Christian Media: Where Truth Meets You

Children Deserve Parental Love

Is adversity an excuse for poor parenting? Is material wealth the key to right parenting? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this podcast.


Children Deserve Parental Love and Concern


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Brother Bob Pellien: With broken families on the rise, families today need to work harder to stay together. We’ll find out what the Bible’s advice is. You’re listening to the podcast version of God’s Message magazine, and today’s topic is “Children Deserve Parental Love and Concern.” 


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Brother Bob Pellien: Poverty greatly contributes to the sorry lot of millions of youth and children in many parts of the world, but the utter lack of parental support and concern for children only worsens their condition. Even in their impoverished lot, poor parents who really care for their young can still offer their children a bright future. Of course, with lots of sacrifices on their part. 


But a rich one who simply doesn’t care would do nothing good for his children. The failure of parents to provide sufficient food, shelter, and clothing to their offsprings clearly violates God’s command. Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy says:


If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 

[I Timothy 5:8 Revised Standard Version]


Brother Bob Pellien: More blatant transgressions, however, are committed when parents abuse and enslave their children by forcing them to work at a very young age instead of sending them to school for their education. This directly contravenes an exhortation of Apostle Paul to Christian parents. He wrote to the Corinthians:


For children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 

[II Corinthians 12:14 Amplified Bible]


Brother Bob Pellien: Parents should work for their children’s welfare and future, and not vice versa. They should provide a conducive place where their children can grow and develop their talents and potentials at a time when the world is becoming a dangerous place for children. This situation has been brought about by environmental despoliation, drugs, violent crimes, and armed conflicts. Consequently, this planet has become a difficult place to live in. 


A case in point that shows how this earth has become a difficult place for children, is the much publicized fratricidal conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina that showed  how children are the worst victims in a bloody war. Thousands of them have been killed, maimed, or wounded in that ethnic struggle. For the survivors, the psychological trauma of their shell shocked lives would be more difficult to erase. The children of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, & Trebišnjica will forever be traumatized by that brutal conflict. 


Their struggle, however, cannot be isolated from the terrible experiences of the starved and brutalized children of Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi, or those even in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia of the former Soviet Union, all of which are encountering violent political upheavals. Media reports have also publicized the hideous massacres of street children by police-connected death squads in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Indeed, they are all kindred in experience. 


In the more developed societies such as the United States and Western Europe, crime, violence, and drug abuse are the main dangers to the children and youth. More than 3 million crimes a year are committed in or near 85,000 U.S. public schools. What’s even more terrifying is the fact that the nature of these crimes has grown more violent in recent years, and both the perpetrators and victims are getting younger and younger (US News World Report, November 8, 1993). 

It is very obvious from these collected facts and figures that the children and youth around the world are in dire straits. In the third world, many of them are starved, malnourished, abused, exploited and victimized by war. Their poverty-bound parents are oftentimes helpless in doing anything for their welfare. In some cases, they are even instruments in putting their children to slavery and prostitution. 


On the other hand, in the highly developed and very urbanized economies, children are also neglected by separated or divorced parents. There are those who are too focused on their careers. Some are even viciously preyed upon by crimes and the drug menace or bombarded with sex and violence on TV, films, and the printed media. 


This unhealthy situation of children and youth in most societies is almost always blamed on extreme poverty and intensified discrimination—whether racial, sexual, or religious. Governments and policy makers are also criticized for their failure to legislate measures to improve the lot of children and youth. 


But the analysis given in a special report on campus violence published by the US News World Report, speaks of a more numbing truth. It added that anger, discontent, and violence of the young people in America, is due to the fraying of the fabric of the family. The report enumerated proof of this thesis. Broken homes and two-income families leave an estimated 1 in 5 students home alone after school. The statistics translate into more neglected, abused, and troubled kids. Fully 70% of juvenile court cases involve children from single-parent families. 


Obviously, the breakup of families and the failure of parents to support, protect, and guide their children properly are the most serious causes of youth-related social ills. The parents’ dereliction of responsibilities towards their children either by their default and giving material  support or by being amiss and providing emotional and spiritual guidance, is the major reason why contemporary juvenile-related problems are increasing in number. Many parents have failed to provide love, guidance, and the proper direction to their children. Their families have failed to grant sanctuary to the fear-stricken youth of today’s stress-ridden societies.  


