What about the program "Growing Kids God's Way"(GKGW or GK)?


I believe that is a program that has some elements that causes concern.  For example, it has elements like "First Time Obedience" which says that a child must obey the first time they are told to do something, and if they don't then they are sinning.  If the parent then repeats the request, then the parent is sinning by reinforcing the lack of obedience on their first request.  I don't see anywhere in scripture that simply repeating a request is sin on the parent's part.  Scripture itself shows God giving commands and sometimes they are questioned or challenged and then God repeats Himself--God did not sin in repeating the command.  Another strange element is "Servanthood" where they teach that when a father comes home from work that he should not spend time with the children, until after he has spent "couch time" with his wife, which is to show the children that she is first and they are second.  They carry this to extremes by demanding that the father is served first at meals even to setting aside the immediate needs of a young child to get dinner ready for the father.  Another element is avoid anything that may appear "child-centered", which means children are generally not asked what they want, but told what they are to do.

These are just a few examples of some elements to the program.  Overall, it does not seem to be patterned after God's way and appears to be a dangerous and harmful way to conduct a family and to raise children.  The program has been banned in England by the medical society. 

In addition, the author of the GKGW program, Mr. Gary Ezzo, was publicly rebuked by John MacArthur's home church, Grace Community Church:

"A Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo and Growing Families International - Grace Community Church is no longer affiliated in any way with Growing Families International (GFI). For several years we have had growing concerns about GFI's undue stress on non-biblical matters. For example, we see no biblical basis for the stance GFI takes on infant feeding methods. A corresponding effect of the stress on non-biblical issues is that important biblical issues, particularly the doctrine of depravity and the child's need for regeneration, do not, in our opinion, receive sufficient emphasis. When the doctrine of human depravity is dealt with, it is sometimes handled in a confusing fashion. We are also troubled about a divisive tendency we have seen associated with GFI, beginning with parents who isolate their children from others not trained in GFI principles. That can lead to an elitist attitude, which has proved to be a threat to unity in several churches--including our own. We have shared these and other concerns with Gary Ezzo, and do not believe it would be helpful for us to make any further public statements about these matters."--Elders at Grace Community Church

Comment added on 9/26/07 by a Christian parent who found Mr. Gary Ezzo's, "Growing Kids  God's Way" program to be a blessing in their lives:

"...The Ezzo's disclaimer sincerely expresses their heart. They express that all parents should seek guidance from the Holy Spirit to any of the practical suggestions they offer. There are many wonderful biblical references taught over and over again, however the practical application of these truths is what has worked for them and proven to work for thousands. The Ezzo's are followers of Christ and it is through the Holy Spirit and their obedience to the wisdom the Holy Spirit has for them, through their seeking guidance, that they have these practical applications to teach and to give us as tools, which we can elect to use or not.  Parents should seek out practical applications that are pleasing to our Lord Jesus guided by the Holy Spirit. The Ezzo's teachings and disclaimer points to the bottom line: 'It is our own relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior that will guide us,' and isn't that what God wants most? Isn't that the most important thing for us? For me that points to the biggest thing that we as humans, parents, people, and sinners need for eternal life promised in God's mighty Word to us--a relationship with Him! Isn't this then when the Holy Spirit can teach us and guide us? The Ezzo's over and over again teach biblically, it is throughout their teachings. However, their practical applications we can take or leave; we all know what will not work for our lives and our situation, and we need to seek out what works for us. The Ezzo's are a resource and are only human.

I am so very thankful that they have remained steadfast, because by their teachings I have grown closer to God and have understood my purpose for parenting through their teaching. We are not relying on the Ezzo's to give us all the answers. The Ezzo's teach that we must rely on our obedience to God and wisdom from the Holy Spirit. I hear their words and I hear their character and it is through their physical actions that they can offer to teach any of these things. Their success in obedience to God is what they share the most through the way they live their life. We all can see success in them and when people are successful at anything, especially parenting, then other people will seek to apply what worked in their lives to also gain success in their own lives. Surely there are many Christians out there not relying on the Holy Spirit in certain areas of their own lives and therefore could take some things to the extreme."

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
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Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
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