RESCUING OUR CHILDREN: WHO IS IN CHARGE?
In capturing a child’s heart, a parent is to exercise God delegated authority over the child. God has given parents the duty to rule, lead, decide, command, judge, set policy and limits to their children. He has placed you as a parent to act on his behalf to shape the child’s life as God sees fit and not necessarily as you do. Based upon that, parents are to discipline, instruct, train and correct their child on behalf of God and not their own agenda. They are to declare to the child what God has said and promote that into the child’s life.
Authority is a call to engage your child with you in charge and not acting as an adviser until the child shows maturity. A common mistake made with young children is placing too many choices with the child that they are not ready to make. For example, asking a child “what do you want to eat, wear, do, etc.?” When you do this you are relinquishing authority and teaching them they have the right to make these decisions that may lead to a loss of control and conflict over what they wear, eat, or do with their free time. When a child has been trained and shows the maturity to make these decisions with prudence, then the authority can be relinquished.
Douglas Wilson stated, “A child not under the authority of his parents (by his choice or the parent’s) is in grave danger.”
I will address ‘control’ next.