About This Website

The teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl appear to be Biblical and logical on the surface, but research and experience has shown them to be otherwise. This web page is meant to be a clearing house of information and arguments against these teachings. Please note that the purpose of this site is to give Biblical arguments against false teachings, not to persecute people.  I don’t doubt that the Pearls and their followers sincerely believe that what they teach is correct and that they mean well.  However, they are mixing some very dangerous and false teachings with some good teachings and a little leaven leaventh the whole lump.

I started this page on July 27, 2004 with my arguments against the Pearls’ teachings, as well as my husband’s arguments and a few more arguments.  I then started adding as many links as I could find.

I have continued to add information as I find it. Now, on March 9, 2010 I am joining the 21st century and moving my humble website to a fancy new WordPress blog.  This would not have been possible without the help of Reb from The Real Rebecca Diamond to whom I own a debt of gratitude for donating this site and starting it up.

If you want more information about me, here is what I believe and here is my personal webpage.

Do you have anything which belongs on this site?  Please send any links or anything you have written to HermanaLinda@WhyNotTrainaChild.com.  I will not post anything without the author’s permission. Note that I consider content posted to my Facebook page as being given with permission to post here.

Comments you post on my blog will be considered a gift which I may use as I please. I am free to post them or delete them, all or in part. Personal attacks and offensive content will be removed.

You may also join this site.  If you wish to contribute, please email me so I can change you from subscriber to contributor.  You will then be able to submit work to me and should I chose to post it, your name will be on it.

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  1. D K on January 15, 2020 at 4:16 am

    I was the luckiest little girl in the world. Everyone said so. I was LUCKY to be adopted! I was LUCKY to have Christian parents.

    I am now middle-aged and disabled from that lucky parenting. I thank God every day that those people are dead and in hell where they belong.

    The Pearl book is a how-to for child abusers. It instructs parents to bait their kids into misbehaving from INFANCY (the so-called “blanket training”) so that they can be painfully punished. It’s not about teaching valuable life lessons. It’s about breaking that child into a docile zombie that can be controlled.

    If you have to resort to hitting your child to make a point, maybe you don’t have one to make. My consolation with these biblical parents is that they’re right about one thing. God DOES watch how you are treating that child. You will answer for what you have done. I’d be real scared if I were you.

  2. Lee on January 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I just wanted to mention a new book I came across this week that has several pages on the Pearls and the Paddock, Williams, and Schatz cases. The book is primarily about deaths of children in faith healing groups, but mentions some of the more extreme discipline that is also practiced in some of these groups, as well as by some followers of Michael and Debi Pearl. Here is the information: “In the Name of God” by Cameron Stauth, published by St. Martin’s Press, 2013.

  3. […] wearing modest clothing, and encourage him.  He tells the goodly to beat her kids.  The Good Book says spare the rod and spoil the child.  (If he tells you to beat the child to death, just make sure that copy of Michael & […]

  4. Pam on March 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Our culture requires parents to be in control of their children but discipline should be for the child and it should teach a child how to control themselves. Everything I read here from the Pearls is about parents having ultimate control over their children. Some of their techniques remind me of animal trainers and I even think that animal trainers would be in trouble for whacking baby animals. Children learn respect when they are respected and though it is important to be able to have enough control over small children, to be able to keep them safe, the parent should slowly transfer that responsibility to the child. Otherwise, the child won’t know how to function in the world when the parent isn’t there controling them. I think discipline also, has to be tailored to each individual child not unlike, how God works with individual believers through the indwelling Holy Spirit. It takes a lot of work to ‘train a child in the way they should go’ and a big part of that is getting to know the child’s individual traits and talents and discerning what God’s purpose is for each child. It’s a tough job, parenting and it requires a lot more than simply implementing some training techniques or beating children into submission.

    I write all of this from the perspective of a parent with grown children and now, grandchildren. I wasn’t a perfect mom and I didn’t raise perfect kids (even though that was my goal, at one time). I have learned that it is better to be a good mom, one who loves her children despite all of their imperfections, is there for them, and who’s actions are on their behalf, for their good, no matter what others might think. A good mom is also, aware of her own imperfections, loves herself as God loves her, and doesn’t live her life through her children. Good moms love their children for the individuals they are and marvels at God’s unique purpose for each child. We need less perfect mothers and more good mothers.


  5. Cara on July 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Hermana Linda,

    I think we all need to beware of judging lest we be judged by God. I do not apologize for sound doctrine. I contend there is entirely too much doctrine without the balance of love. The Pearls have sound doctrine and so do you, I am sure. You are saddened by me? I love you in Christ, appreciate your ministry, but have caution when we cry sound doctrine to stab fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with the Word. There are different ministries, but one Body of Christ. Hebrews 6 has food for thought in this regard. And I thank you for considering my letter with your husband.

    @Lewis….Hi there….it’s been awhile and I hope you are doing well. It does not surprise me that you do not understand why I do what I do. Indeed, the grace based writers generally do not understand me so I am used to it now. I apologize sometimes, as in the case of discussing the Pearls here, because while I may need to discuss why I feel there is imbalance in their ministry, I do not want to be associated with the arrogance that I generally am seeing amongst grace based writers. And I will not apologize this time for stating what I feel is a grave issue on these sorts of blogs. It is like many of you think you have the ability to discern whether or not other Christian ministers (who were called of God as you were) are also of sound doctrine. While I appreciate your ministries and see your points, I don’t think you see enough of a larger picture.

