Quotes from To Train Up A Child

When quoting from To Train Up A Child (written and published by Michael and Debi Pearl), we should be careful about paraphrasing. We are being accused of misquoting. Here are some quotes from the first edition of the book, which is found online here. I got the page numbers  for the 1st edition (1994) from quotes which are in circulation (originating from stoptherod.net) but I painstakingly checked each quote in the book to make sure that I am using direct quotes. Page numbers for the 17th edition (April 2006) were provided by Robbyn Peters Bennett of  StopSpanking.org.

The Pearls recommend switching infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe switching their own 4 month old daughter (1st edition p.9).

At four months she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of “No” with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree.

In the 17th edition (April 2006) the above quote is the same but the baby is a month older.  Also on page 9:

At five months, she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good (and our peace of mind), we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of “No” with little spats on her bare legs. The switch was a twelve-once long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree.

On p.60 of the 1st edition they recommend switching babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them “to get up.”

But what of the grouch who would rather complain than sleep? Get tough. Be firm with him. Never put him down and then allow him to get up. If, after putting him down, you remember he just woke up, do not reward his complaining by allowing him to get up.For the sake of consistency in training, you must follow through. He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.

This has been reworded somewhat in the 17th edition (P63)

But what about the grouchy child who would rather complain than sleep? Get tough. Be firm with him. Never put him down and then for some reason reverse your position, allowing him to get up. For your reputation with the child, you must follow through. He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down, there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.

On p.79 they recommend switching a 7 month old for screaming.

A seven-month-old boy had, upon failing to get his way, stiffened clenched his fists, bared his toothless gums and called down damnation on the whole place. At a time like that, the angry expression on a baby’s face can resemble that of one instigating a riot. The young mother, wanting to do the right thing, stood there in helpless consternation, apologetically shrugged her shoulders and said, “What can I do?” My incredulous nine-year-old whipped back, “Switch him.” The mother responded, “I can’t, he’s too little.” With the wisdom of a veteran who had been on the little end of the switch, my daughter answered, “If he is old enough to pitch a fit, he is old enough to be spanked.”

On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with.

After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself. In rolling the wheel, he did what every accountable human being must do–he humbled himself before the “highest” and admitted that his interests are not paramount. After one begrudged roll, my wife turned to other chores.

On p.56 Debi Pearl trades blows with a 2 year old.

This time, her bottom came off the couch as she drew back to return the blow; and I heard a little karate like wheeze come from somewhere deep inside.

On p.59 (1st ed) and 62 (17th ed) they recommend spanking a 3 year old until he is “totally broken.”

She then administers about ten slow, patient licks on his bare legs. He cries in pain. If he continues to show defiance by jerking around and defending himself, or by expressing anger, then she will wait a moment and again lecture him and again spank him. When it is obvious he is totally broken, she will hand him the rag and very calmly say, “Johnny, clean up your mess.” He should very contritely wipe up the water.

On p.55 the Pearls say a mother should hit her child if he cries for her.

If a father is attempting to make a child eat his oats, and the child cries for his mother, then the mother should respond by spanking him for whining for her and for not eating his oats. He will then be glad to be dealing only with the father.

On p.46 of the 1st edition, p. 49 of the 17th, the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being spanked, spank them anyway. And “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.” “Defeat him totally.”

At this point, in utter panic, he will rush to demonstrate obedience. Never reward delayed obedience by reversing the sentence. And, unless all else fails, don’t drag him to the place of cleansing. Part of his training is to come submissively. However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child, who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, 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.

On p.80 they say

On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again.

On p.47 of the 1st ed. they give details of what to use for a spanking instrument.

Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain, but the most pain is on the surface of bare skin where the nerves are located. A surface sting will cause sufficient pain, with no injury or bruising. Select your instrument according to the child’s size. 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. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. 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.

That quote is reworded in the 17th edition and is on page 50.

It is most effective to strike a light rod against bare skin, where nerves are located at the surface…

The Pearls  recommend pulling a nursing infant’s hair (p.7 both editions)

One particularly painful experience of nursing mothers is the biting baby. My wife did not waste time finding a cure. When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for baldheaded babies).

They recommend hosing off a child outside in order to clean him if he continues to soil himself. (p. 75 17th edition)

So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.

Also, here are 3 quotes which I feel show some questionable doctrine:

The guilt burdened soul cries out for the lashes and nails of justice. Your child cannot yet understand that the Creator has been lashed and nailed in his place. Only the rod of correction can preserve his soul until the day of moral dawning.

The parent holds in his hand (in the form of a little switch) the power to absolve the child of guilt, cleanse his soul, instruct his spirit, strengthen his resolve, and give him a fresh start through a confidence that all indebtedness is paid.

A child properly and timely spanked is healed in the soul and restored to wholeness of spirit. A child can be turned back from the road to hell through proper spankings. “Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Prov. 23:13, 14). (p. 44)

Note: I find it ironic that he recommends using plastic plumbing line for a rod and then objects when people say that he teaches people to whip children.

Now, here are some very disturbing quotes directly from their website.  You are going to have to go read this yourself to really appreciate it and believe that I did not take quotes out of context.

This is from Question #9: “Please give examples of the kinds of things for which you used the rod, both as a training tool and as punishment, for children were under 12 months.”

We never used the rod to punish a child younger than 12 months.

For young children, especially during the first year, the rod is used very lightly as a training tool. You use something small and light to get the child’s attention and to reinforce your command.

One or two light licks on the bare legs or arms will cause a child to stop in his tracks and regard your commands.

A 12-inch piece of weed eater chord works well as a beginner rod. It will fit in your purse or pocket.

Later, a plumber’s supply line is a good spanking tool. You can get it at Wal-Mart or any hardware store. Ask for a plastic, ¼ inch, supply line. They come in different lengths and several colors; so you can have a designer rod to your own taste. They sell for less than $1.00.

A baby needs to be trained all day, everyday. It should be a cheerful, directing training, not a correction training.

When your 6-month-old baby grabs sister’s hair, while he still has a hand full of hair, swat his hand or arm and say “No, that hurts sister.” If he has already let go of her hair, then put his hand back on her hair, so as to engage his mind in the former action, and then carry on with the hand swatting and the command.

If your 10-month-old is pitching a fit because he wants to be picked up, then you must reinforce your command with a few stinging swats.

Wait one minute, and then tell the baby to stop crying. If he doesn’t, again swat him on his bare legs. You don’t need to undress him, turn him over, or make a big deal out of it. Just swat him where any skin is exposed. Continue to act as if you don’t notice the fit. Wait two minutes and repeat.

Most babies will keep it going for 3 or 4 times and then slide to a sitting position and sob it out. When this happens, it signals a surrender, so give him two minutes to get control and then swoop him up as if the fit never happen and give him a big hug, BUT don’t hold him in the manner he was demanding. Now remove yourself from the area so as to remove him from association with the past event.

Don’t ever hit a small child with your hand. You are too big and the baby is too small. The surface of the skin is where the most nerves are located and where it is easiest to cause pain without any damage to the child. The weight of your hand does little to sting the skin, but can cause bruising or serious damage internally. Babies need training but they do not need to be punished. Never react in anger or frustration. If you loose it, get your self under control before you attempt to discipline a child.

Here is another quote from the No Greater Joy website.  This quote is from an article from 1998,  Angry Child.

A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain. If he should tell you that the spanking makes him madder, spank him again. If he is still mad…. He desperately needs an unswayable authority, a cold rock of justice. Keep in mind that if you are angry you are wasting your time trying to spank his anger away.

I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey. On the fourth day I would treat him with respect and he would respond in kind. On the fifth day the fear would go away and he would relax because he would have judged that as long as he responds correctly there is nothing to fear. On the sixth day he would like himself better and enjoy his new relationship to authority. On the seventh day I would fellowship with him in some activity that he enjoyed. On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship. On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen. On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.

(Note that the quote above was linked to Stockholm Syndrome in an article in Secular Homeschooling Magazine which makes some interesting points.)

In an article called, Training Roseanna’s Flesh, Pearl explains how and why one must control a child at all costs.

For example: a child tries to slide from your lap onto the floor. On most occasions that’s just a way of letting you know where he wants to go. Fine, but there are times when you do not want him to slide to the floor. If your little fourteen-month-old makes an attempt to dismount your lap, and you indicate that you do not want him to, and he makes a protest by jerking away or whining, then by no means can you allow him to intimidate you into compliance. For, by so doing you have allowed the authority to pass to him. You would be encouraging rebellion. YOU MUST ALWAYS BE PERCEIVED TO WIN ANY CONTEST. It is all determined by what the child thinks. If there is a seed of resistance in the child, it must never be allowed to grow. Don’t allow that spirit of rebellion to become profitable.

When the child whines and makes an issue of something that to you was otherwise irrelevant, you must then follow-through, causing the child to do what he did not want to do. This is soul training – character building – sanctification of the natural spirit in your child. This won’t make him a Christian, but it will give him a better character than most Christians possess.

If, during the course of a day, no contest arises naturally, you should arrange one. Seek opportunity to thwart the child’s will, to cause him to submit to your command. If you cause him to surrender his will to you twenty times during the course of a day, he will not disappoint you with disobedience in public. Tell him to stop, sit, don’t speak for five minutes, etc. Play the half-hour “quiet time game,” the half-hour “don’t wiggle and squirm game.” Refuse him a treat when he is wanting it badly. Give it to him only when he is joyously submitted to your timetable. You mustn’t give the appearance of being blindly arbitrary, but always maintain full control. Never allow the child to dictate your actions.

I have found an article on the No Greater Joy site where Mr. Pearl explains some of his different terminology (aka DoubleSpeak) in regard to when a child is Too Young To Spank.  Here is a quote from that page discussing a 6 month old:

So we watch him, knowing his propensity to selfish compulsion. When he seizes his bowl with intentions of dumping it, swat the offending hand with a little instrument (light wooden spoon, rubber spatula, flexible tubing less than a quarter inch in diameter, or any instrument that will cause an unpleasant sting without leaving any marks).

Note: Comments are welcome and I try to reply where appropriate but I reserve the right to delete any and all flames at my discretion.


  1. Heidi W on November 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I can’t even form words to describe how much this couple (and anyone who follows them) sickens me. I was raised in a Christian household and the only physical discipline I received was one swat (while I was wearing a diaper, I remember it clearly) and one slap (when I was 8) from my mother. Am I some unruly, criminal bent on the world’s destruction because I wasn’t “trained” properly? No. My sisters and I are well adjusted, emotionally healthy, truly HAPPY, productive members of society.

    I remember one time I could tell my father was disappointed in me and I wished he’d beaten me with a baseball bat – it would have been less painful. My parents taught by example and love. We wanted to do what they said because we loved, respected and trusted them. It’s no different today. I’m 36 years old and I would still do anything my parents asked because I know they love, respect and trust me and they only want what is best for me.

    There is NOTHING manly or powerful about beating a child. It is the epitome of weakness. All I can say is that when the Pearls (and their followers) get on the other side and face Heavenly Father’s disappointment, they’re going to wish He had a beating for them instead.

