The Real World

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Ray and I spent a wonderful Sunday with a couple who are long-time friends. The husband is an author and speaker. Though an attorney by training, he has spent decades writing about a Christian response to tough worldly issues. One of his many areas of expertise is helping Christian universities integrate faith into every subject.

Recently I read a quote by a homeschooling mother who said that she has always stayed away from curriculum that has a strong Christian slant because eventually she will send her children out into the real world where everybody doesn’t think the way her family does.

NASA Image of Earth
NASA Image of the Earth*

Sending children into a world where everybody doesn’t think like Christians is why I recommend doing exactly the opposite. The only way to prepare children for the real world is to teach them what is real, things like:

  1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
  2. God created man in His own image and made them male and female. Genesis 1:27
  3. When God joins together a man and a woman, no one should separate them. Matthew 19:6
  4. Children are a gift from God. Psalm 127:3
  5. God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. John 3:16
  6. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves. 1 John 1:8
  7. Everyone must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10
  8. Jesus died for us while we were still helpless. Romans 5:6
  9. There is salvation in no one but Jesus. Acts 4:12
  10. If we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He will supply all our needs. Matthew 6:33

When I shared this post with Ray last night, he said that the anti-God forces do not hold back in trying to influence children to follow the way of the “real world” and that we might as well make it a fair fight.

May this be our prayer for our children while we train them every day in every subject from the perspective that what our children need to know so they can live in the “real world” are the things that God says are real.

And this I pray,
that your love may abound still more and more
in real knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve the things that are excellent,
in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
having been filled with the fruit of righteousness
which comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11

Bible references for these real things:

1. Genesis 1:1; 2. Genesis 1:27; 3. Matthew 19:6; 4. Psalm 127:3; 5. John 3:16; 6. 1 John 1:8; 7. 2 Corinthians 5:10; 8. Romans 5:6; 9. Acts 4:12; 10. Matthew 6:33.

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights).

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  1. Yes, it may as well be a fair fight. As I write this, I am waiting for my 9th grade son to come out of his classroom at our church where he attends an early-morning scripture class with his publicly schooled friends. Every school day for all 4 years of high school, the kids (and their teachers) get up as early as 4:30 to have time to get themselves ready for the day and to travel–for some, many miles–to attend regardless of what Montana’s weather conditions bring. Everyone comes voluntarily. The teachers are not paid. We all sacrifice time and money for gas and sleep to put first things first and to strengthen their faith in and testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ. To equip these fantastic young men and women with an extra layer of the whole armour of God is worth every effort.

    Thanks for your great articles. Please keep them coming. They have been a real source of encouragement, especially these past few weeks. I really appreciate it.

  2. When Christians avoid Christian materials/activities etc, in my experience, they are doing so because their own story involves hurt or confusion. Avoiding Christian things may be a way of trying to avoid repeating that hurtful cycle. That is certainly part of my own story. As a parent, I know that choosing the right Christian curriculum is not a guarantee of anything for my children. If parents don’t choose to engage and discuss topics from more than one perspective, their children are not going to be prepared to wrestle with life. I’m not suggesting parents agree with more than one perspective/worldview, but our children but be given the opportunity to have exposure and wrestle with the ideas in a safe place (home) without parents immediately jumping in and giving them the right answer. Whether using a Christian curriculum or something else, encouraging our kids to analyze what they are reading and bring it back to the Bible is always going to yield better results than simply relying on Christian materials/experiences. In some ways, I feel like I have to be on a higher alert with Christian materials/experiences because there are subtle nuances that I feel are more dangerous than the overt sin in the world. Christian curriculums that subtly push our children toward dogmatic legalistic religion can be just as dangerous as anything the world has to offer.

    • Thank you so much for leaving the comment about “The Real World” on the Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers blog site. I think the problems you addressed are very important and I appreciate you saying what you did. I am so sorry about the hurt from your own story. Most of my own church experiences have been good. However, Ray and I did experience a period of legalistic influence for the first few years after we married in 1974. It took us a long time to get past that. Praise God we weren’t actually in a church that espoused this legalism, but members of our church, including Ray and I, went to seminars and retreats and such that did preach this legalism. I know it would be very hard if I had grown up in something like that. Legalism is one of the many things Jesus despised. I do, too.

      I know there are curriculum choices that do push dogmatic legalistic religion. I wasn’t thinking about that at all when I wrote what I did. I know now that I probably spoke too broadly in that post. Our curriculum is deeply Christian but we bend over backwards trying only to teach from the perspective of what the Bible actually says without adhering to or pushing any particular “doctrine” other than God’s word. While doing this, we realize that we are human and could make mistakes. We hope very much that if anyone finds mistakes like these in our books that they will let us know so that we can rectify anything we need to in the next edition.

      I absolutely agree that “choosing the right Christian curriculum is not a guarantee of anything” for our children. Parents must engage and discuss topics with their children. One of the ways we did this was by reading books aloud which included situations that we could discuss together. You are right that kids analyzing what they are reading and bringing it back to the Bible is good as long as they are emotionally and spiritually mature enough to handle particular things they are reading. In other words, I think a 16 year old can handle more difficult topics than a 10 year old. I completely agree that ” Christian curriculum that subtly push our children toward dogmatic legalistic religion are dangerous — maybe not as dangerous as anything the world has to offer since the world has some horrific things to offer, but certainly extremely dangerous

      Thank you so much for making me think about this, Sarah!

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