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A “good” life without any passion is not worth repeating. Love is always passionate. So is joy and peace. Longsuffering is passionate in its quiet reserve, taking into consideration the needs and feelings of others. Gentleness and goodness are virtues that point to God like a big red arrow. Faith is as lovely as a cherub’s wings. Meekness never allows others to feel inferior, and temperance is the ultimate demonstration of the power of God in one’s life. The fruit of the Spirit is attractive indeed. Teenagers are attracted to attractive people. If their parents are unattractive, they will fix their admiring gaze on someone who is attractive. A light-hearted spirit of joy and praise is attractive to everyone. Religious convictions worn only on the shirtsleeves are about as attractive as a man sneezing in your face.

The problem is that 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. And then, they come across a person of the world who is light-hearted and full of fun. What do you expect them to do? They don’t see the cynicism and rebellion behind the feigned joy. They just know that, for the first time in their lives, they have found a context for their passion. When they are with those kinds of people, they feel alive. They suddenly have hope that life is not always going to be dull and boring.

They find unconditional acceptance with the people of darkness, and since they have never really experienced God’s love, they think this is the love they have always missed. They will walk away from their miserable parents and right into the Devil’s den without any doubt that they have finally found true meaning in life. They are indeed fools, but their parents were foolishly naïve enough to believe that their teenagers would be content to accept the middle-of-the-road, principled but passionateless religion that never brought a shred of joy.

Parents’ ability to communicate their worldview to their children is mostly bound up in their personal relationship to each other. If Mother and Father have a romance that is visible, a joy that is uncontained, and a passion that is enviable, their children will want to travel the same road in hopes of reaping the same fruit in their own lives.

In 2005 and 2006 Michael Pearl addressed the issue of conservative homeschool children that were leaving their families behind in a series of No Greater Joy magazine articles entitled Jumping Ship. These have now been compiled along with two additional chapters into one volume. Find out why so many good conservative families are breaking ties with their children and what you can do to keep it from happening to your family. Order Jumping Ship by Michael Pearl today.


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