Who Owns the Children?

“You shall teach them [God’s words] diligently to your children…”

— Deuteronomy 6:7

Several years ago the State of Nebraska jailed seven fathers for a supposedly heinous crime. These seven fathers spent Thanksgiving in jail. They spent Christmas in jail. They spent New Year’s in jail. What had they done?

They placed their children in a Christian school to receive a Christian education. The bone of contention was that this was a church school that refused to be licensed by the state or to have its teachers accredited by the state. And in an example of the exercise of raw power, the state clamped down, padlocking the church and the school, throwing the pastor in jail and imprisoning seven fathers and then with warrants for their arrest, causing the mothers to flee out of the state with their children.

Now, it cannot be said that the state is interested in the educational achievement of the children because two independent testing organizations came into the school and ascertained that the children were two to two and a half years ahead of the children in the public schools in the state of Nebraska. No. It is simply a determination to repress Christian schools, to establish precedents, which can be used all across the country so that there can be no competition to the completely atheistic, secularistic, humanistic education that is being forwarded in our public school system today.

There is a battle today over who owns the children—the parents or the state? The Bible says the parents, specifically the fathers, are responsible for their children’s education. It is to God we must ultimately give an account.

God our Father, we thank You for letting us be parents and we desperately need Your wisdom and guidance. We see the state taking upon itself more and more authority, and we pray for Your help in educating and rearing godly children…