tell you how many adult kids I know that grew up with God fear parenting, that left the faith, because they saw Christians nothing more than hypocrites. If my children's faith in God depends on my parenting, then what's the point of Jesus' death and resurrection.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Quote:
Originally Posted by jubles View Post
Our pastor is big on "parenting in faith not fear". He argues that if a child is brought up in a loving Christian home, taught the Gospel from their earliest years, with parents who live the Gospel and involve them in their faith, then the default is that that child will grow up believing. Some will fall away, but he says we shouldn't assume that will happen and parent accordingly.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

I see the issue of youth leaving the church as pretty complex and have, if I might, some suggestions on 'further reading'.

Pearl and his ilk definitely appoach this issue from fear - but they approach most things from fear. In our recent chapter on The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse in the Bible Study forum the authors talk about being 'unable to leave' and how that dynamic gets set up. Issues of 'loyalty to our church means loyalty to God' along with 'we know best, we are the most pure, if you leave, you will be lost'. It's not that kids want to stay, it's that they fear leaving OR they see the unhealthy dynamic and run for the door at first opportunity.

The other side of the spectrum is no better. On this side are youth who are seen as 'old children' and not 'young adults' and therefore their entertainment seems parmount. They are fed no solids, they arrive at 'adulthood' (ie, you're in the college and career class now, no we don't do water balloon fights) and have no foundation of their faith and all the fun stops. They have nothing keeping them there. It does extend to adults - churches have become 'consumer oriented' in their focus. Does this church have enough programs to keep my kids busy? Is there a coffee bar? We, in many instances, have stopped being the body of Christ and started playing 'Julie, the cruise director' (I'm old -it's actually a Love Boat reference ). I highly recommend Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer. He takes a hard look at modern church practices and feels we are reaching a place were we have put 'church' in the place that belongs only to 'Christ'.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Thanks Elizabeth,
I am going to look for both of those books-- I had heard of the first one but not the second.
And I remember watching The Love Boat : )
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jumping Ship by M. Pearl

Quote:
Originally Posted by R7blessings View Post
I am noticing more and more books and DVDs with the same theme as 'Jumping Ship' by Pearl.

They all seem to have a few things in common--
- youth leaving the faith
- what we should do so they don't
Stop beating them in the name of God.....just sayin'
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