Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

My previous entry featured the series “Embracing God’s Gift of Children”, that has been the topic this week, on the radio program “Revive Our Hearts” with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Part 2 of this series addresses God’s provision for families and the children He blesses them with. It is a good reminder that if we trust the Lord with all of the aspects of our life, even when it is a counter-culture decision, that God will supply all of our needs. We do not need to be afraid to obey the Lord, He is always in control! You can read more below:

The transcript for this interview can be found at this location:

http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php?pid=9956

More follows below:

God’s Provision for Children 
Series: Embracing God’s Gift of Children

Tuesday, July 8 2008

 
Leslie Basham: Holly Elliff says, “Don’t be quick to assume God doesn’t want you to have children.”

Holly Elliff: I do think we’re seeing a large number of Christian (committed Christian) couples who are saying, “We will not have children so that we can be more free to minister.”

First of all, I would love to be able to sit down with them across the table and do for them what someone did for us, which is simply to challenge us to pick up God’s Word, putting aside what we know in our culture, but to simply get to the truth of God’s Word and say, “What does God say about this area?”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Tuesday, July 8.

Have you ever felt limited in the size of your family—by the size of your budget or your ability to parent? Today Nancy will continue our conversation with a pastor’s wife and mother of eight, Holly Elliff. She’s seen God’s faithful provision time and again. Let’s listen.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We’ve been talking this week with one of my very special friends, a dear prayer partner. Her name is Holly Elliff. Holly is a pastor’s wife. She and Bill are the parents of eight children.

We’ve been talking this week about a difficult and controversial subject, but we believe such an important one, and that is this whole matter of childbearing. Holly, welcome back to Revive Our Hearts.

Holly: Thanks.

Nancy: You’ve been telling us something of your story and how after the birth of your fourth child, thinking at that point that your quiver was probably going to be full, how the Lord challenged you to go to the Word and to evaluate, based on the Scripture, not based on the culture around you, why it was that you’d come to that conclusion and what it was that was the Lord’s viewpoint on children and on childbearing and on these practical issues of life.

Holly, it’s been interesting to me to hear you say a couple of times that you were doing what God called you to do. You’re talking there about the bearing and nurturing of life. I so appreciate hearing that perspective because I think so many women in our culture have lost sight of the biblical viewpoint that God has given to women, a distinctive call to be bearers and nurturers of life.

I think about Paul saying to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 5 that the younger widows, he’s speaking of particularly, were to marry, to bear children, to keep house. He’s talking about not just widows but the role and the calling of women, that a huge part of their purpose in life is to be helpers to their husbands and bearers and nurturers of children.

In fact, he goes so far as to say in a passage that admittedly is complex, but in chapter 2 of 1 Timothy, that women, in some sense, are saved through child bearing. We know from the rest of Scripture he’s not talking about their eternal salvation, but in that same passage he talks about Timothy being saved through preaching.

I think what he’s saying is Timothy’s God-given role is to be a preacher, and that he would demonstrate his salvation and his perseverance and his faith through doing what God had called him to do. Likewise, women generally are called by God to give birth to children, to rear up children who have a heart for God and that in so doing they demonstrate the genuineness of their profession of faith, that they demonstrate they are committed and submitted to God’s will and plan for their lives.

Holly, I guess what concerns me is that so many women today are making choices that they are making for some of the reasons that you described, which really do in many cases come back to “What do I want? What’s best for me?” Reasons that are selfish, rather than saying, “Why did God put me here on this earth? What was God’s purpose in creating me? How can I best fulfill that purpose?”

As you read through the Old Testament, it’s so exciting to see that God is the giver of life. He’s the Creator of life. A big part of God’s means of taking the redemptive story and Gospel to the world is through the willingness of godly parents to have a godly seed, to raise up children who will take the Gospel to the world.

One of the concerns is that this world is so violent; it’s so evil. “I don’t want to bring children into this kind of a world.”

There’s an understandable fear that I think many mothers have as they look at the world around us today. But the challenge, I think, for women of God is to not give in to that fear but to accept this calling to bring forth children into the world and to trust that God is going to use those children to be a light, to be salt, to be different, to be difference-makers and to be the ones who deal with the issues facing the world and take the light of Christ’s Gospel into the world.

So really, the problems we’re concerned about, in part God’s way of addressing those issues is to say, “Women, are you willing, and couples, are you willing to bring forth children into this world who will be part of God’s solution, part of God’s means of taking the Gospel into this very dark world?”

I know you, Holly. I’ve known you for a lot of years. I think you’re a remarkable woman. I thought that when you had fewer children, and I really think it now.

I can just imagine some women if they could know you thinking, “Well, you’re just a superwoman. You can handle having all those children.” You do seem like a pretty calm person. Of course, I don’t live in your home. I don’t know. Are things just always calm at the Elliff household?

Holly: There are a lot of words I would use to describe the Elliff household. “Calm” would not be one of them. I don’t know if it’s because I was a speech pathologist or what, but all of our children basically were born talking. They are all talkers. They are all lively children. Half of them are boys. It is never calm.

Nancy: I’m the oldest of seven children. I can think back to times around our dinner table when I would look around and realize that everyone was talking loudly at the same time. I have no idea who was listening, but we were all talking loudly at the same time.

You’d see these old TV programs with people with lots of children and they all just spoke one at a time and it was all so picture perfect. Our family just didn’t look that way. It sounds like yours doesn’t either.

Holly: I have known a family whose children sat in little chairs and never spoke unless they were spoken to. I wish I could say that’s what mine is like, but it is not.

Nancy: So if someone is saying you’ve just got exceptional ability to handle this kind of pressure but another woman says, who’s got three toddlers right now, “I just could not face that kind of pressure. I couldn’t deal with it. I’m not like you, Holly Elliff.”

Holly: Well, I would remind her that I did not start out with eight children. I had one at a time. We actually thought twins would be kind of fun but God never chose to give us twins. So we have received our children one at a time.

What I have found is that with those children comes corresponding grace to nurture those children, to love those children. I am not saying by any means that that is always easy or that I do not struggle with the realities of laundry and food and dishes.

We have home schooled for many years. I remember sitting down with Billy one night and saying, “Okay, I can do school and laundry, or I can cook and do school, or I can clean the house and do school or laundry. Which ones would you like for me to actually get accomplished because there is no way I can do all of these things.”

So we really did talk about what things were going to be the most important to us. I really was a little bit of a perfectionist in the early days of my married life. That has so far gone out the window that I am just grateful now if everyone has clean underwear and if towels get folded.

I have had to release areas that could no longer be the priority in my life, ask the Lord constantly for wisdom. I’m so grateful for James 1. The funny thing is I memorized that in college, not knowing why I would need it later.

Nancy: What part of James 1?

Holly: James 1:2-5 where it says,

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your life don’t resent those things as intruders but welcome them as friends. Realize they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. Let that process go on until you become mature and complete and lacking in nothing. And if along the way if any of you lacks wisdom he has only to ask of God who gives to all men generously without making them feel foolish or guilty.

I cannot tell you how many times I have stood in my laundry room with the door closed, reminding God that He has promised me wisdom, that He has promised to give me what I need when I need it as I raise my children.

But what I say to that mother of three, has this been simple or easy? No.

Nancy: I’m so glad that you’ve shared with us that you’ve had to make some choices and that you don’t do everything.

I think one of the things I’ve watched as I have had some friends with many children and some of them home schooling and at a season of life that’s very challenging. I’ve watched some of those women really end up looking very frazzled and continually frustrated because they are trying to do everything in this season of life.

You’re saying that that mom doesn’t have to do everything, that everything doesn’t have the same priority.

Holly: I do think God can give wisdom on what really matters.

I was talking with a young wife the other day on the phone and she said, “My husband is so frustrated because I have a new baby and I can’t get everything done.”

I said, “I want you to ask him what are the two things that he really wants done, and then you make a commitment to get those two things done.”

She came back the next day and she said, “Okay, he wants food and he wants to be able to see the countertops in the kitchen. That really bugs him when the kitchen is dirty.”

I said, “Okay, you focus on those two things. If you can get more done, that’s great.” If you are a student of your husband enough that you know what his hot buttons are, then you can meet those needs.

My husband could care less if we eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner. If when he comes home he can sit down in his recliner and my children look mostly normal—they’re clothed. I did call home yesterday at one point and found out that my three youngest had a mattress in the front yard of my neighbor and were sliding down the mattress into the street.

So just because I have been doing this for many years does not mean it always happens perfectly. But you know, my life is real. What I have found in the midst of my very real life is that God truly is who He says He is and that He really is sufficient.

Nancy: Holly, let me back up a minute to a woman who called you recently, the young mother. I think it’s so great that as a young mother there was a woman she could call and could say, “This is hard. I’m struggling. Could you give me some counsel?”

I don’t know if you yet consider yourself an older woman. I’m not sure at what point we qualify. But you’re certainly older than that woman. And really you’re providing practical encouragement and assurance and counsel for her just out of your life experience. You’re fulfilling your God-given responsibility as an older woman to be teaching younger women.

Speak to the younger women about the importance of having an older woman in their life that they can call and who can provide that kind of encouragement for them.

Holly: Well, I really would encourage young moms especially when you have several toddlers and a busy husband . . . Motherhood can be a very lonely place when you are home all day with those children and no one is speaking coherent English to you. You do start feeling like your brain is mush, like you could not have an intelligent conversation if somebody was there to talk to.

