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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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Default Sin nature.

Okay. Had a friend ask me how we make the choice to parent gently while still holding onto the idea that babies are born sinful. I have my own ideas about this, but how do YOU explain the need to parent gently despite (or because of) the belief that we are born into sin? Is that along the lines of foolishness bound up in the heart? I never fully understood that part on aolff.

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sin nature.

God loved us , and was gentle with us , and sent his son to die for us while we were sinners.
No amount of physical and mental punishment would make us love Him. It's his KINDNESS that draws us to repentance , KNOWING that He loves us no matter what we do , THAT makes us love him.

Likewise , I intend to draw my children to Christ the same gentle , loving , kind way.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Well, even if you (general) believe in sin nature in small children, you can still discipline gently It is not as if we are not discipline/teaching/leading at all-just differently than "they" think discipline looks like. Gentle discipline does not=no discipline.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Jesus died for ALL of our sins. Not just grown ups, children too. It's not my job to beat the sin out of my child, I can't absolve anyone of their sins. It's my job to direct them toward Jesus, to teach them how to treat others, and to treat them kindly and lovingly while still gracefully correcting them when needed. I can help them identify what needs to change, show them a better way, and pray with them but I can't make those changes for them. I can't control anyone which is what it seems like people are trying to do when they spank for sinning.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sin nature.



My dad uses the "sin nature" phrase about my babies and it drives me up the wall.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sin nature.

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Originally Posted by Barefoot Bookworm View Post
Jesus died for ALL of our sins. Not just grown ups, children too. It's not my job to beat the sin out of my child, I can't absolve anyone of their sins. It's my job to direct them toward Jesus, to teach them how to treat others, and to treat them kindly and lovingly while still gracefully correcting them when needed. I can help them identify what needs to change, show them a better way, and pray with them but I can't make those changes for them. I can't control anyone which is what it seems like people are trying to do when they spank for sinning.
Exactly, especially the bolded. I can not control my child's actions. It doesn't matter if I label them sin or not.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calee
Well, even if you (general) believe in sin nature in small children, you can still discipline gently It is not as if we are not discipline/teaching/leading at all-just differently than "they" think discipline looks like. Gentle discipline does not=no discipline.
I totally agree with you .

But lots of people see pain as an essential part of the discipline process, either for pragmatic reasons ("they won't listen if it doesn't hurt to not listen"), or for spiritual reasons (pain is somehow necessary because of sin - to pay for our sin, to be made aware of sin, due to sin it takes pain for us to listen (the last of which is basically the spiritual reason for the aforementioned pragmatic view)).

Showing how GBD is just as effective at teaching and guiding children - that it is a *different* way of disciplining, not *not* disciplining - will answer pragmatic objections. But it does not, in itself, answer the spiritual objections. Because there are lots of "successful by their outward forms" approaches to life that are Biblically wrong. And people who believe that punishment has spiritual benefit aren't going to abandon it just because a non-punishing approach can achieve the same *outward* goals - they need to see why punishment doesn't do what they think it does, that it is *not* of *any* spiritual benefit.

This was hard for me to wrap my brain around for a while (as most defenses of GBD I saw were from the perspective that children are not capable of making a conscious choice to sin, and so there was no reason to need to "make them aware of their sin" in the first place, and I am more on the total depravity side of the coin), but I realized that, whatever our view of how one's sin nature affects us and our children, we as parents still can't do even a smidgeon to fix or ameliorate the effects of sin on our children's hearts. Any which way you look at it, that's God's role, not ours. We humans can't change the heart. And any parenting approach that requires it is doomed to failure.

Which is basically my answer to the question. I can't parent the sin out of my child, and I can't parent them into salvation. It is all God - making them aware of their sin, removing sin and sin guilt and saving them - and us .

I can't do a smidgeon to "deal with the heart". And *God* is responsible for punishing sin, not me. The things people use pain to accomplish, spiritually speaking, are not up to us to accomplish at all , but God alone. And *God* uses His glorious Gospel to accomplish it , which is the very opposite of punishment . God does use punishment sometimes - but to *kill*, not to bring to life .
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forty-two View Post
(as most defenses of GBD I saw were from the perspective that children are not capable of making a conscious choice to sin, and so there was no reason to need to "make them aware of their sin" in the first place, and I am more on the total depravity side of the coin), but I realized that, whatever our view of how one's sin nature affects us and our children, we as parents still can't do even a smidgeon to fix or ameliorate the effects of sin on our children's hearts. Any which way you look at it, that's God's role, not ours. We humans can't change the heart. And any parenting approach that requires it is doomed to failure.

Which is basically my answer to the question. I can't parent the sin out of my child, and I can't parent them into salvation. It is all God - making them aware of their sin, removing sin and sin guilt and saving them - and us .
This, totally.

Someone who parents punitively may *feel* like his/her discipline is getting results because of the immediate nature or pain, i.e., the kid cries, feels bad, shows remorse (because of the punishment), etc. But I've also seen, many times, children who just want to get their spanking "over with" so they can get back to playing or whatever. To them, it did nothing for the heart issue. But the mother still gave it because she thought it was Biblical and commanded, and the way a Godly mother parents.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Thank you, 42. I appreciate you approaching it from that perspective. Nothing I say will change minds on theology.

