Daily Prayers

September 18, 2011

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Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

There is an ambiguity in this verse that is not readily apparent. Do you see it? I’ll wait….There are two kinds of parenting: active and passive. As an active parent, one takes the bull by the horns and shows him who is boss. As a passive parent, one horns are taken hold of and he his wrestled to the ground until he cries “Uncle!” Most readers take this verse to be a call to active parenting and it is but in a round-about-way. It is a call to active parenting by first of all proving that passive parenting is not the best way. Do you see it yet?
What happens when one let’s one’s garden go unattended? Weeds aren’t pulled; ground isn’t tilled; vines aren’t staked. The unattended garden (passive gardening) runs amuck and will grow as its nature dictates. If you let your garden grow the way it wants, it will not depart from it. Now, do you see? The ambiguity of the verse is more apparent when read this way: train up a child according to his way of doing things and when he is old, he will not depart. If parents are passive in training up their children; training them according to their own desires or allowing them to run the show will establish in them a pattern from which they will not likely turn when they are older. What is the remedy? The remedy is a four-letter word: W-O-R-K. Children are a garden and if left unattended the inmates will be running the asylum (sorry for the mixed metaphor).

Any catechism is intended to teach.  Teaching is hard, hard, hard.  Teaching children is even harder.  I am convinced the chief reason parents do not take time weekly to educate their children themselves is….they’re scared.  That’s right.  How can I say this?  B/c it’s true of me.  And if it’s true of me who has had over 10 years of Bible education, how much more so an Avergage Joe and Jane raised in the weakest generation of biblically educated churches?  Am I right?  You know you need to teach your children but you are intimidated by the lack of knowledge you yourself have.  I have written this catechism as I have taught my children.  I hope it will help you to fulfill your role as Prophet, Priest and King of your own household.

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Arbeit Macht Frei

September 19, 2007

As I was driving along my route this morning, I reflected upon the day my wife has for our three older boys: house work. That’s right, house work. Does that sound & seem strange to you? I find it extremely satisfying and liberating. It satisfies on the one hand b/c I know that the discipline it takes my wife and I to train our boys to work is training us to be diligent as well. One the other hand (to quote Tevia, though not as a contrast), it also trains our boys to be workers themselves. As much as they hate it, it is training them in at least these areas:
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