Why Do All Children Misbehave?

I don’t faithfully listen to podcasts or even radio programs, but when I’m in the car I often listen to whatever’s on, and several weeks ago I heard John Rosemond being interviewed on the Dennis Prager show. He was talking about raising children, and I was intrigued by what I was hearing.

I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of him before, but he’s been writing books, giving talks, and counseling parents for over forty years. Dennis said he is considered by many to be the current authority on child- rearing, so I ordered his book. Yes, another book on raising children.

Even before I was a father I read The Christian Family by Larry Christenson. Over the years we’ve read books and watched videos by James Dobson, Kevin Leman, and Tedd Tripp. I don’t remember everything we learned together, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been reading some things I’ve never read before.

Rosemond opens his book with a shocking statement that I referred to in a sermon a couple of weeks ago.

“If asked ‘Why do children, all children, misbehave?’ most psychologists (of which I am one) would employ one or more of the following words or phrases: unresolved issues, anxiety, stress, conflicting messages, cries for help or attention, trauma, post- traumatic, power struggles, chemical imbalances, and genes. Nope. Some of those may help us understand why a four- year-old refuses to obey his parents, but none of those words explains why all children misbehave, and deliberately so. As it turns out, the explanation is simple: children are bad…and the sooner parents understand and accept this, the better for them and the better also for their children.”

He goes on to note that he’s really not saying anything new. What he’s presenting is basically the common sense point of view that was held by most parents prior to the psychological-parenting revolution that swept America in the 1960s and early 1970s. What he’s trying to do is help parents put common sense back into practice.

While you may not choose to follow all his specific suggestions for handling issues such as lying, defiance, tantrums, or refusing to use the potty, I think you’ll find principles in his book that will help you raise The Well- Behaved Child.

I have several copies in the office if you want one.

God Bless, Rick

Looking Forward While Looking Back

Even if you didn’t stay up to celebrate the passing of 2020, I’m sure we’re all relieved it’s behind us. We may not have all actually shouted “Happy New Year”, but we’re all looking forward to a happier 2021.

To say it’s been a challenging year is a massive understatement. Not only did we endure a stressful political season, but we were all stressed by a virus that invaded our lives. Some were obviously effected more than others, but it certainly touched every one of us. There is no need to document all the hardships, we all know what they were and continue to be. But the promise of Romans 8:28 gives us more hope for the future than an annual cry of “Happy New Year!”

God has promised to bring good out of everything that happens to us, if we love Him and are called according to His purpose. Not only does that give us courage to face the future, it invites us to look back at what God has already done.

When we were mandated to close our doors, we cancelled our services as if it were a snow storm. By the next week, however, we were offering online videos of praise, a sermon, and a communion meditation. And after the mandate was loosened, and thirteen weeks with our doors closed, we opened to in-house worship. We have been able to continue doing so ever since, even adding nurseries, Sunday School classes, youth groups, and Bible studies.

As to be expected, our worship attendance dropped to record lows. But we still averaged seventy-four over the last seven months, averaging eighty- eight during the month of December. And gratefully, our giving continued to exceed our projected needs. A couple of very generous gifts even enabled us to meet special needs on the mission field, and to repave our parking lot.

The greatest blessing to come during the last ten months, no doubt, is the number of new families that have begun worshipping with us. I pray those who have been unable to attend in person will soon be able to return and get to know their new brothers and sisters.

God Bless, Rick