It takes a village to raise a child. | Tomorrow's World

It takes a village to raise a child.

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In this age of "latch-key" children in which the parenting of small children is often left to the hired help, the concept of shifting the burden of child care to others is very popular.

During the most important formative phase of a child's life, many children, today, are without the nurturing, loving influence of a caring father and mother. The results are all about you. Have you noticed the lack of civility in many young people? Have you observed the surly, "in your face" lack of respect for older people and for authority at any level? How did we get to this sorry state of affairs with the next generation?

Whose responsibility is it to rear our children anyway? The Scriptures make it very plain: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). And in verse 15 it states, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him." Who is to provide the training and discipline? The father and mother and grandparents should fulfill this role.

In Proverbs 29:15 it states, "The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." Verse 17 reads, "Correct your son and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul." How can parents discipline the child if they are not there?

Proverbs 13:24 makes it plain that there are some things your just can't delegate, when it states, "He who spares his rod, hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." While these teachings directly from your Bible are not widely accepted or considered politically correct today, they are timeless principles that do work in raising emotionally well-balanced children.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote: "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). It's not the village, not the school, not others but, "fathers." It is primarily the responsibility of the head of the household – which should be the father – to set the tone and enforce disciplining of the children, with the help and assistance of the mother, of course.

In 1 Timothy 5:8 the Apostle Paul gave the young evangelist very plain instruction, when he said: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." "Provide" not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Don't leave your children to the village, for it will gobble them up! Fulfill your God-given responsibility and bring up your children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." To help you in this very important task, we offer our new, very helpful booklet entitled Successful Parenting: God's Way by Dr. Jeffery Fall. It is totally without charge. You can also order it online.