A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Lori Little’s “Hope and Help for the Single Mom Program” Gives no Hope or Help

I have been becoming more and more sensitive to legalism as I have been preaching a sermon series through Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. You can listen to these sermons at sermonaudio.com/crc or if you prefer, buy a copy of Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians (The Crossway Classic Commentary; be sure to read Luther’s preface) and read it in conjunction with Galatians. Powerful, freeing stuff!

Recently I was emailed promotional material for “Hope and Help for the Single Mom” a program by Lori Little. It is endorsed by a parade of evangelical names such as Charles Stanley (see his quote just below), Stormie Omartian, Jill Briscoe, Elisabeth Elliot, Neil Anderson, Kay Arthur, Josh Harris, John Trent, and on the list goes. Here is some more information taken from this material:

Lori Little is the author of the 21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom which is a DVD curriculum and book (much like Beth Moore) for the church to use as a Sunday morning class, small, home, life or care groups, outreach, mission and evangelism through the church. (Info taken from email brochure sent to me by Lori Little)

If a single mom will follow these 21 principles, there is no way for her to fail. (Charles Stanley)

I am learning that very, very often these kinds of programs/kits/how-to’s are the typical way that man-made traditions are created that are not biblical, but which are passed off as being Bible truth. So when I see a statement by someone like Charles Stanley, claiming that here is a step by step way to achieve certain success, my radar starts flashing “Incoming!!”  Sure enough, this series fires 21 incoming missiles of false information and in some cases just plain damaging teaching.

I wish that I had the time to review and critique all 21 of the “principles” Little presents in this program. It would take hours and hours. But here are just three of them that I think in themselves will be adequate to enable our readers to see the damage this series will do. They are taken directly from the promotional info sent to me. I will insert a few comments about each immediately following each one:

Principle 8: The Principle of SPEAR THROWING
You must forgive, get along with, speak blessings over, build up and pray for your children’s father. Never teach your children to take up your offense.
Speaker: Lori Little

Ok. For many if not most of our readers, step 8 is all we need to know in order to reject this series, right? Tell me, does God Himself always “speak blessings over” His enemies? Does He tell us to LIE to our children by “building up” their abuser father? Guess what? An abuse victim’s children, in a very real sense, DO need to take up their mother’s (or father’s, if the wife is the abuser) offense! And where in the world are we told that we have to “get along with” our unrepentant, abuser/tormentor!  This is not Bible truth. These are man made traditions that enslave and oppress and endanger.

Principle 9: The Principle of PURPOSE
Let God create a new plan that will enable you to live a life that is both on purpose and successful in all areas of your life.
Speaker: Tammy London (Lori’s personal Life Coach)

Personal life coach. I’m sorry, but I have to ask — what in the world is that? Where are we ever told that we should have a “personal life coach?” How much does one cost, anyway?  But to continue: “successful in all areas of your life.” Isn’t this  starting to sound like some sales promotional? What exactly does this mean? An abuse victim, if she follows these 21 steps, can absolutely be assured that she is going to be successful in all areas of her life? Is that what the book of Ecclesiastes tells us? Isn’t this the very theology of Job’s “friends” who the Lord was so angry with? This is tradition, not Bible. And it is legalism. Just do these rules and God will bless you. Where is the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS righteousness in all of this? [I don't have time to explain at length how the series begins by treading essentially totally around all of that nasty business of sin, and God's judgment, and how we all need to believe in Christ and repent if we are to be justified before God].

Principle 21: The Principle of REWARD
Your reward will be to see the sweet fruits of the Holy Spirit in your children’s lives. They will bless you and praise you for the virtues you lived out and poured into them.
Speaker: Dr. John Trent

In some ways this last principle is the most cruel of all. Yes, cruel. THEY WILL BLESS YOU AND PRAISE YOU. Your children WILL do this! This WILL be your reward. I say again, this is sheer legalism. Do this, don’t do that, and you will merit God’s blessing. just like mixing water and bicarbonate = fizz.

This is just plain false. It is a lie. This is saying that WE can save our children. Abuse victims know full well how the lies of their abusers so often turn their children against the victim. And sometimes — even with some regularity — that alienation never ends. So what in the world is going to happen if an abuse victim buys into this 21 principle nonsense, pours herself into it, and it doesn’t work? I can tell you what is going to happen. Devastation. False guilt. Maybe even a turning her back on Christ.

