A Recommended Book on Child Training

March 17, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The book “Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry Is Doing to People” by Tana Dineen is a powerful warning of the negative effect of psychology on modern society. She warns,

“The Psychology Industry casts a long shadow over life in North America. And the shadow is threatening to shroud the Western world. ... The Psychology Industry is not concerned about, and would prefer to overlook, the damage it wreaks not only on users but also on society as a whole. ... What is overlooked entirely is the larger social effect of the industry, how the Psychology Industry is manipulating everyone to accept its mythology and how it is using its persuasion to enforce conformity” (pp. 269, 270).

Dr. Dineen, who was a licensed clinical psychologist for two decades in Ontario and British Columbia before turning her attention full-time to research and writing, documents how that psychology has become a big business that has created a victim mentality, turning healthy people into victims that need the psychological product to survive.

The book is valuable in understanding modern Western society, which has become not only psychologized, but also feminized, Lennonized, mysticized, environmentalized, rationalized, lawyerized, and socialismized, among other things. All of this is the result of turning away from the truth of God’s Word and rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dear parents, the most important habit you will ever teach your children is the habit of going to the Word of God day and night. You will notice that I used the word ‘habit.’ That is on purpose. This matter of going to the Word of God is something that must be developed as a habit. Habits are developed through repetitive actions, but for children to develop the habit of going to the Bible each day, you, the parents, must take steps to insert this practice into their lives. You cannot just tell them to do it and expect them to follow through. You must set up a program, a schedule, and incentives to help motivate them to be in the Book. ...

Over the years, I have had people say, ‘Well, I think we should read the Bible because we want to, not because we have to.’ Between the world, the flesh, and the devil, there will be many more days that we do not feel like getting into the Word than days in which we want to. Anytime we do what we do simply because we feel like it or want to, we are living a very shallow life spiritually. However, we should read God’s Word because we ought to, because it is right, and because it is God’s will. How we feel about it on a given day is irrelevant. ...

We also need to instill that attitude and philosophy into our children. ...

When we started our girls into their daily Bible reading plan we placed a book mark at 1 John. When they first began, we set a goal for them to read one verse in the morning and then one verse in the evening. Initially, we did the reading with them and helped them with it. ... As they progressed in their reading, we increased the goal to three verses a day in their first grade year. ... In about third or fourth grade, they began to read a chapter a day. When they became sixth-graders they were to read two chapters a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. When they reached junior high school, they went to reading four chapters a day. This basically will take anyone through the Bible in a year. That regimen continued throughout their high school years. ...

The burden of seeing this habit developed in our children falls directly upon us, the parents. As parents, we must check on the matter regularly (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 15-19).

FUN VS. DISCIPLINE

The old nature lives for entertainment of self. It looks for things that are fun. ... The problem is that God did not create us primarily to have fun. He created us to serve Him. That means work. He created us to glorify Him. That means being oriented to please Him rather than ourselves. He created us to do what is right. That means placing doing what I ought above doing what I want. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am not preaching against fun. Fun in and of itself is not intrinsically evil, but we have a culture and a generation surrounding us today that has essentially made fun their goal in life. ...

Discipline in general and self-discipline in particular force us to do what we ought to do whether it is fun or not. ....

Beware of the fun philosophy that seems to prevail in our culture. It is anti-spiritual and anti-Christian in character. ... Fun is a natural desire of the flesh. Never let it prevail as a matter of course and habit (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 42, 43, 45).

PARENTS, DEMAND OBEDIENCE

Let me suggest to you three major, absolute, axiomatic rules for your family. Do not tolerate any deviation from these basic rules. Each is based in biblical precept and each goes to the very heart of doing right. The first is that we always obey. Few things in family life are more fundamental than teaching children to obey. We positively, absolutely always expected our children to obey when they were given clear instructions (Ephesians 6:1). ...