    Some of you go entirely too far in discrediting other believers. And as proven by this little discussion, each little Christian sub group has its own set of sound doctrines….yet are we not all of Christ? I believe some of you would need to honestly answer that no, you do not believe others are of Christ. In this case, it is the Pearls. In Lewis’s case, the last time I read some of his blog, it would have been Vision Forum or Steadfast Daughters. While you may not go so far as to disallow other ministers salvation, I don’t think you see just how much you put yourself in the place of God, like as if you know as He does what each servant is contributing. I think grace based writers need to actually show a little more of that grace that they write about. You discredit your own writing ministries by some of the very things you write.

    One of the biggest principles of grace is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I don’t think some of you actually exemplify this.


    • Hermana Linda on August 1, 2012 at 10:55 am

      So, you consider pointing out scriptural errors to be stabbing with the word? Wouldn’t it rather fall under exposing false teachings? We are commanded to expose false teachings.

      • Cara Coffey on August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm

        Hermana Linda, I’m laughing to say that we could go around and around on this one. The larger picture is this: Do you, or do you not think Michael Pearl is wholly a false teacher? I tend to say you do seeing as how you openly admit this is a clearing house for arguments against his teachings. But to me, anyway, there is a fine line that is crossed all the time within Christianity. It’s not like I can’t see this sort of thing going on elsewhere. It just so happens that I had some involvement with NGJ too, and so I am a little more acquainted with this particular neck of the woods. And I happen to be an author as you (and Lewis) are.

        If you are saying that Michael Pearl is wholly a false teacher, then you are also denying the man’s salvation to a degree. At least, that could be a conclusion which some people could come to. I don’t think many a Christian is taking what they write and how they write it to this sort of conclusion, and I contend this is a major issue nationwide across all sorts of Christian borders. And there really is nothing new under the sun in that regard. I happen to think better of us all. I think we can press even more into the love of Christ while still discussing what we need to discuss.

        The Pearls were equally lifted up to minister as you were, and yet here you appear to be calling them false teachers. And though you may beg to differ with me because you could reply that no, you do not go so far as to call the Pearls wholly false, that would only be your assertion. Your very website is stating otherwise until you do something like make a statement clarifying your position. And that means there is a schism here which no one will see…but it is still there. {And I add that I have seen Lewis call at least one group of Christians a cult, and I’ve seen another grace based writer call Michael Pearl an evil man. These are the more outer-limits fruits of all of this in my opinion.}

        Many Christians do it, but it is not right. Many Christians talk strictly of the doctrines and don’t think a thing about the actual people who stated those doctrines. Therein is a place where Christians are persecuting one another because we do not realize how we are turning against one another. I am not saying you shouldn’t discuss the doctrines. I am asking you to consider clarifying how you are not attacking the Pearls but only their doctrines. And there is a certain healthy humility that could come with even praying for the Pearls on this website and asking their forgiveness publicly for being called to state what you do. I know Lewis can’t understand how any of us could possibly need to ask forgiveness when we know we are doing what the Lord told us to do, but I can because I was put in the same place you and he have been put in. And I will not deny the Lord’s place in the life of the Pearl family even while I had to testify that I saw imbalance and experienced pain from their ministry.

        And what of the young people who read around here? They will not understand the deeper issues, and that means they will be caught in the confusion like the Apostle Paul states. Am I of Apollos, of Paul, or of Christ? In this case it would go something like this, “Am I of Hermana Linda, of Michael Pearl, or of Christ?” We are all of Christ, and I think it helps those who are reading our writings to make sure we underscore that point while also talking of the doctrines and where we see they are false.

        And I personally do not like to use the word “false”. I think “imbalanced” is a better and more gracious word. It is not like the Pearls aren’t helping many people. Their writings just aren’t for everyone, which is appropriate. The Bible is the only book that is for everyone.

        I am not attacking you, Hermana Linda. I hope you understand that. I know you are ministering before the Lord just like the rest of us. And I thank you for your kindness. ~Cara

        • Hermana Linda on August 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

          To clarify, I do not dispute every single thing the Pearls teach. I have said in many places that I only argue against his teachings, I do not judge his heart, as I do actually believe that he means well. However, I find many of his teachings to be so dangerous that I must warn people of the dangers. When dangerous teachings are mixed in with good teachings the entire teaching is contaminated. A little leaven leaventh the whole lump. You only have to read my arguments and those to which I link to see what I consider dangerous teachings.

          I will not clutter up my tagline with disclaimers, I don’t think it would allow me enough letters to do so, even if I wanted to. I did add something to this effect to my About page to make it easier to find. I see no reason to mention that I am not attacking every time I don’t attack. It seems to me that if I am discussing doctrine and not attacking, it should be obvious to my readers. I note that you mention above that you are not attacking. I appreciate your lack of attack. If it will make you feel better, I also am not attacking. 🙂

          As far as the word “false” goes, that is the term used in the Bible. If I thought that the teachings were imbalanced, I would say so. I think that the teachings are false and therefore expose them as such. If you disagree, that is fine. This site might not be such a happy place for you and perhaps you would feel more comfortable reading elsewhere. <3

          • Steph on January 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

            For Cara regarding her problem with false teachers and doctrines, check this verse out:

            “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” Matthew 7:15. So, God is the One Who says false.

