Not all kids have the same privileges as my kids and not all parents have the same opportunities right now. But, we can all have the same goals. We can seek to raise our kids according the Bible’s commands and expectations. We can also seek to extend similar opportunities to other children. We can volunteer at local schools, teach kids in church, or coach a little league team. In other words, if you find yourself blessed (or the recipient of “privilege”), rather than feeling guilty about your situation in life, you can work to pass the blessing along. We can do everything in our power to build healthier families, healthier communities, and to help more children and families enjoy the blessing and privilege of knowing God and living according to his word.
There was a time when we spoke of kids who did not have access to certain opportunities as “underprivileged children.” Rather than speaking of the underprivileged with compassion, the common parlance of our world today is to reverse the language. Instead of focusing on caring for the underprivileged (the alien, the orphan, and the widow), our world seems aims darts of venom at those who are supposedly privileged.
The language of privilege is not all wrong. It is true that certain aspects of my life that I did not earn have opened doors for me that would not otherwise have been opened. As a teenager, all of the jobs I ever had came about as a result of the relationships my parents had with other adults (that, I am told, is a form of privilege). I was privileged to be born in a free country to parents who took me to church and shared the gospel. I was privileged to grow up in a tw0-parent home in a safe community. For all of those things, I do not feel guilty, I feel incredibly grateful and humbled. I did nothing to earn the love of my parents or the opportunity to grow up in the greatest country in the world. I am thankful for the opportunities my life has afforded me.
But, the language of privilege is also dangerous because it casts certain good things in life as “privilege” for which we should feel guilty and for which we should condemn others.
As a parent, there are goals I have for my children. Many of these goals are biblical goals, but by modern parlance, these are also called privilege.
Below is a list of “privileges” that Christian parents should seek to secure for their children. These also happen to the “privileges” that I desire for every child I know.
- The privilege of a two-parent home. Many of you who are reading this are single parents or have gone through divorce. And yet, I have never spoken with anyone who has gone through a divorce who wants to do it again. Divorce is bad and single-parenting is hard. God’s plan for families is a mother and a father raising their children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord (Genesis 2:23-25, Ephesians 5:22-6:4). I will work diligently to raise my children in a home where God is revered, their mom is honored, and their parents stay married for God’s glory and the good of the entire family.
- The privilege of safety and security. I do not want my kids to be afraid. They will find safety and security first from a father who loves them and does not abuse them. Then, I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are safe beyond the relationship they have with me (Ephesians 6:4).
- The privilege of sexual sanity. The liberal world refers to this as “cisgendered privilege,” that is the privilege of identifying with the “gender” they were assigned at birth. I will teach my children that they are created in God’s image and seek to give them a godly, biblical understanding of sexuality that enables them to honor God with their body and relationships.