If children are consistently disobedient, it means that the parents, at some point, have not trained them to be obedient. ... We positively demanded that our children obey us. If they did not obey, there were immediate and consistent consequences. Every time. Every single time! Obedience is critically important. Not only is obedience important to maintain order in a child’s life, but it also has a profound spiritual implication. ... when children become accustomed to disobeying their parents and getting away with it, they are likely to adopt the same attitude toward doing God’s will. ...

Parents, you will do your children a great spiritual favor by insisting on obedience. You are establishing a precedent in their lives for them to obey God as they mature and become independent. ...

Insisting on obedience is a basic way of training a child to subordinate his or her old nature to standards of right. ... In our home, when one of the children was directly and overtly disobedient, it was dealt with immediately. There were no ifs, ands, or buts. ... There was no debate. ... If one of the children was punished for having been disobedient, we always made very sure that she understood her punishment was became she disobeyed (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 62-64).

SASSING NOT ALLOWED

[Another] basic rule in our house was that disrespect, defiance, sassing, or any other form of overt rebellion toward us as parents absolutely was not tolerated. Nothing would bring judgment more swiftly than for me to hear our children sassing their mother. They were taught ahead of time that defiance or disrespect was not allowed, period! ... 1 Samuel 15:23 says, ‘For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...’ It is Satanic in its origins. And rebellion begins with a smart mouth. ... Children are born with a rebellious, sassy spirit, and the sooner it is nipped in the bud the better. ...

One of our children would, at times, fight the spanking. She was informed that if she fought and resisted, whatever the original punishment was, it would be doubled. Now, that may seem harsh. However, it did not take too long for it to soak in that rebellion, even during punishment, would not be allowed. ...

As a result of dealing with it as soon as it raised its ugly head, it had pretty well been purged by the time the girls were of school age. ...

Do not believe the foolishness that if you deal directly with rebellion, you will only cause a child to be more rebellious. Rebellion and defiance will grow like an ugly, malignant cancer. The earlier it is dealt with, the better. ...

One might think that our home was a rigid, authoritarian, Spartan environment. To the contrary, it was a warm, fun, loving place; and one of the things that made it such a sweet place was that there was so little conflict (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 66-68).

A LITTLE GIRL WHO TESTED HER PARENTS’ DISCIPLINE

Our children need to learn that every single time they violate a household rule, there will be a predictable and unpleasant experience. Children seem to think that if they whittle away at their parents long enough, the parents will wear down and then give in. Consistently enforce your rules.

When one of our girls was small, she decided one evening that she did not want to stay in her bed. She had been put to bed, but she decided she wanted to get up. She climbed out of her bed and came out into the living room. She was lectured about the fact that it was her bed time and that if she got out of bed again she would be spanked. She was placed back in her bed. A few minutes later, she came out again. As promised, she was paddled and placed back into her bed. ... A few minutes later, she came out again. She again was paddled and placed back into her bed amidst rather rebellious crying. She was throwing a tantrum. After a while she proceeded to get out of bed and come out again into the living room. As far as we could tell, there was no legitimate reason for her to get up. She just did not want to stay in bed. Again she was spanked. This went on for about a half an hour, but she finally got the message; if she openly defied Mom and Dad, she would be spanked. It was consistent. It happened every single time. ...

That night a major battle was won. Her rebellious little will was broken. She had tried her hardest to challenge parental authority, and she had lost. ...

Did we as parents enjoy spanking our little girl? We hated every moment of it. She was our pride and joy. Nothing would have pleased us more than for her to cuddle up to us out in the living room, but we knew how she needed to have discipline developed in her life (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 71, 72).

PARENTS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR CHILDREN’S DELINQUENCY BY INEFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE

As a pastor, I have visited in thousands of homes. I have witnessed the following scenario played out numerous times. ...

