What Are Parents For?

          Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live (Proverbs 4:1–4).

So that they might be blessed:

          The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him (Proverbs 20:7).

Living like the culture lives is not living Biblically or walking in integrity, especially if the majority of the culture is anti-God; therefore our culture’s children will not be blessed after them. It appears that whatever God says to do or to be, the world and the devil say to do or to be the opposite:

• God says children are a reward and blessing; therefore, the enemy says they are a curse or a nuisance.

• God says Biblical instruction is vital to our children’s welfare, so the world and the devil say public education without God is vital to their welfare.

• God says to honor parents, so the world says that parents are not really necessary or worthy of honor.

• God says fathers and mothers are to teach their children wisdom. The world says that fathers and mothers don’t have what it takes to teach their children anything.

Since the world is so confused, we need to keep our eyes on the truth of God’s Word. It would help us to look there and see how God parents His children.

How Does God Parent?

“O Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered they children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38).

Many Old Testament references speak about the shadow or shelter of God’s wings, which provide protection, love, and familial bond. If this is God’s example of parenting, then this is what our parenting is to be like. We must first gather, and then shelter and protect our children. This is what will keep our children’s houses from becoming “desolate.”

God highly values the father-son relationship and refers to such throughout Scripture. Jesus was God’s Son. He is called the Son of God and the Son of Man. In Matthew 1:1 it says Jesus was the Son of Abraham and the Son of David. Jesus identified Himself as the Son of men who were close to His Father’s heart. Men throughout Scripture were identified by who their father or mother was. What kind of importance is put on parents today? Are children identified by who their parents are any more? Mostly, children are taught to be autonomous and then wonder why they don’t fit in anywhere. Many are searching for a true family identity . . . in any ungodly group that comes their way. This would not be the case if children felt like they belonged in their own homes.

Everybody Else Wants to Be the Parent

Since our culture doesn’t want to follow God’s example of parenting, we are left with parents who are losing their right to actually parent their own children. In fact, everybody else wants to be the parent.

In reference to a legal case involving a homeschooling family being wrongly charged with neglect in the medical treatment of their child, Michael Farris of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) stated: “Parents, not the state or its doctors, have the fundamental, God-given right to choose and direct the medical care that their children receive.”2 You would think this was a given, but we still have to fight for these God-given rights on a regular basis. Why? Because everyone else wants to and believes they can do a better job of parenting your child.

I was just on the phone with my 17-year-old’s doctor, who asked me to hand the phone to my daughter in order to ask her personally about her illness. While the doctor had her on the phone, she asked my daughter several other “routine” invasive questions that were meant to be private between the doctor and the child. Obviously, I was in the way, unnecessary, and worse, made to feel like an intruder in the private world of my teen. What happened to parents talking to doctors about our children and making decisions for our children?

We are becoming a child-led society. We all know what a child-run household looks like—it doesn’t work! To have a child-led society will not work any better either, because it is not God’s design.

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