Generation Cedar

Many parents operate from a motivation of comfort.  The behavior they seek to bring about in their children is mostly about making life easier rather than shaping the child’s character to conform to the image of Christ  (giving him the candy he’s screaming for is easier at the time than cultivating self-control).  Such a philosophy will only produce temporary results, and often disastrous ones.

Worse yet, those children will grow up and the same habits enforced by poor parenting will likely be magnified, negatively impacting their lives.  Multiply that across a culture, and we’ve got a whole generation of  “poorly habited” adults having serious implications on every aspect of societal life.

Boy that was a broad, sweeping connection, but one worth pondering.  We are affected deeply by the habits we learn (or aren’t trained out of) as children that become a mode of operation for us as adults.  Think of all the grown-ups filing petty law suits because the principal of the school won’t allow their child to chew gum in class…the man who jumps out of his car and kills another driver because he refused to let him merge…the men and women walking out on each other because they’re too self-absorbed to live for another… All largely because parents did a poor job instilling character into their children.  Is that heavy or what, as we ponder our jobs?

I was thinking today of just one tiny example of this.  Every one of us deals with children who whine and complain.  We didn’t have to teach them, they do it naturally.  What we have to do is equip them to handle disappointment and frustration in a proper way.  This one job alone is huge.  It takes consistent, patient effort on a parent’s part.  It is tedious and challenging.

BUT…“a child left to himself brings his mother shame”.

So, that’s our choice.  Leave him to his natural inclinations, or train against them.

Here’s the problem…lots of us give in to OUR natural inclinations and do what is most comfortable and convenient for us, failing to see beyond the moment, and as a result, enforcing the sinful natures of our children.

When a child whines for what he wants, or cries and complains about some small disappointment, we tend toward doing whatever is needful to make him stop.  That’s the easy solution.  But it’s not the right one.

We are really working hard in our house right now to shape the habit of self-control and gratefulness, which I believe is at the heart of a complaining, whining spirit.  I struggle with this as an adult, and so I want so much to catch it early on with my children.

As a practical example…

This morning one of my children sat down to breakfast and her older sister poured her a bowl of cereal.  The younger one didn’t think it was enough so she proceeded to fuss.  I asked her to stop and eat cheerfully.  She went from fussing to crying.  So I dismissed her from the table with a brief instruction about “coming back when you are grateful”.  She did come back with a smile and I let her eat.  I told her the next time that she would have to miss breakfast.  (Turned out she got half way through the bowl and said she was full 😉  I made her finish the bowl.)

When a little one whines for what he wants, try to resist the urge to meet his need as quickly as possible to make peace.  Instead, remember the big picture–yes it is more trouble now, much less trouble later–explain that he can’t have it until he asks cheerfully.  If he’s really young, tell him “no” to his fussing, and then mimic the right response for him.

Let’s be faithful to take the time to deal with the heart issues of our children and not respond with a temporary reaction.  The whole direction of their lives may depend on it!

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49 Responses

  1. Great post!

    I think every parent deals with this regularly. Boy wouldn’t be so easy to give in? That’s one reason I think being home with our children is so vital; we don’t have to constantly undo the “damage” done by other care-givers or teachers.
    Even with the most wonderful & loving person in charge of your child, even the best of teachers cannot expend the energy it takes to help cultivate character in each individual child on the level that a mother does. One who is with her very own child 24/7 is able to monitor and sense what her own child needs through each situation. What if you had been in a hurry to run out the door to get your child to school? You could not have adequately dealt with the situation.

  2. Right on the money. Along the lines of what Kim commented above, when both parents are exhausted from working, running the home and raising children can suffer. It is a lot harder “to fight the good fight” when you are so tired and just want a peaceful evening.

    My kids are no angels but one thing I cannot stand is whining. LOL From when they were little I would ignore them if they spoke to me in a whining tone. If they persisted I would act completely confused, and tell them that I couldn’t understand when they spoke in that voice.

