What is a parent's primary responsibility?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My neighbor claims the primary parental responsibility is providing shelter and food. She tells me that I should pursue my career instead of being a stay-at-home mom. I am in great conflict. – C.M.
A: There’s more to parenting than meeting physical needs—nature itself teaches this. Parents are equally responsible for their children’s spiritual growth. The Scriptures, which God intended for everyone to obey, says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.… You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Churches and schools can certainly reinforce these wonderful truths, but the responsibility lies with the parents who gave life to their children and have the greatest love for them. Verbal instruction should be accompanied by example. If children hear parents talk about honesty, yet fail to see it in lived out, this inconsistency will do great harm.
“The problem with parents,” a teenager once said, “is that by the time you get them, they’re too old to change!” This brings a smile but the truth is that moms and dads don’t go into parenthood experienced, so they are bound to make some mistakes. The important thing is to teach God’s Word and be a consistent example. Be humble before the Lord and ask for His wisdom. Pray that God may crown your home with grace, love, and mercy, and pray daily for your children by name. It blesses the Lord greatly when the influence of Christian parents build godly character into their children.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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