27 April 2008

Camping and Training Up Children

Dad and Grandad took Monk and Tic Tac on their first camping trip this weekend. I thought that Monk would be so germ-o-phobic that he would want a backpack full of wipes and concerned about the diseases he could get by not taking a shower for one night!

For Tic-Tac- I was expecting to have to call in a helicopter to rescue him from the top of a tree that he climbed up but not able to get down.
I was close on latter one: I overheard Tic Tac tell Monk "just push the boat out with me in it, I can catch fish out in the middle easier!"

To commemorate our first official camp-out, I gave them both a compass and a special little light with a white and red light. Late into the night they were both using their compasses and their lights in the woods. There were other boys who were there with their Game-boys, PSPs, iPods, etc. There were others who were playing football and fishing also. However, there were two older men who had brought 'adopted' boys that either did not have a dad to bring them or whose dad were deployed overseas.

During the weekend, they both made comments about how impressed they were with Monk and TicTac and how they were so interested in figuring things out together as brothers, involved in the 'outdoors', and how polite and knowledgeable they were with their compasses.

I am so proud of my boys. Even though the homeschoolers had been there all day Friday, we got there after the evil public school let out. That meant there were a few of us who had to set up in the less desirable areas. But for only one night? I've camped in worse areas!

R and I have stopped counting how many people have made comments about how impressed they are with our boys. We know that God calls and convicts people to many different ways to teach and raise up children.

The last time I checked, there is no command in Scripture that says "Thou shalt instruct thy children until the 18th year age in thy home setting and deem all other methods as evil." We are commanded to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but the decision to homeschool or not is up to individual families to decide. Sometimes when we are around very committed homeschooling families, we are made to feel that we are living in sin by not making the same decision for our family. We did not make our decision lightly and we are aware that we are responsible to train our children. However, I do read passages where many mighty men of God were trained in the local 'schools'.

Daniel was probably 12-14 years old when he was carted off to Babylon and was enrolled in the Babylon Independent School District where King Nebuchadnezzar was the Superintendent. God was faithful!

Also, I believe that Jesus also grew up in the Nazareth Public School System- of course back then it was run by the local Rabbi and they were 'enrolled' until they reached the age of manhood. As did most other boys in the Jewish culture like Peter, James, John, and Andrew.

We are called to be the salt and light: Matthew 5:13-16
13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

My boys are being salt and light in their world. They are sealed by God's Grace because they have professed Jesus as their Savior. That's the bottom line! Everthing else in life is for God to lead them. God has sealed them and belong to Him! God has blessed us with the privilege to be their earthly caretakers, aka 'parents'. We take our calling to train them in the Lord seriously.

We do not 'worry', as we learned this morning in church. Worry is a sin! God has led us to entrust our children to Him, and He will lead us in the way to raise them. Whichever way He leads us, we will never have regrets or feel guilty! We do pray often about how to raise our children, and we want to be faithful stewards of the blessings God has entrusted to our care.

Feeling guilty or worrying after obeying God's instruction? Seems to show a lack of faith or one who is confused.
Hmm... kind of like asking someone if at the grocery store is out of bananas and the reply is yes, we have no bananas. Huh?

Or to quote anyone who has given or received directions while driving (especially with your wife): Driver: Do I turn left here? Passenger: Right. Hmm...

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