    They have never been big whiners and I think it’s in part due to nipping it in the bud. If only I could get them to stop wrestling on the floor now :))

  3. Thanks for your post and your advice. As an only child, I struggle to deal with my toddler’s whining all the time. It’s difficult for me to respond to it calmly, without anger, attempting to correct the same self-centeredness she exhibits that I myself am battling. My parents raised me to have morals, not character and that’s what I want my children to have, Christ-like character. Perhaps I can give them this eternal perspective on their behavior and purpose to life, that I don’t remember receiving. Thanks again for your thoughts.

  4. Absolutely! This is one big reason behind our decision to home school…”Training in righteousness.” At the same time it is the biggest cause of “conflict” between my husband and I. There has be to some kind of agreement when it comes to child training. For us, I am more “on it” when my husband is not home because he is more inclined to think “they will grow out of it” or “don’t nag and nitpick.” In the end, we both want our children to be grateful, to have self-control, and like it says in Philipians to “know both how to be abased, and to know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  5. Good gravy, I am so glad I sat down to check in with you today – in our recent flurry of activity and upheaval, otherwise known as moving, it’s been so tempting to sit the kids down with a book instead of teaching them to help unpack, or to turn on the television when they’re fussing instead of guiding them back to playing nicely in their new rooms….it’s been a test for my own self-control, not just theirs.

    But I think you’re right, Kelly, about immediate and appropriate consequences, and Elizabeth, nipping it in the bud, as you say, is the best answer. My husband and I have determined that our children get all they need and about 90% of what they want with out even having to ask – we love doing for them, it’s our pleasure. What we have little tolerance for is whining, or fussing, or ungrateful spirits. Even when they’re tired or hungry, we’ve found that not excusing bad behavior because of circumstances has had a HUGE impact on their contentedness. They know that hunger is temporary, of course we’re going to eat, and that tiredness is usually a sign of a day well spent – we frequently recount on the ride home or during bath time the fun things we’ve done to get so tired. They are sweet, peaceful, right-hearted children, who understand service, appropriate patience, and even a level of independence because they have control of themselves. Most adults don’t know that freedom, and it’s a real shame. It is life changing, and world changing, no doubt.

  6. Such good advice. Your anecdote reminded me of this little old nun at one of the elementary schools I attended: Sr. Anne D’asissi. I’ll never forget her. She used to stand at the trash can in the lunch room and if you came up with anything other than an empty milk carton on your tray, she marched you back to you table all the while explaining to you that there were young children dying for the food we were willing to waste, and then she’d watch while you finished up the food you’d taken but didn’t want to finish! You learned really quick not to let your eyes get too big for your stomach at that school!

  7. This is one of the big issues with people my age. (I’m 25.) We got whatever we wanted if we outed. It takes a lot to overcome that kind of upbringing. I look at my siblings, and they have no discipline or self-control at all. The only reason I have any is due to my stubborn independence, and – above all the grace of Christ.

  8. Mrs Santos, the snobbery of home schoolers is annoying, especially when people say things like it’s easier to raise non-whiny kids by home schooling. Garbage. My in-laws home school and they have the whiniest kids I know. What it depends on is how the parent trains the child, it has NOTHING to do with where they go to school. And people wonder why we get annoyed with home school snobbery…

  9. Mrs. W.,

    Your comments are likely discarded by readers because of their irrational, harsh accusations. It seems to come from somewhere else–your jumping to conclusions that weren’t made by the commenter you attack.

    Mrs. Santos never said, “it’s easier to raise non-whiny kids by homeschooling”. She said they homeschool so they can focus on “training in righteousness” which is a viable reason; training children is a constant, daily (sometimes minute by minute) practice. It would be silly to assume that it is just as easy to train the habits of children who aren’t with you for the better part of the day than those who are…not impossible, mind you, but she was making a very obvious point–homeschooling affords parents more time and opportunity to work on habits. It’s not snobbery then to say that someone chooses to homeschool in order to take advantage of that time and opportunity.

    I don’t think she had any condescension in her comment toward those who do not homeschool; your comment, however, leaves no doubt about the ill feelings you harbor towards homeschoolers.

  10. I don’t harbour “ill feelings” towards home schoolers, but I do get awful sick of the snottiness very quickly.

    And yes, you can train your children in righteousness properly even if they go to school. I’ve seen MANY parents do it successfully.