  6. Cara Ann Coffey on July 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Dear Hermana Linda,

    While I can see you are called by the Lord to write, I can also see something very sad going on here. I haven’t even read your website.

    It is this: the Pearls, as you, have helped many people. And therefore, whether their doctrines are exactly accurate or yours are, to spend time discrediting another Christian is yet another log in the Christian crossfire. While I think it likely this site and etc are helpful, I do not think the root of proving the Pearls wrong is helpful. And I call for you, and any number of other Christians across America, to repent and edit.

    You can help parents greatly without disproving other Christians. Or, you can disprove other Christians while also praying for them. Have you publicly prayed for the Pearls….asked their forgiveness for tearing them down? Are we submitting to one another as according to Ephesians 5 to be tearing down other Christians and their work like this?

    For the record, I have read both Debi Pearl’s book and To Train Up a Child. I had to share my difficult experiences with Debi Pearl’s book in my first book. And I didn’t just share that difficulty alone there were two other female authors of the time from from the past 15-20 years that I had to also comment about). It doesn’t matter where you go in Christianity, we are attacking one another and disproving one another like you are doing here. By my second book which will be released August 14 nationwide, I am apologizing to all the people and denominations/non-denominations nationwide about whom I had to testify against. So I am not unfamiliar with these issues of which you speak. I was on WTM and 7xSunday for a few years as a regular contributor, and I have prayed for Gabe and Rebekah Anast. I publicly asked their forgiveness because I had to say some things about 7xSunday in my first book.

    And equally for the record, I was a spanked child who appreciates every single swat like Rebeka Anast does. And yet, I don’t generally agree with To Train Up a Child nor do I recommend Debi Pearl’s book “Created to be His Helpmeet”. But it is for general reasons of imbalance across Christianity that I say this, and again, theirs are not the only materials by a longshot that are having issues of imbalance in my opinion. I publicly, yet again, ask the Pearls to forgive me for having stated this paragraph. If you have not noticed, the Pearls are being branded by other Christians across the board. And it is because of the Lydia Shatz death. I am here to say Michael and Debi Pearl, and their teachings, did not kill dear Lydia Shatz.. Her parents did, and they are sad testimony to the glaring need we all have to fall in repentance for the tearing down of one another which is causing so much havoc for children, women, and men.

    It hurts me greatly to see so many well meaning blogs tearing down other Christians. This is why, since I was reading around for a completely different reason and came upon this site, that I leave a comment.

    At the very least, I ask you to consider penning a public apology for the need to tear down the Pearls and Rebekah Anast. Otherwise, and I say this gently but in warning, you are an agent of persecution against your brothers and sister in Christ Michael Pearl, Debi Pearl, and Rebekah Anast.

    Blessings and prayers for you,
    ~Cara Ann Coffey, author, http://www.uncoverednomore.com

    • Hermana Linda on July 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Dear Cara Ann,
      I showed your letter to my husband and he said, “Show me in the Bible where it says that we should compromise the Word of God for the sake of unity.”

      It saddens me to hear that you now apologize for defending Sound Doctrine. Let God be True but every man a liar.

    • Lewis on July 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Cara…Why is it that you say things as if they MUST be said, and then offer apologies and repentance for having said them – and then demand the same illogical circle of behavior from everyone else? If something must be said, it must be said…and it requires NO apology.

  7. Paul C. Holinger, MD on March 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Please visit Dr. Paul’s website on parenting, and you might be particularly interested in the Nov newsletter which deals with the problems of physical punishment.
    You might also like to go to psychologytodayblogs and look at Dr. Holinger’s blogs on infant and child development.

    • Hermana Linda on March 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Thank you. Steph, our Child Development Expert, found this very helpful.

  8. Kathleen on January 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve raised and home schooled three children. The youngest just turned 18. All three are doing well, serving the Lord, and the older two love visiting our home. We are a happy family, by the grace of God alone!
    I remember being exposed to Debi and Michael Pearl early in our home schooling years. I liked some of what Debi had to write and grew from it.
    But one day I read something by Michael about potty training a young boy. The child had messed his pants and Dad took him outside and washed his bottom off with a garden hose.
    Something clicked inside and I thought, “That’s abuse. That’s not training..that’s abuse.” I was outraged for that child and put down the Pearls forever. The house of cards began tumbling down. I finished home schooling my oldest, and put my other two in Christian schools. I know some home schooling families who have finished very, very well. Others, not so well. I’ve known some families who have had their children in public schools with remarkable results: godly, reverent children.
    It is all the grace of God. And I thank Him often that He covered my Pearl stained sins against my children and that they have thrived in spite of it all.

    • Hermana Linda on January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you for that testimony. Glory to God that you were able to recognize abuse, so many are somehow blinded to that.

