Lately, God has been giving me many opportunities to think about and discuss parenthood. The more I learn and observe, I am seeing that being a parent is both the greatest privilege and greatest responsibility God has given to mankind.
No other single factor has a greater influence on a person’s development, worldview, and approach to life as a parent does.
God has given people the privilege of being a great impact on their own children. What separates us from the rest of creation is that we bear the image of God. It is not a coincidence that human beings represent the species that derive the most from the nurture of their parents. Others species rely more on instinct. This is why a human child is so helpless.
It is a travesty that Christian parents have often resigned their role of being the primary nurturer in their children’s lives. They hope their teachers, sports coaches, and scout masters will provide this in their stead.
This is especially true in the church, where parents depend too much on Sunday School teachers, youth workers, and pastors to do the parenting for them. Often I hear about parents telling their youth pastor, “Can you please teach my son to ________?” or “Please keep my daughter out of trouble.” There is something terribly wrong with this picture. Primary Christian role models should be parents.
Yes, a pastor has a high calling–both a tremendous privilege and responsibility. But parents have taken responsibility off of themselves and placed it on the church. The home needs to be the center of discipleship.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.