Children and the Family (76-61)

We Affirm that children, natural and adopted, are a heritage from God, given in sacred trust.  They are not to be abused or neglected.  Children are not pawns of the church, state, or parents.  Every child deserves to have a warm, loving, caring relationship with a father and mother, the opportunity to be nurtured in an environment which model Christian behavior and values.

We Believe that the roles of parents include providing for their children’s growth (mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially) and teaching them from the Word of God in a spirit of Christian love and nurture.  Parents, together, are responsible to each spiritual truth and other information by word of mouth and by example.  They are to discipline in a firm, consistent, loving manner in the home.  The role of the child includes becoming an obedient learner who is being trained to become a mature adult, able to exercise wise and responsible discernment in making decisions.  Children are to honor their parents, to obey them as they would obey the Lord, and to care for their needs in old age.  Each member of the Christian family has spiritual gifts which are to be discovered, developed, and used to glorify God and strengthen each other within the family.  We deeply regret the breakdown in family closeness and order; and we urge mothers and especially fathers to resume their God-ordained roles as leaders in the home.  We oppose the unhealthy influences which seek to exploit children through pornography, drug abuse, and unethical advertising.  We are deeply concerned about the harmful effects of some television, films, and printed news media, the lack of discipline and poor adult example in home and school, and the breakdown of family unity and cohesion.  We urge parents and schools to raise and teach children in a climate of mature love, respect and discipline.  We urge churches to give priority attention to the task of equipping parents to provide homes in which the spiritual, psychological, intellectual, and social development of children is of crucial importance.

(Genesis 1:27-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16, 6:4-25; Proverbs 1:8, 6:20, 10:1, 20:11, 22:6, 31:10-31; Acts 5:1-11, 18:1-4 & 24-28; Romans 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:11; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20,21,24; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Timothy 5:3,4,8; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15; Titus 2:4).

Because we wish to emphasize clearly the importance of rearing children in truly Christian homes,

Be it Resolved that the statement presented in this Resolution be printed in the Advent Christian News that it may reach every church family; and

Be it Further Resolved that pastors be strongly urged to use this statement as a basis for intensive discussion in appropriate areas of their Christian Education program.