  2. Rae on November 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Hermana, thank you for your patient and exhaustive work on this. My daughter-in-law posted tonight the verdict on the Larry and and Carri Williams trial, and the link to the Pearl’s book. I wanted to give some insight to counter some of the questions being asked. I can’t give the insight as a scholar, nor even as a Christian, as that is not the path my faith takes. I can give the insight of a woman who was systematically tortured, beaten, abused, starved, neglected, and molested throughout her childhood. I am 44 years old now, and I can’t even begin to describe the journey I’ve taken to reach a point of equilibrium, if not necessarily sanity.

    My parents didn’t abuse me out of some misbegotten advice on how to be good Christian parents — they did it because my mother was, literally, quite insane and my father was an enabler. In his words, “It was easier to take the belt to you than it was to listen to her b**ch at me.” My earliest memories of abuse are around 18 months old; by the age of three I had learned the lesson that “The pain goes away.” Also at three, my compulsive eating began; to this day, I fight bulemia with everything I have and I am. It is, literally, a day-to-day struggle. As a teenager, I cut. I attempted suicide three times; twice, my mother hid it. The third time I was hospitalized for a month, where I was taught the lesson that no one else, truly, would look out for me. It was up to me.

    Growing up was rough. I have two failed marriages behind me — one to a man who little understood the abuse I’d suffered, and one to a sexual predator and sadist. The sad thing about the second marriage is that, had he not tired of me and dumped me, I’d still be with him.

    Victimization is taught to children through the means of submission extolled in the Pearls’ book. But victimization does not end with childhood — even when you’ve left your parents’ home. In my case, I learned very early on that whatever anyone else wanted me to do, I was to do. Give them my things? Sure, no problem! Open my legs for them? Why not? Allow them to abuse me, to take what little of me I found precious, and debase it? Why not? It wasn’t until I reached 40 years old and found a therapist who looked at me, her head cocked to the side, and said, “Don’t you realize you were tortured?” and “You do realize you are suffering from long-term undiagnosed PTSD, right?” for me to realize — oh. My. Maybe I wasn’t bad. Maybe I’d been broken, and broken again, and broken yet again.

    Throughout it all, I’ve always turned my anger, my uncontrollable rage, against myself. My younger sister, however, turned it outward, and has confessed to me to two killings. My younger brother also followed my path of turning the rage, the hatred, inward, and he has spent more of his life since he was 17 behind bars than he has out of bars.

    These children being taught according to the Pearls’ methods are suffering. They are being taught just as I was taught and, as Kavik mentioned above, their distrust is going to both their parents and, through their parents teachings, straight up to God. I find that deplorable; we must have something greater than ourselves in which to believe, to trust, to have some form of faith! I can only hope that multitudes of well-meaning parents wake up and realize the harm they’re doing, in the name of love, and stop it. I am grateful to have found your site, and will refer it on to others as a source of very well-read and researched information to use.

    My oldest daughter, when she was about three, developed a taste for juices (who wouldn’t?). I recall, distinctly, one day I was giving her a menu selection as we stood at the refrigerator: “Do you want apple juice? Or grape juice? Or orange juice?” My first husband walked by, saying, “I don’t know why you’re asking her that. She’s a kid, she should just drink whatever you give her.” I was … 19 at this time. I couldn’t put it in words, then, but since I have found the way: It was important to me that she understand she had some choices, and learn how to be successful in making those choices. Today, she’s a scientist. She’s happily married, and she’s successful. I don’t agree with all her choices, but I’m more proud of her than I can convey. This, to me, is successful parenting, and I cringe to think of what would have become of her if she’d ever been subjected to the teachings in this monstrous book.

  3. Child Abuse Sanctioned by Christians? | Rae Thinks on November 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    […] Next, I need to tell you, I’ve never considered writing anything in this blogspot that would address Child Abuse; there are more than enough people out there crying out for it to stop that I never felt my voice would add any discernible anything to the fight. However, after reading http://www.examiner.com/article/another-couple-found-guilty-of-murder-for-parenting-by-to-train-up-a-child, I started doing some research. First, I went to Amazon.com and looked up the book. Read the excerpts, then scrolled down through the reviews. Of the 2,662 reviews, 919 of them are 5-star. The rest? 1-star. Not hard to figure out some good press was done on that book when it first published. Then I started surfing the web, and what I found was that, for years now people have been crying out about this book (like this site: http://whynottrainachild.com/2010/04/20/quotes-from-ttuac/). […]

  4. Kelly on November 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    While parents like the Pearls seem to be trying to convey a rigid, biblical form of punishment for direction, it comes across as complete mind-bending control of little ones. It also provides instruction to a parent on how to discipline their child if they feel at ALL that the child is trying to be disobedient, which could be misinterpreted by a parent suffering delusions. Discipline like this is too often taken too far in the name of “Christian values” and seeing these suggestions being published absolutely sickens me.

    I’d also like to point out that pulling on a nursing child’s hair if they bite is COMPLETELY unruly and NOT the way a child should ever be treated. I hate to say it, but sometimes people try too hard to put God’s Word in a box and toss everything into the “literal” category. Sometimes the “rod” that a child shouldn’t be spared is more a strict verbal correction. This is coming from someone who didn’t spend a single year of my life being “spared the rod”- physically, but to this DAY, remember that the only punishment that I received which truly made an impact on my mind was when my father, the disciplinarian of the household, sat me down and told me that he was disappointed in me.

    I’m not saying you have to be your kid’s BFF, but you need to establish a relationship that doesn’t revolve around making them broken and surrendered to your sovereignty.

  5. aaren on November 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I wonder if he also beats his wife. I wonder what he thinks about the scripture thst says do not provoke your child to wrath. Their writings encouge setting your child up. They have serious self esteem problems. And NO ONE can strike someone 8-10 times not in anger. They sound like psociopaths to me. I was spanked as a child and raised strictly and it never compaired to this writting. Jesus was not lashed and nailed into his place. He was perfect. He was lashed and nailed in OUR place. He will say I never knew you to this couple unless they repent. Doing such acts in his name. How awful

  6. Linda van on November 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I read this and I feels so wrong. Hitting your child for anything feels wrong. You try so hard to teach them to respect eachother and NOT to hit others. When you, their biggest role model is hitting them.
    I pride myself on being able to discipline my children without having to lay a hand on them. And they are well behaved.
    It doesn’t have to be this way, there are other ways to teach children

  7. […] quotes from this post on the website, Why Not Train a […]

  8. Charles Behlen on November 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    This is just one step before the Old Testament law that allows parents to kill their children. Simply put, these fundamentalist Sadists should be arrested for what they’re doing to their children. Violence is violence. Using violence teaches violence. My daughter was raised in a secular home. Like most children, she could be a little terror at times.. But that didn’t mean that her mother and I had the right to physically abuse her. Today she is a model of emotional and mental health, successful at her job and in her relationships. What’s more, she’s loved and respected by most of the people who know her. This is how you nurture a human being, not with switches, whips, belts and paddles–regardless of what your Bronze Age world view commands.

  9. qbert on November 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Someone should teach [the Pearls} what parenting is all about!!!!

    They need to have a “JOB DESCRIPTION” given to them.

    If you can’t stand a baby crying, or a child in a temper tantrum or any other normal child behavior DON’T have children!

    These people do not know or understand how a child is supposed act. Children are a lot of work! If you can’t handle it stay […] away from children.

    I really hope these 2 and their ilk get what they deserve.

  10. So saddened by this on November 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    If my child picked up a plastic plumbing style supply line…. and whipped another child with it, I would indeed want to discipline my child. BUT to discipline my child by whipping him with a plastic plumbing style supply line would be TOTALLY HYPOCRITICAL and quite frankly disgusting. I have 2 wonderfully behaved children.. that I have never, and would NEVER lay a hand on physically. I find the suggestion in this book totally abhorrent and terribly cruel and I urge parents who think it is loving to seriously think again. It is not loving, and you are being brainwashed. To suggest that because they are children then physical abuse is allowed.. and yet physical abuse towards another adult is not allowed is an the argument of a fool.

    Please folks.. abstain from buying this terrible book.. and encourage others to do likewise…

  11. Kristin on November 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    And to switch them back down so they won’t get up at night? What if they have to use the restroom? What of their diaper is full or or they’re hungry? God forbid they had an accident while sleeping, since children are still learning to control their bladders? What if their sick or have a fever? My daughter woke up from a fever after having her boosters. God forbid she lay there because she was too afraid to cry. She doesn’t know how to speak yet. God forbid my son lay in his bed, too afraid to come get me, because he’s in his room and he’s afraid of something. I feel part of my job as a mother is to reassure my children. To comfort them. Make sure they understand things. I want my son to cone to me when he’s afraid, he trusts me, and then I take that as an opportunity to teach him why there is nothing to be afraid of. My children are not a nuisance to me because they wake up at night. They wake because something is wrong or because they’re little imaginations have them afraid of something. God sent me these angels to protect and teach. Switching my child because they wake and neex you sounds counterproductive and makes it sound like they are a nuisance to you in the middle of the night. Ugh. This whole thing screams ungodly to me.

    • KathyT on April 25, 2015 at 2:27 am

      Of all the comments this one resonates with me the most. I think of all the times my children have called for me at night and how fast my feet hit the floor and fly down the hall to them as my mother and father did for me. As I head down that hall I pray nothing is really wrong. Sometimes I have found them sick. Sometimes just afraid. Their problems are my problems. Imagine if they wake up and there is nothing they fear more than you? I had one who had night terrors. Would they have beaten that sweet child when she didn’t even remember the dream or that she screamed? If they would beat a 9 month old for crying then I would imagine they would beat an 8 year old for waking up screaming. I am so glad my children were born to me and not to them. The idea of them being so mistreated breaks my heart. Anyone who recommends that book in a later edition need to look at earlier editions and reject it as bad fruit. It is just as Kirsten puts it- ugh -ungodly. Evil and vile too.

  12. Kristin on November 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve read the comments of the people who agree with this “parenting” method. How could you EVER defend pulling your newborn’s hair(or finding an alternative pain source if they have no hair) because they bit you while breastfeeding?? This makes me sick. Babies need love. All they need to know is they are safe. What kind of control freak thinks of controlling their newborn right out of the womb? My heart breaks for the children who endure this kind of abuse. Sounds like some sort of twisted lifetime movie. LORD, I pray TODAY that any parent that is holding this book in their hands, who considering this type of parenting, that you enlighten their hearts and minds. Please change their spirit. Boy, if this isn’t the work of Satan. How deceptive and and conniving he is! To have people abusing their children in the name of scripture. Sure fire way to turn people away from God. I have friends who see these types of stories and say, “there ya go.” That’s not the God I want to follow. My heart breaks for them. I have a 7 month old and 4 year old and had tears in my eyes imagining these disciplinary actions happening to kids their age. Innocence stripped, and fear replacing it. Great so your kids obey you. But do they LOVE themselves? Do they feel loved? Secure? Important? I bet many of these children will search for acceptance in any way shape or form. Hence, a battered wife or battered husband. It happens. Promiscuity. Just an abservation of how this type of parenting can go very wrong. Sorry for the long rant but this was so saddening and all I could think of is my babies and the poor child that endured or will endure this.

    • Heidi W on November 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I agree with you completely. I had all these thoughts myself. They are definitely acting in Satan’s behalf.

