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December 05, 2005



A light tap with a switch is not exactly the same thing as tapping somebody on the shoulder.

I guess I'm just silly enough that I don't buy into the false dichotomy that it's either you hit the kids (or threaten to) or you get rude "free spirits" who can't, if you can imagine such a horror, be taken to restaurants.

Can Dance

Regarding Debi Pearl and behaviouralism, I am trying to think of how to explain myself in a nutshell. hmmmmm...I am parenting from a paradigm that is called grace based discipline. one small component of that is that I do not spank my child, hit my child, etc. I think that Dobson, Ezzo and the Pearls' on the extreme end, advocate a very adversarial type of relationship to your child. I don't want that with my daughter and I try to think of us as a team. I also try to extend grace to my daughter that is extended to me on a regular basis. How would Jesus parent? Would Jesus hit a child? When I ask myself those questions, I really can't see hitting my child or yelling or what have you. this does not mean that I am permissive, because I am not. I try and set up clear boundaries and expectations for her that are age appropriate. I found that much of Pearl's teaching is completely age inappropriate in regards to parenting and it squashes a child's need to explore. its more about me being the adult, and bc of that I am automatically the "authority". If you are interested in learning more about this style of parenting, which covers the "rod" verse that many Christians fondly refer to to say that the Bible advocates spanking, its refuted and I think the author does a pretty good job. The authors' name is Crystal Lutton and her book is called "Biblical Parenting". it really is a complete paradigm shift from the adversarial type of parenting generally advocated by Christian society. A website she is very active on is gentlechristianmothers.com, and you can find her book on Amazon.

As for your questions regarding my feminism and my evangelicalism. There is a whole slew of people who define themselves as both evagelical and feminist and many many books written on the topic. I assure you that they have a high view of scripture and do not toss anything out that is unpalatable. Specifically answering your head of the house comment, the verse that you refer to says "head of the wife". it does not say head of the house. I am of the opinion that head means source, not authority as some would espouse. One of my favourite books regarding this topic is called "God's Word to Women", by Katherine Bushnell. one of the reasons its my favourite is because it was published in the early 1900's, before the advent of modern feminism and before it could be accused of "falling in line with secular society".

To further elaborate on my "subtle" comment, I was more specifically thinking that in regards to gender relations, Paul was pretty subtle. He had to be. Rome was afraid of Christianity and what it would do to society. But I also like thinking about Jesus and His treatment of women. He really was completely radical, He spoke to them publically. its hard to get my mind around in the society in which I live, but really just think the middle east, with almost the Taliban, and that was almost how bad it was. But Jesus never belittled or looked down on any women in His life and took all of their questions seriously. Another favourite thing of mine to point out was that the position that Mary took at Jesus' feet was a traditional rabbincal position that men who were going to be Rabbis took to be taught. Martha was not freaking out because she was alone in the kitchen, she was freaking out because Mary was being very, assuming and gutsy. And Jesus blessed her for it.

To also quickly address your question regarding hierarchy between the sexes prefall. "Helpmeet" as its traditionally translated in English, literally means "face to face". The woman was his complete and total partner, nothing whatsoever to do with subordinate assistant or cookie baker. Elsewhere in the OT, ezer, which is the Hebrew, means "to come to the rescue of", and refers to God aiding the Israelites. therefore, among other reasons, I see nothing but equality before sin entered the world. Which is described in Genesis 3:16, "she will desire him and he will rule over her". the "desire" is best translated as "turning to", so turning to men rather than to God to fulfill her and he "rules over her" which frankly, is not that hard to see in the world today. but this was a descriptive verse, not prescriptive, which means describing, not saying the way things should be. So to me, Jesus coming and turning the whole unseen world upside down also means that the subordination of women ended at the cross, maybe not in a practical sense, but it did. It is a state of sin that I do not wish to emulate.

As for my SAH status. I got married out of college with an undergrad in BS, behavioural science, which helped me to learn how to think, but as for its usefulness, its somewhat lacking. I moved to another country, couldn't work for a couple of months, got a job being a dog trainer and shortly after that got pregnant accidently. I was working 1 night a week being a dog trainer, but I thought it ridiculous leaving my breastfed child even for a few hours, for 8 bucks an hour. so I quit.
I would like to go back to work someday and that is because I do feel like I am going to do something with my life that hopefully will be influential, whether that ends up in social work or what I am not sure. but that is where my heart lies. for now though, I will stay at home because my daughter needs me and this other little one also needs me. The good thing about my time at home though, is that I feel like I can figure it out and get some of my identity questions answered. To think I wanted to be "together" and knowing my lifes' path before my daughter was born. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Here are a couple of websites: www.cbeinternational.org and www.godswordtowomen.org


Can Dance, I've not a lot of time right now to respond to your very thoughtful post, so I'll just make a quick comment and try to get back to this tomorrow evening. During the day tomorrow, I've got farm business to attend to, so I'll have no time there.

My puzzlement over your seeming to feel as if you're "just" a SAHM is because I know so many SAH parents who are so much more than they realize. They are teachers, administrators, and volunteers. They do more than they ever realize. I say this from the POV of someone who is continually being told I do a LOT, when I always feel that I'm not doing enough.

Why do you feel that you must go work for someone else because you "do feel like I am going to do something with my life that hopefully will be influential?" Every day of your life, whether you're a SAHP, a social worker, an animal trainer, or whatever, you ARE being influential, often in ways you'd never dream. Don't sell yourself short.

Yes, take time to figure out where/what you should be now and then where/what you should be in the future. But don't be surprised when God changes your plans (as with the gift of your little girl). Be flexible and ready when He says, "OK, today you're going to do XYZ instead of what you had planned." It happens, quite often.

Gotta go check on the 15yo. He's making a chocolate b-day cake. It's nice having handy teens around. :-)

Emily Liz

Regarding the Pearls, it is not true that they were arrested or that their adult children do not speak to them. Rather, they were investigated once for "child abuse" on an anonymous tip, but the police came, interviewed them, and concluded the charge was completely without any basis. Second, their children are very close to them and visit them with their own children. You might be confusing the Pearls with the Ezzos (another childrearing advice couple), one of whose daughters supposedly is estranged from them

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