What I find is that our society tends to isolate us and that if we are not careful we really do miss a lot of the benefit that God’s Word says we are to have through older women teaching younger women.

Nancy: Of course, now we don’t have the extended family, the aunts and the grandmothers. So women do tend to be more isolated.

Holly: Right, and we do tend to go in our houses, close our doors. I would encourage those women to look for a role model in their church or in a Bible study they’re in, to look for a godly older mother. It doesn’t have to be a lot older, but somebody just further down the road than you are who can encourage you toward godliness, who can encourage you and remind you of the truth.

Many times we know the truth in our head but there are moments when we’re so overwhelmed with our circumstances, we just need somebody to hold our arms up a little bit like Aaron and Hur did.

Nancy: Maybe just somebody to say, “You’re going to make it.”

Holly: And somebody to just remind us that every day will not feel like this day does. If today has been crazy, tomorrow won’t be quite as crazy perhaps, and that God really is still on His throne and knows what my life is like and has provision for it.

Nancy: It’s kind of easy sitting here in this studio to talk about those things. But I’m thinking about some of the questions that those who’ve been listening to this program may be asking. For example the woman who says, “We just can’t afford to have any more children. My husband doesn’t have a great income, and I can’t work full time because I’m taking care of these children. How are we going to afford having all these kids?”

Holly: Obviously, this area is very counter-culture. Our culture is so centered on materialism, on what we need.

Nancy: Or think we need.

Holly: Or think we need, or what we want. What we have found as we have raised our children on a pastor’s salary—my husband does have a secure income and we’re very grateful for that. But even so, our kids do not have everything they want.

Really, when you look in Scripture at what God says are needs, there are very few things that we actually need. There are many things we want.

So what we tell our kids is, “If there’s something you really want, then you ask God to provide that for you.” There’s nothing wrong with our children seeing God as the provider of the good things that we have.

We are not people who started putting away money with our first child to finance college educations. So we really have had to trust God.

Billy encouraged our older children to start praying for God to provide a certain amount of money. Totally unexpectedly we got a letter in the mail from an aunt who never had children of her own, recently went to be with the Lord, and provided the money we need for our son to go to college—and totally out of the blue.

It was so wonderful to be able to go to our children and say, “Look at this. This is an avenue we never even dreamed existed.” A woman who lived very simply but chose to do this.

God has illustrated to our children time and time again that when there are genuine needs there, He will meet those needs. It is very contrary to Scripture to assume that God would give us children and then not give us the ability to provide basic needs for those children.

Nancy: Holly, listening to that story I’m reminded of the fact that those who don’t have children, either because they’re single or because, as married couples, God has not blessed them with children, that we’re a community, we’re a Body.

We’re a family and there are roles that those of us who don’t have children can have in being an encouragement and a help, perhaps in the financial area as that aunt was. Perhaps in help with time, with encouraging those mothers who have their hands full with all those children.

This is a way that the Body can be a Body and encourage each other.

Let me raise another question that I hear sometimes. How old were you with your last child?

Holly: I was 43 when I had Jessica.

Nancy: Did you get some people saying to you, “After 40, there’s a higher risk of . . . ”?

Holly: Actually, it is amazing what I had even Christian physicians say to me. One doctor was compelled to read me this long list of things that could happen when you had children into your 40’s. At the end of that list I said to him—and this was someone I knew fairly well—but I challenged him as he dealt with women, not to place fears in their heart that God did not put there, that man has put there, and that if they are trusting God to give them their children and God allows them to get pregnant at 40 or 43 or 45 . . .

I was not the oldest mother on the floor. There was a woman there who was 46 and having twins when I had Jessica. So I felt really good about that, that I was not the oldest mother there.

What I have found is that we really have adopted or accepted a great deal of the world’s philosophy in this whole area and that it’s really very simple in Scripture if we will just look at the truth of God’s Word and trust Him.

Nancy: Okay, help the woman who says, “I want to have more children but my husband isn’t for that. He’s not open to that.” How do you encourage that woman?

Holly: I talked with a young gal in our church a couple of weeks ago who has one child. Her husband has decided that’s all they can afford. She desperately wants more children. I encouraged her first of all to go to her husband and make an appeal and share her heart honestly with him.

Scripture says we can always ask God to give us the desires of our heart and then leave the outcome to Him. So I encouraged her to go to her husband and share her heart honestly and then if her husband still feels very strongly about this, then it becomes an issue that she takes up with the Lord who is her intercessor.

If she goes before Christ she can continue to tell Him the desire of her heart and even to ask Him to change her husband’s heart because she’s praying something that’s in accord with Scripture. She’s not praying outside God’s will. She’s praying about something that God loves. So she has the freedom to go before God and say, “This is something I desire. Would You allow me to have more children?”

Nancy: I read an article recently in a major Christian women’s magazine by a woman who was a married woman in her thirties who was explaining why she and her husband have chosen childlessness.

She said when she was thirteen years old, she looked around and, for various reasons including all the evil in the world and she saw these moms with all these kids and they seemed so trapped. She just came to the conclusion that she did not want children.

Now as a Christian woman she’s writing an article in a major publication telling why choosing childlessness may be God’s plan for some women.

Do you find that there are younger women today thinking more this way? Is there a trend in this?

Holly: Well, I do think for about thirty years that we have been listening to voices other than Scripture to give us our philosophy in this area. I think it is real challenging for Christians to say, “Where did I get my beliefs in this area? Why do I believe this? Is it biblical?”

I was astounded to look back on my own life and realize that I had not even considered, “Is this biblical?” up until the point where we began to be challenged by God to do that. I do think in talking with my daughters and their friends and their married friends, we’re seeing a large number of Christian (committed Christian) couples who are saying, “We will not have children so that we can be more free to minister.”

Nancy: What do you say to that?

Holly: First of all, I would love to be able to sit down with them across the table and do for them what someone did for us, which is simply to challenge us to pick up God’s Word and to examine it, in light of Scripture, putting aside what we know in our culture, but to simply get to the truth of God’s Word and say, “What does God say about this area? Is there any way I can justify what I believe biblically?”

If I can’t—as a Christian if I cannot prove what I believe biblically, then there is a problem with my belief system.

Nancy: So we’re really coming back to what we’ve been saying all week and that is, in this area as in every area of life as the children of God, we must go to the Scripture, let the Word of God be our ultimate authority and then surrender ourselves to His sovereign plan and will in our lives, to embrace what He says about children, about our role as women and how our lives are to center around marriage and family and why that is part of His redemptive purpose in this world.

As we surrender to that plan, God may or may not have marriage for us. And the woman who surrenders her child bearing to the Lord, He may or may not give her more children. He may not give her any children.

So the key issue becomes, “Do I really trust God to make those decisions for my life?” In spite of my fears or things I may not understand, am I really willing to let Him be the Lord?

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been talking with Holly Elliff, mother of eight, about God’s provision—His provision of time, of patience and of money. They’ve been talking about a true counter-cultural subject—allowing God to determine the size of your family.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

My last entry was a picture of all 5 of our children sitting together smiling on our couch, with words describing that it is possible for brothers and sisters to be friends-best friends in fact. A new reader, Jana, asked me how to make siblings friends and said that she is facing sibling rivalry at the moment. So, I decided to respond to this question in a new entry. Now, before I begin, please know that things are not perfect around here. We still deal with the typical day-to-day interactions just like everyone else does, some pleasant and some not. But I like to think that we have been able to foster an attitude in our children to regard one another much differently than they are encouraged to in society and culture these days. So, here are some things that have worked for us.