  13. […] While I’m at it, I would also like to dispel the myth that the book calls for hitting children with pipes and whips.  It does not. It calls for hitting children with a switch, belt or plastic plumbing supply line, which is flexible and whip-like. I mention this because when things we claim can be disproved, it casts doubt on everything we say.  Get the true quotes here. […]

  14. Mel Danielle on November 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Interesting. Makes me wonder if my dad read this book. Luckily, I didn’t move in/know my dad until I was 5 so he didn’t get the chance to start at birth. It might work for most who know nothing else since birth but I know that [kind of thing] didn’t work for me and I only grew to become more defiant, angry, resentful, hateful, and negative. I grew to hate ALL authority and viewed all authority the same. Eventually, I got away when I was 13 and finally got my [act] together but It still makes me sick to think that so many people out there could treat their children this way. There’s no love, warmth, or comfort. No relationship. It’s not what a family feels like. It’s distant, cold, and routine. It’s not a home but an institution. I really feel for these kids. Also, what kind of mother would allow this woman to babysit…I mean they had to know, I am sure she doesn’t keep it a secret. Geez.

  15. […] come off – when we finally see that all too often, the children are well-behaved because of abusive parenting methods, the seemingly perfect families are facades for abuse and neglect, the fathers are not just valued […]

  16. The Sinister Side of Homeschooling on September 23, 2013 at 5:44 am

    […] with the large percentage of homeschoolers that follow ultra-conservative teachings, like the child abuse practices of Michael and Debbie Pearl, make stories of physical abuse, death, and sexual abuse an all too […]

  17. Leah on September 14, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Just a word in the Shebet discussion. A better translation then rod would be staff or sceptre. Blessings to Hermana for her research info this and her opposition to this terrible book from Ramat gan, Israël

    • Hermana Linda on September 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      I do more sharing of research than actual research but thank you for your kind words. That is a helpful translation. Blessings to you as well.

  18. Lilly on August 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    My parents quickly learned that spanking me wouldn’t work. They would spank me and I would do the same thing that i was spanked for over and over again. They finally realized that it wasn’t working when they spanked me so hard that I bruised black and blue (legally child abuse) and I still did the same thing. I didn’t stop until my parents took my toys away. Then I became a perfect little angel. Hitting/whipping/whatever you want to call it doesn’t work. It just makes your children fear (I was the exception apparently) and later resent you.

  19. Dorinda on August 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

    My parents raised me and my siblings on this book and Christian believes. I do not speak to my parents because of the unspeakable things they did to us. The parent that spanks their child this was is a horrible parent. You will lose your child by doing this.

  20. Dr. Shannon on August 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I’m deeply concerned that the goal of using the “disciplining implement” is to cause pain to an infant, WHILE NOT LEAVING ANY MARKS, which would certainly happen if one used one’s hand. In other words, causing this amount of pain AND leaving a bruise is criminal child abuse. Yet if you’re a smart enough bully to inflict the pain without leaving any evidence of having done so, you cannot be prosecuted. Does that sum up this method of child “discipline”?

    If this is the case, why haven’t the Pearls and parents who openly admit to abusing their children with these techniques been formally prosecuted? Such child abuse is illegal in every state. As a mandated reporter, if a parent told me she was using this method, I would be obligated to report her to the authorities. This has nothing to do with religion, per se, but everything to do with protecting children and educating parents about how to best care for their babies.
    – note: This comment was accidentally deleted and replaced by Hermana Linda

  21. […] Child Abuse and a Rejection of Children’s Rights in Homeschooling There is the issue of child abuse being passed off as “biblical discipline” where “obedience” means being an unquestioning automaton with a smile, and a “spanking” means getting hit multiple times with belts, sticks, or quarter inch plumbing line. Vision Forum sells its own alternatives to the now-infamous “To Train Up A Child.“ […]

  22. […] Child Abuse and a Rejection of Children’s Rights in Homeschooling There is the issue of child abuse being passed off as “biblical discipline” where “obedience” means being an unquestioning automaton with a smile, and a “spanking” means getting hit multiple times with belts, sticks, or quarter inch plumbing line. Vision Forum sells its own alternatives to the now-infamous “To Train Up A Child.“ […]

  23. […] is that a few prominent homeschoolers have written “child training” manuals that plainly endorse at least some of this abusive stuff as a good idea. If I was a parent who did this (even if it was […]

  24. Edward on March 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    First let me say THANK YOU for the work you do on this site, and also let me say both my wife and I are glad that we found it. My wife and I are both Eastern Orthodox and we have a eight month old Daughter, Olga (named after St Olga of Alaska). Upon hearing my wife was pregnant, many people began recommending “How to train up a child” (a few even were clergy).. This may sound awful, but due to what I knew of the people that recommended the book to me, I never did read it, but rather assumed that I would probably disagree with it.
    Mostly due to curiosity I decided to do some research on this book that so many people thought should have been an important part of my pre-parenthood education.
    I am horrified by what I have found.
    I am sure I am not the only person that feels this way, but I find it hard to believe that ANYONE that calls themselves a Christian sees this type of “parenting” as anything other than, at best cult-like behavior modification, at worst abuse/torture.
    On a related note; my father-in-law, while not as strict as the book recommends, followed the basic principles outlined. My wife to this day has a hard time expressing her own thoughts without apologizing for having them and very much regrets that she (and her siblings) spent her childhood scared of her father and how it impeded any real relationship they did have. The idea that any parent would want their child afraid of them, greatly distresses me.

    • Hermana Linda on March 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts. I’m so glad that you have the God given common sense to see the dangers of these teachings.

      • Edward on March 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

        Archbishop Lazar Puhalo will be doing a podcast soon on the dangers of this type of parenting. I Will send you a link when it is up.
        A quote from him on the subject..
        “The way to “Train up a child” is to follow your heart, your best instincts, and embrace the child with love. If you wish to teach the child, make it empathy, care for others and compassion. Corporal punishment is barbaric, destructive, and unnecessary.”

  25. lhean on January 14, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Wow. People actually do this? It’s child abuse in the UK. Your supposed to encourage kids not make the scared of you. This encourages setting your children up to test their will. A baby doesn’t know right from wrong and they want you to whip them with a branch?

    • Hermana Linda on January 14, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Yes, it is sad. Of course, the great majority of people who do this are misguided and sincerely believe that they are doing the right thing. My job is to convince them otherwise. I have removed the profanity and threats from your comment, I trust that you understand.

  26. Lisha on November 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    For having so much information, this website and the creator of it are extremely misleading & most definitely don’t know what they are talking about. For starters, the word “whipping” is never even used in the Pearls’ book, but somehow repeatedly gets translated that way in their “exact quotations”.
    What a sad waste of ones life to spend it shooting arrows at an innocent family. If you wanted to take the time and do something productive, you would see that through this method of training (not abuse) the Pearls’ family chords and love for eachother run deeper than most.
    I was also raised in a family where similar training methods were in place, and now in my 20’s myself and my 5 siblings all THANK my parents for the discipline that we received…of course you wouldn’t understand that, but you don’t care to either since all you care to search for are words and situations that you can twist to fit into your horrible storybook.

    • Hermana Linda on November 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you for pointing that out. I had gotten the page numbers from another site and inserted the correct quotes, keeping their description. However, there is no need to use that word. The words “switching” and “spanking” will do fine to convey the meaning.

      Now that I have the correct words in the descriptions of the quotes, there is no more twisting going on. 🙂 Everyone can read the quotes for what they actually say and decide if they find it to be a good way to raise children or not.

  27. Sarah on September 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    There is nothing wrong with spanking your child. I was spanked with rulers, switches, belts, and palms. I grew up to be a successful doctor and my sister is an accountant and my baby brother is in the Air Force. We were not abused. We were disciplined using spankings, lectures, and various punishments. Spank your kids and maybe we won’t have so many rapist, murders, thieves in our communities. We may be able to reduce the growth of poverty stricken neighborhoods with single mothers on welfare.

    • Hermana Linda on September 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

      I am glad to hear that you feel yourself to be a success in spite of the violence to which you were subjected. I am interested to hear your definition of successful. Does this mean that you are making a lot of money or that you are happy and contented? Most importantly, I hope it means that you believe in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection unto salvation.

      I wonder where you get the idea that spanking one’s children will prevent rapes, murder and thievery. Statistics show that the majority of people in jail were spanked as a child. More important to a child’s emotional and mental health is that the child feel loved. This can be accomplished with or without spanking. Spanking is not the crux of the matter. A child who was spanked into submission may never commit rape, murder or thievery, but may also suffer secretly with feelings of unworthiness and a need to seek out random people on the internet with whom to argue. A child who was not disciplined in any way is also unlikely to turn out well. However, a child raised with firm, gentle discipline is highly likely to grow up to be a healthy and productive member of society.

      • Fiona on November 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

        I agree with you, Linda, in that spankings are more likely to cause crimes than not. A child who is trained for complete obedience learns that their wishes, opinions, and consent do not matter, and that if you are more physically powerful, you can demand obedience. Whereas children who are raised to feel that they are loved and deserve respect and that their consent matters, will tend to have more respect for other people and respect for consent in general.

  28. Ashleigh 76 on July 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I have experienced God’s discipline. It is painful. I don’t agree with the Pearl’s at all, but I also disagree with those who claim that spanking is carte blanche evil. I was brought back from a painful and life destroying addiction, and though it was an extremely painful experience I recognize that it was BECAUSE He loved me that He allowed what happened to happen. It is a testimony of His great love that He would never let me go… He would not allow my addiction to destroy me. I was arrested for something completely unrelated, and through the fear and shame, repented, aight help, and eventually was called to become a missionary. Let’s not cheapen love by making it fluffy and nice. His love is perfect. His love seeks our good. It was very much necessary in my life to go through a deeply painful experience in order to be transformed and realize how valuable I am to Him.

    • Hermana Linda on July 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

      You call it punishment, I call it natural consequences. Either way, it does not mean that we must hit children for developmentally appropriate behavior. Glory to God for your deliverance!

    • Fiona on November 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

      As a child, it’s not possible to understand complex concepts like being transformed through a painful experience. Young children need to feel safe with their caregivers and that their needs are being met.