I have begun to grow accustomed to the growlings that sound when we offer this kind of criticism. “You don’t understand what we are saying.” “You are too judgmental and you are running to conclusions that just aren’t true.” “You need to be less brusque and show more understanding so you won’t alienate people like Little.” Well, alright. Lori Little and company, show us you are willing to listen and that you are teachable and open to correction. Don’t be defensive. Be willing to say “Oh boy, I never even thought of that. Can you help us make this program better?” Then do it!

And I will be the first one to praise  you.

57 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  2. Psalm 37

    Reading that kind of nonsense gets me infuriated, especially the spear throwing principal, which is what family court calls parental alienation. Speaking of which, principle number nine is also absurd as far as being “successful.” I have had hardly any success in court, and mostly have been re-victimized the 30 times or so that I have been dragged there in the past five years. I have had no success in fighting against being bankrupted and robbed in regard to child support continually by the abusive ex, even though I have been divorced for 3 1/2 years. He is $19,000 in arrears. I believe a large percentage of single moms deal with the problem I have — that child-support orders are not enforced and they are owed lots of money. So we are led to conclude that if we are not successful, we did something wrong and are being punished for it. I wish these ignorant, over-religious authors would stop spraying this poison on oppressed women who are trying to do the best they can. My parents and brother sound like they could’ve written this nonsense, so that’s why I keep my distance from them. It is poisonous and just crushes me further.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Ps 37- Right on! It is poison that crushes. So sorry you have had to endure all of this, but you are not alone. Thank you for joining us and commenting.

  3. forHisglory

    Quote from the book “The moment I called His name, the God of the universe paused just for me and said, ‘Here I am. I’ve been here with you all along. I was just waiting to hear from you.'”

  4. forHisglory

    “Satan causes blockage and acts as a filter to what you can receive from God’s truth.” (pg 16 of the book) Really? Chapter and verse?

  5. MeganC

    This is utterly disturbing. What she has developed is a way for a victim to continue having to live like a victim, even though she could be free. She heaps mounds of burdens on victims of abuse and doesn’t lift a finger to help, with the stamp of approval from “popular” Christians. Saddening and maddening.

  6. Brenda R

    What damaging propaganda people like this come up with in order to sell a book is disturbing. It is amazing how peoples minds and hearts work….or lack thereof.

  7. BeenThereDoneThat

    The parental alienation component of divorce is the hardest. My children were barely or almost adults and had lived their whole lives up until then in the same 2 parent household. They were USED to seeing the verbal and emotional abuse and bullying, and teaching in the church only masked the reality because we were all taught that the man/father was the head of the household. (It’s all ok, right? Unless he _hits_ her.) That meant that he was king and knew more and was to be obeyed. If my children saw me question or challenge, it looked (based on church teaching) as if I was wrong to begin with. More than one time when a teenage child had an argument with me, we were both called in front of my husband as judge and I was put on the level of the child as my ex served up the decision. That doesn’t exactly instill respect for mom.

    I had never considered leaving for years and years of problems as I thought it was wrong in God’s eyes. Despite some good, wise Christian folks in my life who were urging me to leave, I didn’t – at first. (I didn’t even recognize this as abuse until after I left.) Only after I finally took a stand (still in the marriage), I couldn’t take the consequences and (I believe) God allowed a nervous breakdown and quick, severe weight loss that convinced me that I needed to get away for emotional and physical healing. My pastor insisted that I tell my husband what I was going to do and he also insisted that BOTH of us tell our children that I was about to leave. Even though I said to my children that my leaving had to do with needing some space for emotional and physical healing and was about my relationship with their dad, I don’t think that my ex ever supported that after I left. I was a wreck that night after he found out, fearing rape or the gun. Even after 13 years, my children treat me like I did something wrong to leave. I think that my children were convinced that I walked out of their lives and I also think that my ex and his family helped to convince them of that. I was SO broken emotionally for months after that, it was hard to reach out to older adult children who criticized me or just plain ignored me. Even gently (and rarely) trying to talk of abuse since then has caused my children to be angry with me. I still pray for them that they will be protected from that themselves and I pray that they will finally put it all together in their brains and realize what I went through.