  •  We have spoken to each child about their siblings from an early age-when they were still babies. From the very beginning, we have told them that their brothers and sisters will be their best friends. Simply verbalizing this really does make a difference. It is so different from what they many times here from other children. It flies directly in the face of the usual “I HATE my little brother”.Or, “My sister is SUCH a pest”.  For us, it is not just, Mommy is having a new baby. It is, Mommy is having a new play-mate. Mommy is having a new friend to join in the fun when he/she is old enough to. The older children are encouraged to be involved in each new little one’s life from the start. They are not disappointed either. It goes from a baby who adores them, to a toddler who adores them, to children who have only grown up knowing a deep and profound love for each other. Now THAT is a bond!
  • We teach a servant’s heart. This can be revealed even in the small things, like sharing. It is not always easy, especially in the beginning, but the older children almost always think of how they can share something with each other before indulging. Perhaps they are given a treat by someone. You are more likely to see them deliberating over how to break a candy bar up into the appropriate number of pieces so everyone gets some, than fighting over it. My two oldest children participate in Bible Quizzing. This year, the leadership gave each child a piece of candy for every Bible Verse they memorized. Both of them deliberately selected some candy that they enjoy, and some special pieces that they knew the younger children would like. I did not ask them to do this. It brings them joy to do so.
  • We practice the “buddy system” around here. This couples well with developing a servant’s heart. We pair an older child with a younger to be special buddies. Not to the exclusion of others, just to foster a special relationship. Mom and Dad are the authority figures, but an older buddy helps a younger when possible. Maybe helping with getting shoes on/off, filling a sippy cup, looking out for them when playing. Just yesterday, we went to a park to have a picnic lunch after Church. My oldest child was following our one year old around while he explored. She is deathly afraid of bees and a couple of bumblebees started buzzing around in their area. Well, she started to cry, but she stayed right with the little one until I got there to “rescue” them. To me, that kind of commitment is a big deal for an 8 year-old, and we made sure that her selfless love did not go un-noticed. All of our children learned a lesson from that incident.
  • We tend to limit peer influence. Our children play with other children. Our children make friends with them as well. We think that this is good and important. However, we keep it on our terms. One thing we NEVER allow is for peer friendship to usurp our authority or to trump a sibling relationship. None of this, “Let’s go over here to get away from your sister so we don’t have to include her” kind of thing. Some people think that kind of singular relationship is necessary, we do not. If we do not allow it now, it is a lot less likely to become a problem in the future.
  • We encourage the children to share interests. We all have things that excite us or that we like to do. Those things are not always the same as what others like. Knowing this, we try to help the children share interests. A simple example. One of our children adores frogs. All things frogs, especially tree frogs. Who knows why. She just does. Her brothers and sisters go out of their way to find books, stuffed animals, pictures, you name it, for her, about frogs. They don’t care about frogs that much. It is enough that it brings her such happiness. We all want to feel special. Making others feel special is a fast-track to a great relationship.
  • We want our children to encourage each other. I mentioned earlier that my two oldest are in Bible Quizzing. This is a competition based program, and this year was the second year of participation for my oldest, and the first for my second-born. At their first quiz of the year, my second-oldest did better than the oldest, even though it was his very first quiz. I did not know how that would play out, but I was happy to see my oldest jumping up and down cheering for her brother for his achievement, even when it took the spotlight away from her.
  • We expect more from an apology than just saying “Sorry”. Around here, if you offend or hurt another, you must apologize, identify what you did wrong, and ask how you can make it better. This may simply mean a hug or pat on the back. Or it may mean, some special time is needed to re-build connection, like playing a game of the offended’s choice or helping with a chore. The words “I’m sorry” mean nothing if they are just empty, solitary words. Apologies and writing wrongs can be surprisingly good relationship builders. Especially if the one in the wrong can put themself in the place of the one who was hurt. Great lessons learned to carry throughout life!

These are a few examples of things that we do that I think make a difference in the relationships our children have with one another. The fact that we homeschool is an added benefit because they get a lot more time to practice what we teach them, being together pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I want our children to have lasting memories of a happy home life filled with a safety net of people who care. Brothers and sisters are an important part of this!

For more information and some great practical advice, I recomment checking out the book “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally. It is a book you can read-aloud with your children and show them a clear vision of what you want their relationship with each other to be! You can find out more about this book here: http://www.visionforum.com/search/productdetail.aspx?search=mally&productid=83524 . It is well worth a look!

 

Read Full Post »

I am a second-generation homeschooler. As a result, I have heard many, if not all, of the excuses people offer up as to why they cannot or will not home educate their children. Most times these “reasons” are flimsy at best, and not very well thought out. I have found a great article that addresses some of these issues, and shows how homeschooling many times can solve the very problems that make people think they cannot teach their own children.

This article is located here:

http://www.homeschooloasis.com/art_anti-homeschooling_excuses.htm

You can read the article below:

Anti-Homeschooling Excuses: Are They Valid?

  
by Tamara and William Eaton

  

Here are the “Top 10” excuses not to homeschool as collected and then answered by Tamara and William  Eaton.  But be ready…  these ten common excuses ~ which anyone who has been homeschooling for even a few months has heard over and over ~ are actually some of the very best reasons to homeschool!
 
 
1. My kids drive me crazy.
  
Then maybe it’s time you do something so they don’t drive everyone else crazy, too!  It’s easier to ignore problem areas if you send your children off to school each day ~ you don’t have to put up with it all the time. Let the teacher and other students do it instead.
  
But who must answer to the Lord for how you taught and trained your child? Not the teacher but the parent. Homeschooling isn’t a “cure-all” for poor behavior but it does give us time together to work out any problems instead of ignoring them, and it eliminates the negative role models and peer pressure which often influences negative behavior.
  
Or maybe you feel that they DO respect others, just not you? You can tell them when to brush their teeth, get dressed, go to bed ~ just not when to do their math! There is really no difference ~ it’s all a matter of obedience and respect.
  
Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
    

  

  
2. I don’t have enough patience.
    
Patience comes through overcoming trials and learning to yield to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) instead of the fruit of flesh. You’ll never develop patience if you continually avoid opportunities that would require you to put it into practice. But you might be surprised how quickly it grows with frequent exercise ~ homeschooling can be that vehicle the Lord uses to work patience in you!
  

  

 
3. I’m not highly educated.
  
Fine ~ here’s your chance to learn right along with your children! There are tremendous resources available to help us teach our own children. Studies have proven time and again that the success of homeschooling is not dependent upon the level of the parents’ education. According to Dr. Brian Ray’s recent study, “Home educated students’ test scores remain between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers have a college degree or did not complete high school.” [from National Home Education Research Institute.  And there’s lots more “proof in the pudding” where that came from!]
  

  

  
4. I love my job.
  
What’s more important during this season of your life ~ your children or your job? Your job can wait. Your children can’t. Your decisions and priorities are already influencing them every day ~ either for good or bad. I’ve never heard older people say that they wished they had spent more time on their job. I have heard them say they wished they had spent more time with their children.
  
If you love your job more than spending time with your children then maybe this is a sign that your priorities need reevaluating.
  

  

 
5. I don’t have time.
   
There is always time to do the will of God. Is He calling you to homeschool? Then He will provide the time. As a result of homeschooling our children, we have limited outside activities and found a simpler lifestyle. We’re not forced to succumb to the modern pressures and stresses of our society with its hectic pace ~ instead we are able to slow down enough to enjoy time together as a family, embracing a slower paced lifestyle without sacrificing the modern conveniences of our microwaves, washers, dryers and computers!   

  

  
6. I’m selfish ~ I need my privacy and space.
  
Jesus said unless we take up our cross and die to self, we can’t be His disciple. (Luke 9:23-24, 14:27) Good parenting requires sacrifices during this season of our life. However, choosing to homeschool doesn’t mean that you can never have any privacy anymore. When the children are young, we have regular naptimes and bedtimes so that gives us time apart. Older children are trained to respect the need for quiet time in the afternoons and evenings. The children also have their own activities and playtimes apart from mom during the day at times, too.     

 

 

 
  7. I can’t afford it.
If it’s God’s will that you homeschool, you can’t afford not to! And He will provide all your needs if you trust Him. (Matthew 6:33) We have never been a “high income” family but God has worked in the most unexpected ways to provide our needs over the years. Think of how much you spend now by sending your child off to school ~ don’t forget to include the “hidden” expenses of special school wardrobes to keep up with the peers. Homeschooling curriculum can cost as much or as little as you like ~ it all depends on what you choose to do. The public library is free and full of helpful resources for your homeschooling! We have always chosen not to purchase a full packaged curriculum and saved so much money by putting together our own curriculum. 

  

  
8. I never liked school.
  
Homeschooling will help you see how enjoyable learning can be in a relaxed, pressure-free atmosphere at home! You don’t have to structure your homeschool like a public or private school ~ so don’t let your past experience with school hinder you from committing to homeschool your children. Give them the opportunity to experience what you missed out on in your childhood and see how much fun you can have while learning together!
  

  

  
9. My children are too sociable ~ they’d get lonely homeschooling.
  
An EXCELLENT reason to educate them at home so you can make sure their “socialization” experiences are positive instead of negative. Homeschooling doesn’t require your children to become hermits, but you will have the freedom to select the activities and make sure they are blessings and not hindrances. 
  

  

  
10. I could NEVER do that!
   
If we had known in advance and in detail all the negatives and challenges we’d have to face as parents, who among us would have been brave enough to have children? God gives us the grace, strength and wisdom we need when we need it ~ not in advance! I find great encouragement in scriptures that remind me that I must yield and abide, then He is sufficient to take care of all the needs and enable me to fulfill my responsibilities.
  
II Corinthians 3:4-5 “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…”
 
John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
 
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
 
 And the following scripture has always encouraged me when I’ve been tempted to dwell upon my inadequacies:
  
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God had chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Homeschooling, like parenting, requires faith ~ faith that the Lord will give us wisdom and grace as we need it. In His infinite wisdom, He has designed us so that we MUST rely upon Him! Why doesn’t He give us all the wisdom we need to be parents right at the start when the child is first conceived? Instead, He allows wisdom and maturity to develop as we grow through trials, the study of His Word, and experiences ~ all the while, pointing out our need of Him daily in order to walk in His ways. Thus, He receives ALL the glory!
  
May the Lord direct your family in His Ways and give you clear wisdom and direction in the education of your children!
  
