Foreword to Biblical Parenting:
Christian parents have been accustomed to thinking about discipline as punishment – something you do to a child rather than something you do with a child. However, discipline is more about developing the right relationship with your child rather than the right techniques. Throughout this book you will learn how the “rod verses” are grossly misinterpreted, and that you don’t have to spank your child to be a godly parent. Besides there being no biblical basis for spanking, in my thirty years in pediatric practice I have rarely seen spanking work. Instead, it creates a distance between parent and child, plants a seed of anger (and sometimes violence) in the child, and often tends to worsen a child’s behavior. It is also interesting that the “rod verses” are only mentioned in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Christ taught a gentler approach, as stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:21: “Shall I come to you with the rod, or in love and with a gentle spirit?”
Throughout this book you will learn that discipline is creating an attitude within the child and an atmosphere in the home that makes spanking unnecessary. Scripture is clear that parents are to be authority figures for their children. Yet, authority begins with developing a mutual trust between parent and child: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart.” (Proverbs 22:6) This implies that parents know the individual bent of their child. To teach your child to trust you, and to become an expert in your child, begins with practicing a style of parenting we call attachment parenting. Throughout this book you will learn how this style of parenting helps you get behind the eyes of your child and direct behavior from within rather than applying force on the outside. Attachment parenting will help you teach your child how to develop inner controls. You will also learn that attachment parenting does not mean permissive parenting. On the contrary, one of the “B’s” (in addition to the other B’s of birth bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, belief in baby’s cries, and bedding close to baby) is balance – knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Attachment parenting implies a balance between meeting the child’s needs and also saving enough energy to meet the needs of your marriage. Finally, it is my hope that in reading this book parents will discover the true joy of living with a well-disciplined child.
–Dr. William Sears, author of The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Childcare