Book Review: To Train Up a Child
by, Michael & Debi Pearl
This is a challenging book to review. I love the verse about training up a child in the way he should go so I naturally picked up this book based on my enjoyment of that verse and come to find out this book is very controversial and I definitely see why.
The Pearls write from a very truth without grace based style of writing. Very black and white and in some ways a little harsh and unforgiving. If you can put this reality aside and continue reading to find the nuggets of truth from God’s Word then you will read this book just find but for some it may be challenging to continue reading if you feel offended by the way they address some issues.
In my years of reading books God has used the Spirit to lead me when to just say no and set down a book (this was hard as once I started a book I always wanted to finish) but there is wisdom in saying this will do me mentally more harm than good and there are a million other books on my list so I should just move on. This may be one of those books for you. For me, I was able to move past their delivery and glean some nuggets from God’s truth and I did not feel the Spirit leading me to put this book down and have not had mental battles from the things I read like I have experienced in the past with other books.
So, take that for what it’s worth and here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from the book:
“If you raise your voice when giving a command to your child, he will learn to associate your tone and sound level with your intention. If you have trained him to respond to a bellow, don’t blame him if he ignores your first thirteen ‘suggestions’ while waiting for your fevered pitch to reach the point where he interprets it to be a real command.” p. 4
“Discipline is a part of training but is insufficient in itself to effect proper behavior. Training is the conditioning of the child’s mind before the crisis arises.” p. 4
“When God wanted to ‘train’ his first two children not to touch, He did not place the forbidden object out of their reach. Instead, He placed the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’ in the ‘midst of the garden (Gen 3:3).’ Since it was in the middle of the garden, they would be exposed to its temptation more often. God’s purpose was not to save the tree but rather, to train the couple.” p.5
“No amount of training is going to override the certainty of sin developing, but the training parents give can lessen the child’s addiction to the flesh and make it easier for repentance to follow sinful indulgence.” p. 19
“The strongest cord of discipline is not found in the whip; rather, it is the weaving together of the strings of mutual love, respect, honor, loyalty, admiration, and caring … If you will cultivate fellowship with your child, you will have such cooperation and compliance that you will forget where you last left the rod.” p. 32
“If they should have a weakness which needs instruction, wait until the pressure and condemnation is off before giving them a study that involves their weakness. If there are guilt feelings present, the lesson will only bring further condemnation and isolation that the rode cannot absolve. When the instruction about God is separate from your discipline, they are free to make an association without feeling watched and graded… Allow the Spirit of God to apply truths to your child’s consciousness.” p. 93
May God richly bless your time reading.