We are a distracted people who want to pay someone else to engage our children.

Parenting takes precious time. Preoccupied parents cannot fulfill the high calling of directing their child to his destiny. Harold B. Lee said, “The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.” I agree. It seems so many moms and dads are checked-out while little Junior has license to run his own life. We’re looking the other way as he holds the reins, directing himself, with a full menu of web browsers, video games, and iEVERYTHING at his disposal.

Many children in our cities represent a new brand of orphan. They may sleep in designer bed sheets, but their lonely hearts pine for their disengaged parents. These ten-year-old, free moral agents live on the edge of destruction, wearing the latest fashions and never lacking cash while surviving their impoverished family lives. They are entirely unequipped to deal wisely with the innumerable freedoms handed to them at such indiscriminate ages. What sacred destinies have been placed in their unscrupulous hands!

Who’s minding the children and guiding their habits?

Who’s monitoring their media intake and building in prized values?

Who’s nagging them like all good mothers and fathers should?!

Physical labor at childbirth is a piece of cake compared to the seemingly infinite, ensuing labors that really must take place in prayer and in person with and for our children to become mature, wise and well-adjusted adults. I recently saw this NANNY WANTED ad posted online:

FULLTIME NANNY FOR SWEET TODDLER BOY IN WEST SEATTLE
WHO YOU’LL CARE FOR: Our 18 month old son.
OUR CHILD IS: Sweet, active and loves to explore. His favorite past time is reading and talking a stroll outside.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR: An amazing, caring, kind and energetic person who will take care of our little baby. We want someone who would love to read to him, play with him and provide a positive happy home environment. Looking for someone who can become part of our family.
OUR NANNY MUST BE: A kind, loving and caring nanny who is flexible. Have experience with babies and loves to read and play with them.
OUR GOAL AS A CHILDCARE TEAM IS: Help our children grow to enjoy life, be respectful and good people.
SCHEDULE: 8:30-5:30 Monday-Friday, 40-45 hours per week
SALARY: $25 per hour, plus overtime.

An impossibly tall order for a $25 an hour hireling. In actual fact, a foolish fantasy. In my estimation, this couple is attempting to hire a parent. But parents can’t be leased. I found it particularly heartbreaking, as I thought of my own precious 18 month-old grandson, pictured here, whose intelligent Mama gave up her lucrative career to care for him full time in this crucial, formative season of his young life. She will never regret giving up that second income, despite the many and varied sacrifices she’ll be making on a daily basis.

Let’s be unwilling to allow others to raise our children. Let’s not be so quick to turn our dearest treasures over to those who haven’t birthed them. Someone must nurture the children. Someone must mold the soft clay of their hearts and minds. Someone must be the constant for these tender humans in the midst of a chaotic world. Someone must be the anchor for their souls in this turbulent time. Oh God, give us mothers and fathers once again.