    And, unfortunately, my own financial situation puts me in a bad situation and unable to “compete” with an ex who married someone with a good job and a paid-for house in a upper middle class neighborhood. Not that _I_ feel that my situation or my ex’s show God’s blessing on the past or the present, it LOOKS that way to my children. “Dad” has moved on and is doing well (largely due to the new wife who has a great income and had that paid-for-house). “Mom” is in rough shape financially and it looks like she has caused that herself.

    Freedom to a certain extent? Sure. I sleep better at night knowing that I won’t be verbally abused or threatened late at night. Financial security? Don’t think so. In a world where stay-at-home (and homeschooling!) moms are risking future financial problems if a divorce happens in an area where alimony just doesn’t happen in the courts, it is hard. And existing in the work world with a significant lapse in working history (and as an older woman with no college degree), I’m not making much money comparatively to others who worked in the job force their whole adult lives. MY investment for 20 years lives in 2 adult children and with an ex who had a home and children taken care of so that he could learn skills in the work world – skills that pays him now and contributes to his (near) future Social Security.

    Wishing my children would at least understand what happened? Yes. Wanting them to dislike their dad? No.

    • Jeff Crippen

      BTDT- Your story is sadly typical. It illustrates not only the evil of the abuser, but the evil of the abuse intensified by the church and pastors and other professing Christians. Your description of your experience tells me that your church at that time, and that pastor, were shoving themselves into areas of your life that they had no right to be in. This kind of thing just angers me intensely. It is bad enough that they teach the patriarchy nonsense no matter how abusive the “patriarch” is, but they claim for themselves an authority that Christ has not given them. In your case, as in many, they seriously harmed your mental, physical, and spiritual health and could have gotten you killed. Frankly, I think such malpractice warrants lawsuits.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        The church wouldn’t have been so personally involved unless I allowed that, but preaching mocking professional help was also common so I had always gone to pastors over the years (in a few churches) and we had some joint counseling (one told me that if only my kitchen was cleaner…). It took a wonderful man on staff at another church (toward the end) that PUSHED me over and over to get professional help and used the phrase “passive aggressive” for the first time. Because abuse leads to confusion, denial and weakness, just going to that professional felt so wrong. But it was that professional and the church staff member who encouraged me in my desire to stop a certain form of “communication” with my husband until we had some professional help. The best support I had from that church was that particular staff member who endured my livid ex calling him at 10pm and demanding what scripture verses he had to allow me to take such a stand. (Unfortunately it was the PASTOR of that church that was supportive of my ex and treated me badly – to the point that WHEN the elders found out they changed the way the church dealt with separation and divorce going forward. One point of praise to God that I can have.) When an incident occurred on a vacation out of the country, I called the supporting staff member while I was emotionally in a tailspin. He suggested I could bring in the police, but I knew we didn’t have the money to ever come back and I was afraid of what my children would say. I made the mistake of telling my children that morning what decision I had made weeks ago and what their dad had just done to me. I was then lectured by my older child (21 at the time) about my wifely duty. They didn’t even understand how terrified I had been and how what had happened was wrong. It was okay to happen within the marriage. Now I continue to have the diagnoses of PTSD as well. I sometimes long for an apology for that incident from my ex, but know that it will never happen. He continues to have a good reputation in his wife’s church and with our children. (Although, I did feel some satisfaction when his reputation didn’t fare as well in that last church when he bullied our (older and much shorter) elder in the church building.)

        So without reading the other principles, I can already see how the 3 you have highlighted have not quite worked for me. I have hope that someday my adult children (1 already is married with children) will treat me at least as equal to their dad OR even acknowledge that what he did to me over a few decades has caused extreme damage that I work hard to overcome. But, I try not to think about it, because it is a dream, a fantasy that I cannot dwell on.

        What a blessing it would be to be able to earn a living working with women like me to help them.

