After reading an article by Debi Pearl, Titled "Mama's Excuses", my friend Linsey Grant, decided to write this as a response.
A Pearl Follower’s Excuses
“We are so happy to be at this play date with you. I hope it’s understood that while at my home you relinquish all discipline to me. What do you mean you’re not comfortable with that? Don’t you know the Pearl’s book has been using proof texting and twisted logic to sell thousands of copies for years now? No, they don’t take responsibility for all those deaths of the children who’s parents were using their specific recommendations. That’s absurd that you would think they should… those parents obviously didn’t read the book close enough.”
“Oh I know Johnny didn’t actually do anything wrong but this is a training exercise. You have to give children ample opportunity to fail so you can train them and let them know how inferior and stupid they are. What do you mean Paul tells us not to provoke our children in Ephesians? Well that doesn’t apply here. Why? Because it just doesn’t.”
“Come let me wipe your nose, Johnny. Oh yes, it’s normal for children to flinch when you raise your hand. No, it doesn’t mean he fears me. It means he respects my authority. The psychology of fear? No, I don’t believe in that. 75 years of research has nothing on the Pearls’ divine inspiration.
“Why yes, 4 mo old Hannah has been crying for half an hour. She doesn’t want to take her nap and she’s trying to manipulate me into going in there and picking her up. She will learn soon enough. What do you mean she sounds terrified in there? Young babies aren’t capable of feeling fear. Now, where did I put that switch?”
“Of course we use a switch on our children. If I use my hand to spank them they will grow up to fear me. Well I know he flinches away from me anyway, but he’s flinching from the switch, not from me. He only knows love from my hands. What do you mean that doesn’t make any sense? It makes perfect sense. Children are too stupid to know that it is a person using the switch.”
“How can you not believe in using a switch? The Bible clearly says ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child.’ What do you mean that is from a medieval poem and isn’t in the Bible? Of course it is. The Bible says whatever I want it to to make whatever point I’m trying to make right now. No, I’m not open to any logical interpretation of Scripture regarding the Proverbs. Solomon clearly commanded we beat our children and babies with sticks. Well of course the Proverbs are commandments. No, I am not taking one obscure verse out of context and ignoring the entire message of Scripture. My husband told me this is true and I believe whatever he tells me.
“Okay, you clearly aren’t understanding the the Proverbs are commandments. Well of course I have never slit my throat after eating too much. Only certain Proverbs are actual literal commandments, most of the others are figurative proverbial sayings. I KNOW WHICH ONES BECAUSE MY HUSBAND TOLD ME, aren’t you listening?!”
“Oh, don’t worry about Johnny’s hand. He’s not supposed to get the bandaging wet, but it will probably be okay. Of course I’ll tell you what happened. He was showing a little too much curiosity about the stove, so my husband gently touched his hand to the burner to teach him about ‘hot.’ Now, don’t get upset, I said ‘he gently touched.’ Okay, now you sound like the emergency room nurse. Don’t you think I know child abuse when I see it? It’s only abuse if you hate your children. When you burn them in love, that’s called training. At least he knows the difference between hot and cold now. No, we couldn’t have used something other than the absolute extreme to teach him. Children are stupid, remember?”
Goodness, Hannah is still crying. Has it been an hour already? Babies will just do anything to get what they want, won’t they?! Can you believe how early the selfish sin nature shows its ugly head? No, she doesn’t need anything. Babies only have physical needs and those have been met. No, she doesn’t have emotional needs, only adults have those, and the husband’s are the most important. I really can’t stress this enough. When daddy’s needs are met, then we can all be happy. We are happy, see?? Well, Hannah will get there. She’ll be more happy after I scourge the sin from her with this switch. Excuse me, please.”
Oh, I know I said children don’t have emotions, but what I meant was that cheerful and happy are the only acceptable emotions. There is no excuse for feeling sad or angry. Well, of course sometimes I feel this way, but that’s different. I don’t know why, it just is. My husband told me it was okay for me to feel bad sometimes, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of his needs. Don’t you know the Bible says that children are to be cheerful and obedient at all times? Showing anger is a gateway to becoming child molesters and rapists. That’s the way I was raised and I turned out just fine. Well, yes I know I have trouble relating to people and I have an intense fear of being vulnerable, but that has nothing to do with this.
Yes, I suppose it’s true that Johnny still acts up in spite of our training efforts. He is still a child, after all. The wonderful thing is, I am able to discern childish behavior from foolish behavior. That’s what’s important, really. The Bible says it is the parent’s job to judge the child’s heart and punish accordingly, so that’s what we do. No, I don’t have a reference for that, I’ll have to ask my husband. Well of course I realize how ridiculous I sound… I wouldn’t expect you to get it. We spank now so our children don’t end up in jail. Well, yes I know 99.99% of people in jail were spanked as children, but isn’t it obvious they weren’t spanked correctly? It is a fine line of spanking to produce child molesters and murderers, and to produce happy, productive members of society. Why do you look so incredulous? There you go, using facts and logic again… well that’s just not going to fly around here, Missy.
Anyway, I need you to go now. It is almost 3:00 and my husband will be home in 2 hours. I have to have the house perfect and supper made for when he gets home, lest he decide to find a proper wife elsewhere. I am so lucky to have a man that has put up with me for this long… he really is a saint. No, he’s not spending time with Rita from work anymore, that’s over. It’s completely understandable, though. After little Hannah was born I had a medical condition that prevented sexual relations for several months… a man has needs, after all! I’m just glad I prayed for his speedy return and God answered my prayers. The Lord is so faithful to those who pray patiently for their husbands. Well, goodbye now!