4/16/2019 4:55:32 PM
Parenting permissively or restrictively?
For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.
—1 Samuel 3:13
Who created us and ordained the family, including parent/child relationships? God, of course.
Who is the perfect Parent, and therefore knows how parenting is to be carried out? Again, of course, God.
Where then ought we receive instruction regarding family and parent/child relationships? From the source of truth regarding God: God’s Word, the Bible.
Why then, do so many believers so often follow the ways of the world when it comes to their families?
While there are certainly examples of abusive parenting, the far more frequent err is permissive parenting. That is in direct contradiction from God’s Word that holds parents accountable to restrain their children when they are sinning. While current conventional wisdom promotes permissive parenting, God’s Word and God’s own example includes restraining parenting.
Eli, and indeed his entire family, was in trouble with God for failing to restrain sinful behavior in his sons. (Read the rest of the story through the end of chapter 4.)
Permissive parenting fails to restrain sinful behavior by ignoring it, excusing it, rationalizing it, blaming it on someone or something else, by discussing or even pleading with the child to stop, or by any combination of the items on the list. The one thing none of those permissive approaches does is restrain it.
No matter how one fails to restrain sinful behavior, the net result is that the sinful behavior is reinforced.
While none of us should expect a punishment as severe as what God did to Eli, his sons, and his entire family line, failure to restrain sin in children through reasonable biblical means will bring consequential trouble on one’s own household.