Why parenting is not a democracy

Parenting is not a democracy.  My husband James has joked it’s more like a benevolent dictatorship!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t consider your children’s opinions and preferences.

I’m not saying the family meeting doesn’t have a place.

What I am saying is you don’t have to put everything to a vote.  You don’t have to make your family decisions by majority rule.  The truth is God has put you as a parent ultimately in charge.

My friend Dannah Gresh who is a speaker, author and creator of Secret Keeper Girl wrote the most amazing endorsement for my new book Parents Rising:8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right.  It really got me thinking.  She wrote:

In our ’empowering’ world, something is being lost: respect. God’s kingdom is a kingdom. It is not a democracy. He expects us to operate in respect and submission to a hierarchy of authority. A child who is not raised to do so, may fit in but he or she will not rise to the task of being godly in a godless culture.

Let it sink in.  God’s kingdom is a kingdom.  It is not a democracy. 

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Yes, God is our best friend and comforter who can relate to our humanity because of Jesus Christ.  But He is also the soon and coming King who is omnipotent and just.  Every knee will bow.  We won’t be standing as equals.  We will be bowing as servants who have been bought at a price.

If our children do not learn to respect our authority as parents, how will they grow up to understand Jesus as Lord?  How will they submit to the commands in the Bible when they have never been expected to mind the rules of home?

These are sobering questions.

Your home is not a democracy.  You are the authority figure.  Of course, this doesn’t mean we’re going to start acting as drill sergeants or do anything out of cruelty.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  We are to be loving parents who listen and lead our troops – our kids – with passion and direction.

Will we do everything perfectly?  Of course not, don’t be ridiculous!  We are imperfect and should certainly apologize to our kids when we make a mistake.  But that doesn’t strip us from our leadership responsibilities as a mom or a dad.

So, now you know.  You don’t have to put everything to a vote.  In fact, the more you act like a leader who expects obedience, the more your child will be able to follow the commands of his or her Heavenly Father.  That relationship of obedience to God will shape your child’s destiny to follow God as an adult.

That’s an eternal, worthwhile pursuit!

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This post originally appeared on ArlenePellicane.com and was republished with permission. 

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life and Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right.  Learn more at ArlenePellicane.com



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