  29. lisa on July 3, 2012 at 12:47 am

    My heart breaks and I feel sick to my stomach for the children who have and will be subjected to this. How can anyone who believes in God or Goodness think this is anything but wrong? I know deep in my heart that God would never want anyone to physically or emotionally bully a child in this way. The unspoilt beauty of their pure, sacred little spirits is not only overlooked and neglected by these teachings of child abuse but their God-given spirits are actively rejected, broken and deformed by it. It’s ugly and it’s wrong. Taking the hitting out of it – consciously and systematically punishing, ignoring or rejecting a child’s expression of his/her emotional needs is abusive. Babies and children cry or lash out because they need something from us or are overwhelmed, and they test boundaries because they don’t yet know where they are, not because they have some evil in them that has to be beaten down and controlled. They need the assistance, comfort, reassurance and safety of a loving parent, who was blessed with the responsibility to care for and protect them. I’m terrified that there are parents looking to this abuse for guidance in raising their precious children. It’s a gross abuse of the trust that is put in parents by God to watch over the most helpless and dependant of His children. How can this be published and sold? How can this even be legal? In the few quotes I’ve read above (regardless of any context they were written in or how the child supposedly ‘earned’ their ‘lesson’) there is reference to weapons (call it what you like but they are weapons) and causing pain. It’s assault! Calling the hitting ‘switching’ and saying that it should never be done in anger and that the intention is of love and for the child’s own good does not, in any way, make this ok. If a university professor or business owner employed a similar abuse of power to ‘train’ their students or workers to behave to their preference, they could be charged – possibly relating to assault, possibly even torture. Stand in the child’s shoes – they don’t need to be abused (rejected, dominated, punished, belittled, physically hurt) to learn from us. Just because the balance of power lies with the parent and the child can’t assert their rights doesn’t mean they don’t have the same needs and rights as every adult. They don’t have our knowledge and experience, so they certainly need direction and discipline (in the form of guidance and appropriate consequences) but they still have all of the rights and needs an adult has, including to feel loved and to be heard, respected and free from harm. No end of harm could come to the spirits of children on the receiving end of this awful abuse of power. A parent should be someone you can trust never to hurt you but to respect your God-given spirit and gently, lovingly guide and nurture you. I pray with every part of me for those who encounter this or similar manuals that justify and instruct in child abuse, that they will see it for the abuse that it is, have some sense of the deep damage they could do and be drawn instead to seek guidance in raising their children with gentle and respectful discipline that honours, nourishes and guides their child’s spirit – for the good of the child and the greater good of society. And I pray for liberation and healing for the innocent victims of the physical and emotional abuse that’s perpetrated by any parent who knowingly or naively imposes such methods on their children.

  30. Dasha Wilson on May 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Can I please remind you that “God is Love”? Beating a child is not showing LOVE. Where I live (New Mexico) you can go to PRISON for hitting a child under the age of 3, and it is 100% ILLEGAL to beat a child for crying. It doesn’t make sense. I believe in spanking but this is child abuse (NM State LAW).

  31. Debbie on March 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    KP,—-> it would not matter what the child had done, beating him/her is wrong.
    I have 4 kids and I have full hands every single day. I still haven’t found one good reason to ever pick up a stick or even raise my hand. Yes….shockingly, children have brains! They are able to rationalize and learn by following their parents example. And there’s now worse example than watching a full grown adult use physical punishment to solve the ‘dislike’ of their child’s behavior. My kids are 19,12,10 & 7. Two boys, Two girls. So yes, I do have some experience.
    My oldest is in college.
    My 12 yr old is doing home-school.
    My 10 yr old and 7 yr old are in PS.
    (No, I don’t home-school do to any religion whatsoever. I don’t believe in indoctrinating children.)
    I home-school him simply for his health. He spends a lot of time in the hospital, it was easier for him this way. The sad part is, it’s [people like the ones] who wrote this book, who give regular home-schoolers a bad name! And any home-schooler who actually does this [stuff] to a child, should be put away on grounds of complete and utter lunacy!

  32. Teri on March 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I just want to give an alternate suggestion with stairs. The Pearl’s methods on “safety training” are often defended online because stairs are a safety issue. My suggestion with stairs and babies is this: Stand behind baby, and allow them to crawl up the stairs. If they fall, catch them, comfort them, then encourage them to try again. You are one stair away, and there to keep them safe. They will not get hurt. This way, your baby learns how to get up and down stairs safely, through practice and not giving up. When you are not there to supervise, put a baby gate up, but make sure that the baby has plenty of opportunity to safely climb the stairs.

    It is counter-intuitive to teach a baby that stairs are inherently dangerous and off-limits, because they see you going up and down them all the time. They are learning how to “be” from watching you, and imitating you. With this in mind, it is more appropriate to provide opportunities for them to learn how to get up and down the stairs in a safe environment – with you there to catch them, should they fall. Just like there is a rail at the ice-rink for you to use while you gain coordination to learn to ice-skate, you stay with them and let them practice and learn while they gain coordination.

    I did this with my youngest, and she learned to get up and down stairs easily and safely. Now, she can climb trees like a pro, and has amazing coordination. This is, in my opinion, because we fostered that learning and provided opportunities for her to learn with a safety net. —- just wanted to reply with this because it was on my mind after reading this.

    • Hermana Linda on March 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you, that is a good point. I did pretty much the same thing. I also taught them from an early age to always descend feet first. I would say, “Feet first” while maneuvering them into the right position (on their tummy and feet first) to get down from the couch or the bed and later go down stairs. Later I would just say, “Feet first” and they would lay on their bellies and seek with their feet. I could yell that at them from the bottom of a jungle gym as well. They also grew up to climb without fear.

  33. » In the Best Interests of the Child Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources on March 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

    […] to stand firmly and openly against so-called ‘parenting experts’ such as Gary Ezzo and Michael Pearl who promote rigid child-training and corporal punishment of small […]

  34. Jackie on February 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I’m a Christian. I believe the Bible and try to live by it. BUT those quotes from the book are absolutely sickening. People like to take verses from the Bible and make it say whatever they want it to. Including when they are just venting their own anger and taking it out (abusively) on their own children. I am disgusted and horrified. Switching a baby because they want to be picked up and all the other ‘advice’ offered is ridiculous, lacking in common sense and personally offensive.

    People like to quote about the ‘rod’ and training their children. If you study that verse you come to find that a rod was used to guide…not to physically bring pain to teach a lesson. This will haunt me. Children are gifts from God, not animals to train and punish. I also believe there is a difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline will always teach a lesson in love and direct towards the right behavior, punishment is negative and destructive.

  35. KP on December 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Having read a couple of your ‘sources’ of the book, I would like to say the author is still misquoting by quoting out of context. After looking up 3 passages in the book’s online pages that you quoted, I found that all three you aren’t bothering mentioning that these kids were from spoiled families refusing to eat (before being given something he refused to play with), or the kid stopped climbing stairs when faced with the switch just sitting there, etc.

    Bad form, author. Bad form.

    • Hermana Linda on December 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      If in some people’s minds it is justifiable to mistreat a child because he is spoiled then it would seem that we are leaving out pertinent information. In my mind, to mention what the child did would be just extraneous information which clutters up the quote. I do not believe in blaming the victim. Most people could not care less what the child did, he still would not deserve to be abused in the way this book recommends.

      • Astrid on September 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

        What 4-month-old needs to be taught not to climb stairs? Mine wasn’t even crawling then! Exactly what is accomplished by hitting a baby with a switch? Infants have no way of communicating their needs other than crying or “pitching a fit.” They are not sufficiently developed to form the sort of intent that the Pearls appear to want to beat out of them. Using a switch to “train” an infant does nothing except teach the baby that they are not safe and their needs will not be met by the people who are “caring” for them.

        As an example, you can read about the effects of institutionalization on infants and toddlers. In countries where orphanages are over-crowded and under-staffed and babies are given little human interaction…the ones who spend their days in cribs…tend to develop attachment disorders that persist even after adoption. For some of these children, they are never able to establish a family connection because they have had their basic needs ignored (or in the case of the Pearls, just beat out of them). If an infant is incapable of learning a lesson from your switchings, then all you have accomplished is making them afraid of the very people who should make them feel safe.

    • Casey on November 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      While it may seem “bad form” to remove from what kind of family a child came, it doesn’t change the situation. There is not a single 4 month old that should ever receive physical discipline. If a 4 month old stops what they’re doing when faced with a switch, that is a sign of abuse. It’s like taking in an abused dog and seeing them flinch at the movement of a foot or hand.

      I have a 5-year-old son. I did have to do some things around the house to keep him from getting into things that could harm him or from climbing onto couches or chairs. It really wasn’t that hard and I didn’t feel that he was “being bad”. He was an infant exploring the world around him. A child should never be punished for attempting to become familiar with their environment. If you don’t want to acknowledge the fact that it is abuse, at least realize that it’s anti-education.

  36. Jen K on December 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    People used to use this same logic to train dogs using force methods; many of these quotes seemed to come directly out of dog training manuals. Today it is widely recognized to be barbaric and ineffectual for many individuals. Apparently the Pearls haven’t even caught up to dog trainers. I cannot imagine switching a baby for crying or wanting to play with a toy. These people are seriously deranged.

  37. Eyes on December 17, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I grew up with a father like this- it was all about control of all behavior. Reading these passages completely echoes his philosophy of discipline. Perhaps I am an extreme example, but I wanted to share that this did not work out well for me at all. Externally, I may seem like a solid person, but as a teenager I began shamefully cutting myself and hiding it from the world. I feel intense self loathing about what I have learned are normal parts of most people’s lives (procrastination, slight clutter, cheating on diets) and I have coped with those feelings through physical punishment of myself for years. I continued the same punishment I felt I deserved because I was taught I deserved it as a child. Can this really be the best way to raise people to be healthy adults???

  38. annph on November 8, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Oh come on people…sheep/goat herders do not use a rod to strike their animals. They use it to direct them to the area they wish them to go. It has dumbfounded me for years that people continue to think that ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ means to physically strike a child. It means to guide them…direct them.

  39. Morgan Daly on November 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    YAHWEH demands corporal punishment in a series of texts (attributed to the creator of the Universe), most famously ‘spare the rod…’.

    Whilst I, of course, do not support corporal punishment, I also feel that it’s somewhat intellectually dishonest to say that the corporal punishment verses are not meant to be taken literally, or no longer apply, but other verses do.

    By what yardstick do more moderate Christians decide which is still applicable and which not? There is a failing in logical process inherent here.

    • Hermana Linda on November 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Have you read the links in my sidebar? If you take the verses literally, you would need to beat the child, (an older boy, not a toddler) with a huge staff. Shebet does not mean a small stick. It also is commonly used symbolically for authority. At least read The Rod Study and Is Spanking Biblical?.

      • Morgan Daly on November 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

        OK, I’ll bite.

        You assert that shebet could not mean using the rod used to beat fools / criminals (itself a delightful practice endorsed by YAHWEH) because to do so would potentially kill the child, and the verse says that it will not kill the child. However, it is very obvious that all kinds of implements can have multiple uses.

        If I have a baseball bat, I can use if to beat someone to death. I can also use it to prod my cat away from my dinner. The fact that the bat can be used in the first instance does not preclude it’s use for the second. This logical leap regarding the rod is flawed.

        Your second point revolves around the age of the child in question. However, this also doesn’t really stand up. If you are beating the child, then to be beating a young man of the ages 12-20 is actually very possible, indeed likely. You say ‘spanking their sons who are older’. I think the verses are talking about physical beatings, not a cautionary slap on the rump. Though I’m not sure which, coming from my father, should bother me more.

        There is also a greater point here regarding interpretation of what YAHWEH is saying in relation to his character shown throughout the Old Testament. In the following stories, YAHWEH is hardly displaying qualities that we would value in our friends and neighbours: Abraham virtually sacrifices his son, before learning it was all a hoax, 40 (I think?) children killed by a bear that God sends for calling Elijah ‘bald-head’ (pretty funny, I’d say), children, animals, women, men of the Amalekites (and other tribes) massacred. And so on.

        As such, is it unreasonable to think that these disputable verses advocate physical beatings? It’s hardly out of character, one could argue.

        Just to be clear- I don’t like people who beat their kids. I don’t like religious fundamentalists who use scripture to advocate not thinking about things themselves either. But to try and turn something like this into something positive is misguided- better to just say those passages are wrong, man-made, and reject them.

