Gentle Christian Parenting: A Biblical Critique

October 15, 2023

Gentle Christian Parenting: A Biblical Critique

A new Christian parenting movement has burst onto the scene in the last decade called Gentle Christian Parenting. Parents, especially moms, likely have come across this movement and its ideas through social media clips on TikTok and YouTube leaving one confused and wondering what they should think about it. Am I wrong for spanking my child? Does the Bible say something different? These clips can be traced back to a self-published book entitled Jesus, the Gentle Parent by L. R. Knost.1 It is to this book we now turn to analyze its claims and offer a constructive response for parents and pastors.2


To begin, Knost genuinely cares about her kids and helping other people love their kids. Each chapter is filled with heartfelt thoughts from the depth of a mom’s heart. No one can deny she speaks out of personal love and compassion. This love and concern for her children and others is inspiring.

False Dichotomy

Knost sets up a false dichotomy of parenting that runs through the whole book. Parents are confronted with two options by which to analyze their parenting. Either they are doing Gentle Parenting like her (also called connection-based parenting, trust-based parenting, and positive parenting) or they are doing punishment-based (authoritarian) parenting. She chooses two extreme ends of a spectrum and draws a line between the two. If you spank (or physically discipline), no matter how you do it, why you do it, or how much love is into it, you are not a gentle parent but now a punishing parent.

Examples within this false dichotomy are not always an accurate representation of parenting that is different than the authors. Allowing moments of crying while sleep training does not mean a parent is ignoring their cries or seeing them as manipulators. Disciplining our children doesn’t mean “we believe our children need to be punished, to make them obedient and acceptable.”3 The author would do well to reconsider views that land in-between her dichotomy.

Exegetical Fallacies

At least two exegetical (or word) study fallacies are committed by Knost. The first is “Selective and prejudiced use of evidence.”4 This fallacy “appeal[s] to selective evidence that enables the interpreter to say what he or she wants to say, without really listening to what the Word of God says.”5 The second fallacy ties in with the first when she “[A]ppeal[s] to unknown or unlikely meanings.”6

Example 1 - The Rod of Discipline

Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.7

Knost claims that verses in Proverbs containing the word “rod” are more literally and therefore better translated as “wisdom, leadership, protection.”8 And that discipline is literally “‘verbal instruction and teaching’.”9 Therefore, Proverbs 13:24 above would read, “He who spares his…wisdom, leadership, protection…does not love… his son, but he who loves him…offers verbal instruction and teaching to him promptly.”10 Is this a good exegetical interpretation of Proverbs 13:24 and the words rod and discipline?

Hebrew dictionaries reveal that rod (Hebrew שֵׁבֶט shêbeṭ, shay´-bet) may be understood as having a literal definition and a figurative definition which arises out of the literal. Literally, shêbeṭ refers to “a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (fig.) a clan:—× correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.”11 shêbeṭ consistently shows up as rod, staff, club in its first definition with a figurative picture of what it could be in its second.

Hebrew dictionaries reveal that Discipline ( מוּסָר (mû·sār)) can mean discipline, chastening, chastisement, punishment, warning, instruction, correction, and reproof. mû·sār as used in Proverbs 13:24 is consistently given under the definition of discipline, chastening, chastisement, and correction.

So how are we to understand “rod” and “discipline” in Proverbs 13:24? It is wise to understand a word in its basic or primary lexical definition unless it is clearly given a metaphorical reference or understanding that forces us to understand it differently. In this case, rod is best understood as a literal stick that is used to physically instruct. In the immediate context, rod is pictured as discipline. As a stick used for a physical task, it makes the most immediate sense to see rod here in its literal understanding. To say, “Whoever spares the “tribe,” “symbol of kingship,” or “leadership” is a far stretch that plays too far with words. Knost therefore is appealing to unlikely meanings.

When we look at the use of rod in Proverbs, this understanding of “rod” as physical discipline is corroborated.

Proverbs 10:13 - On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.

  • Bruce Waltke states, “Corrective caning [flogging, whipping] was applied to the back…of the one who lacks sense…”12 To say the rod is wisdom or leadership for the back would makes no sense.

