I believe in education.* I truly desire for all children to have the opportunity and privilege of a good education. But let’s face it, the United States of America is not exactly knocking the ball out of the park when it comes to educating the masses.
What’s the problem? Is it curriculum? Is it funding? Is it standards? Is it lack of testing? No, none of these are the main problem.
Although we live in one of the best public school districts in the nation (it’s true, year in and year out, Newseek, Forbes, and others say so), we choose to homeschool. We do this for a very strategic reason: we believe that no one cares more about our children’s development than us, their parents.
This is the problem with education in America: parents.
I don’t recall when I first heard of Voddie Baucham but we did have the privilege of seeing him live at the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis back in 2006. During that same timeframe I called him and talked with him about twenty-five minutes. He was gracious and I recall our conversation went very well. What I cannot recall is why I called him in the first place!
I started reading his first book, The Ever-Loving Truth, but did not finish it, which is nothing new in my world. This book, Family-Driven Faith, which I purchased through the Amazon Kindle Store and read over three devices (my iPad, my iPhone, and my wife’s Kindle Fire), was more engaging to me because of my interest in the subject matter. Two areas of interest drove me to read this book: (1) how to do a better job as the spiritual leader of my home and (2) how to more effectively lead our church to equip parents in discipling their children. Family-Driven Faith is the only book I have ever read that that I can recall addresses these two issues, and Baucham does so boldly and directly.
Sure, it’s self-serving to post this, but it’s definitely a pattern I’ve seen through the years:
. . . I once overheard a visitor to one of our services tell this story to a young father. He said, “This morning you brought your child to be given over to the Lord. I did that once too. But let me urge you from the bottom of my heart, don’t do to your child what I did to mine. As he grew up, he listened to me criticize the pastor year after year. As a consequence, I turned off my boy to the church and to ministers, and today he is far from God.”
– C. John Miller, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church, p. 34
(HT: Chris Brauns)
One of my good longtime friends, Ben Phillips, is my guest for this post. He recently penned this excellent piece on modesty. Ben is currently serving as the Family Ministry Team Leader at the Arkansas Baptist Convention.
Modest Choices by Ben Phillips
Gaze at the TV, view a hit music video, examine a magazine, saunter through the mall, (dare I say enter a sanctuary?) and it’s easy to observe that modesty is not the fashion trend in today’s American culture. A 2007 report by the American Psychological Association on the sexualization of girls reveals the negative consequences of this pervasive societal drift.
As a father of a teenage daughter and two sons, I’ve wrestled with this issue from a biblical perspective. One writer quotes, “modesty is more about the heart than the hemline.” In order to apprehend modesty correctly, one must inform the heart with Scripture.
Do you ever read something and say, “I wish I had come up with that?” This is really good, and SO true.