      • Steph on January 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

        I find it quite telling that the Pearl fans are very harsh and insulting while the gentle people actually display the fruit of the Spirit. The Pearl fans claim we misuse the Bible, when it is really they who are doing this. They need to study Galatians 5:22 because they are NOT showing any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit by hurling insults, harsh words, and inaccurate claims. I almost wonder if they even know God. God is LOVE! And the Glory of the Lord is on this page!

        • Chris on July 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

          Jesus said “woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites”… That sounds harsh, too.
          Maybe Jesus wasn’t a Christan.

          • Hermana Linda on July 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm

            That does not sound harsh to me, it sounds like stating the facts. There is a big difference between exposing false teachings and attacking people. Jesus explained what his concerns with the Pharisees were with many examples and told them that they were being hypocrites. That is very different from what the Pearl followers do. In fact, it is more like we do right before they start attacking us and calling us names. Hmmm…

  9. Lynn on December 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Do you mind if I link to this website on my blog? I’ve been writing articles on the Pearls for several months now , and I want to share some links from people who are on the same page as me. I just want to make sure it’s OK, because my blog is not only about the Pearls and contains language and concepts that some people might find offensive. If you don’t want to be linked because of this, that’s totally fine and I completely understand.

    Merry Christmas!

    ~ Lynn “GoesKaboom”

    • Hermana Linda on December 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you so much for asking. I don’t mind at all. It sounds like it’s best that I not link to you, but you are always welcome to link to me. 🙂

      • Lynn on December 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

        Thank you! I appreciate it- I feel like if I have some links to other people saying the same things it might help add credibility. Anything anyone can do to boost the signal about what the Pearls do is a good thing- maybe someone might stumble across it and change their mind about using this book.


  10. ComeondowntoTXandcallmeneffeminate on November 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    See,if you keep people talking long enough, they always betray their heart. Note closely and clearly how Mike and Trisha Fox let Deut 21:18 slip out. Here’s the whole passage; the conclusion should be obvious:

    18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

    19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

    20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

    21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

    The only other interesting thing here is whether they consider themselves qualified to cast the first one…

  11. Christians Who Do Not Spank | Why Not Train A Child? on November 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

    […] arguments against the Pearls' teachings. HomeAbout This WebsiteLinda’s Personal Web PageHow I Lost 45 lbs.ArticlesWhat I Believe“To Train Up A Child” chapter […]

  12. Zooey on July 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Linda, I know in my heart that the Lord has given you to this work. God bless you as you serve where the One Master has placed you.
    To the critics: I have never seen Hermana Linda be anything but charitable to those who are the Lord’s. But we are all called & charged to speak the truth, & to call to account those who distort the Gospel to their own ends, & that is what I find here.

  13. […] telling me that I am assisting the enemy by speaking badly about other Christians.  As I said in a recent comment,  I do not speak badly about other Christians, I offer Biblical Arguments against False […]

  14. InChrist on July 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    It is for this reason that I was called to make the site. All Glory to God!

    Who called you? It definitely wasn’t the Lord. There is no glory here either that will go to Him. God have mercy on you.

    • Hermana Linda on July 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I am convinced that the Lord called me to do this work. However, you are convinced that He called you to attack me. He knows who He called. We hear His voice and follow. Some people respond to those with whom they disagree with gentleness and grace and others with harsh condemnation. By our fruits are we known.

    • C.L. Dyck on November 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      “There is no glory here either that will go to Him.”

      {chuckle} Gotta love a stranger on the internet who exhibits the spiritual gift of omniscience…just sayin’. 😀

      Deut. 18:19-23

      Doesn’t matter which side of the fence we land on, a basic fear of the Lord is a worthwhile thing to remember if one calls themselves a Bible believer.

  15. R O'Neill on July 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    This website appears to be another sign of the times. False converts. carnal Christians and effeminate men gathering to attack basic Bible teachings. George Soros, GLBA and every other Atheist group would be proud of your work. This material is similar to Time magazine trying to teach the Bible and use it to support sodomy, civil unions, animal rights, environmentalism, global warming, abolition of private property, wealth redistribution (i.e. communism) and whatever Satan is working on next. However much you may think some deranged couple harming their child proves your position, the word of God will not change. Evil doers will do evil no matter what they are handed. No doubt this site will also gather those who were improperly chastised themselves yet the word of God remains. Go to the greek, hebrew, jewish rabbis, heathen psychologists, clinical studies, association of Pediatricians and whoever else you garner in your devilish quest to try to disprove and outlaw proper Biblical discipline. The most basic metric which is this current generation is ever against you and all that you contend for . American children are more dangerous than ever now that most in the nation do not discipline with corporal punishment. And we were told that spanking makes children deranged and violent yet this generation which has largely never been spanked is more fierce, vicious and violent than any since the founding of the nation. It is a nation of rebels, effeminate, haters of God, boasters, despisers of those that are good and disobedient to parents. Such a cause as yours will always gather a crowd (especially in the name of Christ) but it will wind up in Hell with all of the other groups that want to save America from imaginary problems and dodge the real crises that we face. May God give some of you the grace to repent and depart from this God forsaken website and its teachings. (Revelation 3:19)
    Sincerely Yours in Christ.