        Next you’ll be saying that ‘you shall not permit a Witch to live’ actually means we should examine the metaphorical witch in our hearts (the desire for more money) and ‘kill it’ through prayer… rather than the very obvious meaning of the verse.

        • Hermana Linda on November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

          I haven’t actually studied the verse about fools / criminals so I don’t know if it is Shebet or not. Spanking a child with a bat or large staff would certainly be dangerous. I prefer to take the logical meaning of applying authority and discipline (from disciple, not code for spanking) rather than believe that Yahweh wants us to beat our children. I do, indeed see it as out of character, but I do not only read the Old Testament, I read the New Testament and see that we are under Grace which we must also extend to our children. I do not reject any part of Scripture as man made. In its original language, it is the Word of God. However, translations can be misleading.

  40. priestswife on October 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    these quotations are hard to believe…

    about ‘delayed obedience’- God honors this! Jesus preached a parable about the two sons- one who said he would obey and then did not- and one who said he would not and then did the work his father wanted- Jesus then asks- who did the father’s will? So- a small child who decides to obey after a bit of refusal is wonderful and should NOT be punished

    • Hermana Linda on October 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      I totally agree!

    • Christina on February 20, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Every child will need a bit of time to think through whether they want to disobey or obey their parents. When my child doesn’t immediately put down what I have told him to put down, I get up. Then walk over to him and tell him again to put it down. Then I give him a minute to do so. If he does what I tell him then nothing happens. If he doesn’t do what I have told him, then I gently but firmly grasp what he is holding and tell him to give the object (and I name it) to me. If he gives it to me, I thank him for listening to me and let it drop. If not, I gently but firmly take it from him, and have him sit down for a time out. I haven’t had to repeat this more than twice with the same object, ever. My son is 4 years old.
      The child who states that he will not obey and then does shouldn’t be punished. That would be like punishing a child for thinking of doing something wrong and then not doing it. Actions are the only thing you can correct. And speech if something is said that is wrong to say. Verbally telling a child to not say it and then explaining why is usually sufficient.
      A child who states that they will obey and then doesn’t, by their actions should then be corrected.
      There really is no need to physically harm a child. Especially when that child wouldn’t understand the correlation of the physical punishment and the action that caused it.

  41. TulipGirl » Blog Archive » What is it Like to be Raised by Pearl Parenting? on October 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

    […] Sadly, we are hearing more about deaths that have been related to the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries, and specifically their book “To Train Up a Child.” […]

  42. Kirk Martin on August 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

    One cannot read these quotes without crying. It is antithetical to the character of God. We created eight videos and countless blog posts to show Christian parents how to parent like God parents us, earn the respect we want and foster close relationships with our children. We invite your comments here:

    • Hermana Linda on August 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I have heard good things about you on Gentle Christian Mothers.

    • Royce Yates on August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      How do you reconcile the “rod” and “chastening” scriptures, and the many instances in the Bible where God inflicted pain of one type or another on His errant children and His enemies? Do you believe in the concept of eternal punishment or damnation?

      • Hermana Linda on August 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        Hi Royce,
        Welcome and thank you for looking. Those are good questions. Here are some links to answer your questions about the Rod and Chastening:

        The fact that God inflicted pain does not mean that we are to do the same, especially on our children in the Age of Grace. Check out http://greenegem.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/proverbs-and-spanking-part-3-believers-behavior/ for more about that.

        I do believe in damnation, the non-believers will be apart from God forever. They cannot go to Heaven and be in His presence after rejecting His Free Gift of Salvation. There is no place found for them so they end up in the place prepared for the devil and his angels. I do not understand that to mean that we are called to hit our children.

        • Royce Yates on August 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm

          Thank you for your responses. When you have time, I’m curious how you would interpret Hebrews 12.

          • Hermana Linda on August 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

            Hebrews 12 tells believers not to lose heart at their persecution. It also says that a parent will correct/discipline his child. It could mean physically and it could mean verbally. I do not encourage permissiveness, one must correct and disciple their children.

          • Katherine Gunn on October 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

            I am not arguing in favor of hitting, but I have looked up the Greek word in this passage that is translated ‘scourge’ and it literally means to ‘whip’ or ‘flog’. Having suffered under the belt as a child, this verse really troubles me as it seems to be saying the God ‘flogs’ the children He loves and we should gratefully accept being ‘flogged’. You thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

            • Hermana Linda on October 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

              I understand that to mean that God flogs us figuratively with consequences. I do not see it as meaning that we must flog our children. I am always on the look out for more insight on that passage. That which I have found so far are tagged Hebrews 12.

          • TulipGirl on November 9, 2011 at 4:27 am

            Hi, Katherine!

            You wrote, “t I have looked up the Greek word in this passage that is translated ‘scourge’ and it literally means to ‘whip’ or ‘flog’.”

            That passage in Hebrews 12 is in the context of comforting people who were being persecuted for their faith. They WERE being literally “scourged” and my understanding from the scholars I’ve read is that the word scourge was chosen to acknowledge their suffering and persecution and give reassurance that even something so awful and difficult like that could be used by God to a good end — even though it was painful and wasn’t a good thing in itself.

            Other scholars have pointed out the parallel between the “scourge” in this passage and the scourging Jesus bore as part of the crucifixion. The early verses in Heb 12 point to that use it to encourage those who are being persecuted that Jesus walked through that, too.

        • Kirk Martin on August 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm

          Royce, there was a time when I would have interpreted Hebrews 12 as this harsh, depressing scripture. If you equate “discipline” with “punishment,” then of course you would draw the conclusion that physical pain is what an angry father imposes to punish his wayward child. But that’s not what Hebrews 12 says to me.

          Read it in a different light. It’s a celebration when properly understood. Discipline means to teach, to disciple, to show. The purpose of God’s discipline is not to make me behave a certain way–it’s to help transform me to be more like God. That’s a beautiful thing. “I care about you so I am going to take the time to discipline/teach you. You aren’t some fatherless kid who is left on his own to figure life out. I’m going to show you–so I can prevent the greater pain of ruined relationships and guilt.” Discipline is a loving act, not an angry outburst. The pain of discipline for me is twofold–I respect God so I don’t want to disappoint Him, but moreso it’s the pain of realizing that I really have to change! And none of us like change–we want everyone else to change!

          Try viewing God with a different lens. Sometimes the way we were raised (demanding, angry father) colors our picture of God. Dig under there and you’ll see a lot of tenderness and patience.

          • Hermana Linda on August 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

            Kirk, thank you so much for your helpful comments.

          • Christina on February 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

            Where do you see tenderness and patience with the whole if you sin you will go to hell for all eternity.
            Correction is a lot different from punishment.
            There are a lot of ways to correct a child that doesn’t cause them pain, and still teaches the lesson that you wish for them to learn. To physically harm a child until they ‘break’ is considered abuse. Whether you are leaving marks on their bodies or not.

            • Hermana Linda on February 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

              The tenderness and patience is in that He paid for our sins with His own blood. He paid the sacrifice so that we don’t have to go to hell. If someone rejects Him and refuses to spend Eternity with Him in Heaven, He will not force us, but there is no other place found to be away from Him except for Hell. He suffered and died to provide a way for us to join him in Heaven, yet sadly many refuse to accept His Free Gift to go to Heaven and then blame Him that they end up in hell.

        • Lois Manning on July 19, 2013 at 3:42 am

          Any god presented to me for consideration must be AT LEAST as forgiving of people’s failings as I am. And the god of Abraham (Yahweh) doesn’t cut it. Jesus’ death was an isolated event that cannot possibly have any connection with the lives of humanity. I believe he was a man of good will (if he existed at all) but nothing more than that. His story is one of many like it but holds back our species’ advancement when taken too seriously. It’s far past time to move on from it and use our free will to create our own meaning in this incredibly complex world. Let’s start with, not incidentally, The Golden Rule, like Jesus the man did.

          • Hermana Linda on July 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

            God became a man and came to Earth in order to pay the penalty for sin so that we can be forgiven. What more do you want?

  43. […] främst, den sidan har mycket material mot paret Pearl. Citaten ovan är hämtade därifrån. Elizabeth Ester har skrivit mycket. One minions opinion frågar varför man ska följa en gud som […]

  44. Hermana Linda on August 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Your point is moot because the Bible does not go against compassion, unconditional love, selflessness, mercy, patience, understanding and common sense. Those who teach that it does have twisted the Truth and are false teachers.

    No human is really good, we are all sinners. Only Christ was good and He paid the penalty for our sins. He does not teach us to hurt anyone and any teachings which say to hurt people are contradicting the Bible.

    Your question is also moot because God would not change that rule. The anti-christ would, but a Christian is not to listen to him.

    • Lois Manning on July 19, 2013 at 3:35 am

      Hermana Linda, Jesus was only a man living and teaching according to his times, not a god. His acceptance of slavery is an example of that. Many of his teachings were enlightened and ahead of his time; others were not. He also may have studied Buddhism, a far more enlightened philosophy than Christianity. Remember, it was Paul who wrote most of the bible and did so before the gospels came along. It was Paul who created Christianity by instilling paganism into the story of Jesus in order to attract gentiles because his original audience (Jews, like him) refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah.

      • Hermana Linda on July 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        I totally and emphatically disagree. He proved that He was God by his resurrection. His followers were so sure of His resurrection that they were willing to die rather than deny it.

        Please understand that this is a Christian Blog, the sole purpose of which is to convince Christians that they are not obligated to spank their children and to give them alternatives. It is also to warn against dangerous false teachings. I am not here to argue with non-believers. If you don’t want to believe, nothing I say will convince you. I would love to convince everyone to believe in the Sacrifice that Jesus made and go to Heaven when they die, but for some reason, many people are bound and determined to reject that offer, leaving no place for them other than the place prepared for satan and his angels. 🙁

        • HaleyQuinn on November 26, 2013 at 8:51 am

          Hermana Linda, I came across this blog in the search of quotes from this horrific excuse for a parenting manual, and in that aspect it has done it’s job. Even the comment section here for the most part is golden. However, the very last bit of your comment is incredibly off-putting, (and I truly don’t mean to offend you in any way, and if what I am about to say does then please allow me to apologize.) I’m responding to this section of your comment ” I would love to convince everyone to believe in the Sacrifice that Jesus made and go to Heaven when they die, but for some reason, many people are bound and determined to reject that offer, leaving no place for them other than the place prepared for Satan and his angels. 🙁 ” Personally, I was severely abused as a child. My mother terrorized me into complacency at a young age and was always allowed to justify what she did with the Bible or Jesus in her left hand as she beat me with her right. She locked me in our family’s hall closet starting at the age of 5 years old and would pile suitcases on top of me until I could “feel the weight of my sin that Jesus could lift off of me” while she screamed Bible versus at me through the door. She grounded me from food on and off from ages 6-18, because I wasn’t worthy enough to ingest Jesus’s gifts that week. She would beat me until I bled because Jesus had died for me and I was supposed to understand what death felt like and in turn, become more grateful for his sacrifice. By the time I was 8, I had completely shattered every bone in my right hand, dislocated my left shoulder and both of my wrists out of the skin, and had metal screws placed in my spine. I had anorexia because I felt unworthy to eat, no self esteem, and would later be diagnosed by a psychiatrist with depression, PTSD,anxiety and DID (dissociative Identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder) When I was in high school, she had sent me away to be exorcised of my demons, where I was literally chained up, whipped, and even raped into submission. My life was a nightmare fuelled by some mysterious figure named Jesus that had told my mother to do all these things to me, who had decided I was a bad person. That was my thought process as a child, because I had no idea whatsoever of the concept of religion or what all of that meant. Through many many years of therapy, I am slowly recovering. And one of the things they teach you in therapy is to not believe the words of your abusers. And for most of us, that means all of the words, because if there is even one thing that they said was correct, a little seed of doubt is planted and can get out of control really quickly. “oh Jesus is actually a good guy who died for my sins?” can rapidly spiral into “So I am a completely worthless waste of space who deserves nothing but pain because that is all I have to offer others” The hands of my abusers were washed clean with holy water after every time they beat me. After every time they whipped me. After every punch, slap, scrape, scratch. After every time they chained me up. After every time they starved me and bled me out until I lost consciousness. After every time they literally raped away my childhood. So, yeah. I am a little bound and determined to keep the thing that caused me so much pain away from me. Maybe trying to come at people with your religion in a more compassionate light and in a way that doesn’t invalidate their experiences might help, but there are some of us that are so traumatized that I don’t think we could even consider it. Please try and keep that in mind, next time.