  11. Mrs. W.,

    Again, you keep asserting things than no one is saying. I (or Mrs. Santos) never said you cannot train your children unless you homeschool. I DID say it was harder; if we admit that training little ones attitudes requires a consistent, constant effort, then LOGICALLY it is harder to be consistent when you’re missing an 8-hour chunk of the day. There is nothing snobby about logically stating a fact.

    I love you as a sister, and do not comment here for argument’s sake. What I do hope to encourage you with is that I think we need to be careful how we relate to each other here as sisters. It seems terribly sad that you feel justified to rebuke others for perceived “snobbiness” (which wasn’t even intended), while your rebuke is purposely harsh.

  12. I’m sorry, I was actually replying to the first post on this thread by Kim, not Mrs Santos. So Mrs Santos, I apologize.

    I’ll try to “tone it down” although in my perception snobbery deserves harshness and nothing else. Kim M. said “That’s one reason I think being home with our children is so vital; we don’t have to constantly undo the “damage” done by other care-givers or teachers.”

    For her to naturally assume that after parents have carefully considered and chosen a school after much thought and prayer, that the teachers “damage” the students, simply because the kids aren’t at home, is snobbery. I was “damaged” by home schooling FAR more than I was ever “damaged” by going to school.

    Child training is an intricate and individual thing. Right now we are tending to not “hear” our kids when they are whiny. We hope that if they don’t have an audience, they’ll quit.

  13. Unfortunately whining/crying is a big issue in our house when my boys are reprimanded. Nothing works to curb it except discipline with a rod. I hate it when well-meaning people try to use the method of “distraction” to help save my kids from being disciplined (such as when we’re with our family) – they understand our methods, they even say they agree with them, then proceed to make things much harder on us by trying non-biblical methods to “help us out”…UGHHHH! (sorry for the small vent, we just came back from vacation where we had to deal with this issue constantly)

  14. My daughter’s least favorite phrase from me? “I don’t speak whinese.”
    When Paul wrote the words “for the prize set before Him (Christ), He endured the cross…” it has many meanings. Are we, as parents, willing to look at the prize set before us? ie. well discipled Christians modeling all aspects of Christ. Our cross is not a burden, as Christ’s was not. It is a meaningful and wonderful purpose for a desired outcome.

  15. Mrs. W,
    Your “hurt” from being homeschool has obviously tainted your views, opinions, judgements, and expressions. Perhaps it is time that you seek forgiveness for those who hurt you so badly and express graciousness towards those who choose to school in a way that was so painful for you personally. Their choice to homeschool is not a personal affront to you or anyone else. It is their obedience to what they see that God has laid on their heart. Frankly, anyone can be considered a snob for holding fast to their convictions. If I recall correctly, the JEWS killed Jesus becuase He insisted that His way was the only way. Was He a snob? No. He was right. I’m not suggesting that these folks are right for the entire population, but they are right for their families, and they are due the respect for holding fast to their convictions — no matter how you percieve it. Give them their due. And again, seek forgiveness. Your bitterness is overwhelming to us all. It grieves my heart. It is a lonely road and a heavy load to bear.

  16. Hey Kelly: On the subject of self-control (I need more of it) and am constantly trying to teach my children self-control. Not b/c we think it is important, but because the Bible teaches we should be self-controlled. If my parents had taught me this when I was younger, I would NOT struggle as much as I do as an adult with it.

    Anyway, one small thing that we do to help our children have self-control with their bodies (they are a rowdy bunch, I tell ya), is each night, before Bible time, they each have a circle on our rug that they stand on. Each child stands there for the amount of time that corresponds with their ages. So the 8 year old for 8 minutes and the 3 year old for 3 minutes, so on and so forth. During this time, they are required to have self-control of their body and mouths. They are not in trouble AT ALL, but they have to stand their just “practicing” self-control. This gives them a great picture of what it looks like and what is expected of them when we mean self-control. Sometimes it is very hard for them and we have to add minutes if they are fidgeting, talking or giggling. But after 4 months of doing this….all I can say is WOW! My 8 year old has mastered is flesh and shown us that he can have self-control and DOES have it. All of them have improved greatly and really know what we mean when we say “self-control.” This is not an all encompassing activity, by any means, but it is just one small thing that we do each day to help them control their bodies. And I must say…it is working!!!

