One time, I told a dad who seemed adamant about keeping his kids in all Christian settings until they went to college that he might want to rethink that. He was missing an opportunity. An opportunity to both train them to go as well as coach them as they go. The issue we face as parents in church culture is NOT that we are against sending our kids to college as disciple makers. The issue is that we are not challenged nor equipped to do so.
That dad asserted that he wanted his kids to “thirst for the Lord.” He described their current trajectory as intended to ensure just that. I suggested that keeping his kids in Christian environments only for 18 years would be like sitting them around a fountain drink dispenser for 18 years. This parental directive would ensure their lack of thirst, not actually make them thirsty.
Question to ponder _ is it a sin to want to “go deeper?”
It is a common statement heard in American church culture. “The teaching to live on mission is okay, but we really want to go deeper.” What does that even mean? We may be missing the principle that both eastern and western proverbs espouse and both educators and leaders assert – LEARNERS LEARN BEST WHEN THEY TEACH WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING. When we live what we are learning with and among those to whom we have been asked to “teach all that [Jesus] commanded,” then we learn well. Then we “go deeper.”
For the kids that become so familiar with the Scriptures because of constant access and instruction, the temptation will most certainly arise to “go deeper” intellectually rather than to “go further” into life, into relationships. There is nothing wrong with intellectualism, just isolated intellectualism. That’s the stuff that real-life bad guys are made of, not to mention James Bond villains. Parents ought to consider being careful of overexposure to learning without outlets for living. And not just living personally, but living with others.
We as parents might want to look to equip kids to read the Scriptures as though God is relational not just some concept, as though living WITH God is more important than living FOR God, as though their goal is to continue being a learnER rather than considering themselves the learnED, as though wisdom is not knowing more about God but rather knowing better how to imitate Him in our everyday relationships and choices, and as though they are a sent one rather than just a saved one.
May we learn AND live the ways of Jesus with our kids and pray they will go and do the same.
WEDNESDAY _ what I am not suggesting with this suggestion.
FRIDAY _ “the three roads” written by my son.