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Time to Talk: The Government, the Pill and Our Daughters

I hope you heard Eric Metaxas on yesterday’s BreakPoint. I’ve come to know Eric quite well, and I could feel his anguish over the administration’s ridiculous decision not to fight a judge’s ruling to allow girls of any age to get the morning-after pill over the counter, even without parental permission.

Well, I’ve got three daughters myself, and I share his outrage about this clear assault on families. As Eric made so clear, it’s putting our daughters in danger. It enables the exploitation of women, especially minors. We have every right as Americans and Christians to fight for laws that protect our children, and against laws that harm them.

But make no mistake: We shouldn’t be surprised that the government wants to allow our daughters to access chemically-induced abortions. And it’s not just because pro-abortion forces are entrenched in government and in left-of-center politics. Something else is going on, something Chuck Colson and others have warned us about for years.

The only thing that stands between the individual and a power-hungry government are what is known as “intermediate institutions.” Churches, civic associations, clubs, business groups and especially families are all institutions that claim a certain level of allegiance from individuals, and help us govern ourselves.  As Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his masterful Democracy in America, they provide the best protection from an over-reaching government.

But when those institutions — especially the family — abandon their responsibility, the government is only too happy to step in. Too many parents have ceded their responsibility to disciple, educate, feed, train and care for their children to others, especially the government. The government has been talking to our kids about sex for years. So it’s not that difficult to see why they would think they have the prerogative to “fix” the consequences of that behavior also.

I’m not saying government is bad: it’s not, it’s biblically ordained for a specific purpose. And Chuck described that purpose a few years ago: “I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face,” he said, “and I’ll say it until I’m purple: The biblical view of the role of government is to preserve order, restrain evil and promote justice. Government has no legitimate interest in running car companies, the healthcare industry or taking over student loans.”

And, I’ll add, it has no business giving our children access — over parental objection — to drugs that can harm them.

But whatever government does or doesn’t do, it is our responsibility to raise our children in the knowledge and love of God. And we must not allow anyone to take over that territory God has entrusted to us.

Our children must hear from us God’s plan for their life, including His plan for their sexuality. And they must know why it’s so different than the government’s plan for their life.

Now, some of you may think that I’m being naive. In fact, not long ago, we received a letter from a BreakPoint listener, a Christian, who objected to our objections to public schools allowing Planned Parenthood to teach students about so-called “safe sex.” Kids are going to engage in sex no matter what, the listener wrote, so they’d better understand how to protect themselves, and we’re foolish to think otherwise.

My heart sank when I read that letter. How dare we allow the government to redefine the worth, and value of our children according to such low expectations? The Holy Spirit’s hands are not tied; our children can live holy lives, despite the culture — and despite their hormones. It takes a lot of love and a lot of support and a lot of faith in Jesus.

And yes, they may fall into sin. But I will not allow them to be defined according to those failures either. We must build trust with them now so they’ll know we, not a pharmacist and not the government, are their number-one source for help when they are in trouble. They must know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we love them, even when they make mistakes.

Thanks for listening. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have a chat with my daughters.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: June 19, 2013

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