Commentary: Teaching Our Children
Given 30-Oct-21; 9 minutes
Tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of people here in America will celebrate the holiday called Halloween. We are generally reminded about these holidays as the weather changes, and certainly by the media, social media, the news, and things we watch and see on TV or hear on the radio. Stores remind us of the times as they switch out displays and put up decorations to lure the shopper into wanting something and then ultimately purchasing it.
This year felt slightly different as I recall, once again, going into our neighborhood Lowe's (obviously I go there a lot) right before the Feast. This was close to the middle of September. As I walked in, right there to my left was the Halloween display. That was in September. Now, fast-forward through COVID-19 and the Feast and boom—I walk into Lowe's again and Christmas trees and lights are off to my left. I'm thinking to myself, So much for Thanksgiving this year; maybe we’ll blame it on supply chain issues and see if we can perhaps have it next year.
I think most of us know that kids ask questions. You either are a kid, used to be a kid, are a parent with kids, or know someone who has kids. If you fall into one of these categories, you know that one of the first words our little kiddos learn is “why?”
As our kids grow up and they see all of the things associated with each of these holidays, well, they have questions: "What is this holiday about? Why do people keep it? Why don’t we keep it? Don’t they know the truth?" And the questions keep coming. Don’t worry; that just means you have a normal child.
Not only do they ask about the holidays that we don’t keep, they likewise ask about the holy days that we do keep. Each one of these exchanges are opportunities to teach our children the truth. An easy example of this early on in the Bible—in fact, it is in Exodus—regarding the Passover and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt:
Exodus 12:25-27 It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’”
In this set of scriptures, God, through Moses, is telling the Israelites how to teach their children in two ways. He’s telling them to keep the Passover every year throughout their generations. He told them how to keep it and He told them what to instruct their children when they asked. This would ensure that each generation would know the whats, whens, and whys of worshipping God. Obviously, if the parents did not teach this to their children, then eventually, through time and generations, the proper worship of God would be lost.
As parents, many of us have heard the phrase, “If you don’t teach your child, someone else will.” I have also seen online when I was researching this, “If we don’t teach our children about God, someone will teach them everything He isn’t,” which I thought was a very interesting statement.
Here in the 2020s, it at least feels like there is an all out battle for our kids. In addition to parents celebrating and teaching their kids to celebrate these upcoming holidays that are in fact, anti-God, we as a nation have built up educational systems that are teaching our kids all kinds things, and they are starting to force feed that garbage as early as kindergarten.
It gets worse: The current administration has floated the possibility of providing two additional years before kindergarten (so education for 3 and 4 year olds), as well as adding two years after the senior year in college (which is basically two free years of college).
I did not look at the status of that proposal, and honestly, to me, it doesn’t really matter if it goes through or not. My point is simply that we have a public school system already teaching our children for 13 years. If you count those who go to pre-school, that’s 14 years. If this proposal did go through, we’d up it to 17 years. I recognize I’m not adding college in here—I only have a couple of fingers—but again, the point I’m getting to is that that is a lot of years for our children to be taught by someone else for at 6-8 hours a day, especially when it is what I would consider a failing education system.
Things like common core math, sex education (which I found that, in Maine, it’s called, “comprehensive family life education,” which runs from K-12), critical race theory, philosophical studies like, “who am I?”, and many other things. We seem to have strayed from reading, writing, and arithmetic towards indoctrination under the guise of curriculum. I had to ask myself, as a country, are we (and by “we” I mean parents) teaching our children, or is someone else?
It is here that I should make my point abundantly clear: This commentary is not about home schooling your kids, or that you shouldn’t send your child to public school or college, or anything like that. Rather, I’m simply lamenting that our public education has changed from teaching kids to read, to write, understand math and the specific skills necessary to be able to enter the work force and contribute to society into this moral and ethical indoctrination machine that is contrary to what God wants us to teach our children, about not only Him but the way He wants us to live.
That is the second point of the commentary: that God has blessed us with children and commanded us to train them up in the right way.
The education system is literally trying to be our children’s parents. There are plenty of parents out there that are willing to give up their responsibilities to teach their children, and society is happily filling in, or should I say, to take over.
I know that I am not the only one that shares this sentiment. There was at least one bonus that came from COVID-19 as millions of Americans discovered what it was like to homeschool their children and work from home, they had the opportunity to actually hear and see what their children were being taught, and many have made their objections known to school boards across the nation. So perhaps there is hope.
I think all of this, including Halloween that’s happening tomorrow and Christmas that’s coming up, has reminded me why Proverbs 22:6 is so important:
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:1-4 echos this admonishment and I think it goes very well with Ronny's message earlier ["The Curse"] :
Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
One might notice in these versus that God is not telling parents to train children up in academics, but on how to live a spiritually and godly and profitable lives, one that leads to eternal life with God. This does not exclude academia; rather, I think it actually promotes the type of healthy balance in life that God blesses.
If we keep God’s commandments, if we live morally and ethically correct (as bumped up against how our Savior showed us we should live), then we will pursue the proper education that helps us and our children to be successful contributors to society and the times that we find ourselves living in.
Additionally, are children will be armed with the truth that will be needed when they are confronted with teaching that is contrary to God’s way. Our children will be armed with the armor and tools they need to be able to chose correctly.
Things don’t appear to be getting better. Metaphorically, the world is grabbing our children and bombarding them with Satan’s lies, and we’re standing there trying to coach and teach and inform them so that they—at the appropriate age—are able to make their own decisions and live life the way God has prescribed. Children are indeed a blessing from God and we have the God-given responsibility to teach and train them the right way to live.
So, parents, keep up the good work. Keep training them up. All is not lost, and our kids—all of our kids—are counting on us to teach them the truth!