My feeling is (from that perspective) - how can we accurately judge their hearts when our eyes are clouded with our own sin nature? Children are not responsible for their sin as toddlers, why do people set out to judge their hearts so early (0-5 years) and then punish them for their sins?

I just see total-depravity as something that is COMPLETELY unhelpful in a parenting perspective. It's like other hard doctrine points (mostly regarding Calvinism, b/c well... PCA) - they aren't practical or understandable in many ways when it comes down to the observable ways in which children (people) learn, trust, and grow.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhama View Post
Thank you, 42. I appreciate you approaching it from that perspective. Nothing I say will change minds on theology.

My feeling is (from that perspective) - how can we accurately judge their hearts when our eyes are clouded with our own sin nature? Children are not responsible for their sin as toddlers, why do people set out to judge their hearts so early (0-5 years) and then punish them for their sins?

I just see total-depravity as something that is COMPLETELY unhelpful in a parenting perspective. It's like other hard doctrine points (mostly regarding Calvinism, b/c well... PCA) - they aren't practical or understandable in many ways when it comes down to the observable ways in which children (people) learn, trust, and grow.
Actually, theologically the way I parent stems from my belief in things like total depravity and election.

It makes total sense, and really I think is a good representation of grace.

My kids are totally depraved people. nothing I do or don't do is going to change their "being dead in their trespasses and sins" as Ephesians words is. Any more than anything *I* do is going to change *my* condition. It is all Christ. All of it. Which means I can do a terrible cruddy job, and if God had got them, they are sealed beyond my own attempts to either steal or destroy.

So I look into scripture and read about how we are to treat others, and treat my kids accordingly. When the burden of perfecting them is gone, I can trust completely that he will be faithful to my kids.

I also believe that God will honor the covenant that we have made to him, and be faithful to save my kids. Now I don't think there is a guarantee or anything like that, but I'm trusting that God will save them.

Honestly, I can see that grace in my own FOO, two toxic people raised their kids in an abusive paradigm, BUT they also relied on Christ, loved God, and tried to live according to his word. They don't see it, but God has shown an intense amount of grace to me and my siblings despite everything they did "wrong". I God can do that for us, what will he do with my kids?

*the previous post was my attempt to explain complicated doctrine stuff on less than 3 hours of sleep and no caffeine. It may or may not sortof communicate what I was trying to say.*
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sin nature.

I like that, TLW. I feel that is a MUCH better perspective on it. How I see TD worked out a lot in some parenting circles is the assigning of negative intent and feeling commanded to drive out that sin with punishment (physical or not). That's why I say I don't find that simple form a helpful doctrine in parenting.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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Default

Ok so with logic of sin being a reason to strike a child then does she believe that when she sins she should be struck? If striking a person is the only effective form of discipline, then adults should be struck as well. If adults don't need to be hit to change their behavior, then why do they assume children need it? Honestly, its because people under estimate the capabilities of children. They believe they are not capable of learning, therefore they must be "trained" in the same manner we train animals, though we now realize that pain is ineffective in training animals, so I guess they assume children are less intelligent than animals. To me, the only logical reason that a person would believe that spanking is necessary is if they feel that children are incapable of learning. If you believe that children are intelligent people capable of learning and independent thought, then spanking becomes unnecessary because you treat them as you would any person who has done wrong.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhama View Post
I like that, TLW. I feel that is a MUCH better perspective on it. How I see TD worked out a lot in some parenting circles is the assigning of negative intent and feeling commanded to drive out that sin with punishment (physical or not). That's why I say I don't find that simple form a helpful doctrine in parenting.
It is so so odd to me how many Calvanists swing into a works based doctrine. It leaves me

Must be the perseverance of the saints bit.. But even that has way more to do with grace than what we accomplish.

But then I see it everywhere, because in our church, which isn't Calvinistic the idea is that you have to punish them while they are young so they will be more likely to choose when they are older. I think it's a human thing to want to force your kid into salvation.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sin nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenderLovingWillow View Post
It is so so odd to me how many Calvanists swing into a works based doctrine. It leaves me
MEEEEEEE TOO!

For me, beginning this journey, it was because I hadn't examined the connection between theology and parenting. Also there's a lot of "God punishes us" talk around us.

And YOU extrapolate from the "my baby is sinful" idea into what it means about God's nature. I'm talking about the simple "everyone is born essentially evil" idea which TD is often distilled down to - I'd not heard of TD until college but heard that phrase around 7 years old.




Why you guys gotta assume this is a "she"?
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sin nature.

"The Bible gives me lots of information about how I should be treating the sinners around me. I don't read anywhere that its important for me to be anything other than gentle towards them just because of that!"
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A variety of opinions and ideas are shared on GCM. Personal experiences, suggestions, and tips found here are in no way intended to substitute for medical counsel from a healthcare professional. Always use your own good judgement and seek professional advice when in doubt about a health concern.

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