Who’s Going To Take Responsibility For My Kids?   Leave a comment

I saw a really interesting video on Tim Challies’ blog this morning. Take a look for yourself:

As I saw this video and heard that the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not put regulations on the amount of marketing geared towards children, I thought… Aren’t parents supposed to control their kids? Aren’t parents supposed to regulate what they watch? If kids get diabetes, wasn’t it the responsibility of the parents to make sure that they eat properly? If children get desensitized to violence, wasn’t it the responsibility of the parents to make sure that they know that death is real and it has grave ramifications? If kids are shallow and materialistic… doesn’t this fall on the parents?

There are two qualifications to what I’m writing. First, this isn’t a right-wing, Republican post. It might sound close to it, but it’s really not. Second, I don’t have kids… so I want to tread carefully on those who read this and do have kids. I know it’s easier raising kids in my head than it is to raise kids in the real world.

This morning, I was reading Ephesians 6, and then I saw that video. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It reminded me of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I might be wrong in this (please let me know your thoughts on this), but I think a lot of this is attributable to the fact that our culture has a skewed view of love. Our culture does not understand a love that says “no” or says “you’re wrong” or says “you should not do this.”

In our culture, it is unloving to tell a guy spending his time wasted on drugs that such a path will lead to prison, addiction and death. “Who are you to tell him what to do? Let the man live his own life… he’ll figure out what’s right for him.” Really?!?! It’s more loving to let a guy kill himself through drugs than to provoke him and challenge him to reconsider the ramifications of his decisions?

In our culture, it’s unloving to tell your kids that they can’t have something they want. “I want them to have all the things I didn’t have.” “They really want it, so how can I say no?” I recently heard a story of a woman who lets home-schools her child and hers him (probably about 10 years old) choose the classes he wants to take. He doesn’t take math because he doesn’t want to. Really, mom?!?! That’s love?

How warped is it when our culture has fallen into an understanding of love that goes away from what is best for others to what is most comfortable to ourselves. “Well, that drug addict friend wouldn’t really want me to tell him to stop. He wouldn’t like me judging him.” Of course not! He’s on drugs! He’s addicted! The fact is, you should’ve stopped him before he got addicted, but now that he is… its going to be hard for you and inconvenience you. “Well, my kid really likes to eat ice cream for breakfast.” Of course he does! He’s five! Heck, I’m nearly 25, and I still wouldn’t mind eating ice cream for breakfast. But I’ve learned over the course of my life that ice cream is not a healthy breakfast option. Did I learn that lesson well? Heck no! I fought against it. I snuck in morning ice cream whenever I could, and I got punished for it. (BTW… it was sooo worth it.) But I eventually learned. It would’ve been easier for my mom to let me have that ice cream. But, then, would she have really been loving me?

Most of my posts are random rants that I write in a stream-0f-consciousness mode. This one, even more so… What are your thoughts on the responsibility of parents over their kids? Do we need government intervention? Do we need parental intervention? Should we let the kids choose for themselves?

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Posted June 15, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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