Who is Responsible for Raising Our Children?

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This simple question is not so easily answered these days. If you are culturally observant, then you have noticed that our society and, sadly, the church, have made available to us numerous answers or suggestions to this practical and very important question. 

Consider just a few of the possible answers which are inferred from our culture and the church: The child’s parents; The local daycare center; The child’s chronic babysitter; The family’s television set; The child’s extended relatives; The pop-musicians or movie icons of our day; The child’s peers; The public or government school system; The “Head Start” programs of the United States Government; The youth pastor; The children’s Sunday school department;…. I ask this question because presently there is local, regional, national and even global confusion over how to arrive at the correct answer to this vital question. Part of the reason for this confusion comes from the fact that we live in the Post-Modern era (i.e., the time-period roughly 1989 to present). This era is one that predominantly denies moral absolutes and rejects the reality of objective truth. This has led to a global society that has redefined the family by its attack on the traditional “Nuclear” family. The other part of the reason for the present confusion over how to correctly answer this question involves the modern-day Church’s failure to follow the clarity of Scripture on this topic (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Thus, only when the church returns to Scripture in this area, will our culture then come out of its confusion.  Therefore, churches need to rethink their youth ministry and parenting philosophies, and Christians need to ask themselves whether they are wrongly hoping that their church can pick up the slack for their disobedience to the Scripture resulting from their overextended lives? Hear the Apostle Paul's exhortation to the Ephesian church in chapter six and verse four:  “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Thus, the Word of God says parents (especially fathers) are to raise-up their own children. In other words, dads must not be spiritually passive! This also means that Dad and Mom together must be wholly involved in the daily physical and spiritual maturation of their own children. Sadly, many Christians today have unknowingly rejected this wise counsel from God’s Word and allowed the culture to dictate both what the family is to look like, and how it is to prioritize its time and parental life. Dear reader, do you understand that you live in a godless, post-Christian generation (2 Timothy 3:1-2)? Do you see that unless you seek the face of God (1 Timothy 2:1-2), your family will continue to fragment? Have you considered that if our government continues on its current moral downgrade, that the Christian family and its primary role of raising its own children will be put in a position to obey Caesar or obey God (Acts 5:29)? O dear Christian, the Word of God is your only guide for raising your children.  And dear unbeliever, Jesus is the only hope for your soul and the souls of your family. You must turn to Him in full repentance and faith (Ezekiel 18:32) in order to receive the abundant life (John 10:10; 17:3) offered to you through Jesus Christ.  Only then will you be able to arise and tell your children of Christ's love and their need to bow to Him as their only King (Acts 17:7), that the generation yet to come might hear the praises of the Lord (Psalm 78:1-8)! Who then is responsible to raise our children? Mom and Dad! Not our church, or our government, nor anyone or anything else! If we miscarry in this great responsibility, we will be inviting spiritual weakness into our churches, and promoting wickedness in our nation. May God help us to move away from our apathy in this area, reject the ensuing slavery, and secure our liberty, in order to raise-up a godly seed that will fear the living God (Malachi 2:15). O Lord, awaken and revive us to apply this truth!

 

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