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”    

©Copyright 1997 by Tamara Eaton

 

Read Full Post »

Lately here on my blog,  I have been addressing some important but heavy topics. So, I think it is time for a more light-hearted, albeit equally important entry. Fresh from our recent local Home Education Convention and lots of research, we have now determined what curriculum we will be using for our 2008-2009 school year. It is always exciting to have these plans in place, and look forward to starting another year of learning! So, for those who are interested, here is our upcoming plan:

Kaitlyn will be in the 3rd grade. Her curriculum will consist of:

  • My Father’s World: Creation to the Greeks
  • Math-U-See:Alpha
  • Serl’s Primary Language Lessons #83-164
  • Spelling by Sound and Structure:Grade 3 (Rod and Staff)
  • MFW Cursive Handwriting Package

Her extra-curricular activities planned thus far will include:

  • Bible Quizzing: Exodus
  • Caravan’s Christian “Scouting” Program
  • 4-H

Kyle will be in the 2nd Grade. His curriculum will consist of:

  • My Father’s World: Creation to the Greeks
  • Math-U-See: Alpha
  • Serl’s Primary Language Lessons #1-82
  • Spelling By Sound and Structure:Grade 2 (Rod and Staff)

His extra-curricular activities planned thus far will include:

  • Bible Quizzing: Exodus
  • Caravan’s Christian “Scouting” Program
  • mini-4-H

Kourtney will be in the 1st Grade. Her curriculum will consist of:

  • My Father’s World: 1st Grade Program
  • Saxon Primary Level Manipulatives supplemented w/ worksheets
  • Sing, Spell, Read, and Write Readers, Eclectic Readers, Pathway Readers, Abeka Readers

Her extra-curricular activities planned thus far will include:

  • Bible Quizzing: Exodus
  • Caravan’s Christian “Scouting” Program
  • mini-4-H

Kassidy will be 3 years old. I will probably do some pre-K work with her in the 2nd Semester. If so, we will use the following curriculum:

  • Sing, Spell, Read, and Write Pre-school Program
  • Read-Alouds with older children, music/art with older children
  • Puzzles, games, various learning manipulatives

Kory will be 1 1/2, and the new baby is expected to be born in late August, so we will be busy and times will be exciting! We always throw in several family field-trips to keep things fun and captivating.  It looks like it will shape up to be a great year!

Read Full Post »

I have found an article that very accurately and eloquently speaks to my feelings about the pros and cons of  college education options after graduating from homeschool.  I have posted about this topic before, and you can read my original entry here if you like:

https://thefullquiverhomeschoolhouse.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/graduated-from-homeschoolnow-what/

So many people seem to believe that a parent’s responsibility towards preparing their children for adulthood ends precisely when their children graduate from their homeschool high-school program. This mistaken belief system shows where culture has creeped in with it’s anti-family, self-seeking influences. God has a plan and design tied succinctly to discipleship, which does not necessarily end immediately upon one’s 18th birthday. Education is not an end unto itself, it is a means unto an end. Likewise, career or job choice is not an end unto itself, it is a means to aid in one’s life role.

Also, a young man’s future life role and related planning differs from that of a young lady. The difference between male and female life direction has been incredibly blurred by the norms of society. It is a good thing we have a compass to help direct these important paths-the Scriptures. It is about time we took the time to look at and heed the Biblical tenets for  our child-rearing responsibilities, instead of following along with the world like so many sheep.

You can find this well written and thought provoking article here:

http://www.vision-harvest.com/articles/CollegeAtHome.php

The article follows:

College at Home for the Glory of God

 Author:  John Thompson
 Date:  12/1/2007

 

As habitual as birds heading south for the winter, a new brood of students takes wing each fall to college campuses around the world. Clearly, this seasonal migration is healthful for birds. But is the flocking of students to college campuses likewise wholesome? Is this recurrent pilgrimage the result of careful reasoning or cultural influences? Before sending our children to flight, our family decided to more thoroughly investigate the campus charisma.

This was two years ago. Zoie, our oldest of three daughters and an aspiring student of music, was beginning her last year of high school. Ten years of home education had raised (and answered) the many well-worn questions about curriculum types, learning styles, father’s involvement, relating to the State, relating to the church, preference vs. conviction, peer-group problems and various others. But now we faced a whole batch of new questions:

What precisely is God’s purpose for our children’s higher education?
Does a father’s home-education responsibility extend to fully preparing his children for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household?
What specific disciplines (in academics, fine arts, life skills and spiritual development) are necessary for “entering adulthood?”
How are these disciplines different for young women vs. young men?
What role does a young person’s God-given gifts, talents and interests play?
How might these disciplines be developed during the post-high school years? (home business, apprenticeship, trade/technical school, college programs—under what circumstances?) And most importantly,
How do our home-schooling convictions apply to post-high school training?
At some point in our home-schooling adventure, we fathers must deal honestly and faithfully with these seven crucial questions. Otherwise, we will fail to complete (or may even seriously undermine) the child training that God has entrusted to us, resulting in spiritually aborted children. Sadly, I had seen this happen to home-schooled students across the country, graduating from high school and then just floundering at a menial job or being sent away to a compromising setting (usually college). The fruit of hard parental labor was devoured by the locust of humanistic values, never to yield a truly bountiful harvest for the Lord.

Determined that our children would not become just another statistic of spiritual mediocrity, our family set about the task of resolving the hard questions that now confronted us. Here is “our story.” It may not answer all your questions, but is intended at least to introduce you to a model for post-secondary education that we hope you will, like the noble-minded Bereans, “examine by the Scriptures to see whether these things are so” (Acts 17:11).

During her last year of high school, Zoie and I spent much time together in study and discussion about her future education, deliberating over these seven determinative questions. Since “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” our investigation from start to finish was guided by the principles of God’s Word. We knew that if God’s revealed will in Scripture were compromised, His glory through her life would ultimately be diminished. No education program was worth that! Hence, we agreed that any option requiring conformity to the world rather than to Christ simply was not His will. Thus, our journey had begun on solid footing with a common commitment to God’s truth.

God’s Purpose for Our Children’s Higher Education

Our course would largely be charted by the answer to our first and most pivotal question, What precisely is God’s purpose for our children’s higher education? Or, to broach the issue a little more generally, what is man’s ultimate purpose according to the Bible? Surely it is NOT simply to improve himself (“be all that you can be”) nor even to serve mankind (“do good works”), though these are unquestionably proper byproducts. Rather, man’s ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God in all that we do (1 Cor. 10:31).

Shouldn’t the schooling of our children, therefore, have this goal as its principal test? Certainly! What, then, glorifies God in educating our children? Scripturally, it is when their education prepares them to achieve their God-ordained responsibilities in this world, which are (in order of priority):

to be properly related to God through salvation and spiritual growth (Matt. 6:33; 22:37);
to be accomplished and devoted in their role responsibilities as a husband/father or wife/mother (Eph. 5:22-25; Gen. 2:18; Tit. 2:4; 1 Tim. 2:15);
to be a dedicated, active member of a local body of believers (Eph. 4:12; Gal. 6:10); and
to bring dominion over the creation (not independently but with their mate) by developing their God-given abilities (Gen. 1:28).
These four life functions define our responsibilities to God, family, church and world. Anything which detracts from glorifying God through these four general responsibilities can have no place in our children’s education. Anything? Yes, that is the plain meaning of 1 Cor. 10:31: “Whatever (anything) you do, do all to the glory of God.” Immediately we could see that anything secular in Zoie’s future education would need to be very carefully scrutinized. Secular education by definition does not intend to relate our children properly to God or help them to grow into the image of Christ. Instead, its stated aim is to glorify man through evolution, self-authority, situation ethics and “global citizenship.” Even worse, it is often purposely designed to destroy our children’s faith in God.

Unfortunately, however, even most Christian education today works at cross-purposes with God’s blueprint for our children. By training young men and women for self-satisfying careers that are independent of their mates or families, Christian schools (though perhaps unintentionally) mimic the world’s disdain for the values of marriage, fatherhood and motherhood. Something is desperately wrong when a young person can graduate from a Christian college—even a Bible college—and view their role as a husband/father or wife/ mother as secondary to some self-pleasing profession, whereas God places those esteemed roles second only to our walk with Him.

Already it appeared to us that Zoie’s higher education would not follow any traditional path. But, then, home schoolers should be accustomed to pioneering new trails. That is simply our calling as “aliens and strangers” in a foreign land (1 Pet. 2:11).

The Extent of a Father’s Educational Responsibility

But who was I to direct my daughter’s higher education? After all, she was of age now, wasn’t she? At age 18 wasn’t she automatically an “adult” and responsible to make her own educational decisions? These were the kinds of questions leveled at us by well-meaning family members and educational acquaintances, Christian and non-Christian alike. They echoed the anti-family, individualistic philosophy of humanism that has infected even the church today.

Thus, our family embarked upon answering our second decisive question, Does a father’s home-education responsibility extend to fully preparing his children for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household? Here, really, was a question of the breadth and depth of our home schooling. To what extent in age and subject matter is a father responsible for his children’s education?

It may come as a surprise—even to some home-schooling parents—to think that the father has much of a role at all in the education of his children. Isn’t Dad just the “provider and protector” of the home, leaving Mom to school the kids while he slugs it out in the workplace? This common picture is fatally flawed! Indeed, every (yes, EVERY) child-training command in Scripture is directed NOT to mothers but to fathers (e.g., Ps. 78:1-8; Eph. 6:4). The mother’s role is to assist (not replace) the father as his God-appointed helper (Gen. 2:18). Dads are personally responsible before God not merely to oversee their children’s education but also to participate in their training through daily hands-on involvement. Thus, the Bible throughout pictures the father himself frequently with his children, teaching them both formally and informally (Deut. 6:1-9; 2 Ki. 4:17-18; Prov. 1-9). And, much more than just daily devotions, the content of the father’s instruction, according to Psalm 78:1-8, encompasses both God’s Word and God’s works—including math, science, language arts, history and all other subjects of God’s creation. When the father is legitimately unavailable due to other Scriptural responsibilities, the Bible pictures the mother as his primary assistant for the child-education task (Prov. 1:8; 6:20; 31:1). And when truly necessary, the father may delegate some (not all) instruction to a private tutor who will stand in loco parentis (in place of the parent) by imparting the father’s biblical values and submitting to the father’s will (1 Chron. 27:32).