Proverbs 14:3 - By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

Proverbs 22:15 - Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

  • Waltke states, “Since folly incurs the LORD’s curse… this proverb seeks to protect the youth from eternal death through the father’s relatively light sting. Prov. 20:30 called for bruising wounds to scour defiled humanity generally; 22:15 applies that truth to depraved youth particularly. Bodily harm without heals the moral rot within. Whereas most proverbs call for the youth to give an attentive ear, moral education calls for physical punishment along with sharp reproof for wrongdoing (29:15). The father must not underestimate the difficulty of his task, for he does battle with an innate recalcitrance and perversity. He must tear down and build up; eradicate and implant.”13

Proverbs 23:13 - Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

  • The verb “strike” (nākâ) clearly denotes physical discipline.14

Proverbs 23:14 nmdash; If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Proverbs 26:3 - A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.

Proverbs 29:15 - The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

The same sense of “rod” in Proverbs can be seen in 2 Samuel 7:14 which states, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men.” The stripes of men make clear that the rod of men is a physical instrument of discipline.

Example 1 Conclusion - The Rod of Discipline

Understanding rod as “wisdom,” or “leadership” in Proverbs 23:14 is not a good interpretation. Rod is clearly a stick used to enact physical discipline for the benefit of the child. Physical discipline, done in love and control for the benefit of the child, is biblical and should not be softened to verbal instruction only.

As for how to apply this instructive and disciplinary tool along with the other tools God gives us for the benefit of our children, that is another discussion. One that should be approached with the upmost thought, love, and care. Knost does cite some unfortunate examples of extreme physical discipline (spanking) from Christian authors that this author would too disagree with. But those examples, even though taken too far, do not warrant excommunicating physical discipline altogether.

Knost’s dialogue around the rod ends with a mixture of strong and confusing statements. She strongly says that to bind ourselves to the “rod” verses in Proverbs means that we are binding ourselves to the entire Old Testament law. This is her way of saying we don’t even need to obey these after all is said and done. So does that mean we can spare her definition of Proverbs 13:24? Should we forget about discipline or verbal instruction as she translates it to our children?

She argues additionally that the words for child and children in the rod verses are literally young man and do not refer to children. This is another instance of prejudiced use of words. The Hebrew word here for child can refer to someone just born (1 Sam. 4:21), an infant (Exodus 2:6), or a child before speech (Isaiah 8:4).15 Now, it is true that we are not under the old covenant, but there is still authoritative teaching, instruction, correction, and admonition throughout as Paul states in 2 Tim. 3:16–17.16

Confusion happens as Knost ends her rod chapter (11) saying these rod verses have questionable interpretations. The reader does not get this impression as she strongly argues her translations throughout.

Example 2 - Obey/Disobey

Knost claims “that the word obey [and disobey] doesn’t even appear in the original texts of the Bible[.]”17 Is this an accurate statement? Let’s take a deeper exegetical look.

John 3:36 states, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

The following Greek lexicons give the following definitions for the Greek word used here ἀπειθέω (apeitheō).

  • apeitheō: “disobey, be disobedient”18
  • “ἀπειθέω, Att. form of ἀπῐθέω (though even Trag. preferred ἀπιστέω, q.v. ii), to be disobedient, refuse compliance.”19
  • “ἀπειθέω (apeitheō): vb….1. LN 36.23 disobey, be disobedient (Ro 10:21; 11:30, 31; Heb 3:18; 11:31; 1Pe 2:8; 3:20; 4:17+); 2. LN 31.107 reject belief, refuse to believe (Jn 3:36; Ac 14:2; 19:9; Ro 2:8; 15:31; 1Pe 3:1+), note: there may be overlap of verses and entries.”20
  • “ἀπειθέω apeitheō disobey, be disobedient.”21
  • “disobey; be an unbeliever [UBS 4th ed., 18]

Multiple dictionaries are uniform in translating the Greek word apeitheō as disobey/disobedience.

Acts 5:29 states, “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

The following Greek lexicons give the following definitions for the Greek word used here πειθαρχέω (peitharcheō).

  • “πειθαρχέω…obey θεῷ Ac 5:29.”22
  • “πειθαρχέω, obey one in authority,”23
  • “πείθομαιa; πειθαρχέω: to submit to authority or reason by obeying—‘to obey.’ πείθομαιa: πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπείκετε ‘obey your leaders and submit to them’ He 13:17.”24
  • “πειθαρχέω (peitharcheō). vb. to obey one in authority. This verb emphasizes the authority of the one to be obeyed. This is a rare word for obeying in the nt. It is formed from πείθω (peithō, “to persuade”)—some grammatical forms of which can mean “to obey”—and ἄρχων (archōn, “authority”). Since God is the ultimate authority, he must be obeyed (peitharcheō) above all others (Acts 5:29), and he gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey (peitharcheō) him (Acts 5:32). Christians are also to obey (peitharcheō) and submit to (ὑποτάσσω, hypotassō) political rulers. In Acts 27:21, Paul tells his shipmates that they should have obeyed (peitharcheō) him; either Paul the prisoner is claiming authority over them, or the word in this case has a more general sense of “to obey,” without indicating authority.”25

Three different dictionaries are uniform in translating the Greek word πειθαρχέω (peitharcheō) as obey.

