Bestselling author Andy Andrews — who has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents and been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the most influential people in America” — spoke with Glenn Beck on Tuesday about a Bible verse that he says has frustrated people for generations.
From the book of Proverbs, the verse reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Anderson said that “generations of people” feel like they have adhered to what the verse says, and are disappointed when their child goes astray as an adult.
“There are so many people who try not to be angry at God, and try not to be disappointed, and try not to doubt the Word anymore, but they can’t help it,” he said. “‘We did that, and now look!’”
Andrews explained that the challenge of the verse, and where parents can go wrong, in in taking “three fourths of the principle.” It is not written, Andrews said: “Make a child do exactly what you want him to do, and when he is eighteen, he will keep doing it.”
Rather, he argued, parents need to explain to their children why they should behave in a certain way — not just tell them “because I said so.” He added that “the only way somebody really changes” is if they realize how something affects them, and see “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that it “makes total sense.”
Andrews referenced an example from his own life, explaining that his teenage son was saying, “I know, I know, I know” a little more often than is strictly polite. Rather than snap at his son that he’ll be respectful so long as he’s living under his father’s roof — knowing that the boy would likely just think in response “I won’t be living here forever…” — he took a different approach.
“[That] sounds really disrespectful, and you’re not a disrespectful kid,” he told his son. “And I would hate for somebody to hear you sound that way, and they would think you’re disrespectful and because they thought that, you would not be chosen [for something], given the opportunity…hired…And it would all be because they thought something that wasn’t true.”
Later in the program, Andrews — whose most recent book The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective and Sometimes Perspective Finds You was recently released — discussed how teenage rebellion is “not an automatic thing.” Andrews asserted the issues behind teenage rebellion actually build up for years because families “do not push the reset button that is available.” The discussion was cut short by time, but Beck asked Andrews to come spend an hour in the future explaining the principle.
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