Now, if a stranger were to peer into your window and conclude that the mother is the primary child trainer and the father is her helper, then something is drastically wrong in your home. That is NOT the biblical norm. Regrettably, America’s home-schooling movement is led almost entirely by women, both in the homes and in the local and state organizations. This is God’s rebuke to the men in our generation for their sinful withdrawal from leadership, much as was the case in Israel when Deborah was judge (cf. Jud. 4; Isa. 3:12). It is time for home-schooling fathers to repent of their halfhearted efforts and truly turn their hearts back to their children (Luke 1:17), “that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Ps. 78:7-8).

Plainly, then, a father has the foremost role in home schooling. But, as we asked before, to what extent in age and subject matter is he responsible to teach his children? The extent of “school” is commonly considered to be kindergarten through high school and the subject matter to be “academics” plus a smattering of fine arts. Yet isn’t the scope of a father’s duty to train his children from birth until adulthood in all disciplines necessary for maturity? The Greek (secular) model of child education, as it is practiced in our modern culture and has influenced us all, wrongly assumes that a father’s training of his children is completed when they reach age 18 and complete certain high school academic requirements. He then “graduates” his children from high school and sends them out of the family home to a college or job. They are released from parental oversight, often to godless supervisors and circumstances, with little further opportunity for spiritual or practical discipleship by the father.

The Hebrew (biblical) model of child education considers our children to be “youth” from age 13 until about age 20 (a norm, not a legalistic framework), and charges the father with a much broader scope of child training until the youth is fully prepared for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household. Indeed, that was the scope of the Torah (the Law of Moses), the Hebrew father’s primary curriculum for child training. It was a veritable “manual for life” to which every facet of life was related. Not only did the Torah teach one about his relationship to God, but also his relationship to his neighbor, family, spouse, community, government, enemies and, indeed, all of society as well as the physical creation. Being not only revelatory of God but also regulatory of the nation, the Torah guided the whole life of the Jew: his house, dress, food, employment, domestic arrangements, distribution of property, politics, and civil and religious life.

How much more extensive and expansive the biblical vision of child training is! And Jewish fathers (Old Testament believers) assumed this broad responsibility enthusiastically. Indeed, they considered it an honor; and everything else gave way to this most important part of their lives. Modern home-schooling dads must restore the biblical “depth and breadth” of their educational responsibility.

Disciplines Necessary for Release to Adulthood

If traditional “high school graduation” is not the biblical measure of maturity, then what specific disciplines are necessary for a young person’s release? What subject matter will fully prepare our children for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household?

This third of our seven vital questions led not only our family but also our whole church toward a new completion point for home schooling which we call Life Graduation. After fulfilling her high school requirements, Zoie enjoyed a family-centered celebration similar to a birthday party and received a high school diploma primarily as a “passport” into college level studies. But her sights were now upon a much more comprehensive target—the full range of disciplines necessary for adult maturity, which seem to fall into four basic categories: academics, fine arts, life skills and spiritual maturity.

Academics, rather than being an end in itself, is to be pursued for the purpose of understanding God’s creation and undergirding training in the other three fundamental categories. Fine arts enable our children to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation whereas life skills (applied arts) equip them to exercise the utility of God’s creation. Both aspects of God’s creation—its beauty as well as its utility—comprise God’s “dominion mandate” (Gen. 1:28) which we fathers are obliged to train our children to fulfill. Finally, our children’s spiritual maturity purposes to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Life Graduation signifies that a young man or young woman is entering full adulthood and, though no partner may yet be in waiting, is sufficiently prepared for the covenant of marriage and the establishing of a new household (Gen. 2:24). This is the climax toward which all child training since birth should be culminating. This—not some secular substitute—is the focus of our educational vision. And, since the whole local church is involved in equipping parents (Eph. 4:12), this is the event for which the entire assembly should joyfully gather to honor the new graduate and to give praise together to God! This now became our family’s new destination for our educational journey. We looked forward to the day our daughters’ would attain the noble goal of being a “Proverbs 31 Woman.”

Education of Young Women vs. Young Men

As our family wondered how to arrive at that new destination we were prompted to address the fourth essential question, How is the education of young women different from that of young men? Even to pose such a question in our egalitarian, post-Christian culture, is to invite ridicule and ostracism by the educational establishment where traditional male and female distinctions are despised. Yet, if the God-ordained role of a woman is different from that of a man, then it follows that her preparation for that role will be different, at least in its content and perhaps in its instructional location as well.

Already we had concluded from our first question that God is glorified in our children’s schooling only when it prepares them to achieve their four God-ordained responsibilities (God, family, church and world). But does God distinguish those life functions by gender? And, if so, how? Clearly, there is no gender distinction in our first responsibility of being properly related to God through salvation and spiritual growth. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

But in each of the other three life functions, God plainly differentiates the woman’s role from the man’s. A young man’s education, therefore, must prepare him (in this order of priority) to be a selfless husband and father, a servant-leader in the local church, and a ruler over the social and physical spheres of God’s creation in a way that involves his wife as his assistant. However, a young woman’s training must equip her (again, in this order of priority) to be a devoted wife and mother, a servant-contributor in the local church, and a helper to her husband in bringing dominion over God’s creation—that is, assisting her husband rather than having a separate ministry or occupation.

Precisely how do these gender-specific life functions influence the content of our children’s education, and perhaps their instructional location, too? Since God gave us a family of all girls, the young woman’s training was our foremost concern. In examining the four disciplines necessary for adult maturity, we saw only minor gender-related differences in the teaching of academics or fine arts to our children. Yes, since academics comprise the support structure for the other three disciplines, there would be some small variation for young women. Still, a woman must have sufficient academic ability to aid her husband in schooling their children to the point of full adulthood. And whereas “keeping house” (1 Tim. 5:14) is part of the woman’s role, her training in fine arts may include some applications different from that of a young man (such as flower arranging, stenciling, interior decoration). Nevertheless, the study of fine arts itself (music, art, literature, architecture, landscaping, etc.) is definitely as important for young men as it is for young women if we are equally to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation as He intends.

It was in the other two disciplines—the life skills and spiritual development—that we found substantial, gender-related differences which would affect the content of our daughters’ education. Since the role of ninety-nine percent of young women is to be a devoted wife and mother (i.e., not remain single, Gen. 1:28), her training in life skills must prepare her to be a capable helper to her husband, trainer of her children and caretaker of her home (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 1:8; Tit. 2:5). Such skills would certainly include all that is involved in the spheres of cooking, sewing, home care, child care, health care, animal care, gardening, and domestic finances.

Further, if a young woman’s spiritual role is to be a servant-contributor, the content of her training must equip her to be a submissive helper in the home as well as in the assembly, freeing up the men to exercise their God-appointed leadership (1 Tim. 2:8-15). Training of this sort might include a major ministry to mothers in the church (on Sundays and weekdays too) as well as helping with the church nursery, fellowship meals, home Bible study hostess, music ministry, hospitality, family evangelism, missions helper, visitation of shut-ins, etc.—all under parental supervision, of course.

In summary, a young woman’s training should be modeled after the examples of Sarah, Mary and the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31, whose lives centered around their husband, children and homeworking (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15). A Christian woman’s God-ordained “career” is not just in her home—it is her home (i.e., her husband and her children)!

Where is this training to occur? At some distant school, camp or other educational setting? Decidedly not! The fundamental tenet that distinguishes Christian home education from Christian school education is our belief that the parents are a child’s God-appointed teachers (Ps. 78:1-8; Prov. 6:20) and that the family home (and its environs) is the God-ordained classroom—”when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way” (Deut. 6:7; 1 Cor. 15:33).

Then when do older children finally leave the family home? For young women, it seems, the Scriptural time for departure is at marriage, and not before (1 Cor. 7:36-38). Because God created the woman to be the “weaker vessel” (more vulnerable, 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Tim. 2:14), He intends for her never to be out from under the protective covering of either a father or a husband (1 Sam. 30:18). She is to abide in the protective shadow of her father (Ps. 36:7) until she moves into the shadow of her husband (S.of S. 2:3). This is the clear implication of Numbers 30 which sets forth only three Scriptural marital states for women: a single woman in her father’s house (normally in her youth), a married woman in her husband’s house, and a divorced or widowed woman who is under the direct protection of God (Ps. 68:5) and the care of church elders (1 Tim. 5:3ff). There is no biblical marital status (and no normative Scriptural example) of a single woman who leaves her father’s home for reasons other than marriage. Obviously, such a conclusion from Scripture had a significant impact on where we would train our daughters and where they would reside before marriage.

