Monday, 17 June 2013

Children should know how to fight!

One ongoing temptation that parents face when considering schooling options is the desire to find somewhere 'nice and proper' for the littl'uns (where bullying and bragging, tantrums and teasing are at an absolute minimum). Another way to put this is that parents are always tempted to find somewhere 'perfect' (or in theological terms somewhere sinless) for their children's education. The main problem with this is that no such place exists. Not even in the most godly home/church/school. Wherever people are, there sin resides. Or as Solzhenitsyn memorably put it the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. One way the Bible illustrates this is by repeatedly showing us what godly behaviour looks like in a world full of sin. Think about it - why is the Bible so full of stories dripping in sin? Partly because humans are doyens of evil but also because the Bible wants to teach us that the issue is not so much the presence of sin but more the response to that sin. The unbelieving world has various futile solutions that try and deal with our inescapable sin problem (including pretending it doesn't exist) but the most satisfying answer is the Biblical one: learning to love and trust the LORD in the face of conflict. In other words evil is there to be conquered much more than it is to be evaded. Christian parents must not fall into the trap of seeking a 'perfect' setting for their children's learning rather they should be seeking a setting that equips their children for the Fight. Our children should not be like Frodo and his 3 companions who when each given a sharp sword for their journey across Middle-earth are a bit bewildered:

Fighting had not before occurred to any of them as one of the adventures in which their flight would land them
Put another way, Christians should not be building fortresses for their children to hide in rather they should be showing them how to carry a strong shieldalong with a gleaming sword.

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