Studies have shown that parenting in Africa, like every other parts of the world, have been abandoned by post-modern parents. Parents claim to take this step because of work pressure, the quest for survival amidst economic regression, self-actualization, violent conflicts between couples that bring separation inevitably and so on and so forth. To outwit these negative influences of these pressures, parents today hold to dual worker families, where both parents work outside the home, leaving the children under the care of nannies, house helps, surrogate mothers, or Day care. Do these secondary or sometimes tertiary methods suffice godly parenting as evident in the Bible? Is it not apt to say that the present indulgence in distant parenting models suggests negligence of the divine responsibility bequeathed to parents? To what extent can such models fulfil the command to raise godly children? Or does it establish parental irresponsibility? If yes, what the possible consequences do such parental responsibilities pose on the children, family, the church, and the larger society? What are the possible solutions? What roles are African churches playing to ensure parents comply with God’s standards of parenting?
This chapter explores an Old Testament classical text, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (otherwise known as the Shema, literally “Hear!”), in an attempt to provide a biblical foundation for underscoring the fundamental role of modern parents in parenting, especially in an era where home education has almost been abandoned. It argues that except parents reconsider the home as the first and primary centre for child education, and themselves as first parents, the dream for godly children, sustainable family heritage, and a better society might remain a wild goose chase.