I've wanted to post these promises here on the blog for awhile as a record. As a reminder and as an anchor for myself. I just kept forgetting to do it. Then a few weeks ago I read a terrible article about a child dying at the hands of their parents. My heart broke into a million pieces. The article went on to relate that this child's parents had been using the punishment "techniques" found in a book that I was all to familiar with.
I could go on and on but I'll stop there. I just wanted to explain why I named this post the way that I did. The Pearls and their "ministry", No Greater Joy, make an estimated $1.7 million a year. They make this money by selling books telling you that G*d wants you to abuse your kids. What I hope for this post is simple. Maybe someone out there will Google "To Train Up a Child" and find this post instead. Maybe that parent who has heard that they need to read that book, will come here first and think twice.
We promise to earn your respect by respecting you and each other.
We promise to listen to you. Our family now has four distinct and equal voices. Your opinions and feelings matter to us and will be heard. Your thoughts and ideas, just as important.
We promise to support you, no matter what choices you make in life. There is no nothing you can do or be that will lesson our love for you, our support of you or weaken the bonds that bind us.
We promise to teach you about the world around you and the many different people and places that make our world special. We will encourage you to explore that world both in our backyard and beyond.
We promise to learn from you and be open to what you have to teach US. We are excited to learn again how to delight in the little things and rediscover the world through your eyes.
We promise to play with you in the sun, the rain, the mud, the snow and sand. Getting dirty is expected unless you are like your daddy and hate to be dirty, that’s ok too.
We promise that your home will be a place of peace, free of violence in all its forms. Without shaming and humiliating. Without causing you suffering disguised as discipline.
We promise that your home will be filled with laughter, tradition, aunties, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, cousins, soft blankets, cozy beds, dogs and great food.
We promise to nurture your need for community by faithfully bringing you to church and by encouraging you to give of yourself to others.
We promise that our shoulders will hold you up until the day you walk tall on your own. Our hands will hold yours until you feel secure and ready to go it alone. Our arms will carry you when you need rest, solace and safety. Our arms will hold you any time day or night for any reason and for no reason at all. (Remember you will never be too old to be held by your mommy and daddy)
We promise to love you, without condition or limits. To show you love and speak our love so you know that you are loved beyond the moon and stars. We remember the magical day you where given to us and the love that flooded us the nights we got to know each other for the first time. We didn't sleep, we only watched, and snuggled and laughed and cried at the wonder of our new life. We believe in the miracle that you are and accept the responsibility that comes with raising such a perfect, beautiful and innocent soul. We had been waiting for you. We vow to always let your light shine.
Love, Mama and Daddy
We chose to bring children into the world and so we also choose to never fault them for being children. I am my child's safety. I am their protector. I am their advocate and their champion. I will never try and break them. They will never fear violence from me. They will always be safe in our home. It is their birthright. It is my promise.