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100 ?’s for God: What responsibility do we have for and to our children?

December 18, 2012

This is Question 84 from “100 Questions for God” series

In large swathes of the animal kingdom, parents and members of the broader community recognize the importance of allowing children the chance to develop while protected from many of the challenges facing adults. If wild animals take this altruistic stance, it must serve as a bare minimum for our kids. While the age when youngsters become grown ups may leave room for debate[1], how we treat our offspring has to be a key measuring stick for our society.

As our technologies and knowledge advance, and the adult world impinges more and more on the lives of our children, God’s expectations for our safeguarding and nurturing should increase commensurately. In a perfect world, all anklebiters would have the right to:

1.     A balanced education[2]
2.     Basic nutrition
3.     Parents who care
4.     Play time
5.     Structured and sensitive discipline
6.     Avoid exploitation in any way
7.     Be heard
8.     Evolve their own understanding of God

The list could be longer, but the mixed results we achieve on these standards suggest substantial room for improvement. If we accept that God values results, our ongoing spiritual and intellectual advancement, love, diversity and a couple of other key components, the importance of treating children as a “special class” within our society becomes even clearer.

With the sponge-like abilities of their brains, evolving ideas of right and wrong, and physical immaturity, it seems broadly accepted kids are not capable of the fending for themselves in an adult world. Until they are[3], in exchange for giving up some rights[4] they should receive superior protection. While this may be a step beyond the care provided by parents in a SOTF scenario, if we aspire to have a civilization worthy of God’s enthusiastic endorsement we should aim for:

1)     Elimination of any circumstances where an adult takes advantage of a child
2)     Guaranteed delivery of basic nutrition, housing and education for all children

While the definition of childhood, and when this exchange of rights should occur, may change as we evolve, the underlying premise remains constant. Until every youngster has the opportunity to reach adulthood with a basic chance to explore their potential, we inhibit their progress and our own.

Defending these basic privileges[5] for children should not be interpreted to mean our offspring shouldn’t:

a)     Be challenged
b)    Experience sorrow, loss or disappointment
c)     Anticipate and experience competition
d)    Be disciplined
e)     Reciprocate with appropriate respect for adults
f)      Avoid consequences for inappropriate actions
g)     Tidy their rooms and be responsible for their toys


Our graduation from SOTF to accelerating our evolution cannot be regarded as complete until all our spawn have basic protections and opportunity[6]. Whitney Houston was right – “the children are our future.” If our God is prepared to nurture us, we should be prepared to nurture our kids[7].

[1] The ages for driving, drinking, working, etc. can vary significantly across the planet

[2] We can debate what this might look like for some time – it’s probably a good question for God – I wonder if someone will ask it?

[3] And this may vary from child to child

[4] e.g. Drinking, driving, voting

[5] The difference between rights and privileges is worthy of significant discussion. The first aim should probably be a right while the second, due to JOE and RUTH, may be a privilege (but it would be cool if it were a right).

[6] There may be other criteria for graduation, but we can address those elsewhere

[7] Actually, even if our God isn’t, the responsibility we have to our children remains

Buy a copy of 100 ?’s for God HERE

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