Children Teaching Parents
Paula and I raised three children, two boys and a girl. We always wanted to form a good relationship with our children, and that involved engaging them in conversation. Traveling together in the car, having meals together and on other occasions, we asked them what they thought; we reacted to their reports of the events of their day; we told them of family plans; spoke to them about topics of responsibility, morality, friendship, religion and listened to their responses. Most Pressing On readers who are parents immediately recognize this aspect of parenting and family life.
Can you imagine this? After enjoying a meal together, still around the table, we ask our children what we should believe about some moral issue. We hear their impressions, factor in whatever is culturally popular and celebrated, take into account what various acquaintances believe – then, decide what we will believe and say on that issue.
This doesn’t strike you as the usual pattern and may seem just the reverse of what ought to be. You may say, “Wait, you don’t form convictions on moral issues by listening to what your children think! You form these convictions based on the authority of God’s Word. God has spoken, you listen, you obey and teach your children what God has said, right?”
Exactly! When parents let their children teach them what to believe and say on moral issues, that is the reverse of the whole idea of parents raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We converse with our children, we listen to their reactions and we avoid provoking them to wrath. But the process put in place by the Creator is for parents to provide moral training for their children.
It is striking; the President’s “change of mind” regarding same-sex marriage has come through – in part - consultation with his children (ages 14 & 11).
Truth Connection: I take the word of Jesus above all of my children, grandchildren and friends. He said, “have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,” (Matt. 19:4,5). Jesus’ definition of marriage – for the believer – holds authority above children, culture and convenience.
By Warren Berkley
From Expository Files 19.6; June 2012