Will my children change the world or will the world change my children?
I had no idea that we had a video about salt and light coming out this week when I wrote “Your Family Can Change the World” for yesterday. Then, I told you about some lessons Ray taught us on Sunday. Today you can hear his own thoughts in his own words that he shared about that same subject several years ago in North Carolina. I have some more thoughts of my own below his video and its transcript.
And I am sorry that the formatting is still goofy in the emails that some of you receive each morning. I really am putting paragraphs in, but they get goofy somewhere between the blog site and the email service. We are working on the problem. Thank you for your patience. If you’d like to read in an easier format, click to read it at notgrass.com/dailyencouragement/)
How can you make a difference today? Persecution continues against Christians in many countries around the world, and even in our own society we feel increasingly alienated. What do we need to do? I suggest the way that we need to handle things is to do what Jesus told those first disciples: be salt, be light, be a good influence.
You see, those first disciples did not have the option of organizing voter drives to elect candidates that agreed with them. They could not put bumper stickers of their favorite candidates on their chariots. They did not petition the Roman senate to pass healthcare, or to approve a biblical definition of marriage. That wasn’t the option they had. But they changed the world by how they lived. Surely that’s how we can make a difference.
Homeschooling pioneers faced fears, and put them aside, and overcame them, because they trusted in God and believed in what they were doing. They faced the school boards, they faced the state legislatures, they had the discussions with college admissions people who doubted that homeschoolers could do college work. And now, of course, colleges recruit homeschoolers, because they see the work that homeschoolers do.
We talked about people who faced jail and were sometimes put in jail in the days when homeschooling was still illegal from state to state. But they chose not to give in to their fears, because they saw the cause as being worth it. And now, praise God, thanks to that kind of seed sowing, these particular battles are behind us largely, even though we need to be vigilant about them.
But with the success of homeschooling have come other battles. School boards and state legislatures do not generally try to get rid of homeschooling; these days they just try to compromise it. In some places– it seems to be a growing number of places–the school system or officials will say “Oh, we’ll buy your textbooks for you, and you can enroll in our classes.” In other words, we would like to get the per capita money for counting your children as part of our system. But in the process, they’ll be coming at your childrens’ hearts and minds. That’s a danger.
We got a call from mom in Alaska who told me the state will buy her textbooks for her; they just can’t have any Christian content, can’t have any religious content. And you know that’s a temptation, that’s a hard decision, to think about: “Well, you know, we go to church and we talk about the Lord and surely it would be all right.” But it’s that influence in the children’s minds as they’re studying this material.
And certainly dual enrollment is not wrong, but we have to be aware of the influences there. We’ve heard stories of one-sided college textbooks being used; and we know at least one person who has bought our curriculum as a counterbalance to what their child was going to be getting out of those books. So we must continue to be vigilant, just not fearful.
Jesus taught us the most important commandment. It is the perfect guide for parents in every decision they make about what to teach their children, who should teach their children, and what influences they should allow.
And he answered,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbor as yourself.”
Parents can ask: Will this book or curriculum pull my child toward God or away from Him? Will this potential teacher be a good example of loving God and loving our neighbors? Will this activity help my child love God more? Will my children change the world or will the world change my children? What will this potential curriculum, lesson, course, teacher, or activity do to my child’s heart?
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.
Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.
Thank you! Such clarity with this scripture!