What about the education of a young man? How is the content and location of his education unique to his gender? Since the vast majority of young men are intended by God first and foremost to become selfless husbands and fathers, his training in life skills must prepare him to be a bold but loving leader in his home, a skillful discipler of his children and an adequate provider for his household. To be fully prepared for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household, a young man must demonstrate Christlike character, sufficient knowledge to teach his children, and stable employment (preferably a home business) that will support a family (Prov. 24:27; 1 Tim. 5:8). In addition to “income producing skills,” he ought also to have “income preserving skills” such as home building (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting, masonry), landscaping and lawn care, auto mechanics, vegetable gardening, animal care, business administration and computer skills. And since a young man’s spiritual role is to be a servant-leader, his training must involve leadership in worship (1 Cor. 14:26), prayer (1 Tim. 2:8), doctrine (1 Cor. 14:35), self-sacrifice (Eph. 5:25), decision making (1 Tim. 2:12) and justice, mercy and humility (Mic. 6:8)—in the home as well as in the assembly. His father should disciple him in Bible teaching, counseling, public prayer, family evangelism, political issues, organization skills and much more.

Now if the purpose of all education is to equip us to achieve our God-ordained responsibilities in the world, then what kind of occupation provides a young man the framework for attaining these life functions? To put the question another way, Where does a young man’s career fit into his four God-ordained responsibilities? Is his career equivalent to “bringing dominion over the creation”? And what should guide his career choice?

Contrary to most Christians’ lifestyles today, the Scriptures do not view work (i.e., career, job, occupation) as a priority in and of itself but rather as a means and medium for achieving a man’s biblical priorities (life functions). For example, a particular occupation may strengthen his walk with God, provide sufficient income for his family and church, leave enough time (or, ideally, provide the framework) to nurture his family and minister to others, and allow opportunity to govern a particular sphere of God’s creation. But a different occupation might tear down his spiritual life, supply meager funds for family and church, leave inadequate time for family nurturing or ministry, and grant little occasion to “subdue and rule” over some area of God’s creation.

So, you see, a man’s work is not a priority at all, but instead, is a help or a hindrance in achieving his biblical priorities. A father ought therefore to choose a vocation for his son that best enables him to carry out his life functions. Though a man’s work should develop and utilize his God-given talents, it should be inclusive, not independent, of his family (Gen. 2:18). Home-schooling families normally recognize the importance of the wife being family-centered; but it’s just as biblical for the father to be family-centered, not career-centered. This is why a home business is generally a young man’s best choice for his occupation. When compared to working for an employer outside the home, a family-centered home business normally gives a man much greater freedom to meet his God-ordered priorities (rather than the boss’s priorities). For this reason, the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthian believers in regard to employment, “if you are able indeed to become free, rather do that” (1 Cor. 7:21). That is, pursue an occupation that gives you the greatest freedom to achieve your God-ordained priorities.

Where is a young man’s occupational training to take place? Although a young woman’s schooling is to occur entirely under the safeguard of her father (generally in the vicinity of the family home), a young man’s training location is a wisdom decision (by the father) based on many factors. Though he is to remain under his father’s authority until being released to adulthood (Life Graduation), he may not necessarily remain under his father’s direct oversight for all of his occupational training. In Bible times, a son normally learned the trade of his father (or at least a vocation his father could teach him), just as Jesus learned carpentry from his step-father Joseph and Paul tentmaking from his father. However, it was not uncommon for a young man to be apprenticed in a different trade under a trusted employer. Although young men do not have the same physical and spiritual vulnerabilities as young women, still Solomon warned his son of the risk of bad company, particularly the adulteress and the harlot (Prov. 1-9).

So, it seems that the biblical norm (and thus what will most often be wise) is for a young man to complete his life preparation in the family home and under the direct oversight of his father. Even if a father has not yet developed his own home business, perhaps he can help his son start a home business and “learn by doing.” Nevertheless, when a son is to learn an occupation unfamiliar to his father, he may be apprenticed (by an individual or school) under certain conditions.

To reach a wise decision concerning apprenticeship, a father must ask a number of important questions. In regard to the son, is he physically and spiritually mature enough for release from parental oversight? Has the son proven himself faithful in small things so that release will not be beyond his moral maturity? Is the father’s spiritual discipleship of his son completed, leaving deep-rooted spiritual habits that will not be compromised under trial? In regard to the circumstances, is the son’s release detrimental to the household (perhaps he is still needed at home)? Does the father know personally and sufficiently the work environment as well as the persons responsible for his son? Are there serious moral or physical risks? How long is the son being released (days only, overnight, weeks, months—the longer the release, the greater the risk)? How far away is the son being released? Is it close enough to know what’s going on and to intervene if necessary? In regard to the opportunity as a whole, is this the option that best fits God’s principles? Has the father sought the counsel of his elders? The answers to these and similar questions will enable a father to make a wise decision regarding apprenticeship for his son.

After Life Graduation, a young man has the biblical liberty either to establish his own “household of one” or to remain a contributing member of his father’s house. We see examples in Scripture both ways, though the latter may have been the norm since a Hebrew father’s responsibilities included “instructing his son in the law, teaching him a trade and bringing him into wedlock.” Consequently, Isaac remained in his father’s household until he was 40 years old when Abraham got him a wife. The words “For this cause (marriage) a man shall leave his father and his mother…” (Gen. 2:24) speak certainly not of the only cause, but perhaps the primary cause of a man’s leaving his parental home.

Role of God-Given Gifts, Talents, Interests

If our four God-ordained life functions are to guide our educational choices, then what role does a young person’s God-given gifts, talents and interests play? That was our fifth crucial question. Hasn’t God given these gifts to be developed and used for His glory? Indeed, yes, for Paul charged Timothy to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you…” (2 Tim. 1:6). But practically speaking, most of us have several gifts, talents and interests, each of which may be developed in a dozen different directions. So, a choice must be made about which talent to develop in which direction; and that choice must be in accord with biblical principles, not in violation of those principles.

In practice, then, a father’s career choice for his son (yes, it is ultimately the father’s decision) must be guided by the larger needs of the family, by what would best enable his son to accomplish his life functions, and by the biblically legitimate training options available. If Scriptural principles would be compromised, then a different talent or a different direction should be chosen for a vocation. Though the world literally defines a man by his occupation, biblically a man’s faithfulness to God is far more critical to his success in life. Consequently, we find the most pivotal men in history—Christ and His apostles—in such simple vocations as carpenters, tentmakers and fishermen. And despite God’s supernaturally calling certain persons in the Bible to specific tasks, the idea that God “calls” each Christian to a particular “life work” finds no support in Scripture (see Decision Making and the Will of God, by Garry Friesen.)

Likewise, a father’s higher education of his daughter (as is my case) should fit the overall goals of the family, qualify her to carry out her life functions, and avoid all compromising education options. Instead of preparing for a worldly career distinct from her husband’s, a young woman should have one primary application in view in developing her gifts, talents and interests, namely, that of becoming a capable wife and mother. And the father must then find for her a husband to whom her talents correspond—what Genesis 2:18 calls “a corresponding helper,” one who completes him in all of life as the two become one flesh.

Secondarily, her higher education ought to equip her to be a contributing member of her father’s household until she marries and, in the event of an untimely death of her husband, a self-supporting widow from within the home. This last eventuality may never be needed, for most widows would be cared for by her husband’s estate, her children or the local church (1 Tim. 5:3-16). But there are cases historically and biblically (e.g., Lydia, Acts 16:14) where women have needed to support themselves. And she would be prepared to do so if she had skills for a business within the home (Tit. 2:5).

Some fathers may think we have too narrowly understood a young woman’s education and work. It is not within the scope of this article to argue that point further, but only to refer you to the forthcoming book by Douglas Phillips entitled “God Calls Men To Be Providers” (first published as a series in Quit You Like Men). Other dads may have cautions in the opposite direction, that higher education for a woman leads to pride, discontent, self-sufficiency, worldly temptation and easy divorce. These are legitimate concerns. But couldn’t the same be said of men? A stable marriage is founded not upon a man or a woman’s education level but upon an understanding of their biblical roles and their commitment to God. In fact, a strong case could be made that a marriage is more stable when a woman’s higher education qualifies her to help her husband more ably. Isn’t a woman just as responsible as a man to develop and use (within biblical parameters) her God-given talents to help her husband bring dominion over the creation (Gen. 1:28; Matt. 25:14-30). Douglas Wilson writes in Credenda-Agenda, “A neo-Amish sisterhood is starting to develop in some quarters of the conservative Christian community… [which] disparages the intellectual capacities of women.” Instead, we should view the intellectual capacity of a woman, blended with godly character, as a valued capability to aid her husband and educate her sons who will stand with their father in the gate, contending together with their enemies (Ps. 127:5).

In view of our studies to this point, our family concluded that not only Zoie but also her two younger sisters (Cara and Kesed) would pursue gender-specific life skills and spiritual development in keeping with their unique role as women. And in the realms of academics and fine arts, they would develop their talents in music (piano, flute, violin and voice) in hopes of serving a husband who would enjoy and need those abilities in his life and ministry. The critical question now facing us was, How? How to advance their musical talents to full proficiency within the environment of the family home and under the watchful oversight of their father?

Post-Secondary Educational Options

Zoie and I could now see the finish line before us as we asked the next critical question, How are the adult disciplines best developed during the post-high school years? As we researched this issue, the educational options fell into four categories. A young person’s talents and disciplines could be honed through home business, apprenticeship, trade/technical schools or college programs. After a thorough study of what each option offered in the field of music, Zoie and I concluded that some sort of nontraditional (“at home”) college program (supplemented with home business, apprenticeship and technical training) would best equip her to use her musical gift for serving her future family and church. Thus, we began to probe that option through much reading, many phone calls, personal interviews and visits to college campuses. What we learned was both shocking and inspiring.

