Resolving The Parenting Crisis
In a recent opinion column in the Washington Post, David Byler makes the argument that more needs to be done by the government for the current parenting crisis. He says, “America is in a parenting crisis. The financial costs of child care are soaring; most new parents don’t take the amount of leave they want; and many face the impossible task of balancing full-time work and caring for their children. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems, with many parents losing their jobs, getting sick or frantically trying to work while filling the void left by not having day care and in-person schooling.”
Who does he think has the answer to this problem? The government. How does he propose to get resolved? Through government programming and policy. He states that whichever party is willing to take advantage of this crisis by making programs and policies that are parent friendly, will reap the rewards at the polling box. His primary focus for the parenting crisis is paid family leave. He appeals, “In the short term, often ignored issues can provide politicians with low-cost, high-impact victories. Paid family leave is a perfect example. From a polling perspective, the issue is a slam dunk: Eighty-two percent of Americans favor either employers or the government paying for leave for mothers who give birth or adopt a child, and almost 70 percent support paid leave for new fathers. The public isn’t committed to just a progressive or conservative method of distributing these benefits, either. Sixty percent support providing paid leave through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and 87 percent favor giving a tax credit to employers that provide paid leave.”
In short; there is a parenting crisis? The government will have the solution to the problem. This is a very good example of the basis of socialism. It is the belief that utopia can be found in the government, on earth. That through the government, a perfect life for all can be created. That unfairness can be wiped away. Support can be generated. Problems can be solved. Crisis can be eliminated. All through government control. But it is more than that. It is a belief that there is no God and therefore utopia must be created on earth. Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “Socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to–day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to Heaven from earth, but to set up Heaven on earth.”
But our answer for the parenting crisis is not found on Capitol Hill but on the Mount of Gethsemane. It is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we have a regeneration of parenting in our country. Once parents repent of their sin, once they lead their families in the ways of the Lord, once they focus on the spiritual more than the physical, once we start assembling the family according to the way God created it, then we will have rectification for the family.
David tries to make a case that this is not a liberal idea by stating, “And that’s where family policy could help Republicans. Parent-friendly lawmaking isn’t an inherently liberal pursuit. The GOP could push policies that reduce child-care costs for working parents, support those who chose to stay at home while projecting a traditionalist, pro-family message.” Yet this is still socialism. It is still looking to the government, to put it in his words, to “push policies...projecting a traditionalist, pro-family message.” As if the government was the creator and final determinant of what a family should look like. As if the government was an infallible god.
We must be careful of being tempted to look to the government for the answers to our problems. We must be careful not to rely on Washington more than relying on God. He is the one that provides our needs. He is the one that issues the truth about family structure and proper parenting. Karl Marx wrote about how easy it would be to lure the Christian into socialism. He stated, “Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge.” But be forewarned that all socialism is, is atheism in politics. Christian author Larry Taunton wrote that socialism, “...is a spiritual question, if only because it denies the very existence of the spiritual. It is...atheism masquerading as political philosophy.”
Do we need social change? Yes. Do we have a parenting crisis? Yes. Do we go to the government for the solution? No. We turn to Christ. It is the Gospel that brings about change, by changing the heart. No social policy will ever be able to do that. As Spurgeon wrote, “To attempt national regeneration without personal regeneration is to dream of erecting a house without separate bricks.”