Did That Christian Just Call Your Child A DOG?

Those of you who have lived with, or through, a fifteen-year-old girl know that adolescents of this age generally fight self-esteem issues. Call it hormones, peer pressure, society, or fat days, 15-year-old girls need a lot of love and reassurance that they are beautiful, beloved people.

Ruby inspirational oil painting of Chihuahua with crown on pillow by Steve Henderson
This is a dog. And as cute as some people think it is, it should never be used as a word to describe a human being. Ruby, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

When one of our progeny was 15, in the midst of this exact stage, she was called a dog by a speaker brought in by our church. The speaker, who earned a generous living by organizing church mission trips through an International Church Mission Trip Organization Agency, gave a group of young people the Gary Smalley Personality Assessment Tool Test. (The young people were part of a church-induced “mission trip” to a Christian camp that was looking for free counselors for the season.)

Based upon this one-page sheet, in which participants score themselves from 0-3 points on whether or not they are a “problem solver,” “optimistic,” “adaptable,” “analytical,” and 72 other attributes, human beings — in this case, insecure, emotionally fragile adolescents — are labeled Lions, Beavers, Otters, or Golden Retrievers.

Guess what my child was? How about yours? Or you? I mean, after all that orthodontia, do you want your son identified as a Beaver? Please follow the link to the full article at my BeliefNet Column, Commonsense ChristianityHow Long Will We Let Other Christians Call Us Dogs?

As regular readers know, I am only able to post a teaser to the full story — and if you have sat through any form of “Christian” personality test through your church, please follow through. This kind of abuse only continues because we allow it to.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com
Don’t fit in? Stop trying — perhaps what you’re trying to fit into, isn’t worth the effort. Paperback and digital at Amazon.com