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The Authority of Parents



Proverbs 22:6 teaches Christians that parents are to “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Christians are taught that children are the crowning glory of their families. Parents are responsible for their children and will answer to God for their performance as parents; as Ephesians 6:4 admonishes: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”


Even though Christians everywhere understand these biblical truths, it seems that the government of states like Washington are determined to undermine parental authority. One of the first and most basic principles taught in business schools is that one’s responsibility must match one’s authority. Unfortunately, a bill proposed by the Washington legislature would undermine the parents’ authority while doing nothing to lessen their responsibility in the eyes of God. [1]


As one conservative news site reported:


“The legislation passed on a party-line vote ‘would not allow teens staying at licensed youth shelters or host homes to undergo “gender-affirming” surgery without parental approval. Nor would it allow other parents to hide children. But it does clear the way for children between ages 13 and 18 to stay at these facilities without their parents’ knowledge for an indefinite time while seeking services related to gender dysphoria and gender transitioning.’” [2]


This bill is one of many similar bills that are currently sweeping the nation; in Colorado a recent proposal would allow children as young as 12 years of age to seek out “gender-affirming” care. [4]


In light of these developments, it is truly stunning that the right and the left are not able to agree, regardless of agenda, that the right of parents to oversee the development of their children ought to be absolute. If the Amish have the right to inhibit their children in obtaining a high school education, then it would stand to reason that parents would have a right to know the whereabouts of (and medical history) of their under-developed minors.


This is nothing but a continuation of the government’s encroachment on parental authority in many aspects of life. It is continuously astounding how frequently the government proposes solutions that do little to nothing to solve actual problems.


This phenomenon has a long history and can be observed in the profound dysfunction of Child Protective Services, an entrenched part of the government’s regulatory processes. Although there is ample evidence suggesting that CPS investigations are largely ineffective and likely to increase the unhappiness of the families affected by the investigation, they persist in being a part of the landscape of American regulation. [3]


Proverbs 17:6 teaches that “children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” How can that ideal of the family be fulfilled when the state tells children they can make “grown-up” decisions, the consequences for which the parents will still be ultimately responsible?


There is certainly a place for the state to preserve the lives of children. Even so, as Christians, we must reject the notion of allowing the state to invade the sanctity of the family and our God-given responsibility for our children.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

[4] https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb23-1003


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