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How much control can we have raising our children?

A Christianity Today cover story earlier this year on "The Myth of the Perfect Parent" discussed the sense many religious parents have that they've failed if their child strays from the church. Given this backdrop and the wider cultural messages about parenting, one wonders how these evangelical adoptive parents overcome their own desire for control, bring a stranger into their home, and then take responsibility for raising him.

The most persuasive explanation comes from the author of that article, Leslie Leyland Fields, who exhorts her readers: "We are not sovereign over our children—only God is. Children are not tomatoes to stake out or mules to train, nor are they numbers to plug into an equation. They are full human beings wondrously and fearfully made. Parenting, like all tasks under the sun, is intended as an endeavor of love, risk, perseverance, and, and, above all, faith."


Asked by tasches at 2:20 PM on Nov. 19, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (3)
  • I didn't read the article but I do agree with the author, reglion aside (because I am not religious) I believe that all children are born with a predefined personality unique to them, they are not blank slates for us to define or mold into something they are not. As parents our job is to love unconditionally, to guide them as they come into themselves, support them to meet their goals and through our actions teach them how to be good people.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 2:49 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • God gave us free will. I was not brought up in church. God gave me the choice to decide to go to church and make my life better. Just as he gives all of us the free will to make all of our decision. And while it is nice to adopt foster kids or to become foster parents, it is not for everyone and it should be a personal choice. If the church would like to offer these families help with that, that is great, but I hope people are not pushed into this. For some(like myself) are not equipped to handle the problems that can happen.

    Answer by sheba1000 at 4:19 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • The entire article, from which the quote was gleaned, is very inspiring. It details how the evangelical community has encouraged their followers to adopt children from the foster care system.

    Comment by tasches (original poster) at 2:22 PM on Nov. 19, 2010