    • Hermana Linda on July 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Dear Brother O’Neill,
      I fail to see how you could read the carefully thought out Biblical arguments on this site and come to such a conclusion. The Bible teaches us to scrutinize the Bible and expose false teachings. I post arguments and you are welcome to post counter arguments. However, I do not see Biblical arguments in your comment, just harsh, unfounded condemnation and insults. In fact, your comment is full of the kind of abuse which has caused many children who were “properly chastised” (as you call it) to renounce Christ and become apostates. I avoid linking to their (non-Christian) arguments, although I will occasionally link to their impassioned testimonies as they demonstrate the oft results of harsh training in a way nothing else will.

      You seen to link the study of Scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew to the study of heathen psychologists, clinical studies, association of Pediatricians etc. I don’t understand this at all so I probably misunderstood you. I do not link to or post arguments basted on heathen psychologists and clinical studies, i stick to Biblical arguments and those of Christians. Of course as the Bible was written in Greek and Hebrew, it is imperative to understand the meaning of of the Greek and Hebrew. Or are you of the opinion that the King James is more inspired than the original Hebrew and Greek?

      I do not advocate permissive parenting nor lack of discipline. I advocate firm, Gentle and Grace Based Discipline which is Biblical. If you really believe that the Bible teaches harsh corporal punishment and will not consider any arguments to the contrary, then we really have nothing to discuss.


      Hermana Linda

    • Teresa on March 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I’m awfully late to the party, and I hate to burst your bubble, but many of the studies and published works (such as The Scapegoat Generation http://www.amazon.com/The-Scapegoat-Generation-Americas-Adolescents/dp/1567510809) reveal that teen pregnancy, violence and drug use are actually decreasing. (As one example, drug use hit a high in 1978. Those hippies were raised in the corporal-punishment 50s, so I’m not sure what went wrong.)

      All I can speak about is my personal experience. My friends who were belted as kids and teenagers basically learned to hide their misbehavior better. It was about not getting caught, not doing right. And yes, must of them have fragmented relationships with their parents. Those who were raised by strict but non-corporal punishment parents fared much better in life and relationships, including mom and dad.

  16. Libby Anne on July 11, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I can’t find any way to contact you besides this, but I wanted to let you know that I have two articles on spanking on my blog that you might be interested in posting like you do. I have another article I’m going to put up in a few days. http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com/2011/06/casting-pearls-back-to-swine.html and http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com/2011/07/giving-child-rod.html. Thanks, and GOOD WORK! People need to be saying what you’re saying!

  17. Annie on March 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for this. I’ve been reviewing positive parenting resources for some time with a great deal of skepticism. I was a firm believer in Dobson and many other tough love for strong willed children ideals. However, a friend of mine recently described it best “Like the definition of insanity, I tried the same thing over and over expecting different results.” I began to feel a twinge of doubt even after my first child but wrote him off as strong willed. He is speech delayed and eventually the complexity of raising a child with special needs and his two younger siblings was not unavoidable. Something had to give.

    The different approach shows results immediately although I do feel that children “test” that in the same way they would any other positive or negative boundaries. Still, I’d much rather err on the side of positive right? I also find that this approach is literally harder- it requires more work emotionally and mentally and requires me to literally rewrite my own ingrained assumptions on parenthood and child rearing.

    I have to say when I first started reading Crystal’s reply from a year ago, I was a bit upset. But now, I totally understand: That was me. And I have found that reverting seems wildly effective for the first bit (I had surgery recently and others methods were unavoidable as I needed the help) but eventually children seem to revert to a “fight or flight” mentality and either contract emotionally or become more brazen in their behavior- or a combination there of. It’s a vicious cycle. Spanking seemed to be working? Are they “testing me” now? Not really, but they certainly aren’t learning in the way you truly want them to.

    I will say with great gratitude now that with a new approach, I finally see what my friends were talking about with a 4 year old who will talk your ear off to exhaustion. He really comes out of his shell and his behaviors seem to regulate in amazing ways. I’m not avoiding punishment- I’m offering direction in ways that can’t be inhibited by his language barrier. I’m offering him the option to gain approval and acceptance with good behavior rather than waiting until he’s already on the other end to give him my valued attention. My 78 year old grandmother said it best “Children will get your attention one way or another- good or bad” Thanks for this site as I continue to research other resources for this approach. I wish there were a way to get though to people like my former self before the stress and angst that can come from failure with the wrong approach! I feel so much more successful as a mother now and I’m grateful for that!

    • Hermana Linda on March 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. <3 It is for this reason that I was called to make the site. All Glory to God!

  18. C.L. Dyck on May 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    “For those of you who are jumping on the bandwagon without reading the whole book”

    Crystal, I’m happy to be able to inform you that this is not an accurate representation of the case. For just myself, for starters, my husband and I perused not only “Train Up,” but the three print volumes of NGJ newsletter articles, the website content, a few web clips, and several audio sermons.

    I am a writer and editor who’s been published in The Old Schoolhouse and Homeschooling Today; my husband is the president of a Bible conference dedicated to Creation-to-Christ-style foundational biblical teaching, which is so often set aside in favour of entertainment and doctrinal indifference. It mattered to us to know for sure what the situation was.

