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Friday, March 9, 2012


A while back my youngest son and I were talking about his college experience.  He was sharing some about his classes at Oklahoma State.  One of the classes he was taking then was Spanish.  He told me that on the first day of class the professor walked in and spoke nothing but Spanish for the first few minutes of class.  She then asked the class in English if anyone understood anything she said.  My son was one of the ones that raised his hand.  Now he has not studied Spanish, which he told the professor when she asked.  After a short conversation she realized that he had studied Latin.  It was from this foundation that he was able to understand what she was saying.  Latin was not high on the list of things that our son wanted to take in school.  He did that at our insistence.
We are responsible; we have to engage in our kids education.
My wife is a teacher.  At some level, I am as well.  We have been involved in the school district as volunteers in a couple of booster clubs, I have attended a lot of school board meetings, served on a couple of standing committees, and have been active in school board and bond elections.  The principals of the schools my kids attended and the superintendent of the district, as well as a lot of his staff, know my wife and I, not from complaints but service.  Our other children were also pushed in their education.  Not all in the same way.  They are all different with different gifts and abilities.

The point of all of this is that preparing our children to follow Christ, involves more than teaching them the Bible.  We have to be engaged in all that they are doing.  We need to know their teachers, not just the ones at church.  We need to be aware of what they are learning and what they are being taught, and how.  We have to shepherd them through that process.  They are going to have to live in this world.  They will daily be inundated with information that is not aligned with a Christian world view, even if they are in “Christian” schools.  It is our responsibility to engage, we cannot delegate the development of our kids minds and world view to others.


  1. An excellent exhortation, Mike, and one which I fear is a largely unknown concept or deliberately ignored for various reasons on our pursuit (as Christians) of "the American Dream."

    Our family had the privilege of returning to the States when our children was just starting school after living overseas for three years. We recognized that the entire culture, including the Christian community, was living a frantic life-style even more hectic than their unbelieving neighbors because of just adding church activities on top of otherwise pursuing the cultural norms of modern America.

    We decided that we didn't owe our kids every opportunity that was available, even forced upon us and them.

    We made a rather painful decision that we were going to limit our activities. We wanted to be more involved with our children, more in touch, more guiding their overall development. My main learning from that was that it took a steel hard set of decisions on an almost daily basis to make it happen. It was counter-cultural. I'm not going to claim we were all that effective, but by God's grace He protected us from an awful lot we saw in the Christian community around us.

    They were rich years, with lots of happy (and some otherwise) memories.

    About five years ago we moved from the home we had lived in for 26 years after returning to the US. They kids were long gone, largely on their own. After the trucks were loaded, the cleaning done, and Sharon was out ready to go I walked through the empty house - empty except for countless memories. I thanked God in each room for the laughter, the tears, the hurts and triumphs (and the protection during a tornado), and the visions of all those little pigtailed angels (well, mostly) growing up, taking wing and flying off. I never spent one night (about 26,300 of them) wondering what they were doing, going, with whom, taking a call from the police or needing to go out looking who would know where they might be as a number of my Christian friends had.

    Please note: that is not to my credit, at all. Many of those friends who experienced those things are far more godly than I. It was only the grace of God Almighty.

    The memories aren't gone just because the house is. I believe they are engraved in all of our lives. I'm so grateful for what is, and only wish I'd have done a whole lot better. A whole lot....

    Now we need to try and learn how to be grandparents; three here with one more on the way to arrive every day. Their parents face far more than we did.

    In his work, The Message, Eugene Peterson renders Malachi 2:15 as follows:

    15 GOD, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse.

    If I am to take discipleship (following Christ) seriously, it starts with my wife, and my children (there is NO conflict with these two!). The house goes, the retirement goes, the antiques go, the lawn, the paint job, the car...

    My family is eternal. I need several more lifetimes to get it right....

    Thank you Mike, for helping sound the alarm.

    1. Wow, thanks, this is better than my post! You write really well.