          • Hermana Linda on November 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

            I am so, so sorry that your abusers twisted the teachings of Jesus into something horrible and fuel for her abuse. The devil is the father of lies and he mixes lies into truth. It’s as if someone were to make a cake and substitute salt for sugar. It would look good to them but if they forced you to eat it, it would taste horrible and make you violently ill. You would never want to eat cake again, the look and texture would repulse you. Even watching people eat and enjoy cake would horribly offend you. Upon hearing that flour, eggs and sugar are the main ingredients of cake, you would want nothing to do with anything containing them, and being told that they are good and wholesome would only make you feel invalidated. I really don’t know what I can say to make you feel otherwise. I have made every effort to be compassionate in the way I express my religion. My statement was directed at the many atheists who come to this blog and want to argue about the existence of God and/or Deity of Jesus. That is not the purpose of this blog, the purpose of this blog is to help Christian parents give up false and dangerous teachings.

            You are certainly not worthless. If Jesus loved you enough to die for you, that means that you are worth everything to Him. Your abusers will have to answer to Him for how they treated you.

          • Marly Duran on September 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm

            HaleyQuinn, Your story has touched me very deeply, it was so vivid and well written I could almost feel your pain. I may remember it forever. I’m glad you’ve gotten counseling and it seems to be the right kind. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for not believing in god. Atheists are not bad people, we just no longer believe in something we were ‘trained’ to believe in a young age. Once we got old enough to really study things and find the truth, it all led to realizing that organized religion causes so much harm in the world. Hermana Linda seems like a very nice person, but it’s typical of Christians to threaten atheists with hell. It’s funny because we don’t believe in hell or the devil either. Also, if the devil was real, I always wondered- why would he ever punish evil doers when he’s evil himself? More likely he’d be high fiving the most vile of them and leaving the rest to their own devices. It makes no sense. This article pointed out some horrible child abuse situations that combine physical and psychological/religious abuse. It was stomach turning. I’ve never approved of censorship, but this could change my mind.

            • Hermana Linda on September 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

              Thank you for your kind words. I’m not trying to threaten anyone with Hell, I’m trying to warn people away from it. I understand that you do not believe, but the fact that you don’t believe does not mitigate the threat. I would also like to point out that the devil does not punish evil, the devil is himself being punished. We are trying to prevent humans from being caught up in that punishment, but when they refuse to believe the warnings, there is nothing we can do.

      • Chris on February 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm

        Lois, you mix a little truth with a lot of lie so as my Lord says with regard to liars. “Your Father is the Father of all lies ! ”

        That happens to be Satan. Board is the path to destruction and it appears you are on it. I will pray for you !

        Also, whether you want to or not, you will believe in God. When our Lord and God Yeshua/Jesus returns it will be to late then.
        I hope you don’t have any little children when he returns, because little children automatically get a pass.
        you will know the Bible is the inspired word of our God when those that are Atheists fulfill prophesy and they don’t even know they’re doing it. likenthe Mark of he Beast that has only been written about in one place and once place only.

        Do a Google Search on Verichip and X-Mark

    • Lisa on November 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Mark 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.”
      Jesus never claimed to be “good”. He said that only God was good.

      • Hermana Linda on November 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm

        He also said, “The Father And I am One.” As I understand the passage you quote, He was saying, “Why do you call me good? Are you admitting that I am God? Because, you know that only God is good.” And as I said above, He did prove Himself to be God.

        • Lisa Shearing on November 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

          I am not sure where that quote came from “The Father and I am God”… it isn’t in my Bible. You are reading more into Mark 10:18 than is there. I take it for what it says. But certainly I don’t have a desire to debate doctrine with a fellow believer in Christ. I haven’t read your entire website, but I do agree with this blog about that dangerous book on childrearing. 1st Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. Here it says that there is One God and Jesus is a man, the mediator between God and mankind. You have to ignore this scripture to believe he was God.

          • Hermana Linda on November 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

            I’m sorry, I made typo. I was thinking, “The Father and I am One,” and somehow typed, “The The Father and I am God.” Ooops. I will correct that.

  45. Paul on August 19, 2011 at 12:53 am

    The Bible is very violent, and it teaches us about Christian subservience on many levels. It commands children to honor their parents and wives to obey their husbands. It even permits men to stone a cheating wife to death somewhere in the Old Testament. Christians believe in the subservience of women to men, men to God, and children to adults. And you ask why the Pearls did this? Because they were Christian extremists who read too much Old Testament.
    Jesus was a great man though. It’s too bad most Christians praise his name while overlooking his teachings. Wish there were more true Emmanuelites out there. And don’t even get me started with the extreme sexism in the Bible. So many Christian fanatics I’ve met are women! I guess some like to be on bottom… And why only 4 gospels??? Weren’t there 12 disciples?

    • Hermana Linda on August 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Paul, welcome to my site. I understand your point and am wondering how much you have read of my site. If you look around, you will find arguments explaining what the Bible really says about these topics. It is easy to misunderstand meaning when reading words originally written in an entirely different time, culture and language. The teachings against which I argue here twist and mistranslate scripture as well as taking it out of context. Many of these teachers fail to take into account that Webster was not around when the Bible was written, nor when the King James was translated. Therefore, looking up the word “Rod” in Websters does not make sense. Once must look up the Hebrew word, “Shebet” and find out what that meant to a Hebrew mind. It turns out that it is a large stick (staff) used to guide and implies Authority and Scripture.

      • Royce Yates on August 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        I just did a quick internet search of shebet. The NAS only uses the “staff” concept once, while it uses the “club” concept 4 times, and the more generic “rod” more than 20 times. Like our English words, other languages have various concepts associated with the same word. You almost have to know the languages and be immersed in the cultures to make accurate interpretations. Is it probable that the Hebrew scholars were less equipped to make those determinations? Just thinking.

        • Hermana Linda on August 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

          Sorry, what is NAS? New American Standard? Was that translated by Hebrew Scholars? Not trying to be snarky, I don’t acutally know and I’m a bit confused as to your point. It almost sounds as if we are agreeing. 😉 I said above that we must understand the Hebrew mind, especially of the time the Bible was written. (I guess we ARE agreeing) Also, I don’t know any Jews or Hebrew Scholars who teach that we should hit our children with small flexible rods or sticks of any sort. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, Jews generally don’t spank much, if at all and then with only the hand.

          • Royce Yates on August 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

            Yes, New American is just the first one that came up. And yes, I think it safe to say that all major translations go back to original texts and are translated by Greek and Hebrew scholars who study the nuances of the ancient words and cultures, etc. Point being that they opted to use the brutal sounding “club” translation four times more often than the comforting “staff” concept. I know the context would prevail, but it just seems superficial to assume that all those 20+ “rod” instances only refer to guidance and authority.

            • Hermana Linda on August 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

              Maybe. Remember that the Word of God is inspired, but the translations are not. If Shebet means club and we’re supposed to hit our children with it, they could die. That would be a contradiction because the Bible says that if we hit our child with Shebet, he will not die.

    • Kirk Martin on August 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Paul, here’s something even more scandalous. Paul teaches us that men are supposed to lay down their lives for their wives, the way that Christ gave Himself for us. I submit my life to God because I trust that He is good and kind and merciful. He demonstrated that to me. If I thought God were just an ogre demanding that I submit, there’s no way that I’m even listening to a God like that. When I lay down my life for my wife and selflessly put her first, she will, by nature, feel safe to surrender to my care and leadership. It’s a beautiful principle when understood fully–you just can’t use half the equation! I wish you the best in your search for the mercy and kindness of God.

      • Fiona on January 31, 2013 at 8:33 am

        Please remember Paul never knew Jesus. Jesus never said women should submit to men. In fact, he gave some of his most important revelations to women. He did not appoint female apostles, because, just as in Arab countries today, no woman could have left her home and lived with a group of men without being stoned for unchastity. Jesus often rebuked his male disciples for their lack of faith and endurance, and they all but John abandoned him at the end, whereas the women were steadfast.
        But most of all, Jesus made it very clear in the story of Mary and Martha, that women were to drop their housework if they felt the higher intellectual and spiritual call. They were NOT to be confined to the kitchen. they were NOT to ‘learn at home in submission to their husbands’. No, they could learn at the feet of the Lord after dropping housework “Mary has chosen the better part [the higher hard spiritual intellectual path] and it shall not be taken from her”. That’s from The Man Himself.
        I have seen any number of ‘Christians’ quoting the savage cruel and oppressive words of Paul, but why is it they so rarely quote Jesus, and never ever this one?
        Jesus treated women as equally as he could given the strictures of his time. You will never find Him saying that women are evil, temptresses, a danger to men or any of that garbage. He saw women as just as capable, in fact, maybe more so, of the hard path. The steadfast women, who came to the tomb, fearlessly, not the useless cowardly men who were so ready to pervert his words once he was gone, and so ready to let a vicious-minded man who had many issues take over their new church and kick the women to the bottom of the heap. In early Christianity, women taught and ministered and all the rest, til Paul came along, Paul, the woman-hater., Paul, the hater of the flesh, Paul who instituted all the worst things of the church, wrecking everything beautiful. It sis not beautiful for your wife to submit while you protect her like a child. That’s not how Jesus treated women, at all.

        • Also Fiona on November 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

          Ha, my name coincidentally is also Fiona (not too many of us out there) and I agree with everything you said. Paul’s teachings on marriage are terrible.

          • Joseph on November 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

            Alright I have a question on this if either of you ladies could help. I have long veered away from Paul’s teachings but I didn’t know why. Something always seemed wrong to me about his teachings. Do you have any good reliable sources where I can further look this up? Are there any reputable Bible scholars that have done any kind of serious digging on this subject?

            • Hermana Linda on November 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

              I have no problem with Paul’s teachings and consider them part of Inspired Scripture, so I will not be able to help you. I can say that his writings are only inspired in the original Greek, so they are often misunderstood because of the bias of the translators. I do have some links about that, they would probably all be found here.