        It is a wonder that I even think sometimes about going back to church (I finally just couldn’t deal with the ghosts anymore – even in a new church – so stopped going). I ask God frequently the question that I guess we all have – WHY did this happen and why does this continue to happen?? But it is with my non-churched, non-religious friends who can see what happened and give me more credence and more support. (I just don’t talk to them much about God, as He and the church aren’t on their fan lists.)

        A long, New Year’s Day rambling, but maybe part of the continued cleansing that is needed. Thank you, Jeff, for contributing. I know it helps all of us (mainly women) to get validation and support, but especially from a Godly man.

    • Brenda R

      BeenThere, I am saddened by your situation. It still baffles my brain that anyone believes that this type of patriarchal system is correct in this day and age or any day and age. It is clearly about being superior to your wife and not a partner, help mate, warrior as the Bible describes a wife. Will he now take over the home and finances that his current wife owned prior to their marriage? I don’t expect you to know that, but it is a question that comes to mind. Or perhaps she will have power because of her stature. I’m not sure what version of the Bible these patriarch thinking “Christians” (and I use the term loosely) get their views from, but I don’t seem to have a copy on my shelf. Jeremiah 29:11 seems to be coming to my mind all day today for many people. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. It may not seem like it now, but things will get better for you. A big house and money do not mean happiness. You may not have much monetarily right now, but you do have peace of mind and the love of God in your heart.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        When I heard that my ex was engaged, I started praying for this unknown woman. I didn’t want him to hurt anyone else ever again. When I found out that she was (much) taller than I am (I stand 5’1″) AND that she was a lawyer, I stopped praying. I KNEW he couldn’t do to her what he had successfully done to be since I was engaged at 19 years of age.

        I DO still believe in God and I DO pray to Him, but having HOPE is what I don’t have. When you are older and not really strong overall, it is hard. I struggle to not compare myself to others at my age (almost 60) who have a home (I live on charity right now due to high marital legal debt and bills), I TRY to be positive. I DO praise God that i have health insurance and see a professional frequently to continually work on undoing some of my bad thinking about the past and about myself.

        Thanks for the response.

    • His Child

      BTDT, sorry to hear about what happened to you. I have heard many other similar stories of kids who have turned around and blamed the mother, even though it was the mother who was the unfortunate victim and the one who tried to hold it all together for the kids’s sake. Who knows, maybe one day they will come to their senses, as a friend of mine did, at the age of 50, when she realized that she had taken sides with her abusive father all her life. She was a Christian but did not see the evil of her father until he died and she was able to be free from his manipulation. But even if your adult children don’t ever come around to supporting you, God is always the defender of the oppressed. The book is right about one thing – you ARE the apple of His eye!

    • Anna in the temple

      BTDT, I am so sorry you went through this… My heart goes out to you. I am having problems with my hands at the moment or I would be able to write more to you. But I just wanted to say I think God also allowed me to breakdown under abuse too so I could see just how bad things were and why my faulty theology re submission etc kept me in dangerous places rather than thinking to leave. I don’t know if it helps knowing you aren’t the only one in this area or not. What you went through is utterly terrible – not just domestic abuse, but also spiritual abuse from the church. Jesus does not look kindly on this kind of thing – not at all. One day, all this will be put right and one wonderful day we will be in heaven with our wonderful saviour – then there will be no more tears

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        It means a GREAT DEAL to know someone else who suffered a breakdown in this situation. I have gone through counseling and have learned a lot about has happened, but I have never known anyone else who broke down. I DO believe that God needed to do that or I would have never left. Thank you for writing and thank you for the encouragement. (Why does it take SO long to move on from this?)

      • Anna in the temple

        Dear BTDT

        I wish I could write more but I can’t because of my hands. But be assured you aren’t alone. I had never broken down mentally prior to abuse, and away from it I am fine apart from PTSD type symptoms. But when it was happening I really wasn’t good in that way – that is one of the terrible and horrific things abuse can do. Its not you. Its him. I am so sure God allowed it in my life to get me out. I would have stayed otherwise. And even after breaking down I wasn’t sure about leaving – my parents came and took me away. You are not abnormal – it is just the terrible outworking of trauma.

      • BTDT, you are certainly not the only one who suffered some kind of mental break down as a result of the abuse. Anna in the Temple is one, as she has outlined. And I have read of quite a number of others.

