Stan Cox


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The Parent / Child Relationship


"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).

The Genesis account reveals God's intention that man "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;&ldots;" (Genesis 1:28).  The account also reveals that the sexual act is to be between a man and his wife.  "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).  Concerning the sexual nature of the husband/wife relationship, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews commented, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (13:4).

Obviously the desire of God is for children to be raised in what has been termed the nuclear family.  A family that is intact, with father and mother fulfilling their roles, gives a child an opportunity to be happy and well developed.  In this way he can one day take his position as a productive member of society, and a faithful follower of God.

Children who are born out of wedlock, or are the victims of broken homes, do not have the same advantages and opportunities.  There is something missing in their upbringing, and it puts them at a grave disadvantage.

Recently Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and current senator from New York, wrote and published a book called It Takes a Village.  The title of the book is taken from an old African proverb, and indicates that all members of society need to be involved and concerned about the welfare of our children.

The book mirrors the present societal belief that non-traditional homes can be as effective in raising children as the nuclear family, consisting of father, mother and children.  As such, career women are having children out of wedlock, and taking their children to daycare almost as soon as they have been borne.  Homosexuals are petitioning for the right to adopt, and are raising their kids to be accepting of their perverted lifestyle.  Divorce is rampant in society, and it is the norm rather than the exception for a child to be shuttled from one "home" to  another as their parents vie for their affections.  In all of this, it is contended that we can effectively raise our kids if we all "work together."  In reality, this attitude toward the family is destructive, and the proof is evident even by a cursory examination of our culture.

At best, the "village" concept can be defended as a desperate attempt at salvaging our children after the damage has been done.  It cannot be defended as an equally effective alternative to the home as defined by God.

Children Need Daddy

In Ephesians 6:4, the apostle wrote, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."  The father is to be the source of discipline in the home.  Too often the mother's efforts to instruct and limit the children are undermined by an absentee or uninvolved father.  Children need instruction.  As they grow and mature, they need the proper instruction to know what limitations they must respect with regard to God, family, and society.  God has given the father that responsibility in the home.  Men must not abdicate their place.

The most important lessons a father can teach his children revolve around their responsibilities to God.  Israelite parents were told to teach their children God's will.  "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.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

Children Need Mommy

There is no more special love than that of a mother for her children.  It is a natural affection, which emanates from the wellsprings of the heart.  The prophet Isaiah compares it with the love of God, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you" (49:15).

A child must have the foundation of his mother's love.  It enables him to face a cruel and dangerous world.  That love must be reinforced daily by word and deed.  Mothers who give their children to a daycare, or even to grandparents to raise do a great disservice to their children.  We have too many families concerned with giving their children the latest video games, the largest homes, and the finest clothes, and not enough mothers and fathers who recognize that they can best help their children by giving themselves!   Mother's, your child needs you!

Conclusion

God gives the child instructions to "Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1).  His willingness and ability to do this depends much upon the faithfulness of mom and dad, as they seek to raise him in the "training and admonition of the Lord" (cf. 6:4). As the wise man said, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).  No, it doesn't take "a village" to raise a child, it takes a mom and dad!

 

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