Monday, November 28, 2005

"Professionalism" and Children

As discussed in previous postings, in many Western nations including Canada, there is an increasing pressure to allow the state to raise our children. We who are Christian parents (and the churches which form our communities of faith) must vigorously resist the intruder.

Sadly, I think many Christians have become used to the idea of allowing the "professionals" to take over many of the responsibilities which should have remained with the parents. We put them into daycare the moment they're weaned, into preschool when they reach three, juniour kindergarten at five, seniour kindergarten at six, and visit with them occasionally between now and university.
Indoor Sunday School
In no area is this "leave-it-to-the-professionals" attitude more dangerous than in our churches.

Let the pastor lead our kids to Christ, the Sunday School teacher instruct them in Scripture,the Children's Church teach them to worship, and their weekday club leader disciple them.

No, no, no, NO!

When we stand before God in the final judgment, who is he going to ask first about the raising of our children? Their Sunday School teacher? The pastor?

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children (Ps 78:5 ESV)

Fathers are to teach their children! (Or, if the father is unbelieving or absent, mothers!) There are many, many references commanding the people of God to teach their own children. Pastors, Sunday School teachers, and others are valuable additions, wonderful partners for the parents, but the responsibility cannot be delegated. We, parents, are called and equipped by God to teach our children the "glorious deeds of theLORD, and his might, and the wonders he has done." (Ps 78:4)

I'm going to attempt to wax eloquent (or perhaps wane eloquent) on this topic as part of this series on children. To end this short polemic with a bit of practical advice, let me direct you to an earlier posting I made on using the Catechism at home for training your children.

May God convict us, direct us, and empower us to leave a godly legacy and profound spiritual inheritance to our children!

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
(Deut 29:29 ESV)

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Anonymous said...

From your posts i get the impression that homeschooling is the answer in all situations.

OK, lets start with a real example. What would you have counselled my German Christian parents who arrived to Canada as immigrants and had a basic understanding of English, but no more (I still remember as a child my dad giving me a letter he was going to send to check for grammatical errors)? My mother had a basic elementary school education and that was it.

tomgee said...

I can understand why you get that impression. It wasn't my intention, though, to focus on homeschooling in this article.

I think all Christian parents need to be involved in discipling their children to follow God. I think all Christian families should have some sort of regular time together where they read the Bible, worship, pray, and talk about God and godly living. But this is just "family devotions", not homeschooling.

I do think every family should consider homeschooling. Many will decide that it doesn't work for their particular circumstances; that's fine (although I would urge looking at Christian schools, in that case). I'm just asking people not to reject homeschooling out of hand, without at least some consideration and investigation.

Your example of German Christian parents in a foreign land is a good one. Homeschooling in such a circumstance may not have been effective.

But hopefully they did some form of training of you in loving God and following him. And hopefully, if you have children, you will do likewise.

Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!


Jodi said...

Wow! Thank you for putting into words what I have been unable to! I wish this post could be distributed and read (or this issue taught) to all parents. Thank you!
Jodi (mom of two who can not imagine letting someone else raise/instruct my children ((except, of course, their father))