"In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, [if we remove the Bible from schools] I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and stake so little pains to prevent them." ~Benjamin Rush, "The Father of the Public Schools under the Constitution"This quote really struck me the other day when I read it as I considered: 1. how different our society would be if we continued to teach the precepts of the Bible for the benefit of man's conscience and thus a minimal crime rate, as well as the avoidance of millions of tax dollars wasted on the imprisonment and rehabilitation of these immoral criminals only to have them offend again; and 2. the responsibility we, as parents, have to teach our children the truths, morality, and character of scripture. As nice as it would be to have this taught in the public school system and therefore countering the the immorality we now face as a culture (or avoiding it altogether had the Bible never been stripped as a school textbook), it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to teach their children. How many Christians have their children enrolled in the public school system and never supplement their education with God's word? We can't allow our minds to be wholly influenced by others, especially when scripture is totally absent. You are responsible, mom and dad, if you don't teach them, who will?
I hope I am not coming across preachy or self-righteous. I know that you may have no other choice but to have your children in public school and some are even called to public school. So, please, don't feel attacked. I love you and wish the very best for you. Please, though, as you send your children to their respective schools, please spend the time at home to teach them the Bible. We mustn't depend on the one hour at church on Sunday or the 2 hours at youth group. These things are both great, but it is mom and dad's responsibility to guide your children into truth.
"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them. I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." ~Deuteronomy 30:14-20"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." ~Matt. 6:33. If we put God first, then everything else will fall into place. Moses brought down 10 commandments from the mountain, but Jesus summed it up in 2. 1. Love God, 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Sometimes, focusing on one thing automatically encompasses a multitude of other things. If we focus on teaching our children scripture, then they will gain character, morality, wisdom, knowledge... The Bible encompasses all.
"For nearly half a century, I have anxiously and critically studied the Bible and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new. Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive- both to the wise and the ignorant. Were you to ask me for one book affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the enquiring mind, I would still say the Bible. And should you ask again about the best philosophy, or the most interesting history, I would still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the alpha and omega of knowledge." ~Elias BoudinotKnow your Bible, Mommy and Daddy. It is wholly satisfying for you and will be a treasure for your children. And as we, individually, teach morality and character to ourselves and those we influence, we can change the course of this nation.
A wonderful mentor mom and servant to Jesus, Sally Clarkson, that I love to glean from often says, "In the absence of Biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture." We can make this change. Reagan said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." So, what will your dinner conversation be tonight?
Tonight, we are planning to share with the boys the story of Saul's conversion. When Saul was persecuting Christians, he was really persecuting Jesus. What an interesting concept for the little ones to understand. What is a goad? Saul was blind for three days...that's the same amount of time Jesus was in the tomb before he arose! Do you think Ananias was afraid to go see Saul? What is baptism and is your child interested in making that decision? Saul had a major turn around: Instead of killing Christians (share about the death of Stephen), he was now serving and defending them (and Jesus).
Love you, sweet moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas. Run your race well so that in the end, Jesus will say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord." ~Matt. 25:23