Mom (or, sometimes Dad) would say to Junior. ‘It’s time to go to bed.’ (Or some other parental directive.) Junior ignored his mother and continued to watch TV. ... After a few moments, she would say, ‘Junior, I told you to go and get ready for bed.’ He replied, ‘Awe, I don’t want to.’ Mom let that go by. A few moments later, Mom became a little hot about the matter. She raised the volume of her voice and said, ‘I TOLD YOU TO GET READY FOR BED.’ Junior replied, ‘But Mom, I want to watch my program.’ Mom tolerated that counter for a few more moments. She then announced, ‘THIS IS THE LAST TIME I AM GOING TO TELL YOU. GO AND GET READY FOR BED!’ Junior, by now himself getting exasperated at being shouted at, shouts back, ‘I TOLD YOU, I DON’T WANT TO!’ Finally, Mom shouts, ‘I’M WARNING YOU. MARCH RIGHT NOW, OR I AM GOING TO WHIP YOU.’

Variations of that scene go on by the thousands every single day in America. The real culprit was not Junior. He knew from considerable experience that Mom could be ignored. Mom was too lazy to get up and deal with the situation. She, in fact, was in her own way contributing to the delinquency of Junior. ...

One might say, ‘If I handled the situation described above as recommended, there would be a pitched battle.’ Well, you had better get on with the battle and win the war while it can still be won. The day is coming when you will not be able to win the battle or the war (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 69, 70).

DISCIPLINE OR DISORDERS?

I make no pretense of being a psychologist. However, I am convinced that much of what is diagnosed by modern child psychologists is just a figment of their professional imagination. It seems that decade by decade and almost year by year new ‘psychological’ disorders are ‘discovered’ in children. ...

I am convinced that some of these ‘disorders’ are things that psychologists have invented to describe children who are just lacking in self-discipline. ...

My wife, particularly, has worked with children for over 27 years and in my estimation is a master in working with them. ...

In later years as the nature of our ministry changed, Pam has continued to work with children. Though the group size she has worked with in more recent years is smaller, parents still come to her and tell her that ‘Johnny’ is hyperactive, or ‘Susie’ has an attention deficit disorder, or little ‘Billy’ is learning disabled. Our experience usually has been that these children have had very little encouragement in self-discipline. ...

I have watched Pam work with children who are ‘hyperactive.’ The psychologist’s solution to the problem was to prescribe behavior modification drugs to essentially sedate the children. Their parents would come to Pam and warn her that little Susie had this disorder and that they could not do anything with her. ...

Pam would work with these children in junior church or in some other children’s program and would let little Susie know in no uncertain terms that her word was law, and that she was going to obey, period. There was kindness, a positive incentive to cooperate, and a fun atmosphere about the program, but above all she demanded and taught behavioral discipline. And she got it. I have watched many of these children over the years. Even though they were a terror at home and diagnosed as hyperactive at school, they would sit up straight, pay attention, behave, and learn the lesson or story in junior church. ... Pam teaches discipline and she demands it. Yet the children love her. And the Sunday School bus kids, who for the most part come of their own volition, come back week after week (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 38, 39).

BEWARE OF AMUSING CHILDREN WITH TV/VIDEOS

I am convinced that discipline of the mind itself is a major key to learning. ... Parents are guilty on two scores here. First, many a parent errs by encouraging shallow habits of entertainment. Children are allowed and even encouraged to sit and watch TV entertainment. Let us assume that what they watch is not spiritually and morally harmful (though often it is). Yet, they are allowed to essentially place their minds in neutral. They are tacitly encouraged to just sit there and be entertained. The word ‘amuse’ is made up of the basic word ‘muse’ which means to think and the alpha prefix ‘a’ which means to negate or ‘not.’ Therefore, to amuse one’s self essentially means too not think. And that is exactly what an entire generation of American children is doing. Whether it is cartoons, or videos, or other video entertainment, many children are tacitly encouraged to seek to be amused. Children are conditioned to be mentally lazy and pursue only what entertains their little minds. When it comes to buckling down and actually concentrating, they just shift gears mentally back into neutral and seek something to entertain themselves again. Secondly, parents are guilty of not taking the initiative and [training the children] themselves, sitting them down and training their minds to concentrate on things which may not be interesting to them but are things which they ought to learn (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 53, 54).

