Parental Stewardship of Children

Family Law at Regent focuses on personal responsibility of individuals within families powered by God’s design. Parental rights are closely linked with a parental duty to care for the best interests of one’s children. We call this a parent's stewardship of his or her children, and it is set forth throughout the Bible, but specifically in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy where it is clarified that parents are responsible for their children’s upbringing, in teaching them His commandments.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deut. 6:4-9.

This same message is repeated again at Deuteronomy 11:18-21 – I guess because parents need to be reminded again of their duties to their children. (Did you know that the word “Deuteronomy” literally means – “do it again”?) Parental patterns shape families, children, and societal futures.

A court in California, and another in Germany, seem to think otherwise. These legal authorities deem that task to be more appropriate for state actors. See Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s comments below highlighting these facts, and commenting on the lack of trust in parents. She asks, “Who’s Kids are They?”

A rising 3L student at Regent Law, Stephen DeBoer, has written an excellent article on this subject as it pertained to a German family that lost custody of their daughter due to their choice to home school – look for that article in an upcoming issue of the Regent Journal of International Law. Dr. Morse discusses this case below.

What is missing from these cases is an understanding of God’s design for parents and children. As one of my students, Crystal Losey, phrased it “What an awful competing view to think kids belong to all of society, or that parents are unable to refuse the 'goodness' of the state providing education!”

1 comment:

  1. I have some sons-in-law who are very touchy about their authority, but oblivious to their obligations. I've taught my daughters (their wives) submission to their husband(s), and now I'm beginning to regret it. (My grandchildren are being neglected.)