How did the Fall in the Garden affect children and parenting? The answer might surprise you.
I’m known as a “parenting” expert. The term – “parenting” is associated with a new and ever-renewing point of view concerning children and parental responsibilities. Proponents of the new point of view demonize the old point of view. They claim it was heavy-handed and reflected adult insecurities and their attempts – often violent and totalitarian – to keep children “in line.” The new point of view celebrates every child as a renewal of hope for a future in which humans live together in blissful peace and harmony, a world where interpersonal and nationalistic rivalries are nothing but interesting history. In other words, they now live in “one world.”
A Satanic Viewpoint
The new point of view is part of the serpent’s intoxicating brew. When it comes to raising children, I’m a fundamentalist in every sense of the word. My chosen profession – psychology – is the voice of “parenting,” and parenting, unlike mere child rearing, is progressive and relativistic, thus keeping the serpent alive and well. God’s knowledge of good and evil includes knowledge – a proper understanding – of godly versus ungodly child rearing. God created that knowledge and it is a fundamental part of His design. He begins to unfold it in Deuteronomy 6 where it says, “Impress these commandments upon your children” [at every possible opportunity] (6 – 7). Child rearing fundamentalism incorporates not only a proper understanding of parental responsibilities, but understanding the most important aspect, and that is sometime between six and eighteen months of age, every child replicates the Fall. When it happens, most parents don’t understand what they’re seeing taking place and it generally happens overnight.
As it dawns on a child that he is an individual, a self, he begins to assert his discovery; to self-affirm. He quickly concludes, just as the serpent promised Eve, he wants to be in charge and decide for himself, so he screams “No! You can’t tell me what to do!” The power behind the discovery of self is the power of moral relativism, the insidious notion that the individual is empowered to define the world in his own terms; that he has a right to define his own worldview; and furthermore, that his worldview should be binding upon everyone else. What parents are witnessing in the raging toddler, whether they realize it or not (and most do not), is unbridled human sin-nature. No psychological theory suffices to explain the fact of a child who has never experienced violence, even remotely, suddenly beginning to launch vicious attacks on people when his demands are not immediately satisfied. No psychological theory suffices to explain why a child who has never been lied to begins to lie as soon as he acquires language. No psychological theory suffices to explain how it is that a child who has been treated with great generosity will not share with other children, and so on.
As soon as a toddler replicates the Fall and as soon as his rebellious self begins to manifest itself, parents must shift into full disciplinary mode. He can no longer be allowed to live in a paradise of nothing but unbounded love and provision. The free lunch must be cancelled. His parents must rise to the occasion and demonstrate their unequivocal sovereignty, their control, and that there are certain boundaries or limitations for the child. Both “yes” (directives, prescriptions) and “no” (prohibitions) must be absolute (see Matthew 5:37) and enforced absolutely.
Discipline is a very much like spiritual warfare that parents conduct on a child’s behalf. The Bible equates rebellion to “the sin of witchcraft” and stubbornness to “iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). The young child’s defiance of authority, his claim to be the only binding authority in his life, the one and only author of his supreme existence, opens him up to demonic influences. Anyone who has witnessed the rages that a toddler can manifest when denied what he wants will attest that they often seem preternatural, as though the child is possessed by unadulterated evil. I call them “high self-esteem seizures.” It is a measure of God’s mercy that He has designed us such that, unlike animals, we do not grow to full size for several years. Can you imagine attempting to control a raging toddler who is nearly six feet tall and weighs 165 pounds? God is good.
The child’s expressions of his sin nature must be nipped in the proverbial bud. To mix metaphors, the snowball of a child’s sin nature, if allowed to make one turn downhill, quickly turns into an avalanche. When parents bring these avalanches to their attention, the mental health professions do not understand them. As I’ve already pointed out, none of their theoretical paradigms work because they all, without exception, deny God. To conceal their ignorance, mental health professionals engage in pseudo-scientific masquerades, especially concerning children, and most consist of testing, diagnosing, and medicating. This is theater which explains why the mental health of children has been dropping ever since the 1960’s, just when mental health professionals began to hold sway in American “parenting.” What do Christians need/want to know? Among other things, they need to know that a fundamentally atheistic profession is not capable of dispensing truth. In fact, it’s not even capable of knowing when it’s not dispensing truth.
Copyright 2020, John K. Rosemond
Here is some related reading for you: What Was Life Like in the Garden of Eden Before Sin? 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Author’s Bio: John Rosemond is a licensed psychologist who believes his chosen profession has caused and is causing great harm to the Body of Christ. John is a best-selling author, syndicated columnist, and in-demand public speaker. He and his wife, Willie, have been married for fifty-one years, during which they have been blessed with two children and seven grands. His website is JohnRosemand.com .