The parents who are concerned in saving the lives and the future of their beloved children can derive inspiring wisdom from the Bible on how to achieve this most urgent task. To accomplish this, parents must have the proper mindset and attitude towards each other and their offsprings. Spouses should love each other and their children as Apostle Paul admonished the young Christian mothers in his epistle to Titus:


that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

[Titus 2:4 New King James Version]


Brother Bob Pellien: Parental love must be expressed not only in words but must also be proven in deeds. This is first and foremost proven when parents provide for all the primordial needs of their children: from physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. They should allot quality time and effort to be with their kids and they should be available, especially when their offspring need their advice in times of crises and difficulties. They should do everything and anything possible to preserve the unity and the solidarity of the family. Remember, the first casualty of a broken home is the child. Affection to children, however, must be exercised properly and fairly. If there are many offspring in the family, parents must be wise and tactful in relating to them. They must avoid playing favorites. Love should be equally dispensed to all the kids. 


Sometimes, parents commit the error of lavishing too much love on their children to the point of spoiling them and giving in to all their wishes, even if such are unreasonable. They even refrain from punishing and disciplining their children when they commit a misdemeanor. This is false parental love. The Bible teaches that true parental love requires correction and even punishment of children who have gone astray. King Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs:


He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. 

[Proverbs 13:24 New King James Version]


Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. 

[Proverbs 22:15 New King James Version]


Brother Bob Pellien: Disciplining a child with a rod of reproof or warning is an act of love, but doing nothing about his miscreant behavior is tantamount to hating him. Why is correcting an errant child a proof of the parents’ love for him? What can correction and discipline do to the child? Again, the Bible has the answer: 


The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

[Proverbs 29:15; 23:13-14 New King James Version]


Brother Bob Pellien: Of course, the right to discipline a child might be abused by some misguided parents. Punishing the child must not be unreasonably frequent nor excessive. It must not be done out of a sadistic rage or just to hurt the child. To do so is evil and may cause irreparable damage to the child. Punishment should be imposed only when it is really justified, and as a last recourse. Instead of employing too much physical punishment which might even provoke the children to rebel against their parents, Apostle Paul advised:


And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the LORD.

[Ephesians 6:4 New Revised Standard Version]


Brother Bob Pellien: Parental instruction and guidance through correction and discipline is a very important facet of responsible parenting. The teaching of Christian values and religious upbringing are priority subjects that parents ought to impart to their children. Parents must always be prepared to teach, counsel, or advise their children. When they listen to and obey willingly their elders’ instructions, they must be amply rewarded and encouraged. When out of naughtiness they sometimes refuse to comply, they must be counseled or rebuked. And when they show a pattern for recalcitrant behavior, they must be disciplined. But the best means by which parents can instill worthy ideals and positive moral values to their children is by serving as their example. 


The household being the first social environment and organization for them must be insulated from unhealthy influences that may corrupt their young minds. Parents must try at all times to be paragons of exemplary character and the proper modicum of behavior to their children. Television, films and printed materials for home consumption must be devoid of elements that are harmful to a child’s innocent mind. Self-censorship and regulations should at all times be in the minds of parents if they are to serve as their child’s good example. 


They should refrain from vices such as smoking, substance abuse, and drinking hard liquor and desist from saying and doing vulgar words and actions. As Christians, parents should live the Christian way of life, ever loving, forgiving, compassionate, and peaceful. They must lead their family in the regular worship services, and participate actively in various Church functions. They must instill in their children the knowledge of the true God and the true religion. This most important aspect of religious education must be taught diligently by the parents to their children for their well-being. As stated in the Book of Deuteronomy, thus: 


so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. … And these words, which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.  [Deuteronomy 6:2,6-7 New American Standard Bible]


Brother Bob Pellien: To find more articles like these, get your copy of God’s Message Magazine from a member of the Church Of Christ. You can also find the podcast version on, or on iTunes or Google Play under “inc podcasts.” Thank you for listening. I’m Brother Bob Pellien. God bless. 


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