We were dismayed to discover that many students today flock to college because they have little vision for what else to do with their life. With few exceptions, the remaining students go to college for one of three reasons: (1) to get an education, (2) to get a degree or (3) to “party” (that is, to socialize with peers). Regrettably, the first reason is no longer the foremost reason for an increasing number of these students. That is why many dedicated teachers have become disheartened; and more than a few serious-minded students have sought alternative approaches for their higher education. Here is where our investigation became deeply encouraging.

Before the mid-1970s, a student seeking a nontraditional, “off-campus” college education had exactly two choices: the University of London and the University of South Africa. Since then, however, there has been a virtual explosion of college-level correspondence courses, guided independent study and accredited “external degree programs.” In fact, we learned that more than 400 accredited colleges in the United States now offer “nontraditional” degree programs; and over 100 such schools grant fully accredited bachelor’s, master’s and/or doctor’s degrees entirely, or almost entirely, through non-residential study, which are well recognized in the academic, professional and business communities. Included in those numbers are more than 20 Christian liberal arts and Bible colleges that offer many educational programs from a distinctively Christian world view.

As Zoie and I poured over various college guides and course catalogs, we began to see how all of the “general education” requirements (English, history, math, science, etc.) for a Bachelor’s degree in music (or any other major) could be acquired through accredited correspondence courses from various Christian colleges. And the “hands on” music requirements of keyboard, voice and ear training could be obtained through “portfolio credit” with carefully chosen (and supervised) local instructors and apprenticeship programs. The remaining music credits in music history, theory and composition were found to be available from a music institute (a technical school) with no humanistic ax to grind. This became the course of college study that our family chose for five major reasons (which apply to young men as well as young women). Any one of these reasons could easily be expanded to many pages—in fact, there are whole books written on several of these issues. But to preserve your patience, let me try to be concise.

If the primary purpose of college is educational, then something is amiss in the classroom. Simply put, research has shown that, for most subjects, tutorial instruction and guided independent study give superior results over classroom teaching. For example, in one study correspondence students consistently outperformed their classroom counterparts by more than ten percentage points on the final exam. The non-classroom approach is also more flexible, allowing the student to use books, audio, video, and computer networks to study at his own pace (intensively, if he chooses), in his own home, according to his preferred schedule, even while traveling. With such flexibility, our goal is that each of our children complete their bachelor’s degree in three years or less (and a master’s degree, too, if needed), yet without sacrificing our moral, family or financial integrity. Yes, such a course of study demands greater self-discipline and personal scheduling; but, in our judgment, it better prepares the student to be a self-starter, leader and entrepreneur in later life.

A second rationale for favoring an off-campus education is moral. What conditions best enable my post-high school children to continue the pursuit of godliness as they complete their education? Although we do not seek to live in a vacuum, we believe it both wise and biblical to guard against negative influences upon our lives (this is insulation, not isolation). The average residential college thrusts very impressionable youths under the persuasion of typically liberal professors and libertine students. Confused minds and compromised morals are nearly guaranteed! But by cautiously selecting our tutors and courses, we can maintain, to a very high degree, an education from a Christian world view. And by choosing off-campus studies, we avoid the immoral peer influence which pervades the typical college campus, even to the point of serious physical and moral harm. What should we expect when youth with raging hormones are told they are nothing but evolved animals? Crime statistics reveal that the average college campus is now more dangerous than New York’s Central Park! How much wiser, we think, to study under the care and protection of godly parents.

The third convincing reason for selecting non-residential study is family. Frankly, we enjoy one another’s company in our family; we delight in each other’s educational experiences. That is why we have pursued home business and home schooling for the past 11 years. Moreover, since the parents’ task involves preparing their children to be well-educated, self-supporting, highly capable mates and parents-to-be, we believe the parents’ role has seldom been completed when their children reach age 17 or 18. In short, we have more parenting to do; and we do not believe it either wise or biblical to delegate this responsibility to an alma mater (literally, a “foster mother”). In a personal letter, Phil Lancaster of Patriarch magazine concurs: “Family is not just a launching pad for independent individuals, it is the context in which every person is meant to live out their earthly existence. We must get over this mindset that children grow up and ‘leave the nest’ (prior to marriage).”

I don’t wish to be mundane, but our fourth motive for adopting an external degree program is financial. Economically, an off-campus education is simply better stewardship of our limited resources. Whereas a four-year degree will average about $80,000 at a private university and $40,000 at a state school, it will run less than $20,000 at home—even as little as $12,000 for some programs (including correspondence courses, tutoring charges and even room & board payment to parents). Furthermore, the student can usually earn more at home through a more flexible work/study schedule. In our case, our children earn profit sharing through our family bakery business as well as conduct their own music studio (which also provides field experience for their course work). Admittedly, the above comparison does not take into account the fact that scholarship aid is much more readily available to on-campus students. However, since most of such aid comes from tax dollars or inflated tuition fees (all taken without the giver’s consent), we prefer to pay our own way (or seek truly philanthropic aid) rather than fleece our neighbor or encourage socialism.

Applying Our Home-School Convictions to Post-High School Training

The fifth, final and foremost cause for our deciding on college at home is spiritual. The first four reasons—educational flexibility, healthy moral development, closer family relationships and better financial stewardship—could be asserted as well by a non-Christian. Make no mistake, they are significant reasons; but at best they make college at home a wise decision, a preferred choice. It is the fifth cause, the spiritual reason, that, for our family, moves this decision from preference to conviction—that is, something required of us by God. This seventh and final question was the very heartbeat of our research, namely, How do our home-school convictions apply to post-high school training? Other sincere Christians may not assess this issue quite as we do, and we do not make this a test of fellowship with them. But see if this makes sense to you.

Our family had already come to the conviction that God’s purpose for our children’s higher education was to bring glory to Himself by training them in their four God-ordained life functions (relationship to God, family, church and world) until they are fully prepared for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household. We were also convicted that a God-pleasing education for our daughters must be very gender-specific (focused upon becoming a wife, mother and homeworker) and must occur entirely under the loving oversight of their father. If we had sons, we concluded, their education also would be very gender-specific (husband, father and family-centered vocation) and would occur under their father’s oversight or in a morally safe environment.

Now, the critical issue is this: Does a traditional, residential college education bring glory to God? To answer that question, let’s test the on-campus approach by the three components of a God-honoring education: the content, the teacher and the instructional setting. First, the content of a God-honoring education must be truth (Ps. 25:10; 119:163), more specifically, truth which prepares our children to accomplish their gender-specific, God-ordained functions in the world. Since a secular education leaves God out, it cannot adhere to a Christian world view and will consequently misunderstand, misinterpret and misapply knowledge (Jn. 17:17, Col. 2:3). Even the best Christian colleges today, though teaching basic Christian content, have adopted secular goals for their students, encouraging both young men and young women to be career-centered rather than family-centered, preparing women to be like men, and through women professors, displaying wrong role models for our daughters. Is that the target toward which you are aiming your young arrows? Does a traditional, residential college education (even a Christian college) pass the test of content?

Second, the teachers of a God-honoring education must be, for the most part, the parents (Deut. 6:1-9; Ps. 78:1-8; Prov. 6:20). This is so because all teaching conveys values; the student will not merely think like his teacher, he will become like his teacher (Luke 6:40; Jer. 10:2). Consequently, God instructs the father (with his wife as helper) to be the primary teacher of his children. This is simply a proper emulation of our Heavenly Father’s relationship to His own Son: “… the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (Jn. 5:19-20). A Scriptural view of education (Father-Son, parent-child, shepherd-saint, etc.) is predicated upon an essential, irreplaceable heart-bond of love, “turning the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6; Lk. 1:17). Biblical teaching is not the sterile transfer of ideas from one brain to another, but rather a discipleship relationship. Do we love our children enough to remain their primary teachers (disciplers) until they are fully prepared for adulthood, marriage and establishing a new household?

At the college level, parents may be greatly aided in this responsibility by correspondence courses, preferably from Christian colleges (just as textbooks are utilized in the earlier years). Yet, when a parent is genuinely unable to teach a particular subject or skill, he may delegate that particular task to a tutor who will instill the father’s biblical values and submit to the father’s will. Parents teaching their own children until marriage was the norm for Scripturally obedient parents in Bible times; any biblical examples to the contrary were the exceptions, not the rule. Even the exceptions were trusted friends, not unknown faculty (even Christian) who will not faithfully uphold your values. Does a traditional, residential college education pass the test of the teacher?

Third, the instructional setting of a God-honoring education must normally be the Christian home and family. We parents are often pridefully self-deceived in thinking our children (and ourselves) to be spiritually invulnerable to tempting circumstances. That is why the Apostle Paul begins his warning in 1 Cor. 15:33 with the words, “Do not be deceived…” (because we are likely to be self-deceived). His warning then follows, “Bad company corrupts good character” (see also Prov. 13:20; Jer. 10:2; 1 Cor. 14:20). Young men and women should not be molded by the sinful and destructive values, attitudes, philosophies, vocabularies, behaviors and lifestyles of their peers. Nor by the “politically correct” teaching of secular (and sometimes Christian) professors. Yet that is precisely what occurs in the typical college classroom and on the typical college campus (yes, even Christian campuses— I was there!). The age-segregated, co-ed classroom by its very structure promotes wrong male/female relationships and women learning to compete with men (rather than becoming helpers). By way of contrast, the Christian home remains a warm, nurturing, protective environment where studious young men and women can grow “wise in what is good [yet remain] innocent in what is evil” (Rom. 16:19b). Does a traditional, residential college education pass the test of the instructional setting?