SEPARATION AND CHILD TRAINING

The closer the Christian family gets to the world, the greater the chances are of the world getting your children. You are playing with fire, and the worst losers will be your children. You see, the world is the devil’s system. It may be defined as the society and culture of the ungodly. ... Many Christian parents may claim to distance themselves from the world, but they still like to flirt with the things that are in the world. The things in the world are the bait that Satan uses to catch your children. Beware! ...

For years, I dutifully accepted the principle of separation in a perfunctory fashion. I knew the Bible taught we were supposed to be holy. Growing up in a fundamental Baptist pastor’s home, I knew all of the standard ‘can’t do this and can’t do that’s, ‘cuz they’re worldly.’ However, little by little the Lord opened my eyes to the practicality and love of God in the principle of separation. When I became a parent, I became aware of a whole new spectrum--how practical the principle of separation was in rearing my children. ...

In Deuteronomy 5:29 Jehovah God spoke directly through Moses to Israel. ‘O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!’ I began to understand that the principles and commandments in God’s Word for His people were not just arbitrary ‘Thou shalt nots.’ They were for our good and particularly the good of our children (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 91, 94).

PSALM 1 AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I know of no greater passage of Scripture dealing with the matter of Christian education than Psalm 1. There probably is no institution in this country that more embodies the counsel of the ungodly, the way of sinners, and the seat of the scornful than the national public education establishment. With its systemic teaching of evolution which mocks creation, it certainly occupies the seat of the scornful. With its institutionalized sex education (that is little more than sex encouragement), it certainly is in the way of sinners. As it tacitly ignores the things of God under the guise of separation of church and state, it certainly is the counsel of the ungodly. The outcome of Psalm 1:1 is to get our families out of the world and to get the world out of our families (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 92, 93).

WORLDLY MUSIC HAS THE POWER TO CORRUPT

Multitudes of Christian young people have been enticed into the world simply through listening to the world’s music. It is attractive to the ear. It can be fun to listen to. It is habit forming, and it absolutely will influence spirituality. You show me the music you allow in your home and I will tell you how your children will turn out spirituality. It is that critical.

Perhaps you have noticed that thus far I have basically avoided using specific terms such as rock ‘n roll, or country western, or the blues, etc. ... Here is why. People will be critical of, for example, rock ‘n roll, but they will listen to country western. Sometimes they will be critical of both, but listen to the big bands of the 40’s and 50’s. Perhaps they will listen to the pop music of the 50’s and early 60’s.

What they fail to understand is the greater principle. It all is the music of the world. ... the music of the 40’s and the big bands is just as much of the world. God’s people back then preached against it. For example, Glen Miller’s notable song ‘In the Mood,’ was suggestive of being in the mood for you know what. That is not as explicit as some of the more recent filth, but it is still in the same category. ... So many Christian parents get into the silly game of categorizing some of the world’s music as not as bad as such and such. They use euphemisms such as ‘light’ rock or ‘golden oldies.’ It is still the music of the world. It is going to be virtually impossible to forbid your children to listen to the world’s music of
their day when you as parents continue to listen to the world’s music of your day. The world’s music will hook your children into the world just as surely as drugs or booze.

You will recall the stories listed earlier in this chapter and elsewhere in this book of young people who slid into the world. Do you now the common denominator in virtually every one of those situations? They were into the world’s music. ... I know of few things that will slip a Christian into the old nature more quickly than the world’s music. ...You show me Christian young people who, despite determined efforts by their parents to the contrary, wind up in the world. If I were a betting man, I would lay money on the fact that those teenagers had been into the world’s music for a long time.

I recall counseling with a fine man in the church. He was heart broken over the rebellion and deep sin his teenager was getting into. Then he admitted he had given in and allowed that teenager to listen to rock music hoping maybe he would cooperate on other things. That probably was the worst thing he could have done. That young person proceeded to go about as deep into the world as can be imagined. ...

I love my parents dearly, and I believe that they instilled into me a godly heritage. (Though at the time, I did not appreciate it.) However, if they made one mistake in my upbringing, it was that they allowed me to have a radio in my room. A radio is a piece of electronic equipment which is not intrinsically evil, but it was through that radio at my bedside that I became acquainted with the world’s music. I developed a desire for it, and it profoundly influenced me for the worse in my teenage years. That radio introduced me to the world. I would sit in my room or lie on my bed and listen to the top forty day after day and hour after hour. That, perhaps more than anything else, drew me into the world before I was saved. ...