    Jess

  17. Mrs. W. I agree with Amy Jo and Kelly!
    I do pray that you seek forgiveness from the damage your parents did when they were homeschooling you. I pray that you can accept those who homeschool just as many of us who homeschool LOVE and ADMIRE many women who do not. If you let this become an area of dissension and anger among “sisters in Christ” then certainly the Devil has a foothold and is very pleased! BLessings to you no matter what you choose!

  18. Kelly: I wrote a really long comment on our “self-control” time at home. DId you get it? It didn’t show up! Let me know!Jess

  19. “If I recall correctly, the JEWS killed Jesus becuase He insisted that His way was the only way. Was He a snob? No. He was right”

    Not a good comparison; I’m glad you made that disclaimer. The folks that Mrs. W referred to sound more like the Pharisees than Jesus.

  20. But Mrs. W is taking her experience with Pharisees and projecting it on anyone who homeschools or says that homeschooling is good. :/

    One of the many reasons we do homeschool is so that our children are with us and under our authority for training for most of their childhoods. I, too, know many families who raised perfectly wonderful children while sending them to public school. One of my most favorite women in the world was a public school teacher for many years and her children went to some awful public schools and still turned out fine. But for me, and for my family, we feel that homeschooling is the best way *for us* to appropriately and consistently train our children in righteousness.

  21. On the subject on the original post:

    I think what’s hardest for me is that it takes self-control to teach self-control, and I am a person with self-control “issues”. I have many bad habits and compulsions which I never want to pass on to my children, but years of trying, praying, fasting, etc have not cleared up these thorns in my own life. 🙁

    I certainly agree with the benefits of teaching children self-control, and we are doing our best. But it’s hard to be hopeful when we ourselves are so flawed.

  22. Jess–sorry, it got stuck! But it’s published now, and I really enjoyed your idea of teaching self-control. We aren’t that purposeful but often I will require the little ones to color, or play blocks, or read, even if they don’t really want to. I think it’s so important to require them to sit still and do something quietly for a small part of the day. (That doesn’t include TV 😉 We also work on self-control during family Bible time.

  23. I like the concept of Jess’ idea, but doesn’t it seem cruel if they aren’t being punished but have to stand there EVERY night just to make mommy happy? Not trying to be rude, I’m really curious. How do they respond at the time, and how did they respond at first? I would be able to implement something like this easier now with my kids being 2 and 1. I’m not sure if I’d do it every day or at the same time every day but maybe at random times, and I’m wondering if random would work better or not.

    My main concern with stuff like this is, are we training our kids to be merely compliant (which is nice and is certainly great when we are in public) or are we training their attitudes as well as their actions. I’d like to know more about this. I have problems with certain child-raising “methods” due to the fact that some appear to work on actions above attitudes and motives. I want my children to have character and be obedient because they want to, not just because they are scared of being punished etc. I hope I’m making the difference clear. Anyway, I’d love to hear from you Jess and anyone else who has tried stuff like this.

    (As an aside on the home school thing, I’m not really still that upset about it, just trying to point out that two people from abusive home school families who get married to each other are not going to see home schooling as the be all and end all of raising godly children, and yes, we often have people tell us that if we won’t home school we are not right with God and a heap of other snotty things).

  24. Amy Jo, the JEWS did not kill Jesus. Why would you write such a thing? That is a remark bordering on dangerous Anti-Semitism, and I invite you to take it back. I hope you don’t teach your children such things.

  25. Mrs. W.,

    You raise an excellent question–one that I’ve actually addressed at a conference before.

    After reading many child training books–some of which focus on training the HABITS and some of which focus on training the HEART, there is no doubt it must be both.

    The way I think of it is we train the habits first, at a very young age, and soon begin to associate it with the REASON we require a certain behavior.

    If you fail to train the habits until they can fully understand heart issues, then you’ve got some ingrained behavior to deal with. If you only train the habits, then you risk raising rebellious, hypocritical children who disobey once they’re out from mom and dad’s watch.

    For example, we start very early teaching our children to come when they are called–behavior. We don’t go into a lot of the reason yet. But as they get a little older, we remind them that the reason they must obey is because the Bible commands it, not because “it makes Mommy mad when you don’t”–heart.

