It is unfortunate when guidelines for issues of eternal importance originate from the least qualified and the sacred cow of our era (psychology) continues to warp lives almost irreparably; Freud, Spock, and others have left their scars. A few years ago, yet another psychologist spoke out on parenting contributing yet another blithering diatribe. Judith Rich Harris, a New Jersey grandmother and writer of psychology textbooks, made the claim that parents (particularly mother’s) have absolutely no impact on children whatsoever. In her book, The Nurture Assumption, she claimed that nothing you do or fail to do will make a whit of difference to the kind of adult your kid becomes. In fact, she claims the only contribution you bestow on your offspring is genetic. I don’t know if Ms. Harris is the result of a horrid home life or just ignorant!
To say God’s perspective contradicts this fetid mush is the understatement of the century. “My son… forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 6:20). “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Proverbs 19:18). “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15).
What frightens me is that Ms. Harris, if she’s not a hypocrite, has negatively impacted her own offspring with this drivel and who knows what damage she has caused in other corners of our culture. That people look to humanity’s “wisdom” is a testament to our rebellion and ignorance. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
Timothy and I will just have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Harris. Timothy’s great faith was due in large degree to the faith “which dwelt first in (his) grandmother Lois, and (his) mother Eunice” (2 Timothy 1:5). I was blessed with a wonderful mother, Julienne Sweeten, and two loving grandmothers, Nora Sweeten and Bernadine Walling. And, because of their love, guidance, and influence, I have deep roots in understanding right and wrong behavior, who God is, and how to be a Christian. I’ll take my instruction from a godly mother and grandmother and not from a “psycho-pop,” thank you very much!