In the not too distant past, while in an interview with Candace Owens, Mario Lopez (popularized from his character “A.C. Slater” from the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell) came under attack by progressives for claiming that “if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way, or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination.” Not only is it shocking that progressives were shocked themselves, but the leftist barrage of hate caused Lopez to walk back his comments and apologize for his statements! The moral outrage from the left over this comment and all the lunacy that goes with it aside, I wanted to address a different part of what he said and wonder where the Christian concern is.
Just prior to those comments, Lopez said, “Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong.” I see 2 glaring errors here that should be the source of Lopez’s apology and what Christians need to be concerned over. I’ll address the first of the 2 here. See part 2 for the second.
I learned very quickly in pastoral ministry that one of the few social taboos that are absolutely “hands-off” for pastors to counsel is parenting. It has fallen down into the modern psyche that “no one can tell me how to parent my children” or “who are you to tell me how to raise my kid?” This is even felt in the church! You see Lopez state it as if it were a given truth. “I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids,” because that would be a social unforgivable sin!
For the Christian, I suppose that means you should go ahead and close up your Bible, because there is a lot of information in there about “how to parent their kids.” Furthermore, you may as well not listen to any sermons when the pastor is addressing those clear, biblical injunctions about how to raise godly children, because so many in the church have bought into this social taboo. And God forbid if a pastor or a fellow church members admonishes another church member-parent with counsel on how to train up a child or address an error.
Lopez is communicating what has become standard fare in the culture and in the church. “It is not your place to help/tell me how to train up my child.” I mean, he even followed this shocking statement with an “obviously”!!! My job as a pastor is made so much harder because parents think that they don’t need advice or counsel. Yet Scripture is clear. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from others, and they are to receive those rebukes and reproofs (especially from the pulpit of a well exposited sermon) with humility and grace. Christians should push back at Lopez’s statement that he is never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids with the idea that there is a correct, moral, and biblical way to do it. If one Christian sees another Christian failing in that area, God would have us offer correction (speaking truth in love, of course!).
Young-Christian parents, please stop refusing help. Mortify the notion that no one is allowed to tell you that you may be doing something wrong or ill-advised. I’ve seen the kids that are being raised today. The temperament and nature of a child has not changed since Cain and Abel. But what has changed is the model of parenting. Society has changed. You’ve changed! We all need to get past our pride and consider that maybe we don’t have it all figured out when it comes to raising children. We need some help offered from a biblical perspective and rooted in the Word.