Just remember these simple paraphrases, ‘Come out from among them and be ye separate and listen not to the unclean thing.’ Or, ‘Love not the world, neither the music that is in the world.’ Or, ‘Blessed is the man who listens not to the counsel of the ungodly musician’ (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 101-104).

THE PRACTICE OF LOVE

Another concept endemic to godliness is the matter of love. ... The New Testament fairly overflows with references to God’s people being people of love. Curiously, the Bible has little to say about parents loving their children. I believe the reason for this is that God has created within us a natural instinct to love our children. ... Nevertheless, it is important that our homes be an aquarium of love. In all your teaching, discipling, and admonishing of your children, always season it liberally with love.

See that your children have no doubt whatsoever that you love them. Tell them you love them. Show physical affection in an appropriate fashion such as hugs and discreet kisses. Always be there when they need you. Never be too busy for their school functions or programs. Love them even more than you love yourself.

Not only is it right to love your children, it will enable you to most effectively teach and train them. When they unquestionably know you love them, they know that you have their best interests at heart (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, p. 136).

CONSISTENT CHRISTIAN LIVING IS THE KEY

Twenty years ago, I had the privilege of working with the youth of the church. Later, I worked with the young couples. At the same time, my wife and I worked together in the large children’s church program. Then we started a Christian school. Again, I worked with families and their children.

It was a unique experience. I came to know the younger children in the children’s church. I also knew the teenagers, having been the youth pastor for several years. In working with the young couples of the church, I got to know the parents of many of these same young people.

Spirituality and character in the children and teenagers closely paralleled the degree of spiritual maturity and character evident in their parents. I came to learn that when the Bible spoke about reaping what we sow in Galatians 6, it likely had an application to our offspring. ... How we as parents live spiritually will profoundly affect our children. ...

Children and teenagers are very perceptive of inconsistency and hypocrisy. Perhaps, because they are required to be under authority, they subconsciously scrutinize those over them. ... Mom and Dad, we do reap what we sow, and the harvest often comes through the children. ... The sowing to the flesh [brings] a harvest of corruption, and children tend to gravitate to the lowest common denominator spiritually in their home (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp. 137, 138, 146, 147).

MAKE SURE THEY ARE SAVED

I believe one problem in many Christian homes is that the children have made professions of faith, but have never actually been born again. ... A child who has a divinely created new nature within his or her heart will be spiritually sympathetic to being trained in righteousness. ... Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we carefully instruct and couch our children about salvation. ...

[I have known of many young people who] professed to be saved in their childhood; but in reality, they were never born again. They went through the motions and walked an aisle. They learned the language, but they were never regenerated. ...

As a boy of five, I had gone (or been taken) forward in an evangelistic meeting. I do not know who the preacher was. I do not remember what the sermon was about. In fact, as I recall, I slept through much of the service. I have absolutely no recollection of who prayed with me or how I was dealt with in the prayer room. ...After that meeting, I was coached to tell others that I had gotten saved. Therefore, over the next fifteen years, if someone asked me if I was saved, I would reply, ‘Oh yes. I was saved when I was five years old.’ Now, I believe that five-year-old children can be saved, but I do not believe that I was saved then. If it had not been for faithful parents who continued to pray for me over those years, I may not have been genuinely converted when I was in Bible college. I believe in my case and in many others, there was a lack of conviction about sin and its consequences in both heart and mind. It is a crucial prerequisite to the new birth. ...

In Bible college, I was searching spiritually. I went to a spiritual leader and told him of my heart’s confusion. He dismissed my concern and told me I was just seeking assurance of my salvation. Well, as it turned out, what I really was seeking was salvation. ... If your children come to you and tell you they are not sure that they are saved, treat it as though they have never made any profession of faith. You do not know their hearts; only God does. Beware of saying, ‘Oh, honey, you took care of that a long time ago. Don’t you remember?’ It may be that the Holy Ghost is dealing in his heart. Do not assume that because he has gone through the motions that he is born again. ...