    “do you have to count to ten and call them 10 times before exploding and yelling at them”


    Now, I don’t assume your children are abused simply because you find useful material in the Pearls’ products. Let me just take the words you’ve used, because the circumstances line up: It’s unfortunate that this is the impression of those who have jumped on a bandwagon without “reading the whole book” of various parenting experiences, so to speak. I apologize if that sounds harsh, but I want to make the point that if premature judgment is wrong, it’s wrong on all sides.

    I can understand why you would feel the need to speak strongly, when much of the outcry against NGJ has taken a vituperative tone, and some of it has been from those with strikingly different faith philosophies. But that is not the sum of the case.

    I do not agree with calling people down for how they parent, regardless of their stance on the Pearls. Those I’ve come in contact with are not evil, abusive parents — on either side of the fence. They are people upset by the issues at hand, who are concerned for what’s right.

    “Children know if you are faking it.”

    Agree 100%.

    “Michael Pearl also recomends spending so much time with your children, they are your first and foremost responsibility, they must know that you delight in there presence, get on there level, do what they enjoy, do somthing that makes them smile every 5 minutes.”

    And this is good advice in and of itself, were it not underpinned by a very bad theology of conditioning (using both negative and the abovementioned positive techniques) for religious acquiescence towards an obedience theology rather than biblical salvation. I know that sounds truly horrible. I did not expect to find it the way it turned out to be. My husband and I were really grieved by what a thorough examination of NGJ materials brought to light as we wrote up the Parenting in the Name of God series.

    “I would love to compare a houseful of “Michael Pearl” children who love and reverence him and are a great addition to society to the “non spanked” let them do what they want group”

    If you browse the blogs linked here, you won’t have to wish in vain, as many of them have plenty of material on their family lives. I encourage you to go ahead and do exactly that, for the sake of understanding one another and hopefully edifying one another in the desire for closer conformity to Christ. Linda has made a point of linking specifically to arguments from those who identify Christian. Generally, I find that a look through a few blog entries allows me to determine whether I have overall doctrinal and parenting philosophy agreement.

    God bless.

  19. Counter Arguments 2 | Why Not Train A Child? on May 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    […] been mulling over a follow up to my Counter Arguments post for almost a month now.  Recently Crystal was kind enough to leave me a comment, letting me know her disagreement with this site.  This was […]

  20. Crystal on May 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    This is utterly ridiculous. For those of you who are jumping on the bandwagon without reading the whole book you are really missing out on what God has intended for you and the joy you and your children can have. The bible clearly states, “he that spares the rod, spoils the child” If you do not spank your children then what exacltly is working for you? Do you have sweet children? Do they obey you the first time? Or do you have to count to ten and call them 10 times before exploding and yelling at them, those are the kind of people who end up “spanking” but really its abuse because they got so mad and really end up despising their children because they hate to be around them. People who spank there children in a calm manner and who are absolutely consistant 100 % of the time will have tremendous success. However you will not have success with any approach unless you yourself have true joy. Children know if you are faking it. Joy is the byproduct of thankfulness and love. Your joy radiates to your children. Michael Pearl also recomends spending so much time with your children, they are your first and foremost responsibility, they must know that you delight in there presence, get on there level, do what they enjoy, do somthing that makes them smile every 5 minutes. But does anyone say that on this website? There are many more things I could go on and say but those who really want to know more know where they can get the information. I would love to compare a houseful of “Michael Pearl” children who love and reverence him and are a great addition to society to the “non spanked” let them do what they want group, who is probably still working at jack in the box with numerous tattoos and peircings, pregnant at 15 and has no relationship with their parents.

    • Hermana Linda on May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Hello Crystal,
      Welcome to my site. To answer your question, yes, I have read “To Train up a Child” and many of Michael Pearl’s articles. It would be impossible to argue against his teachings without reading them first. I mainly link to others’ arguments. I can’t say for how much everyone else has read, but I’m sure that they have read enough. I have testimonies from people who used to follow Pearl’s teachings and they have read even more than I. I encourage you to read the arguments and really try to understand what we are saying. We are not saying to not discipline. We are not encouraging anyone to call their children 10 times and then explode and yell. We encourage firm, consistent and gentle discipline. You might be surprised what you’ll learn here, if you stick around. May God bless you.

      • Hermana Linda on May 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

        Crystal, I want you to know that I have responded to your comment in greater detail here.

    • Anne - QuicksilverQueen.com on August 9, 2011 at 11:27 am


      I’ve seen both families — where the kids were never spanked, and where the kids were spanked. The ones who weren’t are the ones with the relationship with their parents, and the ones who were spanked…well, don’t. I’m one of the kids from that family. I dare you (and anyone else) to read this post of mine and tell me this isn’t abuse. This is what the Pearls advocate.

      • Hermana Linda on August 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

        Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad to find your blog.

        • Anne - QuicksilverQueen.com on August 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

          You’re welcome! Thanks for linking me!

