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TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: BIBLICAL COUNSEL FOR ADD

27 Sep

For the past few weeks I have written a paper for my DMin class at Southeastern Seminary. I though I would share an edited version on this blog. Hope it proves useful to the Lord for his work in the life of your family!

Introduction: Discovering the Way a Child Should Go

Albert Mohler’s commentary on his daily podcast at the release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM-5) pointed out several disturbing news stories in conjunction with the release.[1] The first of those articles detailed the distressing news that one in five American children suffer from some mental disorder.[2] By far, according to Dr. Mohler Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and related diagnoses helped bolster that statistic. As he reported, if one in five children suffer from some mental disorder it seems foolish to consider mental problems anything less than commonplace. Similarly, as Dr. Mohler reports it, a respected psychology newspaper had an article not too long ago which presented a case to explain the fact that few diagnoses of ADD occur among French children. The French willingness to discipline children apparently proves the sole reason that French children do not suffer from ADD.[3] While Dr. Mohler’s analysis of the news should compel thought in any who read it, consider the mother or father of an unruly child that might read these articles or hear his podcast.

The family has for years heard from teachers, doctors, and others that if they only would submit the child for psychological evaluation the experts may offer some medical help with medication. From Christian friends and church members they hear the persistent call to avoid psychology and simply home-school the child. Even so, after the latest outburst the family decides they must do something. They allow the doctors to evaluate the child. Sure enough they diagnose him with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Then the parents hear Dr. Mohler’s podcast. The child only needs discipline? In desperation they make a call to their pastor to try to find out what to do.

The questions these parents may have could take volumes and expertise to address fully and fairly. Most pastors who would try to diligently shepherd such members cannot devote volumes or expertise to the problem. Even so, the fact that so many children apparently have a diagnosed mental disorder should motivate even the most skeptical pastor to consider how to answer the seemingly growing problem of ADD. Further, while it does sound amazing that something as simple as discipline could possibly cure this disorder, if true then the pastor most supportive of psychology should consider the merits of less psychological solutions. Any pastor can counsel families to please God by teaching biblical wisdom to understand parenthood, using theological truths to discern Christian responses to ADD, and guiding them through a biblical plan to prepare them to train up the child in the way he should go.[4]


                [1] The Briefing “May 23, 2013” September 12, 2013 (originally aired May 23, 2013).

                [2] Atossa Araxia Abrahamian. “Up to 1 in 5 children suffer from mental disorder: CDC,” Reuters, May 16, 2013.

                [3] Marilyn Wedge. “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD,” Psychology Today, March 8, 2012

                [4] 2 Corinthians 5:9 “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Shepherding

 

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