Stop Judging Other Parents: Homeschooling and Parental Rights

If you’re a homeschool parent, you should support parental rights.

Especially if you’re a Christian homeschool parent.

Let me explain what I why.

Parental rights is the idea that a parent has the right to raise their child as they see fit.

Many opponents of parental rights believe that only those who are qualifies (ie people educated sufficiently, usually they mean people in the government) have the right to make choices for your children, and some even believe that the children belong to the state not the parents.

This is at the foundation of the homeschool versus anti-homeschool argument.

To whom do your children belong? Who has the rights to make choices for your children?

According to scripture, the raising of a child falls to the parents.


Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4


This makes logical sense even if you don’t use the Bible as your moral compass. 

Nowhere in scripture is there a mention of the government having this responsibility. When Adam and Eve had their children there was no government!

The government does have responsibilities, but the raising of children is not one of them.


“…rulers … are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4


Who educates your child and how falls into your Christian stewardship.  

For this reason, I don’t condemn you even if you send your children to public school.  

I disagree with the educational style of the public schools on a philosophical level, but there’s no  Biblical, moral issue with you choosing to send your child to be educated wherever you want.  It’s not a sin issue.

Because I believe in parental rights,  I believe that the parent has the right to choose public education if they believe it is best for their child.  

Not choosing public education, may be a wiser choice in my opinion, but this isn’t a sin issue. Other parents answer to God for how they raise their child: they do not  answer to me or anyone else.

I will vehemently defend a parent’s right to choose public school even though I disagree with almost everything the public schools stand for and unequivocally refuse to send my children there.  

Because I believe in parental rights.

Let me say it again: I will defend your right to send your child to public school even though I disagree with the public schools. 

Just like many anti-homeschool people believe the government has the right to decide what kind of education your child should have and how they should be raised, many people (homeschool parents and public and private school parents and teachers) believe that they have the right to decide what’s best for someone else’s children.

Ironically, many of these same people claim to believe in parental authority, but they believe it in name only.

They only believe that you have the right to raise your child according to your philosophy if your philosophy agrees with their philosophy.  

But that defeats the whole point of parental rights.

If you’re a Christian, then you should recognize that the Bible is full of absolutes. Do this; don’t do this.  Anything that falls outside Bible commands is Christian liberty.

Unless it is actually a sin issue as stated clearly in the Bible, we have no justification for meddling in another parent’s child rearing or in their homeschool.

For instance, if you decided that you were not going to teach your children advanced math because you believe they won’t need it, I might disagree philosophically.

But it’s not wrong morally.

So, I would vehemently defend your right to do so.

If you decide not to teach your child to read until he was 12, I might not agree with that philosophically,  but it’s not immoral.

So, I would defend your right to do it.

Because I believe in parental rights –that the parent has the right to educate the child as they see fit –even if someone else disagrees.

Here’s the thing: the moment one group is given the right to tell another group how they must raise their children, we’ve all lost our freedom. What’s to stop someone else from coming along and making new rules that both groups disagree with and forcing both groups to follow it? Nothing.

We’re only truly free as long as we’re all free to do what we believe is best.

Obviously, there are some things that are absolutely black-and-white, right-and-wrong. We find those in the Bible. Those are moral issues. I am talking about non-moral issues.

So to all the Christians out there telling a other parents that they’re wrong for their educational and parenting choices: it’s actually you who are in the wrong.

You’re violating clear commands in scripture not to judge someone’s stewardship.

The Bible is silent on the topic of educational philosophy.  

You can only make the Bible say educational things if you twist scripture and refuse to use logic.  

For instance, the command tostudy to show yourself approved” cannot be made into a command to teach children to read. If that were true then every family in the last 2000 years who didn’t know how to read was sinning? Medieval families? People in poverty in third world countries? Are they all really sinning because they aren’t reading the Bible because they haven’t learned to read? Beyond being a huge twisting of scripture, it doesn’t even make logical sense.

satan

Twist not scripture lest you become like Satan. -Paul Washer

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people twist the Bible to try to make it suit their own philosophy –educational or otherwise. 

Since the Old Testament law told the Israelite parents to teach their children as a way of life, then any time your child is being taught by someone else, the parent is sinning? Yes, I’ve actually heard that taught, too. The passage was written to the Israelites, not gentiles. It’s part of the Old Testament law, not part of the Age of Grace. Even the Israelites sent their children to be educated by rabbis indicating that not even they interpreted this verse to mean only the parent can teach the child.

This is also someone’s attempt to twist the Bible to meet their educational philosophy.  

Either you believe that parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit or you don’t.  If you claim to be followers of Christ, you should believe it.

Because it is clear in scripture.

Don’t confuse your educational philosophy with scripture, and don’t twist the Bible to make it fit what you want it to say.

Read the Bible and see what it actually says and understand that anything it doesn’t command or forbid specifically falls into your Christian freedom.

When in doubt, I assume that other parents are, doing their best even if it’s not how I would do it.

I believe that people are doing their best because love believes the best in people. 

When in doubt, keep your judgments and meddling to yourself.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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