Hillary Clinton thinks it takes a village to raise a child. In fact, she wrote a book by that title. In it she talked about her ideas of the perfect way to raise children. She based her ideas on the system she observed in France. She liked the way they did things with their children. They put their babies in day care as soon as they were born. The children were then raised in day care facilities by workers trained by the state in facilities that had to be approved by the state and were required to follow state guidelines. They were taught what the state wanted them to learn. They were raised by strangers instead of their own parents. These children had very little interaction with their own parents. She thinks this is a good thing because most parents aren’t trained by the state and don’t follow state guidelines in the way they live their lives and would train their children.
I disagree with every part of this system. I believe that God gives children to the parents they are supposed to have and that He gives them wisdom and love to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I believe that His will is for us as parents to walk with them, sit with them, live our lives with them and teach them the ways of the Lord.
We are human and we make mistakes. But when it comes right down to it, most of us love our children with all our hearts and will provide whatever they need to be safe, healthy and happy. We love our children more than anybody else on earth possibly could. We may not have training, but who is to say the training is correct that is offered by the state or any other institution. If it’s not based on what the Bible says, then it’s most likely contrary to God’s will, and it’s not what children really need after all.
The “experts” are wrong about a lot of things. The fact that they change their theories so often should clue us in on that. And the fact that each expert has such different opinions on what is correct and how things should be done throws up a red flag. There is a reliable source for how to raise children. It is the Word of God. He created them in the first place. He knows how they should be raised. He put them in families, not in villages.
He gave parents the responsibility of raising their own children. He said about Abraham:
For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.
In Deut. 4:9, 10 we are commanded to teach our children God’s words. In Deut. 6:7 we are told to teach them God’s words when we sit with them in the house, when we walk in the way, when we lie down and when we rise up. It sounds to me like we’re supposed to live life with our kids. They are supposed to be with us at all of these times of the day, not at school or at a friend’s house the majority of the time. And we are supposed to be actively interacting with them, not doing our own thing and letting them do their own thing. We are to be teaching them God’s words and His ways.
The whole book of Proverbs is based on the wisdom passed on to Solomon by his parents. I may not be as wise as Solomon, but I can teach my children from the book of Proverbs. I recently read the whole book of Proverbs to my children. And we subconsciously teach them principles from Proverbs every day as we live our lives in submission to the Holy Spirit. We have the Word hidden in our hearts, so we live it without having to think about it. And our children learn from what we do and say and how we treat each other and how we treat them. We talk about the Lord a lot in our home. We pray together a lot. We pray for each other. We worship the Lord with praise music. We are learning to walk in love and forgiveness toward each other. We are striving toward that goal.
In Ephesians 6:4 in the Amplified version, fathers are admonished:
4Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord
Fathers are to be involved in the spiritual training of their children, too. And this is happening more now than it did in the past. I believe this is because God is fulfilling what He said would happen because of the message of John the Baptist in Luke 1:17 which fulfilled Malachi 4:6. It said that he would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. This is a part of preparing the way of the Lord.
The biblical way to raise children is to keep them at home and teach them God’s ways. I am troubled when I see words in the homeschool community such as “we can’t do it alone – we need help from others, because it’s impossible to do it alone.” The motivation behind some who say this is to make homeschoolers feel inadequate to do the job so that they will pay them to help them. Others think that we need to socialize our children by exposing them to lots of other people besides the family, mainly children their own age. I have seen lots of interaction between children that was more damaging than helpful. Some things need to be worked out by the children themselves. I’m not into hovering. But I think there should be minimal interaction with children their own age and that the majority of their time should be spent with older and more mature people such as their own parents and siblings. And there needs to be an intentional training in the home in building good, strong, loving relationships. To do this, we parents need to know how to build strong, loving relationships ourselves.
I believe that we should instill in our children the importance of family. They should treat their family better than they treat strangers, even in politeness and how they speak to each other. They should treat each other with respect. We should teach them that their family will always be there for them. Friends may come and go, but your own family will always love you and support you. And then we should teach them to do that.
As they grow and mature, they will interact with more people outside of the family. The things that we taught them will carry over into their interactions with others. It will be innate. They won’t even have to think about how they should treat others. They will know that they are to walk in love. They will have had lots of practice with their own brothers and sisters and parents.
Then the village will appreciate these new citizens much more than they would appreciate selfish, self-seeking, immature people who were trained by people who viewed it as a job instead of as a mandate from a loving God.
Good one! Part of this is what my writing assignment was on but I had to get it into 1 double-spaced page! I couldn’t do it. Sigh. I do need to learn how to use less words, though. Unfortunately, partly due to our living situation, I can vouch for more damage than useful ‘socialization’ with kids their own age. YUCK! I will gladly take rural living in that regard!…but know that even though it is difficult, it is still my responsibility. Not sure I wanted that reminder today, but it was a good one. Thanks, Penney!
Yes, I can’t wait to get to the country!
Penney, this was a great post and what a lot of home schoolers, and parents period, need to hear. People often have children without a thought as to how they are going to raise them, really raise them, meaning spending time with them. So many people think they are spending time with their children by putting them into an activity and then watching them do that activity instead of participating in it with them. Others think they want a child so that the child can love them, but relationship is always two-way. Loving a child means putting their needs before your own. Children need parents. Children are a special gift from the Lord, a loan made in love. We only have them because He gave them to us for safekeeping, nurturing, and teaching. We are made stewards of our growing brothers and sisters in Christ. We are raising eternal souls. We have the full ear of our children, especially when they are very young, and we are the ones who should be telling them about Christ first and most often so that they might one day freely choose Him. Well, I could speak on this subject for a while, but I just wanted to thank you for the post.
Agree, agree, agree!