Jumping Ship

These articles resonated with me when I first read them in 2005. I identified with wanting to protect my children from the influence of the world and we had taken some measures by home schooling my two youngest, from parts of middle school through high school, and not allowing my son to play on the basketball team in high school — something I would reconsider today in the right environment. I believe we had always had a joyful household but I had never seen a true vision for the needs of a family put into words the way these articles did…

  • Jumping Ship (Part 1) — What to do so your children don’t jump ship to the world when they get older
  • Jumping Ship (Part 2) — There is an epidemic of young adults jumping ship from their Christian upbringing to join the world’s parade
  • Jumping Ship (Part 3) — I was one of those children who jumped ship, and I did so for all the reasons you listed. My parents were hypocrites and expected the same from my sister and me
  • Jumping Ship (Part 4) — If you want to almost guarantee that your children will not jump ship (other factors being equal), provide a community life that holds promise of suitable future mates
  • Jumping Ship (Part 5) — What to do when you have a child who has jumped ship

I would encourage all parents that have felt the urge to protect by homeschooling, moving out of the city, cutting off all potentially harmful influences etc.. to read this series of articles, not to lessen the urge to protect but to provide fuel for thought on the true needs of a family.

UPDATE: I do not endorse all that the Pearls teach and encourage. The needs of your family may be different than the Pearls. The point is you need to provide needs. It’s not just about protection. Your heavenly father has provided your needs. He didn’t erect hedges, borders, and walls to keep you from anything potentially harmful. He lovingly provides the good so we will know how to resist the evil.


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3 Replies to “Jumping Ship”

  1. Here is a comment we received on this posting. I am posting it because I believe it is valuable to have this kind of dialog about this subject…

    The Pearls writings are very disturbing and offensive. I went to public school and I grew up to accept the Lord as my Savior. It is Jesus Christ that changes us and not the “cloning of our parents worldview”, and how dare they say: “some parents are not worth cloning”. Is that Christ Centered? That stuff comes across as so arrogant and extremist, almost fascist and elitist.

    I was transformed when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. (He transformed me, by faith) That sort of isolationist approach to christian living was often espoused in “The Group” of Christians I previously met with and I find it to be faithless and unbalanced to say the least. I personally wonder if God is ripping down “The Group” completely because it has become an unfruitful church with a very sordid and dark past. Really more of a country club than a gospel centered entity.

    I once read in one of the Pearls books that if a family visited their fellowship and the kids were public schooled they would not let the visiting children play with their children. I suppose because the public school kid could undo all their good training or something. Who knows. How would you feel if you were that visiting family? And how would Jesus Christ feel about a group of Christians treating a family like that? Is it really about the transformative powers of Jesus? I am so glad Jesus is not like the Pearls or else I would be doomed! Perhaps if I worked very hard to dress like them, and home school like them, and vote, or not vote like them, or spanked my kids like them, they could possibly tolerate to hang out with the likes of me!

    • Here is the author’s response to this comment. I am posting it because I believe it helps clarify the author’s position…

      In referencing these articles I’m not endorsing all that the Pearls may teach, I have not read much of their writings, and am not a proponent of home school, we both “home schooled” and “publicly schooled” our children and see no difference in our childrens walk with the Lord. But I believe that he was addressing a very important subject in these articles, and that is, that all of the actions we take to protect our children from the influences of the world will, most likely, not be successful if have a misunderstanding of God’s grace and our relationship with our heavenly father. What does living out and enjoying God’s grace look like? If we view our relationship with our heavenly Father as “performance based”, when we try and bring up our children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” Eph.6:4, we will be “cloning” a misunderstanding that will negatively impact our children’s understanding of God’s love, patience, mercy and grace for them.

      “Do your children know you as a person who rejoices with “joy unspeakable”, and do they see your life as being “full of glory”. “Teenagers are not wise in discerning the difference between true joy and cheap laughter. But, they can easily discern when their parents don’t have any joy at all”. “When the example is wrong, the words can never be right, for our own attitude screams louder to them than do our carefully crafted religious words”. “It is not about doing; it is about being”. “You must become what you want your child to become….You must become a person of joy, peace, and love”. “You need to love God to the point that you break out in singing praises to Him”. “A Spirit filled life is the ONLY hedge against jumping ship and divorce”. “Religious convictions worn only on the shirtsleeves are about as attractive as a man sneezing in your face”.

      These were the type of thoughts, questions and admonitions presented in these articles that helped me look at the “big picture” of who I am in Christ and what my life is reflecting to my children.

      I recently completed reading a book on Galatians (“Galatians for You” Timothy Keller) where the author described four types of people in the world.

      1. Law-obeying, law-relying. These people are under the law, and are usually very smug, self-righteous and superior. Externally, they are very sure they are right with God, but deep down, they have a lot of insecurity, since no one can truly be assured that they are living up to the standard. This makes them touchy, sensitive to criticism and devastated when their prayers aren’t answered. This includes members of other religions, but here I am thinking mainly of people who to church. These people have much in common with the Pharisees of Jesus day.
      2. Law-disobeying, law-relying. These people have a religious conscience of strong works-righteousness, but they are not living consistently with it. As a result of this, they are more humble and more tolerant of others than the “Pharisees” above, but they are also much more guilt-ridden, subject to mood swings and sometimes very afraid of religious topics. Some of these people may go to church, but they stay on the periphery because of their low spiritual self-esteem.
      3. Law-disobeying, not law-relying. These are the people who have thrown off the concept of the law of God. They are intellectually secular or relativistic, or have a very vague spirituality. They largely choose their own moral standards and then insist that they are meeting them. But Paul, in Romans 1:18-20, says that at a sub-conscious lever, they know there is a God who they should be obeying. Such people are usually happier and more tolerant than either of the above groups. But usually there is a strong, liberal self-righteousness. They are earning their own salvation by feeling superior to others. It is just that this is usually a less obvious kind of self-righteousness.
      4. Law-obeying, not law-relying. These are Christians who understand the gospel and are living out of the freedom of it. They obey the law of God out of grateful joy that comes from the knowledge of their sonship, and out of freedom from the fear and selfishness that false idols had generated. They are more tolerant than number 3, more sympathetic than number 1, and more confident than number 2. But most Christians struggle to live out number 4, and tend to see the world as a #1, #2, or even #3 person. But to the degree that they do, they are impoverished spiritually.

      Understanding the gospel and living in the joy of that understanding should be the example that we pass onto our children and is what the world needs more of.