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Biblical Worldview: Parental Rights, Part 2

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The Bible provides a clear framework for parental authority, responsibility, and discipline and the importance of teaching God’s Word. Children are viewed as precious gifts from God, and parents are entrusted with the privilege and duty of nurturing them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.


Read Part 1 of this series here.


In the first article in this two-part series on parental rights, I explained the threats facing parents in America and the growing clash between parental rights and the radical gender ideology that is taking root in America. Here in the second part, I turn to a theological understanding of the rights and duties of Christian parents, and by extension all parents, as everyone has the responsibility, whether they realize it or not, to raise their children according to God’s good plans and vision.

A Biblical Understanding of Parental Rights

The Bible, as the foundational text for Christians, serves as a guide for understanding the world and shaping one’s worldview. According to the Bible, parents play an irreplaceable role in the upbringing of their children, and the responsibility bestowed upon them — by God — is both a privilege and a duty. Here are some of the key features of a biblical worldview of parental rights.

The Gift of Children

First, it must be acknowledged that children are a blessing given by God to parents. They are gifts from the Lord. Psalm 127:3-5 states,

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

One immediate implication of this theological truth is that while parents do have the right to raise their children free from governmental interference, they do not have a blank check from God to simply do whatever they want. Instead, they are commanded by God to raise their children in a certain manner — that is, in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This is seen in Ephesians 6:4:

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

 This verse emphasizes the need for parents to provide a nurturing and disciplined environment that reflects the teachings of the Bible.

The Responsibility of Parents in Education and Spiritual Formation

The Bible clearly outlines the authority and responsibility parents have in raising their children, but central to the biblical worldview on parental rights is the obligation to teach children the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 instructs,

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Parents are uniquely responsible for providing not only for their children’s material needs and physical well-being but also for their education and spiritual instruction. This is not a task that parents can subcontract out to the state. As I’ve written in a previous article for the Standing for Freedom enter, the Bible actually provides a symbol for what we call parental rights — the “rod.”

God gives the Church the keys to judge Gospel professions and the state the sword to enact justice — but God gives the “rod” to parents. Proverbs 13:24 teaches us that “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

What is the rod? It is not, as some secularists like to misinterpret, a license to abuse your child. No, it is a biblical strategy for effectively disciplining and raising children into godly adults. As I explained,

“The rod represents both the rights and responsibility of parents to discipline and instruct their children. God never gives this authority to the government. Not once. Another way of putting this is that parental rights are both God-given and given only to parents.”

Proverbs 22:6 states that parents are to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse emphasizes the parental duty to guide and instruct their children in a manner aligned with biblical principles.

Godly Discipline and Correction

Part of rightly exercising parental rights before the Lord includes godly discipline and correction. Good Christian parents will never affirm their children’s sin, no matter what form that takes, and this includes both homosexual desires and sinful (and futile) pursuits of “gender transition.”

As previously referenced, the Bible encourages parents to discipline their children in a way that reflects God’s love and correction. Parents should teach their children to love what God loves and to hate what God hates. Proverbs 13:24, again, states, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” While this verse acknowledges the necessity of discipline, it also underscores the importance of doing so with love and diligence, avoiding abusive or harmful practices.

If a child is living under the authority of his or her parents, they should submit to their parents in obedience to the Fifth Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). And parents are both just and right to demand that this submission is offered in all proper things.

If you have a biblical worldview on parental rights, you will recognize that Christian parents simply don’t have the option to “affirm” a child’s pursuit of homosexuality or transgenderism. To do so would be a failure of their God-given role and an act of disobedience to God.

Hebrews 12:6 provides further insight into the biblical perspective on discipline, stating,

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

This verse draws a parallel between God’s discipline of His children and the discipline that parents should employ. It reinforces the idea that discipline is an expression of love and is intended for the child’s benefit.

Biblical Parenting versus an Apostate State

When a state or government seeks to impose its own values and beliefs on children, it undermines the fundamental right of parents to guide and protect their children according to their values and beliefs. To bring this back to the main issue threatening parental rights today, this is particularly concerning in the context of gender transitions and the promotion of transgender ideology, which often contradicts biblical teachings on gender and sexuality.

Parents have a right and a duty to know what their children are being taught in schools. Parents have a right and a duty to remove their children from classrooms where sinful gender ideology and sexual deviancy are being promoted as “normal.” Parents have a right — and a duty — to refuse to allow their minor children to pursue a transgender lifestyle. And parents also have a right and a duty to protect their children from deadly abortion ideology and the sexual immorality that is taught in schools under the guise of “sex ed.”

In the Apostate States of America, all these examples and more are live issues and real fights. Of course, one of the best ways to exercise parental rights and responsibilities in our day and age is to homeschool your children, but we recognize that not everyone has this opportunity.

Christian parents must reject any state-imposed effort to take their children and facilitate gender transitions or promote transgender ideology. This may involve speaking out against such policies in both public and private schools, advocating for parental rights and school choice, and taking legal action if necessary.

I would suggest that it is a bit of rebuke to Christian parents in America that one of the leading and most effective groups advocating for parental rights, Moms for Liberty, isn’t even an explicitly Christian organization. But when equipped with a robust biblical worldview on parental rights, Christians should be driven to assume a position at the front lines of this critical fight for the hearts and minds of future generations.

Conclusion

The biblical worldview on parental rights is rooted in the acknowledgment of God’s design for the family and the role of parents in shaping the spiritual, emotional, educational, and physical well-being of their children. The Bible provides a clear framework for parental authority, responsibility, and discipline and the importance of teaching God’s Word. Children are viewed as precious gifts from God, and parents are entrusted with the privilege and duty of nurturing them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

As Christians seek to understand and live out their faith, embracing the biblical perspective on parental rights becomes integral to building strong, God-honoring families. By grounding their parenting in the principles outlined in the Scriptures, believers can contribute to the flourishing of the next generation, fostering a legacy of faith, love, and obedience to God’s Word.


As seen in this article, many K-12 schools now embrace the secular woke agenda and are hostile to Christian beliefs and parental rights. Fortunately, parents don’t have to settle for this. Liberty University Online Academy is a K-12 program designed to educate your children in the ways of the Lord while preparing them to stand firm in their faith when they graduate. Our flexible online curriculum ensures that your student is trained at your convenience and keeps YOU the ultimate educator of your children.

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