What does the Bible say about parental authority? Is mom equal with dad?
Disobedience to God can lead to judgment.
If fathers relinquish a degree of their authority in the home,
then their home could be at risk. Steve C. Halbrook
So, tell me how it works in your home. Does mom have equal clout as dad when it comes to parenting? How do you present yourselves as a couple to the kids? Is dad higher up on the authority ladder or are they both on the same rung? There’s a new article out on a Theonomy Resource blog discussing just this topic. I wanted to share excerpts here for discussion.
A little background: blogger, Steve C. Halbrook has an “M. A. in government from Regent University (2008), with a focus on biblical civil government. His theology is Reformed” (Source).
Opening paragraph attempts to make the case that if one holds to male headship, then the same hierarchy should apply with parenting, meaning women do not have an equal position of authority when it comes to raising of children:
Should male headship be consistent, or restricted? While one would think that those in conservative Christian circles would advocate the former, there are some who advocate the following: “While wives must submit to their husbands in some respects, husbands and wives have equal authority in teaching and raising children.”
If one holds that fathers and mothers have equal parenting authority simply because Scripture stresses obedience to both, then, if consistent, one would also hold that fathers and mothers have equal authority to the great God Almighty. After all, Scripture requires children to obey God as well as fathers and mothers. But surely they would not advocate such a wicked position, but would instead assume hierarchical authority by holding that God has greater authority than parents.
The next subtitle is “The doctrine of male headship opposes equal parental authority,” and attempts to establish that male headship doctrine would prohibit any possibility of women holding an equal position in hierarchy in parenting (bolding was done by blog author):
Now that it has been shown that commands to submit to both parents do not rule out the possibility that fathers have more authority than mothers, we will now rule out the possibility that such commands could mean that fathers and mothers have equal authority in parenting. In giving instructions to the church, the Apostle Paul writes:
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:11-14)
Halbrook then discusses Paul’s reference to the order of creation, Adam was created first, then Eve, to prove a hierarchical order. He also mentions Paul’s reference to women being deceived to further convince his audience:
Now, how is it that one can say that women have equal authority in educating their children, if women are more prone to deception than men? If a woman’s deception is a reason that men should be in charge of teaching at church, wouldn’t it also be a reason that men should be in charge of teaching their children?
Mr. Halbrook makes note of the verse in scripture about women keeping silent in church and says:
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 14:33b-35)
Mr. Halbrook believes he has a case for why there cannot be equal parenting in a male-headship home and outlines the dangers:
It opposes Christ’s total headship over the church
It deprives wives of spiritual and physical protection
It damages the father’s role as spiritual leader
It opposes elder qualifications and endangers the church
It devalues women
It is destructive to society
It can provoke God’s wrath
Demeaning of Women?
Ok, and here we go here we go with the dreaded f word – feminism:
Anyone who takes the doctrine of consistent male headship to mean that the mother cannot have a say in child rearing must ask himself whether he has been more influenced by feminism than by Scripture in this matter.
And now we read about the deadly influence of feminism. Has someone died for espousing feminism? What is he talking about? I don’t have a clue:
As for the position that says that fathers and mothers have equal parenting authority, I’m not sure how this differs from egalitarian feminism (at least in the sphere of parenting). At the very least, it reinforces the deadly influence that feminism already has in Christian circles.