Luke 11:28 reads, “But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep [obey] it!”

Knost removes “obey” and replaces it with “listen to, thoughtfully consider, and respond to it.”26 The following Greek lexicons give the following definitions for the Greek word used here φυλάσσω.

  • “φυλάσσω….to continue to keep a law or commandment from being broken….act. observe, follow (νόμον…”27
  • “φυλάσσωb; τηρέωc; τήρησιςc, εως f: to continue to obey orders or commandments—‘to obey, to keep commandments, obedience.’ φυλάσσωb: πάντα ταῦτα ἐφύλαξα ‘I have continued to obey all these commandments’ Mt 19:20. τηρέωc: ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε ‘if you love me, you will keep my commandments’ Jn 14:15. τήρησιςc: ἀλλὰ τήρησις ἐντολῶν θεοῦ ‘but obedience to God’s commandments’ 1 Cor 7:19.”28
  • UBS 4th ed. (195) “guard, keep under guard; keep, obey, follow; keep safe, protect, defend…”

Three different dictionaries are uniform in translating the Greek word φυλάσσω as to continue to keep/to continue to obey.

John 14:23 states, “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Knost removes “obey” [here “keep” in ESV] and replaces it with “listen to, thoughtfully consider, and respond to it.”29 The following standard and trusted Greek lexicon gives the following definitions for the Greek word used here τηρέω.

  • τηρέω: “to persist in obedience, keep, observe, fulfill, pay attention to, esp. of law and teaching.”30
  • The basic meaning of τηρέω is to keep, guard, observe.

Ephesians 6:1 - “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Knost removes “obey” and replaces it with “listen to, thoughtfully consider, and respond to it.”31 The following Greek lexicons give the following definitions for the Greek word used here ὑπακούω.

  • “ὑπακούω…to follow instructions, obey, follow, be subject to w. gen. of pers.”32
  • “ὑπακούωa; ὑπακοή, ῆς f; εἰσακούωb: to obey on the basis of having paid attention to—‘to obey, obedience.’”33
  • “I. hearken, give ear….answer…. listen to, heed, regard”.34
  • “ὑπακούω (hypakouō): vb.; ≡ DBLHebr 6700, 9048; Str 5219; TDNT 1.223–1. LN 36.15 obey, be obedient (Mt 8:27; Mk 1:27; Ac 6:7; Ro 6:12, 16, 17; Eph 6:1, 5; 2Th 1:8; 1Pe 3:6); 2. LN 46.11 answer the door (Ac 12:13+).”35
  • “ὑπακούω (hypakouō). vb. to obey. This verb means “to obey,” with nuances of hearing and then doing. This word is formed from the verb ἀκούω (akouō, “to hear”) with the prefix ὑπό- (hypo-, “under”). In the nt, it almost always means “to obey.” (Acts 12:13, where hypakouō means “answer [the door],” is an exception, but still fits into the larger pattern of hearing and then doing.) Sometimes nature and spirits are made to obey: demons (Mark 1:27), as well as the wind and sea, obey (hypakouō; Matt 8:27) Jesus, and with faith like a mustard seed the disciples could order a mulberry tree to plant itself in the sea, and it would obey (hypakouō; Luke 17:6).”36

Obey is consistently used in most Greek dictionaries concerning ὑπακούω. It has nuances of hearing and then doing that together render obey an appropriate translation. Particularly insightful is Timothy A. Gabrielson’s entry above.

Example 2 Conclusion - Obey/Disobey

Again and again Greek lexicons cite obedience and disobedience in their defining of these Greek words. So why does Knost go against the strong scholarly support here? It is not hard to see that she has a framework—a gentle framework—for parenting that she is trying to soften Scripture into.

The context in which she speaks of obey/disobey in her book is “instant obedience.” She is concerned with demanding obedience, control of children, and fear of punishment. This author would commend her for being concerned with child abuse in these areas, but she need not soften Scripture to fit her gentle parenting agenda. Obedience is a biblical concept that parents can issue to their children in love and respect and even with a gentle tongue and hand. Obedience doesn’t mean we are making mindless followers instead of leaders. No, rather we are training them to mindfully follow God’s ways instantly. Surely God is pleased in that.