        The human mind-body system is not made of titanium. It is not bullet proof, both physical bullets and blows do damage to it, and psychological assaults do damage too, the moreso the longer that pattern of psychological assault goes on. Science and health professionals now recognise this and there is brain-science research to verify it as well as clinical and anecdotal findings. It seems that not nearly enough health professionals realise (yet) that domestic abuse is a major cause of psychological injury and this injury is equivalent to or more serious than the psychological trauma suffered by of war veterans and victims of kidnapping and hostage taking. We hope that health professionals will get more on board with the reality and consequences of domestic abuse as time goes on.

        In the meantime, know you are not alone, far from it, and that in all likelihood God allowed you to have that breakdown to help you realise that you had to leave that marriage. Brave you, for listening to God’s promptings and following His leading. :)

        The refrain to keep repeating: It was not your fault; you were not to blame; you were not crazy; you are not crazy; you were being awfully abused.

    • BTDT, rant as much as you like here. Not only is it good for your healing, it will no doubt ring bells with some other readers and help their healing too. :)

      The longing for vindication — I know what you mean. And by happenstance I’ve had a lot more vindication than you have, but I can still relate to that longing. If that longing were fulfilled, if even one of your kids or your former pastor or some unhelpful bystander were to come and say to you “I was wrong. I am so sorry!” it would make up for a lot (not all) of the lack of vindication from others.

      I say this because it happened to me. Years after my first marriage ended one of the women from the church that me and my husband had been in, who had tried to support me/us through the breakup but had said some hurtful things to me in the process, told me how sorry she was now she realised that my ex really HAD been abusive and a deliberate liar.
      But that only happened years later. It was a tiny drop of recognition and vindication. Her hurtful comments at the time of the breakup had been minor offences compared to all the other stuff I was copping as I ran the gauntlet of separation, but her later apology made my eyes well up with tears and I could immediately feel how it made up in many ways for all the missing apologies from others.

      • Anna in the temple

        BTDT

        Here is a link to Meg’s post on this blog which was published recently:

        http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/emotional-coma-or-vegetative-depression/

        I commented a few times on that post, explaining a little bit about my mental health issues during my marriage, when I was being abused by my husband. Things did get even worse for me mentally during a time of very acute abuse. In this comment of mine in that post thread, I gave some links to the Hidden Hurt website which I found very helpful for understanding the potential mental health consequences of abuse.

        I will be writing a guest post on this blog which will explain more about how the abuse temporarily affected my mental health, when my hands are better.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        Thanks, Anna, for the link to the vegetative coma/depression post. Yes, that does describe some of what happened at first after the incident and then the separation – but not to the extent that you experienced it. I by then was living on my own, getting a little of support money from the husband and trying to make it with a not-quite full time job. I would work, come home and just stare at the wall while on the couch. No thoughts, no tears, nothing. It helps to have a name for it. I know I lost a LOT of time to it and still, every once in a while, I find myself staring at the wall in an almost shut down state. When I asked my doctor a year or so later why he didn’t place me somewhere he said that I wouldn’t have been helped – it was better to be where I was. Sometimes the professionals now seem to try to tell me that I’m over it, but I know my mind is not the same. It took a year for me to try to cook again (and I was a good, from scratch, cook for decades before this). It took years for me to be able to do the multi tasking Thanksgiving dinner. I KNOW how my brain was affected and I KNOW how long it has taken to get back to normal. I also know that I’m VERY sensitive to other violence, murders, etc on the television. Probably for that reason, I just don’t watch the news anymore (I live near a big city – death all the time on the news).

        Thanks again, Anna.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        Thanks, Barbara, for saying that the ranting is ok and is good for me. As far as vindication, something that a new church acquaintance said soon after the separation was that she didn’t see how I made it all those years (she had known my family for a bit over a year at that point). There was also a woman from a church years before that I ran into who said that when my husband was in Sunday School that she wouldn’t open her mouth for fear of what he’d say to her. So, I have a few little memories that help to remind me that I’m not crazy about what happened in my marriage. Yes, if one of my children could acknowledge that what they DID see was abusive and, at least, say that they believed me about the behind-the-scenes-late-night abuse it would be helpful. One child DID once tell me that I was admired for having the courage to leave him. I guess that child sees enough to know. Maybe my child can only go so far because of loyalty to the dad.

