Tough Love Towards Parents
–By Ben Gilmore
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” [Prov 22:6]
Tough Love Toward Parents
The subject on my heart is not “politically correct” in be-nice Christian circles. Today’s American Christian appears anxious to avoid subjects that stress fellow Christians. Well, I’m more concerned with what causes disappointment for our Lord – and future stress for the nation He has placed in our hands.
I believe it is indisputable – Every parent has a vested interest in training up their child(ren). It is those very children who are going to decide how their parents will be treated in their senior years! That is the “human” (man centered) viewpoint.
More important is the “spiritual” (God centered) viewpoint. This will determine the character of the child. In turn, the character of the child will determine the quality of the parents’ treatment in their senior years. Further the quality of one’s character determines what that child will contribute to the character of his society – ultimately, his nation.
The best operator’s manual for parenting is the Holy Bible. The book of Deuteronomy offers good council:
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Deuteronomy 4:6-7]
Noah Webster, author of the “American Dictionary of The English Language” [circa 1828] offered this: ” EDUC?A´TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”
Here is the problem – A guy and a girl get together and make a baby. They become parents. They now have a responsibility to care for (“train up“) the child they brought into our world. That responsibility is to themselves (as above stated), their society, and their nation. That is, the character of the child will have broad impact upon themselves and others.
“The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: …” [Psa 111:10] It follows that an irreverent teacher will be unable to produce a wise student. Today, our public school system has been made irreverent by law! Home schooled students, for the most part, are trained at the knees of reverent teachers. From whence will God find wise leaders in the next generation?
Parents have a 12-15 year “window” during which to “train up“ their child. Those years fly past! Don’t waste them. I can not, in good conscience, recommend placing a child in today’s public school system in America.
We have heard all the excuses:
** “Neither of us are qualified to teach.” Tonight when the house is quiet, peek into each room. If there any kids in there – You are qualified to teach!
** “We can not afford private school.” We have found few private schools successfully training up the character of their students (even “Christian” schools). Are you sure you want to turn that responsibility over to a stranger? Rubber stamping “Jesus” and “prayer” on the outside of education does not make it Christian!
** “We simply can’t afford the time. Both of us work.” Consider your priorities! Look twenty years down the road and consider today’s priorities!
** “I’m a single mom. I have no choice.” Believe me ma’am, I understand your dilemma. I also know our loving Lord will not give you a responsibility you cannot fulfill. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Cor 10:13] Seek and find that way!
** “Our particular public school is the exception. We know our teachers well.” Sorry friend, your P.S. teacher is employed and under the laws of the School District, the County, State, and National education bureaucracies. Ungodly, character degrading, dependency producing curriculum mandates are laid upon the back of that wonderful teacher who must keep her job or resign.
Consider – If education is in the hand of the state, the student will be trained to serve the state! If education is in the hands of the church, the student will be trained to serve the doctrines of the church. If education is in the hands of the parent, the student will be trained to serve the best set of principles the parents have discovered.
A personal testimony – We were home schooling our youngest before home schooling was common. The first thing folks asked, “Is it legal?” My wife was told, “If you can stay just one day ahead of her, you can teach!”
Others liked what we were doing. We formed a “co-op school” (no tuition). Parents pooled their talents and their children. One taught geography, another grammar … We held weekly two-hour meetings. Everyone wanted to talk about the classes. We held them off, investing the first hour sharing what we had learned about parent-teaching. Then, the second hour was spent discussing the classes and events. BOTH parents were expected at these meetings.
Later this co-op expanded into a full on school for home school kids in a facility made available by a local business. We continued to insist upon parents’ close involvement and council.
All along the way, the Lord brought opportunities: A retired world-class scientist to teach classes in science; A parent who turned out to be the world’s greatest grammar teacher, taking her lessons straight out of the Bible; A literature teacher with publications all across America; … .
Is home schooling easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! One home school parent told us, “The most fulfilling time I have as a parent is when I am teaching my child.”
For His-story & Government,