    It must be both.

  26. Mrs Kelly, I agree with you and am really starting to crack down on behaviour right now. My husband used to argue that they were “too young to understand” but we have both started to see that they understand about obedience long before they can show us they understand. So yes I am trying the “teach habits now train hearts later” approach.

  27. Mrs. W –
    (I will not debate this. This is the only response I will give in response to this subject). 🙂 I was simply giving an idea that you can choose to use or discard.
    They are not standing there to make “mommy” happy. They are standing there because the Bible teaches us that we are to be self-controlled and not let our bodies have mastery over us. Even Paul said that he makes his body HIS slave. Why did he do that? To please the Father and to live a righteous and holy life! The Bible also teaches us that without holiness, NO ONE will see the Lord.
    My children have a SOLID, biblical foundation (for their ages 8, 7, 5 and 3) and they understand that “we” just don’t make up how we should live. Everything we teach them comes from the Bible and we are CONSTANTLY reinforcing this morning, noon and night. So they know that mommy is not just making them stand there b/c she is mean and wants to be pleased. She is having them stand there to “train” them to master their body and to be disciplined like the Bible calls us to do. Discipline and self-control don’t just happen. They are taught and practiced. Just don’t lik you don’t just go out and run a road race. You train for it, you teach your body how to respond, and then you ultimately run the race and if you are trained properly you will run it VERY well. We are “practicing” in our household for the race of life that requires an immense amount of discipline. If you choose to not like that, then that is fine. I am responsible to God and I will do what I feel is best for my family. We don’t just make them do meaningless activities to “please” mommy. We have the freedom as parents to use creative ideas to reinforce Biblical concepts.
    There is nothing ugly or demeaning about our practicing self-control in a controlled environment! It is in an 8,7, 5 and 3 minute exercise that my children do. And they seem quite pleased with themselves that they are able to conquer their flesh. And conquering their flesh does make their mommy happy and God as well. And when I conquer my flesh, I know the Father is pleased, too! And the end goal of my life is to please my Father.

  28. Jess – I appreciate your use of the word “practice” – we all have to practice self-control, all the time, temptation never leaves us. I happen to think standing still, composed, at ease and confident is a fairly advanced concept and you’re right to emphasize it early and often. How many people can’t stand, or sit for that matter, without chatting, texting, fidgeting, reaching for the radio/tv/ipod/magazine? Most, I would venture to guess. I’m going to try a little version of your process myself. It’s brilliant for developing a posture for prayer and worship as well. The ability to “be still” is a dying art, unfortunately.

  29. Mrs. W,
    Just as an ex-drug user can spot the signs in someone else and an an ex-smoker is more sensitive to the smell of smoke, those of us who have been delivered from offense, unforgiveness, and bitterness can see clearly in others what we once lived. And it is not for judgment or condemnation’s sake. I believe the sisters here want you to be free from these things for your sake and for the Lord’s glory. We have known the pain of being oppressed and we want you to walk in victoy and freedom from the things the enemy uses to destroy us. You said you are not really that upset about it; But the Bible says out of the springs of the heart the mouth speaks. Your heart must be still aching because your mouth(typed word) reveals it. I know we are all praying for the God of breakthrough to break these things holding you because we love you.

  30. “Amy Jo, the JEWS did not kill Jesus”

    But they did sentence Him to death, Mandy. This is not anti-Semitism, which is a very serious accusation, but a simple historical fact.

  31. Kelly L, so it is now “bitterness” for someone to say that something isn’t always as good as people make out it is because they were abused? I guess your idea of forgiveness is that once you have forgiven, you must NEVER, under any circumstance, even talk about it again?

    Just because I don’t agree with you ladies that homeschooling is the wonderful be all and end all, doesn’t mean I’m “bitter” about my experiences. It just means I learned from them and know that homeschooling ISN’T the be all and end all despite what others say.

    Just because I’m against something you are passionate about doesn’t make me a bitter monster.

  32. Mrs W,
    I think the problem is that you are projecting onto what people say things that they have not said or intended. 🙁

    It is true that forgiveness does not mean forgetting necessarily. Or avoiding the subject.

