Shannon Evans pleas for an end to Obedience-Based Christian Parenting, especially for adopted children, in a very well written post. This is a good post to share with pro-spankers because she explains the danger of the mindset without condemning spankers. I realize that many of my followers are disappointed in this post and claiming that it does not go far enough. We have to understand that there is a time and place for baby steps. People rarely jump from pro-spanker to anti-spanker in moment of epiphany. Such a change is usually a long, arduous journey. Information taken in at each step of the way will either push them further along on the way or push them backwards. A blog post which condemns all spanking is often rejected and may even push them right back to their starting spot. It is clear from this post that the author has come a long way and is in danger of alienating many people she loves by posting this. I applaud her courage and passionate plea.
Sarah has graciously allowed me to host this most excellent post.
Aha. Welcome to my long winded “Why I don’t believe in spanking” post.
You will soon find that spanking isn’t the whole issue with me. I don’t believe in punishment at all (GASP!).
‘Course permissiveness can be unhealthy as well, so I am setting out on this parenting journey to tread not somewhere in between those two evils, but outside the whole paradigm altogether. Onward, fellow travelers! To the land of gentle discipline! (I’m cheesy and I know it… beeeooouuup beeouup beoup beoup beoup beoup beoup. Girl, look at that baby. He drinks milk! Okay, yes. Too much coffee. I’m out of control.)
Now that you know what you’re getting yourself into (should you choose to read on), allow me to indulge in a disclaimer. [Read more…]
Robin shares her experiences with ATI (Bill Gothard’s teachings) in this Letter She Wrote to a Family Considering ATI.
Pearl in Oyster (PIO) has a lot of great stuff on her site. I have linked before to her series on 52 Tool Cards. What a great way to fill your Gentle Discipline Toolbox! You can read all her posts in that series here.
I have noticed a confusion about the difference between WOS (Wife Only Submission) and MS (Mutual Submission) so I would like to clarify the difference and add some thoughts.
WOS is the belief that, in marriage, husbands are not obligated/called to submit to their wives out of reverence for Christ.
MS is the believe that husbands and wives are both obligated/called to submit to their spouse (and others) out of reverence for Christ.
WOS is often tied with patriarchy — which is the philosophy that, in marriage, the male has authority over his wife due to his gender.
In my opinion, patriarchy can be mostly-healthy, when the man is choosing sacrificial love towards his wife and/or when he uses his perceived authority in wise and godly ways — which would generally include trust, respect some ‘delegation’ of that perceived authority, etc.
In that ‘mostly-healthy patriarchy’ case, WOS is not what is truly going on — because ‘sacrificial love’ fits the Biblical definition of ‘submission’, even if neither spouse would use that word for it, and even though it depends on the (in my opinion, inaccurate) perception of inherent male authority. If the husband is submitting to his wife (by loving her sacrificially) that is a MS scenario, and anything else is just semantics.
The reason WOS (the idea that males are not obligated/called to submit to their wives out of reverence for Christ) is a bigger problem than ‘mostly-healthy patriarchy’ is because if men do not submit to their wives (no matter what vocabulary they prefer to use about it) they are not obeying God’s commands to them, and that’s a problem — often a problem that has effects on many others (the wife, children, children’s spouses, grandchildren). It’s hard for me to see people ‘normalizing’ the disobedience of one gender, while twisting the obedience of the other gender to compensate for it.
Now I believe that the NT describes a situation in which a husband had legal and civic responsibility over his wife, who was, by law his property. He had the full authority granted to him by the Roman government, and he could not ignore it. No one could.
Therefore I find it quite understandable that, in reading the New Testament some readers would draw the conclusion that because that hierarchy is described in the Bible, it is to be understood as ‘the right thing’ for Christians. I hold nothing against people who have honestly come to this conclusion — it’s easy to come by!
Patriarchy was the building block of Roman society. Equality between men and women would have been illegal. Therefore the New Testament gives commands as-to how a man with legal/civic authority is still capable of submitting to his wife, and is not exempt from the command to do so.
Therefore I consider marriages that involve ‘presumed authority’ of the male, ONLY WHEN combined with proper Christian submission (to each other) — to be within the Bible’s definition of a godly way to live.
Patriarchy-with-mutual-submission worked for the 1st Century Roman Christians, and it can work for our brothers and sisters if they want it to. We have no place to stand against them as if their conclusions and choices were sin.
What can’t work (as far as I can possibly see) is patriarchy-without-mutual-submission… because the belief that some Christians are free not to submit to other Christians (for reasons of gender and marital status) is completely out of step with the Bible — encouraging disobedience to direct commandments as well as disregarding the very core of the character of the Christlife.
Patriarchy can hurt people — and does — but it does not always hurt people, and it can be done ‘well’ according to the New Testament.
WOS (the belief that husbands are free to behave unsubmissively towards their wives) is the real poison. Living with someone who claims Christ but lives with a me-before-you attitude, and believes and preaches that it is right and proper to do so… that’s just not right… and people are definitely going to get hurt.
Molly reviews and processes chapters 3 and 4 of The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse; Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority within the Church By Jeff VanVonderan, and David Johnson.
Speaking of spiritual abuse here are the signs of a Toxic Movement again.
Molly explains the dangers of training children for Instant Obedience or Compliance in this testimony about a young lady and the abuse of authority outside the home.
Dulce de Leche uncovers the root problem with the punitive mindset in her post, Authority, Submission, Control and Discipline.
Yes, the root problem is control. Now that you have seen why we should not try to control our children, Lucy explains why she cannot control her children and what that looks like in her house.