Selective Scripture References

From the opening pages Jesus is laid out as the model parent and described as gentle, tender, responsive, available, listening, encouraging, teaching, guiding, God himself, intimately and emphatically connecting with his children.37 No Christian will argue with this. Yes, Jesus is wonderfully all these things. But Knost also claims that Jesus did not “make demands, insist on instant obedience, and toss around kingly commands[.]”38 She continues, “Jesus treated his disciples gently, tenderly. He listened. He responded to their needs, answered their questions, spoke their language. Jesus encouraged and guided and taught his disciples.”39

What about when Jesus rebuked Peter and said get behind me Satan? Matthew 16:23 says, “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” That doesn’t sound like the Jesus Knost painted for her audience. Or what about when Jesus said (Matt. 8:26) to the disciples, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” No doubt Jesus said it in love, but “little faith” carries a tone of rebuke as well. Or what about when Jesus commanded them to go and make disciples (Matt. 28:18–20)? That sounds like a king telling His children/servants exactly what to do.

Knost is very selective in representing Jesus with the disciples. Yes, He was amazingly merciful, patient, kind, and loving, but He also rebuked, commanded, and said it like it was to His disciples. Knost’s picture of Jesus and God are incomplete as represented in her book. To follow her teaching is to follow a selective and therefore incomplete teaching about God. We need God represented in all His glory, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable.

Heretical Theology

Sin Nature

Knost declares that children “are born perfect.”40 She reasons, “Believing that babies are formed by God in the womb with a fatal flaw and are therefore born as sinners, liars, and manipulators simply doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up in light of God’s perfection, his love, his wisdom.”41 Paul the apostle would disagree with Knost. He says in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” When Adam fell into sin so did the rest of humanity. We all fell, because of Adam’s representative headship, into the category of sin and received sin natures. Here Knost argues that having a sin nature simply means we have the tendency to sin. That is partly true. It also means we are by nature sinners and in a sinful state before God. Ephesians 2:3 speaks of humans being by nature children of wrath, or children destined for wrath because of the sin that they are in.42

Furthermore, Systematic Theologian Wayne Grudem defines sin the following way. He states, “Sin is any failure to conform to the moral laws (perfect moral nature) of God in act, attitude, or nature.”43 Knost has heretically stepped out of the teaching of Scripture to declare how she feels about the nature of children instead of how Scripture reveals their true state. This reality doesn’t mean God loves children any less; rather, it highlights how much He does love them considering their hopeless and warped condition. Also, this reality doesn’t mean children have no value or worth. Not at all! Children are made in the image of God and possess life protecting value. Nonetheless they are descendants of Adam and his fallen nature until faith in Christ Jesus.

The Fruit of the Spirit

Knost teaches that “obedience is not included as a fruit of the Spirit. It is not mentioned as a measure of love for God or evidence of a relationship with God.”44 This reasoning is flawed and misleading. The fruit of the Spirit is a representative list of the works the Holy Spirit produces in the children of God.45 Compassion wasn’t cited as a fruit of the Spirit; shall we conclude then that the Spirit doesn’t produce this? Of course not. Prayer is also not cited as a fruit of the Spirit, and neither is worship. That’s because this is a representative list.

There are more fruitful works the Spirit produces in us just like there are more works the flesh can engage in but are not mentioned in Paul’s list in Galatians 5:19–21. See Example #2 under Exegetical Fallacies for a further treatment of Knost’s take on “obedience.”

Jesus Throws a Tantrum

Knost labels Jesus’ overturing of the tables of the money changers as a temper tantrum. Her dictionary definition gives the following: “Temper tantrum: (n) a loss of mental imbalance or composure, esp. an outburst of anger or irritation.”46 Knost then reasons that Jesus’ actions in the temple courtyard “would be an accurate designation.”47 Did Jesus lose his mental balance and composure through anger as Knost suggests?

Merriam-Webster states that a tantrum is “a fit of bad temper.”48 says, “a violent demonstration of rage or frustration; a sudden burst of ill temper.”49 These dictionary definitions paint a stronger picture of a tantrum.50 Did Jesus have a bad temper? Did Jesus have violent rage/frustration and a sudden burst of ill temper? The answer is absolutely not!