    However, instead of saying “I had a bad experience, something was wrong in the way I was raised”, you seem instead to spring to attack people who describe a positive experience, calling them snobby and self-righteous. 🙁

    I am a new reader to this blog and I’m frankly astounded by the graciousness Kelly has shown to you in this regard. It would be wonderful to see you able to be at peace about the issue. You do not need to defend your experience or your parenting decisions to those who make choices different than yours, particularly since her blog posts and the comments about her posts are not direct or even indirect attacks on you as a person.

  33. Mrs. W,

    I made no natural assumptions as you suggested.

    My children (all except the youngest) were in Christian school until last year, and I decided not to re-enroll after much prayer and research. I used to be on the opposite side of the coin. I used to say , “I would only home-school if I HAD to do it”. I said that… even though I love my children and love teaching. I had some distorted view that all home-schoolers had to be a certain way.
    Goodness, that is one of the BEST parts of homeschooling.
    Where that distorted idea comes from, I’ll never know!

    My comment had a lot to do with the rushing around in the mornings and the lack of time spent as family (home-work, programs, fund raisers, the list goes on… especially if you are involved in extra curricular activities). There seems to be a constant rush all the time. And when behavioral training is neglected (you aren’t there with your kids), damage is done. Yes, I reiterate: BY the teacher OR the parent because neither have adequate time to deal with issues.

    I experienced the breakfast rush each morning, and the running out the door and not having adequate time to deal with problems. I experienced the repercussions. (I used to teach at that same school; we left on good terms. We are still great friends with everyone there.) Teachers can unknowingly do damage to children. I am sure **I did** when I was a teacher, because I just was too overextended to deal with each child’s individual needs. They weren’t my children, I didn’t know their backgrounds and personalities (remember, the teacher only has them one year). I am speaking of “minor” behavioral damage. The kind that we all let slip because we do not have time to deal with (or do not know how because we do not understand the child’s heart)

    Anyway, my first comment was made directly to Kelly. And I have never said it was a sin to send children to Christian school; if that is the case I am going to the wrong church since we have a Christian school associated.

  34. Mrs. W.,

    I agree with Margaret and wish to conclude that I hope you are eventually able to separate your abusive home life from the general practice of homeschooling. What you “learned” from your experience shouldn’t play a part on how you perceive homeschooling in general, and it’s obvious in your comments that you have let that experience taint the whole picture–to the point that you are ready to pounce on those who sing its praises.

    It’s akin to my getting robbed by a man in a red shirt and forever assuming all men in red shirts are bad. 😉

    No one said homeschooling is “the be all and end all” as you claimed. It has, on a number of levels, proven very beneficial and there is nothing wrong with our sharing about those benefits with others. As today’s post reminded, of course we think it’s *better*, or we wouldn’t do it. Consider that we may simply desire to share what we have found to be incredibly wonderful with others.

  35. On the issue of “who killed Jesus.”
    The Scriptures speak for themselves. Perhaps my all CAPS of the word “Jews” seemed to place undo emphasis on that part of my comment. That was unintentional, I assure you. I am not anti-Semitic in the least (a heafty accusation indeed), but considering that most Christians I know would make the same claim, i.e. “The Jews didn’t kill Jesus”, I understand why the comment would be abrasive. As one commenter said on my behalf: “The Jews didn’t kill Him. They sentenced Him.” While this is a nice thought to protect the Jewish people, it is untrue. Pilate sentenced Him — reluctantly. A Roman. The Romans physically did the actual act, because Jews were not allowed. Many (most) Christians I know will not point to the Jews at all, but will claim that it was actually our sins that placed Him on the cross (therefore we are all His killers). And finally, some would argue that it was the sovereign will of God that placed Him there — the redemption plan of our Father, therefore, no one (save God the Father) is responsible. I think that all of the above statements are true to a point. God is sovereign and chose this plan of redemption. Jesus HAD to die for the sins of His own. The Romans physically nailed Him to the cross. AND……see all the Scriptures below……the Jewish people, according to the Bible, are also responsible. It makes them no more heinous or contemptable than any of us, or any other people-group for that matter. It is however the Biblical, historical truth — as evidenced by the Scripture below.

