3 things in the Bible you’ll want to avoid if following Kirk Cameron’s parenting advice

11 thoughts on “3 things in the Bible you’ll want to avoid if following Kirk Cameron’s parenting advice”

  1. But your way seems like it requires a lot more work, and patience. I don’t have time or energy for that. I’d rather go on being a dictator that teaches my kids to obey me without question so they can grow up and hit a dangerous rebellious phase where they experiment with all sorts of self-destructive behaviors. You know, like what happened in MY family with MY dictator dad.

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  2. Except that, ironically, Job doesn’t get an explanation. He gets a “Tell me how to do it better, since you know.”

    And Abraham doesn’t get an explanation. And Habakkuk doesn’t get an explanation. And Jesus doesn’t get an explanation.

    I’m no Kirk Cameron fan, but part of the thing we struggle with in this whole Bible/Christianity thing is that God isn’t really big on explanations, either. A faith that is free to question is different from a faith that demands explanations.

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    1. I enjoy the Habakkuk exchange.

      Habakkuk: “God, aren’t you going to do anything about the violence in Judah?”

      God: “Yes. I’ll crush them with Babylon.”

      Habakkuk: “That doesn’t seem like your style.”

      God: “Oh, just wait ’til you see how I deal with the Babylonians.”

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    2. The point I’m trying to make is not whether or not they got an explanation, but that they didn’t get slapped down by God for demanding one. I’m not suggesting that God always has to explain himself (or that parents do, for that matter). But the nature of his interactions with people in the Bible doesn’t sit well with the “shut up and obey” mentality of a fundamentalist approach to parenting, like the one Cameron seems to be endorsing.

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  3. I will admit I didn’t read this whole article, but I didn’t have to. Whoever wrote this article missed the whole point by miles. Yes we are to answer our children’s questions when they are trying to learn. But when we r giving our children instruction, we need not explain ourselves. I learned this the hard way: when I told my son no, I would explain to him why I said no. Well, he is now 9 and expects an explanation everytime I tell him something. He wants to do something (which I don’t feel is in his best interest), he wants to know why, our opinions don’t match, so he proceeds to argue the point. A child should not argue with the parent. It is no, because I said no. That is all that matters.

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  4. If a parent disciplines without an explanation the child will grow up in fear not knowing what he/she did wrong to deserve such a punishment. That would be bad parenting to the ultimate extreme. How could a child ever learn from their mistakes not knowing what they were? They couldn’t. They might even grow up to be angry and resentful people toward their parents, and maybe, even toward God. ‘Asking questions’ is not the same as ‘talking back’ they are two distinctly different things, and maybe that is where Kirk Cameron’s views become blurred.

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  5. Dang, Ben. This is a pointed and well-thought critique. While I haven’t heard or read the context of Cameron’s advice, I’m assuming his explanation follows the logic of “train, don’t explain”?

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    1. Thanks. And yes, that’s how I understood it. There is a particular philosophy of parenting popular in some Christian circles which sees anything less than instant, unquestioning obedience from children as a sinful act of rebellion. That’s what I’m pushing against. I think it’s natural for children to question, to ask why, etc. In fact, I think this natural inclination can be a good thing, if channeled in the right direction, to cultivate a child’s spiritual curiosity. Sure, there may come a point where I need to tell my daughter to trust me as her parent and just do what I say, but I don’t think that every question or request for an explanation from a child is necessarily coming from a bad place.

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  6. He isn’t saying to not teach your children. He is saying that them obeying you shouldn’t depend on if they like your explanation or not, it should be done without question because of respect of your authority. God doesn’t often (and didn’t in those stories mentioned) give explanation because really, like children, the explanation may be beyond our comprehension anyway, it just confuses things. Take the time to explain life and the way things work at their level when the time is right. But when you urgently tell your kids to do something for their own or someone else’s safety, let’s say, they better get to hoppin and not ask questions because by the time they are done questioning you it may be too late. Obey and then we can discuss it later if there is need. I did what my dad told me to do because he said to do it, he was always willing to discuss something that I needed to understand later.

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