Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: It’s My Child… Not Yours!

Image Seventeen years ago Hillary Clinton wrote a book titled, It Takes a Village. The book maintained that for a child to develop properly and be successful, they need the help, education and support of their whole society. In other words, it takes a village to raise a child.

Clinton was criticized by many who felt that such a position would erode the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, with their values and world view. However, the book was well received, and Clinton has maintained an influential voice in American culture.

Personally, I have witnessed the same attitude toward raising children. When my youngest daughter was playing softball in high school, a meeting with the parents revealed the social leanings of the head coach. After informing us that as parents we needed to leave her alone and allow her to do her thing as the coach without interference, she then philosophized about her desire to help instill values in our daughters. She was a firm believer, in her words, that it “takes a village.” Problem was, her values in no way matched mine or my wife’s.

Fast forward to a recent advertisement that appeared on MSNBC. The cable network proudly promotes a socially liberal slant, and ran an ad featuring the views of one of its hosts, Melissa Harris-Perry. Below is the full text of the ad.

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children.

“Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility.”

We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the households, then we start making better investments.

Melissa Harris-Perry
MSNB host (MSNB advertisement)
Video at: http://tinyurl.com/c88px6s

In contrast, consider what the Bible teaches about the responsibility of raising children. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

What Paul commanded is what God has expected of parents throughout mankind’s history. Parents are given the responsibility to discipline their children, and instill in them godly principles to rule their lives. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

My children do not belong to the community or the state. Often, the values of the community are not values I share, nor want my children to embrace. This view that kids belong to whole communities is an ungodly and unscriptural one, and it is not being alarmist to react strongly whenever such a sentiment is expressed by any individual with influence. Melissa Harris-Perry may still remain on the left fringe, but she is expressing a view that is now received favorably by many. Perhaps a generation ago her audacious statement would have been universally denounced, but no longer. This is not a political thing. It is a strong indication of the ungodly attitudes that pervade our time. I pray that fathers everywhere will exert their rights and prerogatives, and boldly exclaim with Joshua, “Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, … But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).