Parenting is in danger of becoming extinct.
So many voices, influences, and authority figures vie for the attention of children today, that in countless homes around the world, the biblical role of parenting has fallen by the wayside.
This condition was driven close to home recently after our 16 year old daughter returned from a Christian camp. Within a week, she received a letter in the mail encouraging her that should she wish to pursue further conversations and support, the people she should turn to who could best help her would be her... wait for it... "Youth leaders!"
Wouldn't everyone be expecting the address for reassurance and refreshment to be the child's parents before other influencers and authorities? Evidently not.
Granted, not every child comes from a supportive, Bible-believing home, in which case those in the Church would a be good option.
However, in Scripture, according to God's original plan, parents are the go-to people in a young person's life for wisdom (Deut. 1:1-7), training (Prov. 22:6), guidance (Prov. 1:1-9), chastising (Proverbs 13:24), and many other crucial character-building duties.
There are currently three primary sources competing for authority in our children's lives that should concern any parent:
An article in the Otago Daily Times, a New Zealand newspaper, recently expressed the opinion of a local boys' high school rector:
"The expectations imposed upon us now as a school, to attend to and reverse the ills of our society, are completely unrealistic and they are beyond our resource capability."
He said the lines of demarcation between parental and school responsibility and accountability had been "completely obliterated", and there was an expectation schools would, in part, fulfill the function that historically had been the role of a parent."
Teachers with tens of students in the average classroom barely have any time, emotional resources, and, often, interest in investing in each child individually.
The difference between school staff and parents, above all, is the God-ordained love, care, and, affection that each parent has towards their child.