Just Released: An Exciting New Book for Parents Who Care!*
*See excerpts, below
Jesus Has A Better Way!
Because Your Child Deserves the Best
Give your child that "house built on a rock" of which Jesus taught. Learn how to build the foundation for strong family relationships, genuine faith, self-confidence and compassion, nonviolent problem-solving, and respect for others--even those who are different than ourselves.
Order this scripture-packed book, perfect for Bible study classes and family education workshops, through www.amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble bookstores or at www.barnesandnoble.com. You can also buy it at Family Christian, Lifeway, and other Christian bookstores.
Jesus on Parenting, for You or Someone You Love
You may be a new or expectant parent, just beginning the journey and wanting to give your child the best possible start. Or your child may be doing well, as far as anyone can see, and you want to help him or her become attuned to God and learn to avoid the dangers of the world. Or maybe your child is having problems at home, at school, or with friends, and you long to help him or her to feel closer to you, develop an enduring faith in God, and feel hopeful about the future.
Or you may know of someone who could use some help right now. Perhaps their infant has colic, their toddler has special needs, their school-aged child is smart but painfully shy, their teen is hostile or has gotten into trouble, or their adult child is always irritable or distant. Whatever their situation, they will be blessed with encouragement, guidance and support that's based not on human tradition, but on the teachings of Jesus.
We invite you to order Jesus on Parenting: 10 Essential Principles that Will Transform Your Family for yourself, your friends and family members, your church library, and as Christmas gifts this year. Our mission is to share with parents all over the world this simple message:
Jesus has a better way!
* Excerpts from Jesus on Parenting: 10 Essential Principles that Will Transform Your Family (Baker Publishing Group, 9/2004) by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst:
Help for parents who want to raise their child according to Jesus' teachings, but have been told to obey their pastor's or neighbor's advice instead, less they "spoil" the child:
“Parents who want to raise their child as Jesus would must ask the hard questions and refuse to accept pat answers, because experts are naturally focused on helping us get some sleep or stop worrying or solve whatever problem we're having right now in the short-term. The experts won't have to live with the long-term results of their advice; WE will!
“And most important, our child will. Over time, as children continue to cry out with no response from their parents, they lose their ability to trust. They abandon all hope that adults will care about and respond to their needs of reassurance and comforting or even for food and drink.
“I remember a landlord's daughter who brought her baby to the rental office, which was next to our apartment. Hour after hour day after day, the infant cried. I played with him whenever I could and appealed to the young mother to respond to his vigorous cries. But she could not be moved; she'd read in a book, "If you don't let them cry it out, they'll be spoiled."
‘Over the coming months, the baby became increasingly docile, quiet, and listless. By the time we moved, he was no longer tracking objects with his eyes, playing with his fingers, or even bothering to look up when someone entered the room. He'd certainly cried it out.
“What's the point of crying for help or looking to adults for comfort if that help and comfort are never given?
‘Children raised by such parents will view God as likewise unresponsive to their distress, a judge or a boss to whom they would never come when confused or weary.”
Help for parents who honor Jesus' teachings about nonviolence, but don't want their child to be a victim of bullies or other hostile people:
“Teaching our children to "turn the other cheek" doesn't mean they can't address the problem they're having with another person. The lessons of Matthew 5 help them understand the problem as a symptom of their opponent's sinful spirit. This is powerful, because it allows children to walk away from conflict, realizing that the hostile person is troubled or, as Jesus said, evil--currently under the control of evil thoughts.
“Fighting should be reserved for genuine self-defense in the face of imminent attack, when no other help is available. Pre-emptive strikes and aggression disguised as self-defense won't pass muster under the golden rule. Fighting to settle a score or make a point will only bring on more conflict, more violence, and more spiritual and physical danger.”
Help for parents who fear being called permissive, but realize that treating a child harshly instills hostility or even violence later in life:
“We often hear complaints about today's permissive parents. But experts on violence see a far more ominous type of permissiveness, the kind that parents and even educators in some states practice, leading to forms of discipline that breed rage in children and are antithetical to the golden rule.
“Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Beck writes: Our knowledge of the aberrations of power-driven leaders and their naive followers needs to be expanded...corrective programs need to be directed at the kind of beliefs that justify violence: egocentrism and group egoism; punishment and retribution; diffusion of responsibility; permissive attitudes toward violence (emphasis added, Prisoners of Hate, 1999, p. 287).
“And where do we get this permissiveness toward the use of physical violence as a means to get people to do as we wish? Certainly a great deal of it trickles down as habit from generation to generation, but we mustn't overlook the role of the media...How would Jesus protect children from the hypnotically repeated message, on the small screen as well as the silver screen: "Do to others as you please, as long as you're bigger, stronger, or have more ammo"?”
Help for parents who feel guilty about their past mistakes or puzzled by a child's silence or hostility:
“How can you share your faith in God with your child and others, whether by word or deed, if you're beating yourself up for the inevitable mistakes you'll make as a parent? Jesus taught that God seeks humble requests for forgiveness, not counterproductive and hurtful self-flagellation...When you sense that something is amiss in your relationship with your child, say a prayer for strength and guidance, then arrange a one-on-one talk in a pleasant, relaxed setting. Make it clear that you really want to know what your child is feeling and what you may have done that caused anger, hurt or discouragement.
“Then say another silent prayer, and buckle your seat belt! You must be prepared to hear things that will make you want to argue. Resist that urge. Listen instead. Try to really hear and understand what he or she is saying. If you feel sad or regretful after hearing what your child tells you, say so. Children need to know that they have an impact on us; otherwise, we seem distant and impervious, and thus they feel unimportant to us.”
Help for parents who feel depressed, anxious or tearful:
“If it's something you can't help--such as being depressed after a divorce or a financial problem--let your child know that this situation won't go on forever and that you'll try your best to recover emotionally and be there for him or her again.
It's really unfair when experts lambaste parents who are reeling from adversity for not being optimistic and upbeat around the children. Kids see right through fake cheerfulness, so it doesn't work anyway. The pressure not to let the children see the parent's feelings just makes the parent more anxious and self-critical. This doesn't help the child one bit...A wiser alternative is to shield your child as much as you can and let him or her know that things won't always be this difficult.
Give your child hope, not deception. Hope for a better future helps children (and adults) get through painful times. And hope was Jesus' specialty: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matt 5:4 NIV).”
Let's Raise Our Children as Jesus Would, Not as the Neighbors Would