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The Delicate Mother-In-Law Relationship - Part 1

Guest: Annie Chapman

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March 3, 2015

Encouragement For New Parents


It is also no wonder that parents are more concerned in the present era. Their children are walking through the Valley of the Shadow! Drugs, sex, alcohol, rebellion and deviant lifestyles are everywhere. Those dangers have never been so evident to me as they are today.

I'm writing this in the heart of London, where my family has joined me for a couple of months. This wonderful and historic city is also the home of some of the most pitiful young people I've ever seen. Rockers and punkers and druggies are on the streets in search of something.  Who knows what? Girls with green and orange hair walk by with strange-looking boyfriends. At least I think they're boys. They wear earrings and have blue "Mohawk" haircuts that stick four inches in the air. While gazing at that sight, a clang! clang! clang! sound is heard from the rear. The Hare Krishnas are coming. They dance by with their shaved heads and monk-like robes. Gays parade arm in arm and prostitutes advertise their services. I stand there thinking "What in heaven's name have we allowed to happen to our kids?"

The same phenomenon is occurring in the United States and Canada. It is sometimes overwhelming to see what has happened to a value system that served us so well. When my daughter was eighteen, I attended a program put on by the music department at her high school. Sitting in front of me was one of Danae's girlfriends. At intermission we chatted about her plans, and she told me she would soon enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. She had just returned from a visit to the school and mentioned casually that something had bothered her about the dormitory in which she would reside. She had learned that the men and women lived side by side and they also shared the same bathrooms.  What concerned this pretty young lady was that there was no curtain on the shower stall!

This is the world in which our children are growing up. Obviously, conservative communities still exist where traditional values are honored. Millions of kids still want to do what is right. But dangerous enticements are there, too, and parents know it. So we live in fear that the dragon of adolescence will consume their sons and daughters before they have even started out in life. That anxiety can take the pleasure out of raising children.

There is, however, another reason for the crisis of confidence that many parents are experiencing today. Mothers, especially, have been placed in an impossible bind. They have been blamed for everything that can conceivably go wrong with children. Even when their love and commitment are incalculable, the experts accuse them of making grievous errors in toilet training, disciplining, feeding, medicating and educating their youngsters. They are either over-possessive or under-nourishing.

One psychiatrist even wrote an entire book on the dangers of religious training of all types. Thus, no matter how diligently "Mom" approaches her parenting responsibilities, she seems destined to be accused of twisting and warping her children.

Not only have mothers been blamed by the experts for things beyond their control, but they have also been quite willing to criticize themselves.  Consider again the list of statements cited from our poll of parents.  Eighty percent of the respondents were women, and their most frequent comment was, "I'm a failure as a mother!" What nonsense! Women have been taught to blame themselves in this way and it is time to set the record straight.

I don't believe that the task of procreation was intended to be so burdensome. Of course it is demanding. But parents in the twentieth century have saddled themselves with unnecessary guilt, fear and self-doubt. That is not the divine plan. Throughout the Scriptures, it is quite clear that the raising of children was viewed as a wonderful blessing from God—a welcome, joyful experience. And today, it remains one of the greatest privileges in living to bring a baby into the world a vulnerable little human being who looks to us for all his needs. What a wonderful opportunity it is to teach these little ones to love God with all their hearts and to serve their fellowman throughout their lives. There is no higher calling than that!

From Dr. Dobson's book Parenting Isn’t For Cowards.

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