Saturday, April 10, 2010

Through the Eye of a Needle

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:25 (NASB)

Voddie Baucham once gave a painfully true definition of a successful American parent:

1. You must give your kids more stuff than you had when you were a kid (therefore, you shouldn't have too many children),

2. You must educate them to the point where they will be able to give their kids more stuff than you gave them!

For Christians, he added...

3. Oh, and pray at mealtimes.


As home educators, we often talk about how our educational goals are different from the government run educational system's goals. However, I think even the best of us fall into the education-for-prosperity trap from time to time.

It is tempting for us to try to "prove" the viability of homeschooling by quoting statistics about how many home educated students go on to prestigious universities and high-paying careers.

In fact, one could argue (as Seth Godin has in his latest book, Linchpin) that home educated children are actually better prepared for success in the business world because they are not trained to be cogs in the machine by the group-think, peer-culture conformity of the public school system.

These facts are interesting-- and may put to rest the fears that some folks have about homeschooled children not getting a high-quality education--but if we camp out on this stuff, we miss the point.

Now, once again, lest you get upset with me and assume I am against Christians having money, let me assure you that I am not. There are quite a few examples of godly men and women in the Bible who were also wealthy--people like Abraham, Job, Joseph of Arimathea, and Lydia.

However, when our lifestyle of prosperity becomes an idol, we risk putting our children in the position of the rich man trying to drive his camel through the eye of a needle.

"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

This is a strong, sobering statement--one that we rarely take as seriously as we ought.

Dear friends, we must never give our children the impression that the purpose of their education is to prepare them to make lots of money. The purpose of our children's education must be to completely prepare them to serve God in whatever way He sees fit.

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)

If we accomplish this, and God blesses our kids with wealth, too, fantastic!

If on the other hand, the LORD directs our children to walk paths that do not result in power, prestige, and piles of cash, we have still succeeded in providing them a God-honoring education if our children are walking with the LORD.

What is man's primary purpose?

To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Everything else is just stuff.

Let us be diligent to give our children no reason to think otherwise.


The Zoo Keeper said...

Well said! Thank you for your words as I prepare to enter the wonderful, but drastically different world of homeschooling!

MrsMamaHen said...

I just wanted to share, since I adore your blog.

CaptiousNut said...

I plan on introducing my homeschooled children to as many rich people as I can. Hopefully they'll be disgusted by the terrible marriages, shiftless children, and *uneducation* of most wealthy people. Mine need to be scared straight off the narcotic of money. (I certainly wish I had been!)

*Mirage* said...

Well said! :)

Carol Flett said...

You are sooo right! Well put!

WiJoyMom said...

You summed up nicely WHY to homeschool. Thanks for helping me remember and that I should continue on with our children.

I read your comment about Vit D on the A.R. group (abbreviated) and found you that way. We live in the SE corner of WI.

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

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