Parental Dogmatism

Parental Dogmatism

Now, that’s a title worth chewing on! What could I possibly mean by Parental Dogmatism? Dogmatism is defined as; (n) arrogant, stubborn assertion of opinion or belief; a statement of a point of view as if it were an established fact. I’m sure, from that definition alone; you can tell which direction the rudder is driving.

I am in the middle of a huge calamity between two sets of parents (yes, you read that right) and their children. The root of this calamity comes from the mother and father (now divorced) who constantly fight and argue over whose turn it is with their children. This escalates into further degradation of one another, in the presence of their teens, by means of slander and legal issues. It seems that these teens have lived among hatred and ill tempers, from both sides, all of their lives. Somehow, by God’s Amazing Grace, these teens have turned out to be respectful, courteous, well mannered, and successful in school, totally excelling in sports, AND neither girl teen nor boy teen holds interest in a significant other (that I am aware). What more could a parent ask for? The two teens are completely committed to church, the praise team, youth group, and any other function remotely related. They have, by far, surpassed my every expectation of how they would handle their given circumstances. So what!? The fact of the matter is that they have been living with this situation their entire childhood. I see the teens agonizing over circumstances weighted on them by their parents. For instance, “Why was father was doing this & that, or Why is you mother is always talking bad about me, Your dad is this and that, You mom never did this or that, etc etc? What teenager should ever have to serve as a mediator between their parents… not a single one! Unfortunately, THEY do!

Parents/guardians, have we completely forgotten what scripture demands of us? “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”. Ephesians 6:4 (NASB). The word fathers, in this blog, pertains to all headship guardians. If you are in authority over your children, or any child, it applies directly to you. Divorced parents, when will you realize that you are killing your children by playing them against the other parent. If you want respect from your children; they must see you portray a life of respect, humility, submission, and so forth. When will you understand that your dogmatic intention to “rule them with an iron fist” is only driving the wedge deeper and deeper? When are we as parents, counselors, pastors, small group leaders, etc, EVER going to wake up to the realization that if WE do not reach them (youth) with the gospel, Satan will reach them with his?

I have watched, for years, as these two teens have played the mediator between father and mother. All the while these teens are trying to find peace, love, and little understanding through this storm; neither parent seems to acknowledge their child’s desperation. The only interaction, now-a-days, that either parent seems to give their teen is a list of investigative inquires about the other parent. We teach our children at a young age to get along with others; when did this become foreign to us as adults? When did we regress into children? Why do we wrestle against principalities of evil when we have an ultimate mediator, Jesus Christ, who will do our fighting for us? (Exodus 14:10-14) Have we as guardians, parents, and adults become another peer? I would sincerely hope not!

Dogmatism has got to give way to unconditional love and tender mercies. Even a blacksmith realizes that the constant beating of metal will substantially weaken its ability to perform. Stop beating the dead horse! (insert your own euphemism here) Shelter your children, guide them through the Word, and pray with them on all occasions. And, pray for them without ceasing!

I have the amazing privilege to be the son of two of the most loving parents I have ever seen. (Ok, maybe I’m a bit biased, but I was taught, not just shown, what love is.) I never lacked ANYTHING; in fact my parents sacrificed, loved, and guided me so much that I could never begin to repay, nor would they ever accept it. Struggling parents, I encourage you to find other parents that have more experience, life lessons and Godly wisdom than you and cling tightly to them. You don’t always have to have older children to be the wiser parent. God imparts wisdom upon those who hunger and thirst for it. Let love be without hypocrisy, abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Fight the good the fight, and stay the course, your crown is laid up for you (tid-bits of a few of my favorite verses: Romans 12:9, 2 Tim 4:7-8).

Perhaps this will become a series on parenting (as if I could possibly offer advice). You do not have to have children to be a parent; it is the motive of your heart. Likewise, not all adults with children should be considered parents; it is the motive of your heart! God Bless!

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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