I remember sitting in one of my Christian education classes in college and the professor asking a very controversial question–whether we as teachers were supposed to expose our kids to the “things of the world” or to shield them from it.
I’m thankful we were to WRITE a response to this question rather than have a verbal debate about it. I needed time to think on this one and do some research.
I ended up in the book of Daniel. Daniel was hand-picked to be in the king’s very highly esteemed education program. He was being trained and groomed for greatness. Yet he was a Christian. A strong one. And part of his training and education went against God’s law.
Despite being a Christian, Daniel was exemplary. And he was highly successful in his very public government position. He knew all about everything. He lived and worked for and with people who worshiped idols–I don’t think you can get any more secular than that! Yet he chose not to live the same way others were living and even asked to be excused from activities that went against his religion. And because he was respected, his requests were granted.
This translates to me as both a teacher and especially now as a mom in that I desire for kids to be well-informed, educated, aware of the world around them, yet so rooted in their faith in God that they choose to honor him no matter what everyone else is saying or doing.
Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not saying “this is THE one and only way to raise kids”, I’m simply sharing my version of what I believe is how I am supposed to train up the kids I’ve been entrusted with in the way they are supposed to go. (Proverbs 22:6)
So while I’m not wild about some of the things my kids hear at school, on the bus, playground, soccer field or around the neighborhood I’m thankful that they don’t choose to repeat the words they hear. They are living differently. In the world, but not of the world.
And they’re being noticed. I stood in my kitchen and sobbed as I opened a letter from my son’s principal inviting us to a ceremony where he would be receiving an award for having exemplary character, citizenship, and for academic achievement. This came literally the day AFTER I had written my son a letter in regards to a deep disappointment he had caused us.
Over and over we are affirmed that how we are raising our kids is on point. I just pray that as we continue this parenting journey, we can remain faithful to the fact that the Bible always has the answer to any parenting scenario we stumble across, open to the fact that we still have much to learn, and intentional about the importance of surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who will share the wisdom they’ve gained in their own child-rearing experiences. And last but not least, the importance and power of prayer for these someday-grownups!