  8. Joyce

    It sounds like the stuff I have been handed or seen on a certain Christian website and its like all the marriage books that would work for normal people but make abuse worse. When you have well-meaning people give you this stuff it just twists the knife deeper. My ex and I were ordered to take a co-parenting class. I couldn’t bear to go and my fears were confirmed when my ex, after taking the class, informed me that it is normal for the children to not want to go to visitation and I need to do the right thing and encourage them to go because they need their father in their lives.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Joyce – Some of them, I believe, are well-meaning but naive. Others, especially the celebrity types, are more of the brand that Paul speaks of in Galatians. He says that they “make much of you” out of their evil intent that eventually you will worship them and thus make much of them. Notice how this stuff like we see in Little’s 21 principles is all such great sounding news. People are drawn in by the flattery. Then they get enslaved to the system’s rules and the blame for any failure us put upon them.

    • His Child

      Right – normal for kids to vomit, soil their pants, hide under covers, scream, cry, harm themselves?? What if the child threatens to kill the abusive parent? Should we not protect their father?

    • Joyce, I am enraged at how the courts in America are ordering divorcing/divorced couples to attend co-parenting classes when the marriage has broken because of abuse. It shows how the courts are either morally stupid or (probably more likely) in covert cahoots with abusers and their well-paid lawyers. The divorce court system is often little more than a RACKET in America. Lawyers know how much money each party has and so does the court; the court orders endless classes and psychological evaluations and “High Conflict Divorce Case Managers” for the parties and the parties have no choice but to comply. And it’s a no brainer who loses out in this: the abuse victim who is forced by the court to participate in all these services at her (or his) own expense.

      It put the victim of abuse on a very expensive and nightmarish merry-go-round. Rather than help her cope with the separation and parenting arrangements post-divorce, it just drains her bank account and gives the abuser more weapons and opportunity (with endorsement from professionals and so called ‘experts’) to continue to make her life miserable. (reverse the genders if you are a male survivor)

  9. Carmen S.

    Jeff, Jeff, Jeff…..The Lord spoke these 21 principles directly to Lori one night. These are from 21 Bible verses. ( Watch the YouTube presentation) The “about the author” on Amazon “Lori Little became a single mom in 1996 when her son was just two years old, and she is still a single mom in 2011. Lori’s background was in Corporate Business Development and sales, and she was also the former Director of John Maxwell’s Thrive! division. More important though, Lori has the understanding and commitment gained from thirteen years of single motherhood.

    In the endorsements there’s also a Dr. F. Bobby Atkins ( could be the senior pastor of Truth Tabernacle of Praise in Stone Mountain) mentioning that the Lord birthed these 21 Principles to Lori.

    If you look at her Twitter feed she is claiming 95% of single moms are unchurched. There are 21 Principles DVDs and books for small groups and classes. She tweets that her book was in a pregnancy center.

    Step One: Address the fact that the Lord did not directly speak to Lori and birth this book. This is what passes for Christianity in 2014.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Carmen- Well, there it is! Prophetess status? Not! Thanks, Carmen.

      • Brenda R

        False Prophetess, Jeff, False Prophetess.

    • I will have to find that article I read on how to be a “successful single mom” based on the story of HAGAR AND ISHMAEL. Seriously. The worst article I’ve ever read. This is exactly what passes for Christian responses to widows and orphans today. Just do THIS and then you won’t be poor and oppressed! Gee why has this been hidden!

      • Meg found it! lol Behold this bit of “godly wisdom” for single moms:

        http://www.singlespleasingthelord.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/343/columnid/473/default.asp

        I don’t even know where to begin ***eyeroll*** :P

      • Not Too Late

        “If you are going to understand God’s will as it relates to a single parent, you must examine where Hagar’s focus was. She never asked God to meet her own personal needs…”
        I take this to mean that Hagar didn’t pray anything remotely similar to the Lord’s Prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread”). Instead, she prayed, “Give my child this day his daily bread.” Hmmm…someone ought to tell single moms on airplanes not to follow emergency procedure to give themselves the oxygen mask before placing it on the child. I mean, it’s not Biblical for single moms to consider their own needs first, right?

