Fun Family Time, Great Food, and Home School Encouragement

Coming up at Cherokee Cove is the annual Home School Family Camp Out. Go HERE to see more details about this event and sign up today!

I will be teaching on the following two topics in four sessions:

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home

Are you fed up with the ugly talk and fighting in your home? Amazingly, it is easier to be polite and patient with those outside the family than those we love the most! A major part of preparing our children for life is teaching them how to interact with others. In this session, we will apply biblical conflict resolution principles to the relationships in your home. You will receive practical tools for how to teach your children to handle conflict (and how to practice it yourself!).

How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated

Are you tired of working so hard to get your child to do their work or make the right choices? When will they be self-motivated? How can you help them develop this? Discipline is when parents provide external motivation for right choices (which is a necessary part of the process). Discipleship is when parents help children develop their own motivation for making the right choices because of their love for Christ. In this session, we will discuss how to make the difficult transition from discipline to discipleship. You will receive practical tips on helping your child develop godly self-motivation.

The Perfect Number of Children

I had so many hits on my last post, "New Life at Our House," I was suspicious that people thought it was an announcement that we were having another baby. Well, it wasn't; but this is! The perfect number is seven, thus we now have "the perfect number of children." I'm sure you know I don't mean that seven is the perfect number of children to have. But that brings up a good question and provides an opportunity to explain why we have so many children. How many children should a couple have?

There are many cultural assumptions that cause people to answer this question very differently than we do. (You all can check back with us in about 20 years to see whether any of our children starved to death, were neglected, or received an inadequate education). The perfect number of children for each couple is the number that God blesses them with when they start with the principles of Scripture and allow God to lead them in discerning how those principles apply to their own lives. That is our confidence and conviction in the face of criticism. It is important that believers in our present culture dig deeply into their reasoning and assumptions and be sure they are openly following the teaching and leading of God and not drifting along with the masses.

Garden Update

100_2489As I tweeted on Saturday, the whole family (except for those unable to work) spent all day working in the garden  together. And I really mean all day. We dealt with some complaining at first, of course. But something amazing transpired as the day passed. The kids really caught the vision for our garden and taking pride in their work. By the end of the day, attitudes of helpfulness and contentment abounded.

It helped that we were able to harvest some produce as well. It wasn't much, though, since not only do we have a later planting time up here, but we also had three weeks of rain when we could plant. You can see the beginnings of some cantaloupe on the left. We harvested some sugar snaps, green beans, and zucchini.



"Train Up a Child"

“Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6

The definition of “train” in the Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains is “disciple, i.e., broadly instruct in accordance with proper rules of conduct and behavior which would include both principles and teaching holy ritual.”

Disciple your children. Teach your children. Training is primarily teaching. But it cannot be one class, or one semester, or only in class. Training is life teaching. Discipleship implies and walking through life together and giving instructions along the way. Discipleship would naturally include example and demonstration as well. This is also teaching.

The other day, Dana and I discussed this question: “Why are we educating our children?” Education cannot be an end in itself because knowledge is an incomplete virtue. Knowledge is valuable and important, but the most significant issue is what one does with his knowledge. Many have wrought great evil and destruction with their knowledge. Children are to be trained in the way they should “go.” The main concern is not merely what they know, but what they do. Thus, we must broaden the view of Christian education to wisdom. Wisdom adds righteousness and fear of God to knowledge. God’s purposes for us are to love him and love others. All education and knowledge, then, is gained in order to fulfill God’s purposes.

Training a child has this broader goal in mind for it does not simply convey knowledge, it teaches a way of life – “in the way he should go.” It is a way, a path that goes on and on. It is not just a particular skill or behavior. As the definition above states, it includes principle and holy ritual. Principles are eternal truths that transcend particular circumstances. Principles inform wise and right decisions no matter what the particular problem or choice one faces. “The way” is one that will last one’s entire life. Thus, when the disciples are old, they will still be able to follow it.

This way is not a personal, traditional, or cultural way. It is the way one “should” go. This assumes a right way, a transcendently true way. Therefore, the child is taught God’s way – the way of righteousness, love, and wisdom.