          • Debora Connolly on November 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm

            The Scriptures are the inspired word of God – a God powerful enough to protect the integrity of his words translated.

        • Talyn on November 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

          Very compelling ideas, Fiona. I’m not nearly as well nuanced in the Bible as other people because I’m a Lutheran that doesn’t really practice at all, but I just want to say I’m bookmarking your arguments because they’re , to put it plainly, awesome. Girl power!

    • Brian Bigelow on November 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

      I grew up in such a household and such methods have been used for a long time, it was once common in fact. There was plenty of spanking and hitting the entire time I was growing up. I’m not a Christian today and you can’t get me to enter a church as a result. I’m 48 now and have had anger issues from being ‘trained’ including assault charges. I’ve gone through counseling and so it reduced some of the resulting issues mostly because I knew that I would do the same thing to anyone I was to spend my life with. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I stayed alone for years, I wouldn’t even date. The idea of fathering a child abhorred me.

      • Leslie on November 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        You my friend, need a hug!! I am so sorry you were treated like that growing up but please know that real true Christians preach only love!!!

    • Chris on February 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      Paul, [removed content] You don’t “study” the word of God.

      To edify you and connect your brain, heart and mouth.

      Ephesians 5:22-33

      Marriage—Christ and the Church

      22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord
      [Comment of Fact] “Do you see that Paul? “as to the Lord Yeshusa/Jesus. Since you’re a big studier of the Bible. Since when was Yeshusa/Jesus abusive to woman even when he knew they sinned.

      23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
      [Comment of Fact] Paul this isn’t Rocket Science ! “If the Husband is the head of the Wife as our Lord Yeshusa/Jesus
      is the head of the Church….the “Church” is all Christians. Then…it looks like the husband is suppose to act toward his Wife like our Lord Yeshusa/Jesus acted toward the Church… doesn’t it ? How did our Lord Yeshusa/Jesus act toward the Church? He servered with love and respect until he willing gave up his life for the Church. Wow, Paul ! it appears that’s the way Husbands are suppose to act toward their Wifes.

      24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

      25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

      • Hermana Linda on February 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        Just a reminder that personal attacks, however minor, will be edited out.

    • E. R. on May 11, 2015 at 10:27 am

      The Bible says that wives must submit to their husbands, and that husbands must love their wives. The “loving your wife” thing was really a new concept in this time, and giving women any say at all in a relationship was practically unheard of. Christians were one of the first. If a husband and a wife are divided over a decision that must be made, they should listen to each other’s thoughts. If they are still divided after that, someone must make an ultimate decision. If no compromise can be reached, the man should make the decision.
      Of course, other people interpret this passage differently, but this is one take on it.

  46. Karla on June 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    While I understand the need for child training, it can be done in LOVE, not forcing our will over another’s, especially a little child’s! Yes, they can be strong-willed, but how many of us adults are strong-willed against our heavenly Father’s will? Can you imagine God showing us who is bigger and stronger? That’s ego-centric! No. When raising children, I have 4, I ask myself “What would Jesus do to this child in this situation?” And I’m 99% certain He wouldn’t hit the child. I’m willing to acknowledge that I don’t understand God’s ways, but my heart screams and rejects the notion that He would hit his children to make them submit to His will. That is so opposite of who He is! So why should we hit these precious gifts He gave to us?

    • Lee Dunne on September 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      So, your implying that discapline is not love? Jesus did discapline with strong words that cut to the heart of his desciples,as an example he told Peter to “Get behind me satan”, because Peter was in disagreement with Jesus being submissive to the law and the cross. Peter usrped authority out of affectionate love for Jesus, not to mention, Peter was invested in following him. I encourage you to broaden your gaze and take what He said into your spirit and chew on it a while. The same bible you are paying tribute to also says what the Pearls’ say, they are standing on their convictions not on what feels right or what is popular.

      • Hermana Linda on September 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        I am certainly not implying that discipline is not love. I have no idea where you got such an idea. One can certainly discipline without switching a child until he obeys without question in perfect submission all the time.

      • Casey on November 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        I have yet to read where Jesus promotes beating anyone, most especially children. I am able to discipline my own son and I do it in a loving way. I’m not always happy and lovable when it happens, but it’s not ever violent.

        Somehow, I’ve managed to be in the process of raising an extremely polite, thoughtful, caring, intelligent, curious, well-behaved boy. I’ve smacked him lightly on the rear not even a handful of times. I’ve lightly smacked his cheek if he’s done something like bite me or raise a hand to me, but again, that’s not even a handful of times. None of that ever happened before he was 3. I never do it to hurt or harm him. I do it to get his attention, which is why I say “lightly”. He gets the message and it’s only at times when he either hurts someone or himself. He does it ever so rarely that’s it’s not at all an issue.

        I definitely practice “preventive parenting”. I nip it in the bud while it’s a mere though and before it is an action. I only have to do this with words and the “mom look”. When he’s in trouble, he gets information. Not a lecture. Not an endless stream of words or preaching. He is spoken to on his level in a way in which he can understand why he shouldn’t or should do something. It is not about me being his “god”. It’s about him being a good person. I find, however, that the biggest reason I don’t have to physically discipline my son is that my husband and I teach through example. If the Pearls were such wonderful people, they wouldn’t have to lay their hands on their children. Their children would know how to behave by watching their parents. Bringing our son into this world has helped us as people and as Christians in general. We realize what we are doing wrong and stop so that we don’t teach it to our child.

        This is child abuse. Plain and simple. I don’t purport to know His mind, but from what I know of Him in my heart, He would never advocate this domineering, physical abuse no matter how much you say “love” while doing it.

      • KP on November 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

        “Jesus did discapline with strong words that cut to the heart of his desciples,”
        Yes. With strong WORDS. I know of no biblical text in which our saviour took a switch to someone.

        • Scottie on February 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

          John 2:13-16

          This is not an advocating of the Pearl method, but you asked a question that deserved an answer.

          • Hermana Linda on February 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm

            In that passage, Jesus drove people and animals out of the temple by waving around a whip of cords. It does not say that He actually struck anyone.

    • Katharine on November 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm
  47. Ame on December 17, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I am a christian. I believe Christ died for everyone including the child abuser. That is exactly what Michael and Debi Pearl are. without question! But, I’m telling you Right Now, child abusers are someone else’s ministry. I could never be a social worker. I’ve never heard of prisoners being visited in the crawlspace under the jail. But that’s where I’d end up–either there or the local mental facility.

    • Royce Yates on August 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Have you ever researched the results (fruit) of their child abuse in their own family? These do not appear to be the stereotypical angry cruel brutes creating another generation of angry cruel brutes; but rather they appear to be a joyful adjusted productive interactive family perpetuating the same goodness. My mind contrasts that with the cruelty I see in the permissive extremity; also in the life struggles I see in adults who were hatefully abused, as opposed to lovingly chastened.

      • Hermana Linda on August 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

        They do appear to be joyful. Of course, to be anything but was reason for a spanking, so it stands to reason that they would always be joyful. I am not convinced that the Pearls’ children are emotionally healthy. In any case, the ends do not justify the means.

        Oh, by the way, I do not approve of permissive parenting either. There are other ways of parenting besides corporeal punishment and permissive. Check out my Gentle Parenting category.

        • Brandon on September 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

          There are far too many terms used in the descriptions from said book and its associated website, of how to rear a kid, that should evoke far more worrisome conjectures. Words like “joyous subjection”, “submission”, “authority”, “(dis)obedience”, and many other such terms that would be more appropriate in literature presented by Sacher-Masoch or the Marquis de Sade. Using BDSM descriptions and terminology to define what ostensibly is a loving and mutual relationship with one’s own children is a severe departure from what is healthy for such a relationship. One might question adults in the same regard, but they’re adults and so on…infants and toddlers have only the motivations that they like to be happy, and want the adults in their lives to be happy! An infant certainly hasn’t the abstract capacity in intellect and emotion to conceptualise terms like deity, dogma, sin, or numerous others. To punish a child for a biological lack of capacity is criminal by analog to Amendment 8 of USC or similar legal principles which disallow punishment for persons unable to concieve of wrongdoing. I suggest for argument that a baby (A BABY!!!!!!!!) is not in a position to pontificate on subjects of higher logic or transcendence when they’re busy figuring out how fingers and pictures in books work. No person, I suspect strongly, who themselves were subject to abusive relationships in youth, would look now at this pathology and come to any conclusion except that the Pearls are sociopathic and twisted, furthermore are among the last authorities to be referenced by parents who have any real compassion in their soul, much less for their children. I distinctly wish this were otherwise; I wish fervently that right and wrong were actually addressed properly in the real world. It is this kind of religious adherent (the Pearls) that compels some thinkers to become atheists, with the argument that even as an atheist, a sane person would not torture little babies and that any love, empathy or compassion which Christianity (or whatever religion) purports to instill in its followers somehow missed this crowd entirely. Which is incredibly sad; because if something (in this case, love and affection) needs undue force behind it to make manifest, the result is dishonest in the extreme and not really there at all. Finally, any person who has been thus abused would recognise the apparent happiness exhibited by said Pearl family as being the result of response to abuse (wherein the children are denied rational self expression as appropriate to age) rather than a healthy childhood, and definitely the initiation of future cycles of abuse as those children procreate their own. Not in seven languages could I express properly the accurate and deserved contempt felt for these foul and bane excuses for humans.

          • Christina on February 20, 2013 at 6:18 am

            Very well said. I agree with you on this.

          • Denise on November 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

            Really well put. I am a Christian and have only recently come across this book and I just can’t get my head around their methods, it’s appalling. I feel that a smack should be the absolute last resort and only a tap on the hand or the bottom at that. I tend to use the time out step or the ‘I don’t want to talk to you right now’ and it is more than effective. I appreciate all kids are different but I find that the calmer I remain, the quicker a situation resolves itself. As far as I am concerned, their methods are not of true Christian teaching at all. They are killing trust, repsect and affection. I fear that a number of children reared this way may also fear to confide in their parents as they get older if they have made mistakes. I hate to think what kind of response the poor kids would get. I would much rather my kids respond to me out of true respect and because they understand why I don’t want them to behave in a certain way, not because they fear me beating them. What kind of people think it is acceptable to ‘switch’ a baby with an implement?!!! All of my friends, both theists and athiests are horrified at this vile teaching and we are doing all we can to boycott it.

          • jackie on December 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

            I am traumatized reading the above excepts. [removed because this site does not promote violence of any kind] Because no one is perfect we all err, but children and babies never do, they are perfect until we as parents become cruel, callous and unbending. Loved your comments Denise.

        • Brandy on August 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

          “They do appear to be joyful. Of course, to be anything but was reason for a spanking, so it stands to reason that they would always be joyful.”

          Yes, Linda, this exactly. After following the Pearls to a certain extent with my oldest when he was just a little thing, there came a day when we were over at a friend’s house and he had been playing and he fell and hit his head hard… and as he gulped back sobs and tear filled his precious blue eyes, he smiled at us and said ” It’s okay, Mama, I’m still happy”. And I was devastated, because at that moment I realized what I was doing to him. I felt like puking. And I walked away from Pearl parenting and didn’t look back. If a parent’s goal is compliance coupled with fake joy springing from fear and condemnation, than the Pearls are for them.. If as a parent, you want children who can grow in love and wisdom and true joy from knowing through their parents God’s grace on their little lives, I beg of you, run away as fast as you can from the Pearls methods! There are many great authors out there that have helped me along my parenting road to parent in love and truth.