          • Kamille@Redeeming the Table on November 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

            Crystal–thanks for sharing. I would like to add to what you wrote, that just because a parent spanked a child or a parent did not spank his child does not mean the spanked child doesn’t have a relationship, while the non-spanked child did have a relationship with parents. I find that to be bad logic, because it’s a generalization based on your own personal experience.

            I am not a Train up Your Child advocate or reader. I find most of what I have seen or read to be unappealing to say the least. But, I don’t think making generalizations about spanked children & non-spanked children merits enough backing to say one promotes relationship & the other doesn’t. We have all see permissive parents who never spanked a lick, nor did they ever set boundaries or tell their children “no.” I have seen these children (family members, peers, & years of childcare) lacking respect & concern for their parent.

            On the flip side, spanking to break a will or to use it the way in which is advocated by the Pearls, garners results, but not out of a heart that is in right relationship with the parent. That discipline can promote children who respond out of fear & not out of true desire to obey.

            I simply wanted to point out the difference, because I strongly dislike when people make generalizations about something so deep to a parent. thanks.

      • Tracy on September 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        Anne, I am the oldest of 9 children in a Christian home where we were spanked, not abused and to my knowledge spanking has not driven anyone away from my parents. Please realize that the group you speak of as having no relationship with their parents due to being spanked is not indicative of us all.

        Proper spanking is not abusive and I have to question why bible believing Christians would disregard the scripture’s admonition to use the “rod”. But just like with eating food, or drinking alcohol (which I don’t practice anyways) some take it too far and sin by doing so.

        • Hermana Linda on September 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

          Tracy, welcome to my blog. I appreciate that you have a great relationship with your parents. I realize that you are not alone. Human relationships are very complicated and there is no guaranteed formula. I have not known of many children to be driven away from their parents just because they were spanked, there are almost always other factors. However, spanking can cause a host of other problems leading to diminished or entirely broken emotional health. The problem is that there is no way to predict which children will be stricken with such effects.

          Please check out the links in my side bar for a clearer understanding of what the Rod is and how to use it.

          • Jessie on May 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm

            I grew up in a strict household where my parents spanked often. It didn’t matter what you did, you got spanked. I wound up getting spanked more often than my brother and sister. My dad’s mom even encouraged him to spank me more often to “get rid of depression”.
            Because of this going on for years, I wound up developing an acute fear of anyone touching me. I would go into a full fledged panic attack if anyone, even my siblings or other relatives even tapped me on the shoulder. It was over 2 decades before I was able to get over that fear mostly with a lot of counceling. I agree with you 100% that spanking can cause problems that are not visible at first. That, and my pastor said that many people take the bible scripture of spare the rod, spoil the child out of context (they don’t actually take the time to look up what it really means). I feel sorry for any family who uses Pearls discipline methods.

    • Mike & Trisha Fox on November 23, 2011 at 6:06 am

      Crystal, you are absolutely correct.

      For those of you who seem to emotionally offer a sacrifice of personal opinion that DIFFERS from the Bible, I will include actual SCRIPTURES NOT OPINION to end the debate. Any continued debate is only by your opposition to biblical principles. Stop using the Bible as a “coupon book” to select ONLY the scriptures that fit YOUR perspectives. The Bible does not align to you and your human views, we must align to the Word.

      We are the ones that were recently on with the Pearls and telling you FIRST hand how the media and liberal left totally spins and skews the truth. It’s not real folks… the perspective of non-biblical discipline is not real – it’s media and liberally spun to hook on to your emotions – pure and simple. Anyhoo, here’s the scriptures if you really want to base your opinions on bible:

      Deuteronomy 8:5
      “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.”
      [Note: “chastens” means to chastise literally with blows or figuratively with words]

      Deuteronomy 21:18
      “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them,”

      Proverbs 10:13
      “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.”

      Proverbs 13:24
      “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

      Proverbs 15:10
      “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.”

      Proverbs 17:10
      “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.”

      Proverbs 19:18
      “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.”

      Proverbs 19:25
      “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.”

      Proverbs 19:29
      “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools.”

      Proverbs 20:30
      “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.”

      Proverbs 22:6
      “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

      Proverbs 22:15
      “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

      Proverbs 23:13-14
      “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.”

      Proverbs 26:3
      “A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back.”

      Proverbs 29:15
      “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

      Proverbs 29:17
      “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.”

      Hebrews 12:5-11
      “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

      • Hermana Linda on November 23, 2011 at 8:02 am

        You keep mentioning being on with the Pearls. When was this? Please supply a link, I have yet to see that show.

        We have discussed those verses in this blog before. The English is just translated, in order to really understand the verses one must look at the Inspired Greek and Hebrew and take it in context. We have done word studies on the Greek and Hebrew in order to come to our conclusions.

      • C.L. Dyck on November 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

        “Any continued debate is only by your opposition to biblical principles.”

        Or perhaps that of Mike Pearl and his supporters. Let us not leap before looking more closely.

        Those willing to look around this site will find my blog posts listed under “pro-spankers’ arguments,” so let’s just dispose of the idea that this is a spank/don’t-spank issue.

        As to the Bible, see Parenting in the Name of God for a comprehensive review in which my husband and I had the disappointment of finding that Mike Pearl’s teachings are not in the least biblical.

