real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

november 2 podcast

Podcast Logo In this week’s podcast, thatmom examines one of the results of the patriocentric movement by looking at curse-based relationships vs grace based relationships. She quotes Jeff VanVonderen who says “in controlling shaming families, love and acceptance come as a reward for jumping through certain behavioral hoops. People are validated for their right doing, not simply for being. Children grow up needy and empty. To earn personal approval, which they never really receive, they learn to perform well. Good behavior is whatever the people with power in the family decide is positive. Hence, adults may be lulled into believing that their children are spiritually strong and mature, when in fact they may be people pleasers.” Listen here for this week’s podcast entitled “Curse vs Grace in Patriocentric Teachings.”



  Carol wrote @

Good stuff. That was one of the first books I read years ago after being briefly (as in 2 days) brainwashed by Pearl’s TTUAC.

Thanks for sharing this message with parents everywhere. I find grace is not only important in the parent/child relationship, but also for me personally as a mother. When I make mistakes as a mother and forget to be gracious, I must remember that if God can forgive me, I should forgive myself.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

VanVonderan’s “Families Where Grace is in Place was an excellent choice to use as both summary and helpful answer to your series on patriarchy. It’s also interesting to note that he was also co-author of “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse,” a book that is essential reading on the topic of patriarchy and patriocentricity.

VanVonderan also hosts a website some free articles at

God richly bless you for this undertaking. These podcasts have been a blessing and a light shining in darkness. Glory to God!

  Kate wrote @

Thank you for this encouraging podcast. I really appreciated the description between grace-based families and shame-based families. I hope to have my husband listen in, too. I’ll be looking forward to the Treasures highlights.

  thatmom wrote @

Carol, I, too, had a brief encounter with that book…a friend of mine gave it to me…twice! What she didn’t understand was that the child she thought was so desperately in need of training is a child with special needs and who is wired together so differently than any other child I have ever seen. Even if I had done all the things the Pearls want you to do, it would not have been effective!

Years later, the Lord blessed this friend with an extremely high energy little boy who did all sorts of things, and in the wink of an eye, that her other children would never even have thought of doing. 🙂 Life is interesting like that.

  thatmom wrote @

Cindy, the topic of spiritual abuse is so closely tied to that of patriocentricity. In fact, it was the topic of ecclesiocentricity that lent itself to my coining this phrase to describe this movement. At some point, I intend to talk about what it looks like what the two of these things come together because I think that is at the heart of this movement. I am still researching this aspect of it.

  thatmom wrote @

Kate, all I can say this morning about the Treasures retreat and those highlights is WOW!!!

Once again, REAL homeschooling moms know how to give REAL encouragement!

To salt everyone’s oats…..I gave this assignment to 5 moms: share testimonies of what God has done through your homeschooling experience to change you. The Lord took that simple request and used it to pour out His spirit on a room full of precious moms. When I read the evaluations, I was impressed by how many of them said they were so strongly convicted about placing God’s Word first in their lives and how blessed they were by the sincerity of the moms who shared. I know you will be blessed, too.

  missionaryinukraine wrote @

Thank you for your podcasts and for your ministry!

  M wrote @


Appalled. I have listened to this podcast and am in disbelief at your slander. Dear sister, you are obviously a woman who is not under biblical headship because your husband allows you to go out into the world (via the Internet) and slander, gossip, and waste time. Does your husband approve of your slander, gossip, and time wasting?

What I hear you talking about (on this particular podcast) is dictatorship which is not what is promoted through patriarchy. I realize you are speaking of patriocentric living, yet I don’t think you are doing a good job of distinguishing between the two.

Wouldn’t your time be much better spent loving your husband, tending to your children, ministering to the sick and widows and tending to your own garden? You’re not saving the world, thatmom.

It is obvious even to the casual reader/listener that you and your colleagues are not happy with your station in life. You are not living in the joy of the Lord. You comment that angry reactions don’t show love. Love doesn’t deface the character of others, particularly those who are your neighbors and are supposed to be your brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is a disgrace and shame what you are doing in the name of Christ. Your bitterness comes through in your speaking and writing. I don’t hear award-winning speeches, I hear someone who is sowing discord among the brethren.

You need much prayer and those whom you have led astray need it also.

  molleth wrote @

THANK YOU for your faithfulness.

As a former patriarchalist, I second the notion that “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” is a must read for those coming out. And I also agree that hyper-patriarchy *is* a form of spiritual abuse (because it’s abuse perpetrated in the name of God, leaving abuser and abused no (seeming) choice but to continue in it.

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I have had to come out of this on my own, in so many ways, and my health is fragile because of the strain. What a blessing your work is and will continue to be to others who are just beginning to ask questions. Your excellent presentations will hopefully save them SO MUCH pain and trauma as they exit their prisons.

Loving this Wide Spacious GRACE in Christ,

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

To M:

Did we listen to the same podcast? I must have listened to the wrong one.

  Corriejo wrote @


“Wouldn’t your time be much better spent loving your husband, tending to your children, ministering to the sick and widows and tending to your own garden? You’re not saving the world, thatmom.

It is obvious even to the casual reader/listener that you and your colleagues are not happy with your station in life. ”

Karen already does that. She has a lovely family and she most definitely cares for them. If you only knew! She doesn’t talk about it or brag on herself but she cares for her family.

Her time here is well-spent and I don’t see the difference between traveling around the country and speaking and doing interviews and writing books or staying in one’s home and reaching out to people via a podcast. There are many who have been blessed by her ministry.

Actually, take that back, I do see a difference. Karen is actually IN her home, taking care of her OWN family and her OWN household.

I am interested in this term “station in life”? What does that refer to, “M”? I am not familiar with how you are using that term?

