When we started our homeschooling journey last year, we’ve met a number of homeschooling parents in Singapore. They are also Christian and a number of them rave about this Christian teaching methodology. I, too, desire my children to learn Jesus. So I went online and to find out more about this ‘methodology’. In a short while, I told my wife, “it is a good methodology but there is nothing Christian about it”
What so good about it? Well, it encourages the parents to help the children to focus on having meaningful conversations, have good manners, and read lots of books. Who doesn’t want that? The problem, for me, is that when someone says this is Christian-based and if Jesus is not in it, then it is not really Christian-based.
Do I want my kids to have good manners, to have good conversations with me, and to love reading? Of course. But you can do all these things without teaching about Jesus or the Bible.
Right now, I am working on my thesis for my Masters of Divinity. I am focusing on seeing Biblical parenthood as a means to disciple our children. I am re-reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Once again, my heart is gripped and humbled by the weight of responsibility laid upon me by God.
For me, this book is a great read. Why? Because Ted Tripp emphasizes that our job is to help our children address the heart issue as a parent. It ain’t just about changing behavior. We can have all the ‘right’ behavior, yet our heart is not right. Pharisees are examples of that.
So how do we do that? It is hard work and also requires praying to ask God for help. It is hard work because none of us want to talk about sins or to see that our children are born sinners, just like us. But if we take Jesus seriously and want our children to know that, then the only way is through the cross. The only way to get to the cross is when we realize our sinful nature, and all of us need help. The only help that comes through the cross.
For me, this is what Biblical Parenting is about. It ain’t just about telling stories of Noah’s ark or the 10 plagues or David versus Goliath. I am not saying not to tell these stories to our children. But the aim, the key of parenting, is to guide our child to know that he/she can only find completeness in Christ and Christ alone.
When my children see me, do they see me as someone who figures it out all? Who, by my own strengths, skills and talent can live my life without needing and relying on God? If so, then I have failed. I fail because they will see that you can live a ‘good’ life without Christ and without the cross. They may go to church, know all the right answers and do the right things. But until they come to realize they themselves need Christ, then all is for not. Worst, they may think they are righteous when it is through their own self-righteous actions.