Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Thought provoking post and's mine

Robin, over at Heart of Wisdom, wrote an in-depth, thought provoking post titled: Should a Christian Homeschooler Teach Logic?

I'm not a traditional "Christian homeschooler." I do teach my kids age appropriate things like the alphabet, phonics, read to them, colors, shapes, etc., and they're too young to go to public school, but though my husband and I still hold the option of "homeschooling" as one we may do someday, for now we plan to send our kids to public school. I still consider myself a Christian homeschooler in a non-conventional way, because I am my kids' primary teacher, and from me they'll learn the most influential impressions they get of Christ (for good or bad- God HELP ME!- and He does :-) I really enjoy gleaning wisdom and resources from traditional homeschooling families online and in person and Robin has a treasure trove of resources and tools and thought provoking posts on her blog over at Heart of Wisdom. This post is a worthy read if you like this kind of discussion. It was interesting to me because it harmonized with the message I seem to be hearing a lot lately: Teach your kids God's word!

As I'm learning how to live that out and what God would have me do I learning that, just as scripture says, my thoughts are not Gods. One of the things I'm hearing Him quietly teach me lately is that He doesn't intend that I deliver to my kids all the Biblical answers, but that I obey Him and live out what He teaches me to say and do so that my kids will ask questions, questions that only HIS Spirit can reveal the answers to. So anyway, here's my lengthy comment on Robin's post that is so long I decided to make it a post :-)

Well, being a simple small town, daughter of a logger and homemaker, married now to a modern version of the New Testament Timothy's dad, I find this discussion smile-provoking.
I love this stuff! It intrigues me to learn and read and hear arguments and "logic" and reasoning and explanations...etc. Lately I've come face to face with this quiet voice in me (the Spirit of God I'm sure) saying, "Woman, what do your plans/thoughts have to do with me" (As Jesus rebuked his own mother).

I'm convicted personally that I spend way too much time trying to reason and explain things in my own life and when it comes to scripture, but even this weakness God uses to teach me how He thinks.

Without a doubt, unless we saturate our minds and our kids' minds with God's word we'll naturally go the route of earthly wisdom or logic. But while I saturate myself and must meditate on and teach God's word to my kids continually, heavenly wisdom would reveal to me that I don't naturally understand any of it and that if I am to drink from the Springs of life (God's word) I must first, like the newly delivered Israelites in Exodus 15:22-27, confess that these waters are bitter to me!

God's word isn't naturally palatable/reasonable to any human nor practicable, it requires that simple childlike faith of applying Christ's cross to His word (just as those Israelites threw in the tree God told them too and the waters then became sweet.)

In other words if I'm to walk in or teach Godly wisdom to my kids I must be fully dependent upon God to do the revealing of what it means and how it applies to my life and my kids' lives as He did the revealing in Jesus.

As Jesus said, He didn't come to destroy the Law and Prophets- all the "logic" with which the religious Jews of the day thought they had down in understanding and practice- but He came to fulfill it. He reveals what the logic of God is. He reveals what it looks like when we reason from the scriptures and live them out.

Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent in my thinking, as I realize this discussion and post bring up the issue of whether we should teach our kids logic, not whether God's word is logical.
I guess what I'm trying to relate here is maybe what Paul's heart was in 1 Corinthians 4:14-15. There are a lot of things to teach our kids in Christ, they may even have a lot of different teachers (we being the primary ones), but more important than whether we should or shouldn't or how we should or shouldn't teach logic is will we be a "father" (or mother) in Christ to our kids. In other words, as Paul did, can we say we have "begotten" our little disciples through the gospel and urge our kids to imitate us?

Teach Greek logic or Hebrew, teach a certain method of interpreting or applying scripture or another...but surely in it all and above all, labor in prayer and in pouring out your life, letting God's word be incarnate in you and me, that our kids might see Jesus.

I sometimes think as a Christian woman who loves literature and reasoning and words and the study of the Bible and writing (even if it's called a horrible name like blogging :))I wonder if the people I have influence on (chiefly my own kids) would look at me and listen to me and hear the authority of God speaking through me as I deliver His word like food to them? Or would they, like many of the people in the days of Jesus, hear me as just one of many other "teachers" who have a take on God's word. (See Matt.7:28-29)

I'm not even close to being a Hebrew scribe...just a hick momma, but in my natural pride I can without intention many times ramble on about what I think God's word is saying or reiterate a position I've been taught is true of God's logic and think myself knowledgeable, when in reality I'm just another modern scribe-wanna-be.

Only Jesus teaches with authority.

Whatever I allow of HIS thinking (which is completely other and higher than mine) to come through my mouth and my life in the presence of my kids and others will, by His power, be something which grabs hold of them, and messes with their natural lines of reasoning too. From there it's God's deal. He brings the increase. He knows what kind of soil the seed has fallen on, I don't. God told the parents of the Israelites He delivered from Egypt to teach their kids certain things, both in word and in action, and from doing that, God said, their kids would ask questions (Exodus 13:11-16); Deut.6:17-24).

He didn't say if you do these things your kids will have the right answers.
I think God is teaching me to not be so concerned that my kids "know the right things" but that I walk in obedience by faith before the God who's delivered me and then trust that God's word has authority and will stir up in them (as I'm faithful to obey Him) questions which only He can answer.

1 comment:

Heart of Wisdom said...

Great post Stacy! The last paragraph sums it up beautifully.

Thank you for the kind words.