        For myself, I do not condemn spanking; I strongly advise against trying to discipline a child in any way using Pearl’s theological basis, because Pearl literalizes via King James English to equate “flesh” with the physical body, and denies the existence of a sin nature. This false doctrine of sin and the flesh naturally tends to invoke an unbalanced or even extreme approach to physical, outward control.

        Hence the irrational concept that training with switching is not punishment, etc. Pearl even has an article entitled “Training Fleshy Flesh” (available on his website), the very title of which links his false theological assumptions with his methodology.

        I would caution serious ministers of the Gospel to be very aware and very discerning about what they are linking their name and ministry to before they step out in support of NGJ. The problem is not how biased the media, society and the modern church are; if we follow Christ, we will see some form of persecution, you, me and the next believer.

        Far more seriously, we have a Lord God to whom we will give account for how we shepherded His flock, and for how we represented His holy name and His Word. Before we get carried away by emotional reactionism to the world’s dissent against the Gospel, and find ourselves in a knee-jerk defensive stance (or even attacking and accusing fellow believers), we must indeed consider Scripture.

      • Hermana Linda on November 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

        I saw your article at the Christian Post. I was very surprised, shocked really, to see you quote from and link to ChristianDomesticDiscipline.com Do you defend Christian Domestic Discipline (corporeal punishment of wives)?

        • C.L. Dyck on November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm

          I’d say by the fact that he’s referring to columnists by name, that he knows exactly what he’s talking about with that thinly-veiled pornographic website, which by the way, I see embraces eroticism in the wife-spanking in its clauses of beliefs. Sick.

          Fox, you’ve got some explaining to do if you want to convince folks on this site that you’re not a obscene creep, and that your apparent obsession with spanking, given in such detail above, isn’t some kind of freaky outburst of online exhibitionism. That’s no way to use the Bible, but I’m sure the Lord’ll have you straightened out on that eventually.

          Y’know, Linda, after this, I’m just waiting for the Pearl supporter who shows up in Monty Python garb and plays a trumpet with his rear end…

      • Samuel Martin on December 22, 2011 at 11:39 am

        Hello from the Holy Land,

        I’ve noted a number of responses and the one which is the most interesting is that of Mr and Mrs Fox.

        While they have presented their view of God’s supposed teaching in the Scripture, I would be delighted to enter into a Scripturally oriented discussion with them concerning their views. Unfortunately, the Bible and its complexities are just not so neat and tidy and Mr. and Mrs. Fox are suggesting.

        Let me know if your interested. I’ll be happy to send you a copy of my which you both would be welcomed to offer me correction on.

        Looking forward to that opportunity.

        Samuel Martin
        Jerusalem Israel

      • Peter on October 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

        @Mike & Trisha Fox,

        You said to “Stop using the Bible as a “coupon book” to select ONLY the scriptures that fit YOUR perspectives.”

        If you honestly believe that you must administer corporal punishment to your child because you “must align to the Word”, then you should also be aligning to Exodus 21:17 which states that “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.” But that’s not the case, and I do not want you do do that.

        You have left out Exodus 21:17, which means that you have also left out something from the Bible, which means that you are also guilty of “using the Bible as a “coupon book”” to support your own view, which means that our view is not any more distorted than your view.

    • Hafoc Yates on January 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Why YES Crystal there are billions of children all over this world and parents that raise happy, healthy, INDEPENDENT, intelligent, creative, and again >>>INDEPENDENT<<< Kids withOUT spanking, beating, starving, torturing, and then murdering them.
      I will give you one point. Do I have to count to 10? Got me there… sort of. I don't even have to count to 3 or 1. There are no issues. My secret. Communication. I know it is a big word but take the time to learn it. If you are old enough to breed you need to be old enough to handle big words and raise a child like a parent not by reactions seen during 1st grade recess.

    • CMB on August 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      The Bible does NOT clearly state “he that spares the rod, spoils the child.” Read ALL of the scriptures about raising children, all of the scriptures about the true purpose of a shepherd’s rod and then differentiate it from the man-made, false doctrine that has been attributed to the Bible.

      THIS is what you are calling scripture:

      “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is from the long 17th-century poem Hudibras, written by Samuel Butler (1612-1680), a cheeky British poet who ENJOYED MOCKING religious extremists and hypocrites.

      Samuel Butler was almost certainly thinking of the Biblical verses about rods and children when he wrote his own famous line about them. However, what Butler implied in between the lines of his satiric verse is believed to be more bawdy than Biblical.

      One theory is that it’s a nudge-nudge-wink-wink comment on how to “spoil” and thus prevent a pregnancy. (i.e. sparing the rod / the pull-out method) Other theories suggest it may refer to sexual fetishes involving a dominatrix, bondage and discipline sex games and sexual spanking and whipping.


      Children cannot be successfully raised in a one-size fits all totalitarian mold. Jesus doesn’t treat ANYONE in this manner and has a specific plan for every soul. Forcing total compliance and expecting identical results in every child is spitting on the obvious New Testament teaching that Christ wants an individualized relationship with each and every one of us. I was raised as the Pearl’s teach and even at in my mid-forties the damage is so overwhelming it takes the power of Jesus Christ to get me through each day.

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