[Saving] faith includes repentance. Repentance is not doing anything. It is not a deed, act, work, or rite. Rather, it is a change of the direction of one’s heart. It basically means an attitude of the heart in turning from sin and self and turning to God. That’s what Paul was referring to in Acts 20:21 when he referred to ‘repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Saving faith is the human heart turning to God and then trusting in Jesus Christ. ... Even as there is the part of trusting Christ, there is also the part of turning to Him. That may seem inconsequential, but I believe that here is a spiritual reason they some go through the motions of believing in Christ but are not really born again. They seemingly want the fire escape but there is no interest in turning to God. There is no interest in repentance. They have the attitude, ‘God, gimme salvation, but I’m gonna keep on doing my own thing.’ ... However, if there is no real turning to God from the heart, they have missed the prerequisite for actually trusting Christ. ...

As a young man in my junior year at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, God convicted me. I had never really been saved though I had been a professing Christian for the preceding 15 years. ... I began to think back over my life to that point. I knew that the Bible taught that ‘if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). I knew that if a person was really saved, there would be an interest in the things of God. There would be some sort of internal aversion to sin. Anyone who knew me during my teenage years would have remembered me as a rebellious preacher’s kid.

I had absolutely no interest in the things of God. I only went to church because my dad was the pastor, and I had to go. I could not have cared less about the Bible. Things like witnessing and having a testimony were about as alien to me as living in Afghanistan. I loved the things of the world. My mind and my vocabulary were as foul as any one else in the world. I thought like the world thought. I liked what the world did, and I wanted to do what the world did. Only the strictness of my upbringing and of the college I was attending prevented me from actually doing a significant amount of it.

I lay there on my bed that morning in November 1966. As I mulled all of this over in my mind, I knew that I had no recollection of conviction when I went forward as a boy. I reflected over the fact that there had never been any change in my life spiritually that I could remember. I knew the sinfulness of my heart as a 20-year-old college student, and I considered the lack of interest in the things of God in my life.

Slowly that November morning, the Holy Spirit convicted me of the fact that I had never really been saved. I had gone through the motions of it as a small boy and had professed salvation all those years. For the first time in my life it was dawning on me that I was not saved, and for someone who had assumed to be saved for the past 15 years, it came as quite some shock. ... As I thought about the situation, it suddenly dawned upon me, ‘If I am not saved, then I am on my way to hell.’ I had never in my entire life given any serious consideration to that fact. It kind of shook me up. ... I realized that I was dealing with a serious matter. After wrestling spiritually with the conviction of the Holy Spirit for some time, I knew I had to settle the matter. I knelt beside my bed and prayed, ‘Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner. I really don’t know what happened when I was five years old. But I don’t think I really was saved then. Oh Lord, please save me and cleanse me of my sins and give me eternal life.’

There were no bolts of lightning or thunder claps, but a peace swept across my soul. I knew I had settled the matter. There no longer was any doubt. I had trusted Christ and I knew it. I claimed Romans 10:13, ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.’ This time there had been a clear understanding of my lost condition, and this time there was a deep willingness to turn to Christ and trust Him. Praise the Lord, He saved me.

Very soon thereafter, my life began to make some radical changes. Even as a student in a Christian college, my interest in serving the Lord had been somewhere between little and none. Witnessing and soul winning were alien to me. Not only did I not know how; I did not care.

Now I suddenly became burdened for the guy I worked with at a TV repair shop in town. Within six weeks of making peace with Jesus Christ, I had led him to Christ and attempted to win my other co-workers there. I began going to a reformatory to help conduct services and then on to the Minnesota State Penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota, for services. Before long I was preaching at the prison myself. Prior to my salvation experience, I honestly could not have cared less about such things. Something had happened to me. I had been born again (
Training Your Children to Turn out Right, pp 156-167).

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