Pass or fail? How does the traditional (including Christian) college measure up in God’s grade book? Does it bring Him glory in its content, teachers and classrooms? Our family has concluded that, if we were to choose an on-campus education for our children (even if we had sons), we could not adequately oversee the subject matter, the tutors or the social/moral environment. In our view, we would be abdicating our responsibility as parents. To ask us to choose the traditional college program for our children would be the moral equivalent of asking a Jew to eat pork. It would compromise our convictions. We could not do it and be true to our God. Yes, that sounds rather narrow in today’s culture. The world urges us to give our children a “broad” education, but God says “broad is the way that leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13). Instead, Proverbs 22:6 says to narrow (the literal meaning of “train up”) a child in the way he should go—keep him within the biblical parameters which God has set up for his moral and physical protection.

In discussing this topic with several esteemed Christian brothers, a few additional concerns were raised by them. For example, What young man or woman newly off to college has not experienced the deep pangs of loneliness? Is this not a trap for falling into immorality which marriage obviously avoids: “For this cause—marriage—a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife…” (Gen. 2:24)? Is not the modern college environment a clear violation of God’s principle to “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its desires” (Rom. 13:14)? College has become the principle context for choosing a life occupation and a life partner. Shouldn’t godly parents be directing both of these critical decisions? And what about the problem of an “unequal yoke” in the spiritual training of our children (2 Cor. 6:14ff)? Is this not a forbidden alliance with known enemies of truth and godliness? It seems that nearly every element of the college experience is a violation of some biblical principle!

Your Own Application

That is our conviction, developed from personal study of the Bible because God wants us to walk by conviction, not by convenience, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33), not being lukewarm about this matter or any other (Rev. 3:16). What is your conviction from the Bible on this crucial matter? What is God’s life goal for your children? Is it for them to glorify God (1) by being properly related to Him through salvation and spiritual growth, (2) by becoming accomplished and devoted in their role responsibilities as a husband/father or wife/mother, (3) by being a dedicated, active member of a local body of believers and (4) by bringing dominion over the creation (with their mate) by developing their God-given abilities? Are humanistic courses, liberal professors and immoral classmates God’s means to God’s goal for your children? (As described above, even Christian colleges have similar problems.) The question is NOT should we ever study secular materials (then even reading the newspaper would be immoral). The question is WHERE, WHEN and HOW shall we maintain truth and purity without compromise in an ongoing program of self-education. The answer is, in my judgment, seldom in the college classroom.

Your reply may be, “But my son is spiritually mature, readily able to discern truth from error, and strong enough to resist temptation from peers.” Jonathan Lindvall in his lecture on “Homeschooling College” observes that liberal professors (as well as homosexuals, abortionists, feminists, environmentalists, evolutionists, humanists, cults, Satan worshipers, etc.) ply their trade on college campuses expressly because they know just how impressionable the students are. Because God designed our children to still be moldable at this age, many Christian students have lost their faith (and morality) on the college campus. Is it possible that you might be over estimating your child’s maturity?

However, if your appraisal is truly accurate, and not just parental pride (ask your church elders); and if there is no safer, wiser option for developing his God-given abilities (there generally are several talents to choose from for a life occupation, not just one); and if in your conscience you are not compromising any biblical principle; then perhaps a college classroom would be a legitimate alternative—maybe. Still, there are several options to prayerfully consider which I list below from poorest choice to poor choice:

Attending secular college, living on campus. (Clearly the worst possible choice.)
Attending Christian college, living on campus. (Sadly, not much better.)
Attending secular college, living at home (or possibly with a trusted Christian adult).
Attending Christian college, living at home (or possibly with a trusted Christian adult).
I hesitate even to list the above choices, believing they are nearly always poor choices, just some worse than others. They are all fraught with moral risk that may lead to disaster. If “college at home” will not achieve your occupational goal, why not just choose a different occupation? After all, a Christian’s occupation is not an end in itself but simply a means and medium for achieving his biblical priorities.

Do these principles and concerns apply to releasing our children to situations other than college, such as apprenticeships, jobs or ministries away from home. Of course, they do—perhaps even more so! First, test each training opportunity by the above tests: (1) Does it teach truthful content which prepares our children for their gender-specific, God-ordained functions in the world? (2) Do its teachers supplant what the parents should be doing, or fail to uphold parental values? (3) Is its social/moral environment “bad company” or promoting wrong relationships? Even then, don’t be too quick to give approval. In order to make a wise decision, you must have an adequate understanding of both your child as well as the new circumstances. Has your child developed deeply-rooted spiritual habits? Does he seek the company of those who are wise, not foolish peers? Do you know personally and sufficiently the environment and the persons responsible for your child? Have you received positive recommendations from other trusted Christians familiar with the circumstances? How long and how far away is your child being released? Have you investigated all of God’s principles related to this release? Have you sought counsel from your elders?

One regretful parent writes: “What we thought was a fine college ruined our daughter. A course in religion destroyed her faith in the Bible, a course in philosophy destroyed her faith in God, a course in psychology destroyed her faith in her parents, a course in biology destroyed her faith in the divine creation, and a course in political science destroyed her faith in the American way of life.” It may be natural for some birds (and students) to migrate, but not so for all of them. Those who find it “natural” are pursuing what stimulates their nature. Christians, however, have a new, redeemed nature which is not properly stimulated by the compromised values of the college campus (even the Christian college campus). Thus, these birds of a feather should flock together in the nurturing family that God gave them—at least until one of the brood builds a new nest with her mate.

Often Christian parents recognize the college option to be a compromise, but they see no other choice for training their sons and daughters. They understand what to “put off” but not what to “put on” in its place. Consequently, I am developing a step-by-step booklet to supplement this article. In it I will take you through the process of evaluating your children’s life goals, choosing a vocation that best enables them to accomplish their God-ordered priorities, deciding what sort of training is necessary for their chosen vocation (home business, apprenticeship, trade/technical courses, college by correspondence, etc.), and how to find that training without compromising your convictions. [NOTE: Patriarch Toolbox will carry this booklet when it becomes available.] In essence, I have simply documented our own family’s journey along the same path. And the training we found available has been wonderfully encouraging. That encouragement is contagious—please let us share it with you!

In closing, let me admit that this article is incomplete (I haven’t yet dealt with the “hard cases”) and imperfect (no man is without error). Trailblazing cuts a rather rough road initially just to get a pathway through new terrain. Consequently, the path that we are traveling will need more smoothing by others. So we welcome your kindly input just as Priscilla and Aquila “explained to Apollos the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26).

John Thompson is the director of Family Shepherd Ministries and a Bible teacher at Walpole Christian Assembly in Walpole, New Hampshire. John welcomes your comments and contacts. His address is 651-B Valley Road, Walpole, NH 03608. Email: JohnThompson@consultant.com. Phone: 603-445-5474.
     

Read Full Post »

It is no hidden fact that if you review this blog, that I am unwavering in my pro-life stance. I have not really commented any about the current presidential candidates, it has not really been a topic that I have addressed here. However, there is a comment that was made by Barack Obama that I do not feel comfortable just letting slide by.

 To quote Obama, “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.”  This is the same man who voted to kill aborted babies who survive the procedure. Murder. Culture of death.

PUNISHED with a baby? Really? A baby is an unmitigated blessing from the Lord, no matter what the situation. Our society’s view of children is so twisted upside-down and inside-out that it is ridiculous. I am not foolish, I know that life can be hard, and that things happen. I am fully aware that women sometimes become pregnant via rape. I am aware that young girls with no real livelihood become pregnant. But EVERY child that is conceived deserves a chance at life, and God has a plan for each of their lives. One that may become clear to us, and one that may not.The Lord’s wisdom far surpasses our own. There are no “accidents”. A child’s value is not determined based upon the circumstance of their conception or subsequent birth.

In reading the Scriptures you will always see children and babies viewed as blessings. As GIFTS from God. As a reward…not a punishment. I will list some examples below. There are so many verses to support my position the hard thing will not be finding evidence to support my words, but choosing which ones to include! Here they are:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Psalms 127:3-5

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and  multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over  the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living  thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:28

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.”

Psalms 128: 3-4

       “For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

       I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

       My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
       your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.”

       Psalms 139: 13-16

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”

Mark 10:13-16

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Matthew 18:1-6

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

Ezekiel 18:4

Read Full Post »

let_there_be_life_-_choose_life_-_5.jpgexcusemenottissuetn210.jpgiampro-life.jpgpackages350.jpgstandtrue2.jpgs_e8b7d51a4dec98d56bdc317e1d293b35.jpgrankingtheunbornchildtexttn215.jpge739b119.jpge2bdd8f8a1cs8.pngavatarmagic_1850016403.gif922059itrtecta6w.jpg300_250_bcom1_2.jpg

Here are some thought provoking images.  ALL children are blessings from the Lord, regardless of the circumstance. We need to speak up for the unborn who do not have a voice of their own. When a baby is born they have already been living for 9 months. Please join me in prayer to end abortion and to preserve the sanctity of life.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart.

-Jeremiah 1:5

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »