If you’re looking to improve your parenting skills, I have great news. You can ignore the tower of parenting books your in-laws dropped off within minutes of the plus-sign’s appearance on the stick. Bastion of humanity and rationality Focus on the Family (FOF) points out that the bible on parenting is none other than the Bible. God is our father, FOF reminds us. Because he’s perfect and all, it follows that you will attain maximum parental success if you follow his example.
Never one to argue with bastions, I dusted off and plunged into my trusty King James Version. Sure enough, in no time I resurfaced with a wealth of useful tips.
Only a few pages into Genesis, I learned how to childproof a kitchen. Simply place brightly labeled cleansers in plain sight and warn kids too young to understand “if you don’t want to die” not to consume them “… if you don’t want to die.” When tragedy strikes, blame the nearest man, who will blame the nearest woman, who will blame the nearest talking snake. Whatever you do, accept no responsibility for having left the cleansers out in the first place.
From the perspective of one whose hairline hasn’t so much receded as fled, I appreciated a bit of wisdom found in Second Kings, which also appears in Second Chronicles, removing all doubt as to its historicity. The way to stop youth from teasing a bald guy is to feed said youth to bears. Those who escape will surely warn their friends not to mock the polished pate; later, they can invite nerdy kids to go bald-guy teasing instead of snipe hunting.
Should your sworn enemy propose a friendly wager on how your most devoted son will react to extreme misfortune, take the bet. This parenting pearl comes courtesy of the Book of Job. (For the less Bible-literate, that’s job spelled with an o.) Let your enemy destroy your son’s assets, kill all ten of his children, and cover him in boils. It’s not as mean as it sounds. After giving the petulant kid a stern reminder as to who runs the universe, you can heal his boils, replace his assets, and make his poor wife carry and pop out ten more brand-new kids. If your son and his wife are properly grateful, they won’t give their slaughtered kids a second thought.
Do you love some of your children more than others? That’s not just human but divine. The biblical god is all about favoritism. On a group level, there’s the whole men-are-to-rule-over-women thing. There’s also the whole “chosen people” thing, which clearly favored those not chosen by not burdening them with endless bullying and mindless rules. On an individual level, suppose you love your shepherd kid more than you love your gardener kid. If the gardener snaps and murders the shepherd, curse the gardener to wander around wearing a distinguishing mark. You will serve justice in the short run and promote racism in the long.
All good parents seek to balance justice with fairness. According to the Bible, you can resolve this seeming paradox by torturing and murdering your best-behaved child. Leave the kid dead for two days; you’ll get away with calling it three. This will pay forward justice’s bloodlust so you can forgive your other children when they succumb to the flaws that you designed into them.
Do not overlook the importance of spending quality time with your children. Someday they will look back with fondness on the times you remained invisible and inaudible, demanded love under threat, made them kneel and grovel, exempted yourself from your own laws, berated them for their unworthiness, and treated your daughters as chattel.
Every parent who dreads The Talk, which is to say, every parent, will be relieved to know that there is no better sex education textbook than the Bible. Its myriad well-reasoned sexual rules leave no stone unthrown. For instance, if a man withdraws and fertilizes the ground, kill him. If you catch men with men in flagrante delicto, kill them both. If your son sees you drunk and naked, curse your grandson. If a man rapes your daughter, bill him fifty shekels of silver for devaluing your property and convene a shotgun wedding. This all but erases a rape; if you don’t believe it, ask any rape victim. Speaking of rape, should the locals wish to rape your angel friends, politely invite them to rape your daughters instead. Fair being fair, it is fine for daughters to rape their dad, provided they liquor him up first.
Though space does not permit listing every biblical gem of sex education, I would be remiss if I omitted instructions for transforming your daughter into your mother. If you said, “That’s easy, she can just marry my dad,” puh-leeze, that would be gross. The divine way to go about it is to impregnate her yourself, and then wait nine months for her to give birth—to you.
Now, there are no guarantees. Even if you follow the biblical god’s example to the letter, your kids might still grow up to be jerks. Do not despair. You have a biblical ace up your sleeve. When things get out of hand, drown all but three or four of your kids and their spouses, and then make it their job to reboot the human race. Incest, schmincest. It’s not as if the Division of Family Services will come a-knocking. You drowned them, remember?
I have a daughter and a son. For reasons beyond me, they seem to think they were fortunate to have attained adulthood before I discovered bible-based parenting. They’re lucky I don’t shake the dust off my feet at them.