This week finds us on our annual April West Coast run. It’s always wonderful making this trip and getting to see all of our friends along the way. We also have a special treat this week as our beloved leader Scott is providing us with a guest blog! So read on and enjoy!
Recently, our nation was reminded once again just how tragic the end result is when troubled and misguided young men adopt an irrational, violent, misguided radical ideology.
Not long before the Boston bombing, I was shocked to hear these words: “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”
These are the words of Melissa Harris-Perry. Melissa is an American author, television host and liberal political commentator. According to Wikipedia, Harris-Perry’s is of the Unitarian Universalist faith.
Contemporary Unitarian Universalism espouses a pluralist approach to religious belief, whereby members may describe themselves as humanist, agnostic, deist, atheist, pagan, Christian, monotheistic, pantheist, polytheistic or assume no label at all. (You need to do a little research and see what all these “beliefs” believe). As of 2006, fewer than about 20% of Unitarian Universalists identified themselves as Christian.
Can I “vent?” When I was a kid, my dad told my friends parents as well as my teachers at school that they had his permission to discipline me to “make me behave.” If Tommy’s mom had to discipline me for something, I got it again when I got home. I couldn’t use the “collective” argument that Mr. Smith has already spanked me for that. I guess my dad thought I belonged to him. … the nerve!
Now that I’m a dad, I too tell my kids bus driver, teachers and neighbors that if my kid is with them, I expect them to make them behave and require the same manners and code of conduct they expect from their own children. I realize that churches, boy scouts, youth groups, Sunday school classes, schoolroom classes and such are all “collective bodies” and as such influence and are responsible to our kids safe keeping while they are in their charge. I get it that our kids are influenced by lots more people than just their parents. But I don’t think Harris is referring to that obvious reality. I believe that “collective” and “community” is euphemism for Government. Do we really want to trust our government to raise our kids for us? The same folks that are ok aborting children by the thousands every year?
Again, don’t misunderstand me. I do not have an issue with having an involved Community. I advocate it. If I find someone breaking into my neighbor’s house, I’ll call the police. When my neighbor is on vacation, I’ll clean the newspapers off his driveway and cut his grass. When Preston and Bailey have a friend over to our house, I make that child obey the rules of our home. He can’t be mean. He can’t be disrespectful. He must share. He must use his manners. If he misbehaves, I let his parents know and I expect the same when my kids are at their friend’s homes. But ultimately, my kid’s friends are not my responsibility.
But Harris is not talking about just this type of community. She is talking about a public school system that takes a more active role in raising your kids and my kids and imparting their values on them because they are after all, “the community’s children.” I want my kids schools to educate them….not indoctrinate them. I DO NOT want the government’s help in raising my children. It’s not their responsibility. Raising Preston and Bailey is the sole responsibility of Taryn and me. I can’t help but wonder if Harris would want me raising HER kids? I doubt it. Assuming she has kids, I wonder how she would react to me correcting or advocating my value set to them? She and other folks like her think their way is superior to our way. They think they are enlightened and we are ignorant hayseeds. Don’t get me started!!!
So…what’s a parent to do? What’s a grandparent to do? Take responsibility for teaching and modeling Godly virtue to your kids and grandkids. Do not abdicate that to ANYONE ELSE. ”
I will choose the “communities” and the “villages” that I want to influence my kids. I will choose where to worship and with whom my kids associate. Allow me to quote Adam Mitchell’s stirring speech from the movie, “Courageous:”
As a law-enforcement officer, I’ve seen firsthand the deep hurt and devastation that fatherlessness brings in a child’s life. Our prisons are full of men and women who lived recklessly after being abandoned by their fathers, wounded by the men who should have loved them the most. Many now follow the same pattern of irresponsibility that their fathers did.
While so many mothers have sacrificed to help their children survive, they were never intended to carry the weight alone. We thank God for them.
But research is proving that a child also desperately needs a daddy. There’s no way around this fact. As you know, earlier this year, my family endured the tragic loss of our four-year-old daughter, Emily. Her death forced me to realize that not only had I not taken advantage of the priceless time I had with her, but that I did not truly understand how crucial my role was as a father to her and our son, Dylan. Since her passing, I’ve asked God to show me, through his word how to be the father that I need to be.
I now believe that God desires for every father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there or providing for them, he’s to walk with them through their lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their father in heaven.
A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect and should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity.
Some men will hear this and mock it or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence he has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value but the souls of your children do.
Some men will hear this and agree with it but have no resolve to live it out. Instead, they will live for themselves and waste the opportunity to leave a godly legacy for the next generation.
But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same, and, whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction.
In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family, because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my sons to follow Christ, because l will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do? I am their father. I will.
I accept this responsibility, and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and his blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you, men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and to say, “I will. I will. I will.”
I’m really not concerned about being politically correct. I’m concerned about being Biblically correct. Now….let’s go radicalize our kids for the cause of Christ!