And who are Karen’s neighbors you are referring to? It seems you might be personally acquainted with Thatmom and are hiding behind a proxy. Not many people know that information.

It might be useful if you would show us where she is defaming her neighbors?

“Your bitterness comes through in your speaking and writing. I don’t hear award-winning speeches, I hear someone who is sowing discord among the brethren.”

Actually, that statement about “award-winning speeches” sounds bitter to me but then again it is hard to tell if someone is “bitter” by words on a page. And I certainly can’t tell any bitterness in her voice from her podcasts. We really should try and abstain from ascribing motives unless the person has actually confessed that this is why they are doing something.

Or maybe you could write her in private and ASK her if she is bitter?

“You need much prayer and those whom you have led astray need it also.”

M, on that we agree. Karen does need much prayer and so do all of us who support what she is doing here. I appreciate your prayers, greatly! And that is a sincere statement.

I can only speak for myself but Karen has not misled me at all. I guess I just can identify truth when I hear/see it. If Karen did say anything that went against what the Bible taught, I would call her on it. I am quite sure there are others who appreciate her podcasts that would call her on her error, too.

That is one thing I appreciate about the ladies who participate on these blogs. They do hold each other accountable and are not afraid to disagree. That is the refreshing part about this whole thing. That is what is missing amidst all the cronyism in the hyper-patriarchal movement.

  thatmom wrote @


I am most happy that you have come to my blog…you have the distinction of leaving the first negative comment on this series! So, since you are here,maybe you could contribute to the conversation by listing exactly where you believe I have biblically left the map..Could you specifically tell me with what you disagree?

Also, I, too, would like to know what your phrase “station in life” means. I hope you will tune in to the upcoming podcast where I discuss the difference between a woman’s purpose, her calling, and her role. I didn’t mention “station in life” but I think the distinction I make will be really helpful to the conversation.

M, I am a sinner saved by God’s grace alone. I fail my family and others every single day. But Corrie is correct, I have chosen to pursue ministry via the internet because I want to be home to care for my family which also includes an 85 year old mom who is homebound. In this season of life, I am very happy to minister within the 4 walls the Lord has given to me plus the friends I have made through my blogs and the podcasts. The Lord has given me a tremendous privilege and I do not want to abuse it. So, please, be specific and I will be thrilled to interact with you. Honest.

Oh, and that voice at the beginning of the podcast is my husband’s. He is the one who bought me the microphone and encouraged me to podcast. All my material is previewed by him and we discuss all the podcasts prior to their airing. He also is the techno guy behind the scenes. And since my primary audience is homeschooling moms, I believe this fulfills the Titus 2 mandate. Of course, anyone is welcome!

  Corrie wrote @


I just listened to this podcast and it is very good. I second the recommendation for Jeff VanVonderan’s book, Families Where Grace is in Place.

  Cally Tyrol wrote @

Frankly, “M”, the only bitterness I perceive in this entire discussion stems from your comment. You haven’t even come close to biblical admonition with your comments. All I hear from you is a clanging cymbal.

Karen, as always, you have answered with grace and dignity. Thank you for what you’ve meant to me and to so many others. Your podcasts have inspired me to keep running this particular race, in spite of the mudslinging that is so often flung from the other side.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

I still think that M listened to the wrong podcast!

  thatmom wrote @

missionaryinukraine ,

Thanks for your kind words from the other side of the world!

  Corrie wrote @


I am with you. I listened to the podcast and I have no idea what M is talking about. It is obviously coming from somewhere else.

  Marg wrote @


I appreciate your podcast. Thank you for your thought provoking “sharings”.

I also appreciate the way you correspond with someone who disagrees with you and her post is somewhat attacking. Thank you for setting the example of grace even when *my* first thoughts were more defensive.

This sums it up for me: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness, Lord.”


God bless you… and M too!

  Shauna wrote @

This has been such an informative and thought-provoking podcast series, Karen. I’m also really enjoying going back through your podcast archives and am finding them quite an encouragement, particularly the “one-anothering” series!

One thing that has struck me after listening to the ongoing patriarchy conversation on the podcasts and at True Womanhood is how important it is to teach my kids how to think for themselves and how to reasonably and rationally discuss and debate issues with grace and humility and without resorting to histrionics and name calling.

It can be difficult to put aside our preconceived notions and prejudices against those who make different life choices and hold opposing viewpoints than we do, but we (all Christians, myself included) need to avoid making assumptions about them and presuming to know their motives. We need to avoid bearing false witness against others and ask questions when clarification or elaboration is needed–not assume the worst and make accusations. We need to challenge ideas and arguments, not attack one another personally. But we also need to be able to distinguish between personal attacks and reasonable questioning of our words!

  thatmom wrote @

ut we also need to be able to distinguish between personal attacks and reasonable questioning of our words!

Shauna, this is so hard sometimes. Often there is a fine line between the personal and the philosophical. I am trying very hard to keep the debate and discussion on that level for the reason that I believe this is such an important discussion and we must have it. I hope you all will keep me accountable if I mess up.

  ruby wrote @

I’m delurking here for what is the first time, I think. This is a little late now, as I kept forgetting to comment, but oh well. Better late than never. =)

Anyway, I came across a thread on a Christian forum (Crosswalk/Faith Community Network) that is somewhat related to this. There is other discussion taking place in the thread as well, but it’s fairly easy to pick out the posts that go together. The topic is about a woman living overseas as a missionary/teacher and she is asking about the authority her father has given to another man (not her husband or even a boyfriend) because she is living thousands of miles away from her family. It starts here: and I’m not sure where it ends. Hopefully if anyone clicks on the link, it won’t be hard to find. It is interspersed throughout a few pages, I do know that. I hope someone finds it relevant!

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