Jesus has not lost His mind, His composure, nor is He having a bad temper or burst of sudden ill. Jesus is acting out of a deeply controlled passion. John 2:17 tells us it was zeal for God’s house that drove Jesus. Jesus is not emotionally overwhelmed like a toddler; He is protecting God’s house and zealously disciplines those there for their unrighteous actions in the temple, and with a whip!

Knost uses this to argue that temper tantrums are okay with children because Jesus had one. This is another example of forcing Scripture to say and support a preconceived notion of hers. Jesus’ actions in the temple cannot be used to justify child temper tantrums.

Questionable Philosophy

Gentle Parenting is based on the core values of connection, communication, and cooperation. Connection and communication are great values for parents to have. However, Knost’s views on cooperation are highly questionable. For example she states, “Instead of ‘If you don’t put your dishes in the sink, you won’t get ice cream for dessert’ try ‘Let me know when your dishes are in the sink so I can get your ice cream for you.’”51 In trying to move from demanding obedience to gentle parenting Knost gives the child too much authority. Kids get to decide when they want to put their dishes in the sink and receive their reward. Translate this into real life and the result is not good. Imagine a teacher telling a student to let him know when they turn an assignment in, so he can grade it. They finally turn it in only to hear “Sorry, papers were due last week; grades are now closed, and you failed to meet the deadline.” Imagine an employer informing an employee to let them know when they feel like getting their work done. Not going to fly! Businesses have deadlines and if you don’t meet them, you may be out of a job.

It is okay and good to give children orders in love and set time limits on them, including this needs to be done now. If this author parented with Knost’s idea of cooperation, bath time with my three kids under the age of five would not go well.


More could be said of L. R. Knost’s Book Jesus, the Gentle Parent, but this review is sufficient to conclude the following.

Gentle Christian Parenting as taught by L. R. Knost has serious biblical flaws and concerns. Although she has a big heart, she has demonstrated herself a misleading theologian and not a biblically reliable source. I do not recommend her as a source for biblically based parenting. Perhaps this is why no Christian publication carries her book.

There are some nice things and even some true things, but since the book is biblically inaccurate and exegetically misguiding, I do not recommend it to parents. You can find nice and true things like this from other biblically accurate and exegetically sound sources.

1Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent (U.S.A., Little Hearts Books, 2014). This book is not available to purchase from Christian retailers that the author could find. Therefore, there is no visible support from the Christian publishing community for this book.

2Knost welcomes this when she says, “When you read the words in this book, don’t accept them. Question them. Challenge them. Test them. Pray about them.” Ibid., 180.

3Ibid., 165.

4D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: MI, Baker Academic, 1996), 54.


6Ibid., 37.

7Scripture passages are ESV (English Standard Version) unless otherwise noted.

8Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 57–58

9Ibid., 58.


11James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 111.

12Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1–15 (Grand Rapids: MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004), 462.

13Ibid., 216.

14See Hon-Lee Kwok, “Warfare,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series, Logos Bible Software (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

15“יֶלֶד (yělěd). n. masc. boy, child. Literally refers to that which is begotten. Most often it refers to a young child, but it also can refer to a young man. See Isaac Blois, “Children,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

16For example, Hebrews 12:5–6 applies Proverbs 3:11–12.

17Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 29.

18William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 99.

19Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 182.

20James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

21Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990—), 118.

22William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature , 791.

23Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon, 1353.

24Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 466.

25Timothy A. Gabrielson, “Obedience,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

26Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 30.

27William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 1068.

28Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, 467.

29Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 30.

30William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 1002.

31Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 30.

32William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature , 1028.

33Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains , 467.

34Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon, 1851.

35James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament).

36Timothy A. Gabrielson, “Obedience,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook , Lexham Bible Reference Series.

37Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 3.

38Ibid., 3


40Ibid., 13.


42The fallen condition of all humankind in Adam is not the result of mere social conditioning but is such “by nature” (φύσει, physei). See S. M. Baugh, Ephesians, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 152.

43Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: MI, Zondervan, 1996), 490.

44Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 29

45In Galatians 5:23 Paul says, “against such things [the fruit of the Spirit] there is no law.” “Such things” clearly implies this is a representative list.

46Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 35.


48“Tantrum,” Merriam-Webster, accessed September 28, 2023,

49“Tantrum,” Dictionary, accessed September 28, 2023,

50This is evidence that Knost softens English definitions as well as Hebrew and Greek ones to fit her Gentle Parenting Framework.

51Knost, Jesus, the Gentle Parent, 130.