Paul in Ephesians 6 addresses children directly (!) and aims to persuade them to obey their parents for two reasons:
In some baptist circles, parents treat their children like unbelievers. The reason for this is obvious. If a child has yet to confess faith, then that child needs to hear the Gospel like anyone else.
Before a child confesses his or her faith, parents feel the need to protect their kids. They may protect them from the world by homeschooling, Christian-schooling, restricting certain freedoms, and so on. Without the Spirit, parents might reason, children cannot be trusted to resist the temptations of the world. So they need a narrow circle of influence until the point of conversion.
What may poke a hole in the argument above is this: often parents will celebrate the conversion of their twelve-year-old child but keep them under the same supervision as before their conversion. The same child, now converted, at eighteen will go to Bible School because some parents worry about the influence of secular education even though the child has become an adult and has confessed faith.
Incidentally, I think home-schooling and private-schooling and Bible colleges can really contribute to a child’s well-being. They are valid options. I hope nobody thinks that I am here attacking these choices. What I am questioning is this: should we parent our children like unbelievers?
I answer no. We should treat them as holy and beloved of God. Whether one is a paedobaptist or credobaptist, in both cases there are ample biblical and theological reasons for treating your child as a holy child. Lest every baptist draw back in horror, please let me give some reasons why I think this is so. After that, if you disagree, then we simply disagree. Nothing more, nothing less! [Read more…] about Should We Treat Our Children like Unbelievers?