          • Hermana Linda on August 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

            Amen. Well said. Hugs, mama. You have a powerful testimony. I have linked to this in my Testimony Links.

          • kay on November 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

            Brandy, my heart ached for you when I read your post. as a parent, who loves my son more than my own life, I know that feeling of regret. However, I don’t think it says anywhere in the book that children can’t cry when they are sick, or hurt. What part of the book made you feel as if children aren’t entitled to normal emotions and behavior?

          • Kathy Tobacco on April 25, 2015 at 1:47 am

            What a testimony! You are such a good mother for seeing through the brainwashing all around you. God gave you a real mother’s heart and that wonderful epiphany too. God Bless you and your children forever. I am so moved. I have seen the fake joy in friends who have been abused too. Your son will learn real joy.

        • Kavik on November 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

          My personal experience is not indicative of general trends, but let me offer my experience with “gentle” corporal punishment as TTUAC would try to portray their book as espousing.

          I was only spanked from age 2 to age 9, with the height of my avoidance of spanking being at 8-9 because of the humiliation of being stripped more than the pain.

          Spankings were administered with a thin wooden rod or a spoon, never with the hand.

          On many instances my mother would ask “who is in charge?” to which I would defiantly reply “I am!” and she would proceed to strip and spank me until I rescinded the remark. (Spank until submission)
          However I was quite a good actor in pretending to submit, which led to this being repeated over and over until I was old enough that the spanking was humiliating, at which point I curbed my behavior.

          People often complimented her then, and still do now, on my behavior being so good in public. Her spankings were never physically injurious.

          My behavior was modified.

          However I have a very type A personality, and the pain and humiliation only changed my OUTSIDE behavior. I began to resent and mistrust her at an early age, writing in my diary at age 8 that I should “never ever forgive her” and it would be better to die than end up a parent like her.

          As I grew older she quoted Bible verses to justify her past actions. That only helped to get me to add “the Bible” to the list of things I couldn’t trust.

          Despite that promise not to forgive her, I did forgive her, but I never regained my trust in her. I never regained my trust in Christianity either, as she was the main push for religion in my household. To this day, having moved out, moved on with my life, I don’t enjoy hearing her voice, I don’t enjoy her laugh, I bristle involuntarily when she gets proximally close.

          “Gentle” corporal punishment made me an obedient and highly complimented child. But it contributed to making me a distant, cynical and atheistic man.

          I would hope that parents in the future will be smart enough to withhold from striking their kids, but I know the Bible, and so long as that book exists, I doubt such a future will ever emerge.

          • Sharon on November 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm

            Kavic, my heart broke reading your story. You are so right in some ways. It highlights to me the dangers of parents bullying their children into submission. Yes they submit, and yes they become compliant children, but at what cost?? Please believe the bible does NOT advocate hurting children in this way. The God I know and love has a heart for children and is all about truth and justice – teaching us without condemnation. Loving us without “strings”. I’ll be praying you get to see Him as he really is.

          • Ximena on November 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

            Kavic, I can understand what you went through because my dad did the same. And actually it was worst because he used to hit us while he was angry. At the time I tried to justify him by saying that it was just discipline and thinking that i’m not a crazy young adult thanks to him. But as I grew up and now that i’m working to get a career in social work I have realized that what he did was not right. However, I am also a Christian and I can tell you that the bible never condones child punishment or abuse. Your mom probably took those verses out of context. God is a God of love and grace. He loves us just as we are and he doesn’t need us to get better before we come to him. I have struggled understanding this because of what I went through but I am learning to understand it as I get to know him and see how he works in me. I pray that you get to know the real him and not the one that other people use to justify the things that they do.
            God bless you 🙂

          • Terri on November 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

            My life was a battle of wills. I don’t trust my mother, because consistency was never her strong point, and because having been taught to obey any authority, I then sometimes got conflicting orders, and would have to judge who to obey. I was often punished–not always physically–in a disproportionate manner to the misdeed.

            I especially don’t trust her, and bristle or even pull away from unexpected or unwanted touch, because it was forced on me as a child and young teen. My mother rarely used implements–if only she had! She favoured her hands–sometimes her feet, and there were occasions in my teens where I was left to literally limp away and lick my wounds. And she always hit in anger, so I understand what Ximena and kavik are saying.

            Let me make one thing clear before I say my last bit: kavik, you do NOT have the ‘chip on their shoulder’ I refer to. Not trusting the bible and Christianity is very different to what I’m thinking of. Please keep that in mind?

            I’ll say this, and suggest that you google the clues if you don’t get it at once: ‘training’ up a child like that only teaches that might makes right. Trying to destroy their will like that means they will be utterly dependent on you for life, having no idea how to function without permission from you… Either that, or they’ll somehow manage a complete 180 degree change, especially if your influence is removed from their life early enough. (Early teens at latest, I would guess) What you’ve been ‘training up’, in that case, is a possible future dictator. And God help us all if, knowing that you used the bible to justify it, that child gets a chip on their shoulder about Christianity, and tries to eliminate it. Or any other religion.

            (Just think how different the world would be if a man in Austria in the 1890’s had let his second-youngest son paint, rather than trying to beat the boy into submission and respect and/or love for the civil service!….yes, I DID just warn you that it could happen again, and this ‘training’ method is the very path do it.)

          • Denise on November 28, 2013 at 8:17 am

            Kavik, this is truly awful and I am sorry that this has happened to you. I can totally understand why you feel the way you do about faith and no-one can blame you at all but I can promise you, and Ximena has already expressed this, this kind of treatment of children is not biblical and there is no justification anywhere in the bible for this method of raising children. It sickens me when people use the texts of their faith to justify the bad choices they make. I think that it is not relevant what someone’s belief is, I believe it is purely down to the type of person they are and people like this will find any kind of justification for their actions.

            Like you say, the title of the book should be a big give away in itself. I don’t want to ‘train’ my children. They are not animals to be controlled or bent to my will (not that I would treat an animal like this either). I want to ‘raise’ my kids to be happy, helpful, honest and to make a good contribution to society and know the difference form right and wrong.

            Terri is absolutely right in the Pearle method does not prepare children for being independent or being able to think for themselves and I do hate to think exactly what kind of dictators may arise from this teaching.

      • Lauren on December 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        Of course they APPEAR to be joyful. They’ve been painfully and abusively conditioned to APPEAR joyful. Every person has a breaking point. Is abuse morally justified because someone else was able to survive such abuse and (appear) to turn out “okay?”

        • Barri on May 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

          You’re absolutely right Sister Sara! People keep going back to the scripture but they don’t rightly divide what they are reading. They miss our Lord Yahushua telling us NOT to harm our children “if anyone of you should hurt these little ones it would better that you were tied to a millstone at the bottom of the sea”. Just because force and intimidation work to get kids to do what you want doesn’t make it productive in the long run, in fact, children that are physically punished just grow up and do what they want under the mantra “I’m an adult”. True discipline which is structure, guidance, correction: is not done with fear or force. Abused kids do put on an act and I know because I was abused in the care of my mother and she bought into the lie that the enemy perpetuates that it’s “love”. So I guess I can beat my wife too according to that logic. I am glad that there are true virtuous women like you online that speak the truth of The Creator! And using your authority in Yahu’shua to fight the principalities and powers that are so prevalent in today’s society.

          • angel on May 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

            well said barri. May God put his hand and help these children.

        • angel on May 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm

          no of course not.

      • Sarah on April 30, 2012 at 2:43 am

        Many cases though, they really do end up abusive or with some sort of criminal record. Murder, rape. You name it. In no way at all should a child be abused.

    • DevientGenie on July 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      So let me see if I have this straight, you believe that a celestial jewish lich (look it up) who was his own father can make you live forever if you telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree?

      Maybe instead of being born again you should try growing up 🙂

      • Hermana Linda on July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

        19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.

        20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

        21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.

        22 Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom:

        23 but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumblingblock, and unto Gentiles foolishness;

        24 but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

        25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

        26 For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

        27 but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;

        ~ 1 Corinthians 1:15-27

      • Mia on July 10, 2014 at 11:49 pm

        Quit trolling…. people are trying to have an honest and respectful conversation and you gave nothing better to do thantroll on the Internet. Maybe you should grow up

    • Lee Ann Dunne on September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      The word abuse is not relevent in the method Dr. Pearl administers. If the ego is taught young then the person will be able to use this to their advantage. i have done both metods in my home and of three children, the trained child is of a better character. I’m sorry, i disagree strongly with your opinion.

      • Hermana Linda on September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        You are welcome to disagree. I maintain that the physical training promoted by Mr. Pearl is abusive, especially when used as he prescribes: until the child submits. I will ask you this, what if a child refuses to submit. When would the switching turn into abuse in your opinion?

      • Katharine on November 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm
      • Heather on November 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        I would offer that the “trained” child only appears to be of better character. Let your children grow up and then see which of your children actually are there for you in your old age. My guess is that all of your children are submitting to you now because they have no other alternative.

        My parents both believed in “spare the rod and spoil the child,” and they spanked, whipped, and abused me. I hated them from childhood. Had you met our family out at dinner, though, you would’ve thought our family was perfect because we were all laughing and smiling. Psychologists and psychiatrists that I have seen call me “disassociative” because I can segment feelings; I learned to do that from the abuse my parents inflicted on me. I had to push down my actual feelings to smile or act the way they wanted, and it caused me actual mental harm.

        I remember once Dad finding a photo of my sister and me as toddlers with beaming smiles. He looked at me – a young teen – and asked me where my smile went. I wanted so much to tell him that he had whipped it out of me, but I didn’t say anything because I knew that I was running away as soon as he left the house that morning. And I did. (The police later found me and returned me to my parents.)

        I’m interested to know as well, Ms. Dunne, what you would do if your children stop submitting to you? My parents escalated their actions; my father in particular. He still has the scar on his arm from where he prevented me from calling the police on him. He wrapped the phone cord around my neck to strangle me, and I almost bit a chunk of flesh out of his arm to make him stop. He used physical violence to try to control me and I fought back. Be very glad that I wasn’t your child because I began fighting back against mistreatment from a very early age, and you would have had no idea how to handle such a wonderful, bright, independent child as me.

      • Juju B. on November 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        I can strongly tell you, having gone through this myself, that though you SEE your child behaving the way you want, the child does not trust you. The child will not ultimately like you. The child will in turn have issues with others because they are afraid of being who they are. You should be ashamed that you would harm children. What you are doing is not okay. You may say, well (s)he says x, y or z…(S)he will say what (s)he needs to say to prevent being abused. Yes mother, I love you. Yes, mother you’re right. Just because they say it- you have trained them to afterall- doesn’t mean they mean it. And I promise you they don’t. You have trained the love out of them. You have trained them to say what will spare their pain. Congratulations, you’ve done what many Nazi soldiers accomplished- obedience through fear.

  48. The Explaination | Why Not Train A Child? on October 19, 2010 at 8:14 am

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  49. Enduring Sound Doctrine | Why Not Train A Child? on October 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

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