Tuesday, May 30, 2006


In Psalm 127, children are referred to as arrows in the hands of a warrior and that a blessed man has a quiver full of them. Often, this analogy to arrows is interpreted as meaning we should spend their childhood aiming them carefully so when they are released into adulthood, they will fly straight to the target.

My daughter purchased a bow and arrow set a couple of summers ago. We quickly found out that arrows require a lot of work...and these were only cheap target-practice arrows. They must be kept clean. They must have their feathers kept straight. They must be kept balanced. Their tip must be kept sharp. And on top of the maintenance, they are continually getting lost...and must be searched for since small allowances don't allow for easy replacement! Higher-end hunting arrows are far more complicated and require far more care...and are far more expensive as well.

This got me to thinking about how we interpret the analogy.

The common interpretation allows that we only release the arrow once toward a target. In the real world of archery, though, the arrow is aimed, released to the target, and then retrieved to be cleaned up and used again. How might this apply to the raising of our children?

I propose that we should be training up our children in the same manner that an accomplished archer cares for his arrows: sharpening, balancing, straightening, etc. Then we should do as the archer does: carefully aim and release toward a target. Assuming the archer is a hunter, the arrow would do massive damage to its target. We should be releasing our sharpened, balanced, straightened children toward a target in the world to do damage to the kingdom of this world in the name of the Kingdom of God! But we aren't done. The archer will track down his target, recover his arrow, repair it, and use it again. So our children should be recovered to our home, "repaired" as needed, and launched again to do battle.

This is all done before they leave the nest for good. They are sent out to minister in the name of the Lord. They are recovered and rejuvenated and sent out again. Think of the experiences they will have. Think of the training they will get. Think of the ways they will see God work in their lives. Think of the mark they will leave in the world. Think of the way they will be significantly different than the other teens of this world. Think of the Gospel impact!

I will never think of the analogy of the arrow the same again....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Primary Consideration

As a Christian, my primary consideration at all times should be to please my Father in Heaven, to be in His will. How do I know what that will is? As I posted on my "Get Serious" blog (link on the left), we all too often look for God's will in terms of feelings or circumstances instead of looking where we will actually find it: His Holy Scripture! You can guarantee that if you are ordering your life around the principles, patterns, and precepts of the Scriptures, that you are completely within God's will! Pretty simple, right?

Simple in concept...a bit more difficult in execution. Some things must be studied carefully in order to properly interpret Scripture. That requires work, diligent work.

So...for instance...what does God value, and how does that relate to the education of our children? I'm sure I will post an incomplete list...but it's a start!

God values our hearts. He wants us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. That sounds pretty comprehensive, if you ask me.

God values our "fear." i.e. we are often commanded to "fear the Lord." He wants our complete attention. When one "fears" God, then one can rest assured that he will give God his complete attention!

God values wisdom. What kind of wisdom? Not the wisdom of the world, but rather God's own wisdom as grasped from the Scriptures, both through doctrine and through the wisdom literature of the OT.

God values our obedience. Over and over we are told that our love for the Lord is shown in our obedience to His commands.

So...our hearts, our "fear," God's wisdom, and our obedience. That's a good start. Then, what are the implications to educating our children?

First, in no way is any school's (public or private) scope and sequence going to help us raise our children in a manner that encourages them to give their whole heart to God, to fear the Lord, to gain godly wisdom, or to obey the Lord's commands. If we are constantly comparing our efforts at home to what is happening to those in the school system or in private school, we will be drawn away from what the Lord truly wants by focusing our attention on what the world says is important.

Second, God gave us children with an end in mind...a life He already has planned out for them. Our job is to help discover that life with them by carefully observing them, working with them, noting their strengths and weaknesses...and then guiding them carefully to an end, always squaring what we are doing with the roles as defined by Scripture.

And this then helps to clarify why my blog is titled the way it is: We as homeSCHOOLers tend to spend way too much time focusing on trying to do "school" (the same scope and sequence as the world) better than the schools themselves, all while practicing an avoidance ethic for all the practices and ideas we don't like. This tends to cause us to ignore that which is truly important and truly desired by God...the discipling of our children. If it happens at all, it is usually a sloppy second to the primary goal of competing with the group school.

Thus my hope that more and more people will rename what they are doing with their children from "Homeschooling" to "HomeDiscipling!"

If we carry out that discipling, I really think we will raise children who will make a massive impact for the Kingdom as they grow.

I think God would be pleased....

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Long View

Ahhh...children. When they arrive into this world, there is nothing like it. We look down the corridor of time and hope. Hope? For what? For most of us, we don't have a concrete goal for the raising of our children. Oh sure, we may have some general thoughts such as "Raise them to be Godly," but for the most part, it isn't concrete nor is there any plan for how to get there if it is.

So for the parent who loves Jesus and wants to raise children who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength...what do we do? What is our goal? How do we pursue it?

That's the general idea of this blog...challenging the typical parenting ideas that are so prevalent in our society. Could it be that those very parenting ideas are why children, teens, and young adults are the way they are, and thus our society is degenerating at every turn?

Do I have all the answers? No. But I'll start and end as best I can with Scripture. Only there can we have any hope of getting it right.