by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Jumping Ship
Editor’s note: Now Michael seems to think that fun, joy and laughter are some sort of bizarre tools of the devil instead of normal human experiences. “True” joy is allowed, but he doesn’t explain what makes “true” joy so different than regular joy. Same song, different day.
This long series is from 2005 and we’re still on only the first point. Will be posting all of the five different articles he wrote on ‘Jumping Ship’ but will take a several days break between each article. Too much Michael Pearl at the same time can be toxic to your appetite and incompatible with joy.
A “good” life without any passion is not worth repeating. Love is always passionate. So is joy and peace. Longsuffering is passionate in its quiet reserve, taking into consideration the needs and feelings of others. Gentleness and goodness are virtues that point to God like a big red arrow. Faith is as lovely as a cherub’s wings. Meekness never allows others to feel inferior, and temperance is the ultimate demonstration of the power of God in one’s life. The fruit of the Spirit is attractive indeed. Teenagers are attracted to attractive people. If their parents are unattractive, they will fix their admiring gaze on someone who is attractive. A lighthearted spirit of joy and praise is attractive to everyone. Religious convictions worn only on the shirtsleeves are about as attractive as a man sneezing in your face.
The problem is that teenagers are not wise in discerning the difference between true joy and cheap laughter. But, they can easily discern when their parents don’t have any joy at all. And then, they come across a person of the world who is lighthearted and full of fun. What do you expect them to do? They don’t see the cynicism and rebellion behind the feigned joy. They just know that, for the first time in their lives, they have found a context for their passion. When they are with those kinds of people, they feel alive. They suddenly have hope that life is not always going to be dull and boring.
They find unconditional acceptance with the people of darkness, and since they have never really experienced God’s love, they think this is the love they have always missed. They will walk away from their miserable parents and right into the Devil’s den without any doubt that they have finally found true meaning in life. They are indeed fools, but their parents were foolishly naïve enough to believe that their teenagers would be content to accept the middle-of-the-road, principled but passionless religion that never brought a shred of joy.
Parents’ ability to communicate their worldview to their children is mostly bound up in their personal relationship to each other. If Mother and Father have a romance that is visible, a joy that is uncontained, and a passion that is enviable, their children will want to travel the same road in hopes of reaping the same fruit in their own lives.
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