    • Translation of Dr F Bobby Atkins’ statement:
      Lori was sitting round one night mulling over how she could increase her income and she got the idea that she could market a whole stable of resources for single mums. She was sure she had the expertise and front to pull this off: her background in Corporate Business Development; her many years as a single mum, her network of Christian leaders she could call on for endorsements, hey, who better to pull this off? And the Christian community is so naive that they would buy the claim the “The Lord birthed these 21 principles to Lori.”

      Proven formula: multiple books, formats and presentations; small group easy digestible material, big on promises; gives the pastors and women’s ministry leaders a new item to fill out their program schedule with; and the biggest selling point of all, this program taps a new untapped niche market: unchurched single mums, so it will be attractive to elders boards as they can run it and tick off their ‘evangelism’ box for the year.

  10. Carmen S.

    Joyce,
    If this stuff “worked” for normal people…why would there be a need to publish yet another book?

    • Hannah Thomas

      I would say because God appreciates the custom being that he makes, and not everyone will fit into worldview that others have in mind. We all need to remember, ‘and That’s okay!”

    • Hannah Thomas

      I have to giggle at the normal people deal too. I wonder if the author define that part! (giggles)

      • Brenda R

        I’m not sure what normal is, but I’m sure I’m not.

  11. thepersistentwidow

    There is a new Amazon review for Lori Little’s book here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3BM0R89LJLA44/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R3BM0R89LJLA44 Like the new review and leave your own review for us to like. Maybe we’ll get someone’s attention.

  12. Carmen S.

    I would like to mention that this is exactly the material you would find presented in DivorceCare programs, and I’m sure many “Bible study” programs. Remove the Bible verses and it fits into the secular world. Nothing new here, folks. But this program promises you success and victory! As I said, nothing new.

    “Be free from poor self esteem and insecurity”. “Be free from guilt, shame, unforgiveness and negative programming from the past”.

    From her website:
    The Lord promised Lori that night if she followed these 21 verses of scripture everything was going to be OK for her as a single mom. Lori spent the next seven years researching those 21 verses inside and out Biblically, along with everything she could find in Christian bookstores that related to that scripture. She then built a model and plan for herself as a single mom off of each scripture that she lives out faithfully each day. God was right! Everything is OK and she is “flourishing” in life as a single mom. Her son Eric is doing great also!

    Lori felt the Lord calling her to take everything she learned and develop this 21 Principle program. “Because Lori does all the work for you right on the DVD, there is no need to worry about personally teaching, learning or going through training classes”.

    Principle 19: The Principle of Courtship….JOSHUA HARRIS. Enough said.

    Lori has to be a success everyday of the rest of her life. She must be victorious. She must always have a smile on her face. This isn’t biblical freedom, but it seems to be all Lori has ever heard. This isn’t Christianity.

    • Diane

      Carmen S your comments (11:15 am and 1:47 pm) are cracking me up! You are soooo reading my mind…get out of my head. lol

      Josh Harris indeed.

      She lost me at John Maxwell. John Maxwell? Oh boy….name it claim it, wof, positive confession, positive thinking, attract in your life what you want John Maxwell.

      It is not biblical freedom. It is the very heavy burden of positive confession.

  13. 95% of single moms are “unchurched” – where do they get these stats? I feel like I’m reading a sales pitch for some snake oil.
    She’s out to sell books. And the ministry “leaders” can just point the single moms to this stack of DVDs (or whatever) and boom! we’re all clear of the difficulty of trying to help the widows and orphans too much.

    YES! That’s what I need! a life coach! (certified!) lol

    The “rules” about never bad-mouthing the children’s father — I have been careful not to say needlessly negative things. However I say the truth, I don’t shy from it, and I don’t LIE to my kids because they are not stupid. Lori Little needs a lot more experience before she writes a book like this.

  14. Ellie

    Why do single moms need 21 steps? What’s wrong with the 12 steps everyone else has been working at for years? They have 12 steps for everything! Why do we need another 9? I can barely handle 12.

    • Jeff Crippen

      God only gives us one step. Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desire of the flesh. There it is.

