Highlights from “Parenting by the Book,” Introduction and Chapter 1

Last Fall, the church I serve had John Rosemond come and lead one of his one-day seminars followed by him preaching at both worship services the next day. Included in his sermon was a wonderful testimony of Christ’s grace and power that was a blessing to hear.

I then followed up that weekend by teaching through his book, “Parenting By The Book,” which is very good indeed.

Below are a few of the highlights from his Introduction as well as Chapter One. The quotes come directly from his book. I have very, very limited side-comments that I’ll put down in red. In fact, now that I think about it, most of the time those remarks were for my eyes only and may not even make sense to you. Oh well, it’s my blog.



Parenting By The Book Highlights
For Introduction and Chapter One

From the Introduction

A number of years ago, I came to the realization that for all of its pretenses to scientific objectivity, post-1960s psychology is a secular religion that one believes in by faith.

The mothers I talk to around the United States concur when I suggest that raising a child is more anxiety-ridden than managing a large staff of people at a major corporation. (Moms…is that true?)

One of my disagreements with my profession has to do with the idea that attending graduate school makes one competent to counsel people who are having personal or relationship trouble in their lives. Competent counseling comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit has no preference for PhDs. (Gal. 6:1-2, Romans 15:13-14, Colossians 2:2-4)

So, to answer the above question, I am not a Christian psychologist. I am a Christian who holds a license to practice psychology. I believe Jesus Christ is the one and only Wonderful Counselor. It is only through him that a broken person can be made truly whole again.

From Chapter One

Whether you grew up in a large or small family, you are almost certainly experiencing more child-rearing difficulties than did your parents – a lot more.

…from 1920 to 1950, child rearing in America did not change in any appreciable way. My grandparents raised my parents in accord with the same child-rearing principles that had guided my great-grandparents, and they employed pretty much the same methods. My point: The mere fact that “times” change neither means nor requires change in every single thing.

Once upon a time, people understood that in changing times, certain things should not change; that there must always be certain constants in culture. A short list of those changeless things includes consensus concerning morality, the need for adults to be contributing members of society, and constants regarding how the family should function, including how children should be brought up.

In fact, there is no evidence that in the Judeo-Christian world the fundamental principles governing child rearing had appreciably changed since its founding by Abraham and Sarah.

Children honored their parents by growing up and raising their children the same way their parents had raised them, and let there be no doubt: the “way” in question was based on biblical principles.

Progress constantly infuses culture with new energy, but in the fifth commandment God promises a stable, secure society to people who adhere to fundamental family traditions.

In the 1960s… the now adolescent television industry began to take a rebellious, activist character.

By 1970, a cynicism and general disrespect had developed toward all forms of traditional authority, of which there are five: political, military, institutional, church, and family.

In effect, this was an assault on the very Judeo-Christian principles upon which Western civilization was built.

Along about this same time, child rearing became “parenting,” a new word referring to a new way of going about it. The new way transformed the parent-centered family into the child-centered family. The new way substituted high self-esteem (individualism) for respect for others (good citizenship).

The term most often used today is “bad choices” – mistakes, in effect, as if a child’s rebellious misbehavior is on more egregious than choosing the wrong answer on a television quiz show. Because malevolent motive is absent, punishment is not warranted. (examples: Presidents Nixon and Clinton claimed to have made “mistakes” and not moral sins)

Yada-Yada Discipline – talking to your children, instead of punishing them, taking care not to hurt their feelings.

The old way enforced responsibility on the child for his behavior, the new way neatly absolves him of that responsibility. The misbehaving child, once a perpetrator, has become a victim, in need of therapy or drugs or both.

Postmodern Psychological Parenting – The new way of parenting described throughout the chapter.

Ultimately, Postmodern Psychological Parenting is a particularly clever manifestation of the serpents continuing effort to undermine trust in God’s authority. (Genesis 3 – “Has God said…”)

God has given us a big blueprint for living creative, productive, fulfilling lives and experiencing fulfilling relationships with one another and with him. …The big blueprint of the Bible incorporates a number of smaller blueprints for every aspect of living, including marriage, …conducting business, …forming and living in healthy societies, …and the rearing of children. (cultural mandate and civilization)

Choices result in consequences.

We obey God to our credit and disobey him at our peril. (covenantal relationship)

The risks of attempting to raise a child without regard for God’s blueprint for child rearing, as clearly set forth in his Big Blueprint, include a child who is ill-behaved, disrespectful, destructive and self-destructive, irresponsible, inattentive, careless, aggressive, self-centered, deceitful and so on. The risks to the child’s parents include chronic frustration, stress, anxiety, anger, resentment, conflict, and guilt.

Fact: If you depart from God’s plan in any area of your life, you will experience more (and more serious) problems than you would have encountered otherwise. …America has departed from God’s blueprint for child rearing.

Fact: If you adhere to God’s plan in your life, you will still experience sadness, pain, frustration, and heartache…but you will endure… That’s God’s promise to us. (covenant)


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