by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Jumping Ship Part 3
Editor’s note: And just like that we’re into Part 3 of Michael Pearl telling all those other parents how they failed to keep their homeschoolers home. This bit starts with one of those Pearl letters, but this one looks like it might not have been self-penned for a change. This part boils down to don’t be a hypocrite around your children and don’t make them miserable. More parent blaming.
“Dear Mr. Pearl,
I was one of those children who jumped ship, and I did so for all the reasons you listed. My parents were hypocrites and expected the same from my sister and me. Our family was the perfect Pharisee household, though we “prodigal daughters” tainted that appearance. We never missed a church service; we always helped in church ministry, always witnessed to our neighbors, and kept the Sabbath day holy (if you didn’t count the fighting or abuse that went on behind our closed doors). Believe me, we had everyone fooled. When my sister jumped ship, I went back and told one of my mother’s friends the truth of what our family was really like. She didn’t believe me—I’m telling you we hid the hypocrisy very well. We did not tell, mostly out of fear of more anger and abuse that would come if we let it be known. Pride kept us strong, not God.
I jumped ship for 2 reasons. The first was to escape home, and I figured I might as well give them something to condemn me for since they were going to condemn me regardless of what I did. Also, part of me longed to know the good Shepherd and to lie down in green pastures. I had to jump ship because I was DETERMINED NEVER to become a Pharisee like my parents—I had to flee. My sister had no choice but to do as I did. Our parents still say it was our choice and they had nothing to do with it!
They are so blinded by religion and are confident that they trained us right, but that, due to some fault in us, it did not work. Just this past week they were proclaiming that we will one day come around to their way of thinking.
I love living in the grace I have found in Christ! I love that my kids love me, that my husband and I love each other; I love that I am free to choose joy and hope every day.
I can attest to the fact that when children are not engaged as vital crew members on a glorious voyage, they do acquire a greater sin than “rebellion.” They become angry, bitter, resentful human beings who are beaten down, broken, and will lash out at all attempts to be loved. Like a runaway dog that was abused all the time, when you try to feed him, he will bite you because he was trained to expect evil.
Beka was right—it is all about love. You were right—it is all about joy. And where does that come from? It comes from knowing Jesus. I wish my parents could really know Him. God has used you to reach so many, for which I am grateful, and I look forward one day to know that my kids know Him also. –AB”
There it is! Children jump ship because parents make the voyage miserable. Facing that fact is the first step to recovery. When they are trained right, they walk right. And, you should know by now that training is much more than words and warnings, more than principles and precepts. When the example is wrong, the words can never be right, for our own attitude screams louder to them than do our carefully crafted religious words.
Parenting is the most accurate test of one’s true character. It reveals all the secrets and uncovers all that is hidden. Children reflect the soul of their parents; they manifest the heart that may have been formally concealed behind sophisticated screens and carefully crafted public perceptions. We parents can manipulate the public perceptions, leading others to believe we are something quite different from reality. But, it is our children who become windows to our true selves, often opening the windows wider than we want them to go. They find and expose the real you and tap into and follow that reality as their guide. They bypass our words and emulate our vital centers. If the mother has a “bad” day, all the children will have a bad day, and Dad will have a bad evening. Bad days make bad weeks and bad years, which eventually turn into bad lives.
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.