Friday, March 24, 2006

Outsourced Parenting?!?!?

You may at first wonder what the heck I am talking about by this title. Well, prepare to be amazed, disappointed and saddened all at the same time. As someone that ministers to children and youth this is a subject of particular annoyance, mostly because at times it can affect me (selfish, I know). The Wall Street Journal (March 31) did an article dedicated to parents outsourcing their responsibilities and duties. Not only are they outsourcing their responsibilities and duties they are also outsourcing their children’s accomplishments and joys.

Some of the things parents are having outsourced are teaching their children to ride a bike, play sports, birthday parties, potty-training and on and on. Their goal is to create a “specialized child”, one that excels in subjects through specialized coaching and guidance, absent of the parent. I think this is the final straw in parenting, or a lack there of. Parents who aren’t willing to discipline, more than happily put their child on Ritalin, or better yet sign them up for karate so the sensei can have that responsibility. The trend is scary and far reaching. 1 Samuel 3:13 says, “I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.”

The scariest part is I am sure a lot of parents are outsourcing their children’s spiritual development to the church and only the church. The problem with that is, while we do minister to the best of our ability we are not surrogate parents. Parents have the God given responsibility to raise and shepherd the hearts of their children (Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 4:23) and most importantly to teach them God’s Word. As ministers we are limited to the time that we can spend with the children, our goal has always been to come alongside the parent because the parent has the ability and opportunity to make the real impact for the glory of God (Proverbs 1:8-9).

This begs the question, why are people having children? Is it because it is the thing to do? Or is it pressure from mom and dad to give them grandchildren? Or is it the societal thing to do? Whatever the answer or whatever the reason I pray that parents would put much more thought into their motives. If you want your children to excel, teach them the Word of God! True success can only come when you live your life to the glory of God!

Something that haunts and motivates me as a parent of five is something a pastor said years ago, it is not ground breaking, but it is absolutely correct; “You have one shot to raise your children right” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Think about that when you decide if your wife working is more important than her staying home to raise your children. For more insight from the article you can go here .


Chris Hinton said...

"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." Colossians 2:8. It seems that the "philosophy" of parenting is to let someone else do it. We can see in this passage that it is elementary or to put it plainly it's simplistic. It is of the world not of Christ. My hope and prayer is that Christians will understand this and raise their children up in the ways of the lord.

Excellent post Nick!

Scott Hill said...

This post looks strangley familiar.

Justice said...

Its always good to have a refresher. =)