    I don’t wish to continue with this thread. It was not the purpose of this forum. So I will not be responding to any other comments. I hope that the comments regarding the intial post are taken into prayful, discerning, consideration.

    John 5:18
    This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    John 7:1
    After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.

    John 18:21
    So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.

    John 18:14
    It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

    John 19:7
    The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”

    John 19:12
    From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

    Matthew 27:22
    Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”
    (The crowd were Jewish people)

    Acts 2:22-23 (speaking to “Men of Israel” — Jews)
    Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

    Acts 2:36
    Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.

    Acts 4:10
    let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.

  36. Kelly,
    I reposnded to the “anti-Semitic” comment. It has not shown up. Could you please see if it hit your “spam” folder. I would really like for it to be published to answer the accusation. Thank you.

  37. Kelly, I love your tips on homeschooling. Not all moms are built to do this, I think, but the ones who are naturally develop such clever methods! I love reading about them.

  38. Why should TWO different people that grew up in two different countries in abusive home schooling situations NOT make the obvious home school connection?

  39. Mrs. W.,

    Because the abuse had NOTHING to do with homeschooling; it had to do with sinfulness in the heart of your abusers. I can’t imagine that you would make that connection. Homeschooling doesn’t CAUSE abuse; people, sin and sickness does.

  40. Mrs W, are you saying that we all abuse our children? Are you saying that if you decide to home-school that it means you will automatically be abusive?

  41. No, I don’t believe all home schoolers abuse their children, but I believe that a lot more home schoolers than we like to admit abuse their children. I’ve known plenty, and most people would tell these kids to “shut up” if they complained about the abuse because they were in “a wonderful, godly, home school family.” These poor kids had nowhere to go, and the parents knew it, which is why they home schooled them instead of letting them go to school. It is easy to abuse when you will never be held accountable because people think you are great stuff.

    Home schooling DID have something to do with the abuse, because home schooling was PART of the abuse for some of us. Some parents use home schooling TO abuse, so it has EVERYTHING to do with it. The home school connection is blatantly obvious and it is sad to me that people refuse to see it because they want to remain in their ideology of perfection.

    So while I don’t think this is a problem in ALL home schooling families, I do believe it happens more often than we want to think about.

  42. Kelly,
    I really liked your example of how to correct ungrateful table behavior. When I was growing up, that attitude was allowed far more often than it should have been, so I notice that I tend to tolerate it before attempting to correct. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a less-affluent family with 5 boys and if anyone dared to complain, his plate could be readily handed off to the hungry guy seated next to him. They learned quickly that it was better to be full of a less-favored food than it was to have to wait several hours on an empty stomach.

    I’m not sure how this comment section became a debate about the legitimacy of “home schooling”. This seems to happen often when Kelly posts about a topic which might touch on the home education realm and I hope it’s okay to share my thoughts on this tendency.

    For many of us home educators, the academic issue is just an extension of our God-given duty to train our children. Keeping them with us is not an attempt at covering up some form of abuse because we take seriously the responsibility to care for the souls to which God has entrusted us.

    Mrs. W,
    I understand that you and your husband have had unpleasant “homeschooling” experiences. For you and your husband, the homeschool flag was waved as a cover for something that should never happen–particularly in a family which claims to be Christian. None of us has a right to dismiss your reality and I’m not sure that anyone here has tried to do so.

    I cannot imagine the pain you must have felt as a child, being mistreated by the people whom you should have been able to trust the most. It appalls me to see parents who unashamedly yell and cuss at their children in public and I cringe to think what their home life must be like. I’m not thinking it’s any easier for the little ones whose parents are sneaky and deceptive so that no one would suspect what horrors they must live through in private.

    What I think may be happening here is that you have a legitimate perspective and feel that it has gone ignored by those whose homeschool experience has been enjoyable. No one likes to feel as though her concerns are being casually brushed aside, so you again restate your thoughts on the issue.

    Other readers, in turn, perhaps feel as though you would be pleased if their right to homeschool would be taken from them–even though that is not what you have said. In response, perhaps many commenters jump to defend their choice/duty to train their own children at home–and it appears that they are trying to “shout down” any dissenting opinions?

    Is it possible that both sides are assuming motives which do not exist, thus causing disunity when there need be none?

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