      • Ellie

        Love it!

      • Brenda R

        I like that step.

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        Amen!

  15. Annie

    This stuff is not bad…for single moms who have not been involved in abusive relationships. Fortunately, those single moms are not the ones fighting post-separation issues like harassment and alienation of kids. The ones in trouble, struggling, depressed, anxious and confused are more likely to have escaped a violent relationship. And this sort of book doesn’t cut it for them.

    I see parallels with the family court system. It is made for those who can work together and applied to those who can’t. Professionals insist that the only way family law will work for abusive separating parents is to place abusive cases in a different category and apply different principles. For example, the presumption of shared parenting goes out the window and consideration is given to the effect of contact with an abusive parent. OK, it doesn’t happen often enough but it is something that is being recognized in some states.

    Clearly, what Christian authors urgently need to do is INCLUDE CAVEATS in their books. Books about marriage must address abusive marriages, or at the very least refer the reader to other resources. Books about divorce must include divorce for abuse (and not just physical abuse). Books for single moms must make it clear if the principles are applicable to those divorced from abusive husbands. If the authors do not see the need to treat these cases differently, they ARE NOT QUALIFIED to tackle such topics.

    • BeenThereDoneThat

      This is a great response, Annie, and very clear. The church needs to learn to see that there is a difference as well. Sermons, Bible studies and one-on-one’s need to understand that an abusive relationship doesn’t fit into regular categories when it comes to marriage and especially submission. If the wife is the abused, then she is not being treated as a fragile vessel, equal before God, to be revered by the children and viewed as an equal in marriage by her husband. She is not being protected by her husband. So all regular advice is moot. New rules apply, as you suggest.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Annie and BTDT- Great points. I would add another. In my dealings with Christian couples – genuine believers who, both husband and wife, love Christ and love one another – not much special instruction in how to “do” marriage and family is needed. They just get it. Why? Because they have been taught by Christ and they are led by His Spirit. I mean, my wife and I did not come from Christian homes. But we both know the Lord and when it came to our marriage and to raising our kids, we just did it. Oh yeah, we bought some books and we were invited to some seminars and so on, but honestly I cannot remember a single light-bulb moment coming to me from any of that stuff. There is a place, as set out in Scripture, for the older women to teach the younger women how to love their husbands and how to be workers at home, etc. Men can learn from older, godly men (if you can find an). But do Christians need to be taught how to love one another? It seems to me that these seminars by the Christian “experts” very often just confuse people and lay the teachings of man on them. Bill Gothard’s stuff, the Growing Kids God’s Way series, on and on we could go.

      • lisa

        AMEN!

      • Annie

        RIght, Jeff. So the bottom line seems to be there those who are in abusive situations should not be applying principles in these types of books, and those who are not in abusive situations often do not really need or seek out these books. Trouble is, those who are desperately looking for answers are often those have experienced abuse but have not “come out of the fog”. It is they who will grab whatever is recommended by the experts. It is they who will be confused, disappointed and harmed.

      • Brenda R

        I haven’t read this book. Does this person attempt to use Bible reference for her reasoning? I have a shelf full of books and at least 2 thirds of them have little Bible reference and explanations are just what people think.

  16. Anna in the temple

    This type of teaching includes Word of Faith heretical rubbish “speaking blessings” over an abuser. There is often some sort of underlying assumption that we can speak our future into existence and call people out of darkness into light etc etc. This is dangerous error that has crept into evangelical churches. Very very dangerous indeed. What a load of rubbish and how damaging for an abuse victim. Just shocking.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Anna for that observation. Very important point. It attributes the power of God’s Word to human beings, telling us that we can speak something into or out of existence.

  17. Hannah Thomas

    What kills me about this constant, “You don’t understand what we are saying.” stuff? They never really know how to explain any different. The truth is they have a problem with acknowledging maybe someone else has a point, and their ‘theory’ was proven wrong.

    Their truth is they don’t know things that don’t fit into their worldview, and how things ‘should’ work…and that’s their pride issue.

  18. Joyce

    Yes! But wasn’t it nice of them to help us? And if we follow their little plan, we wouldn’t be such irritating people with problems.

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