Thursday, July 8, 2010

Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 9)

My wife, oldest daughter and I attended the Christian Family Conference in Denver this past week. It was an amazing time of encouragement with other Christian parents – most of whom are devoted to homeschooling and home-training their children to be godly men and women, prepared to take on the world with a multi-generational vision. I’m posting some of the notes I took from the conference sessions. Some are sure to fly in the face of the traditions and cultures which most people would consider normal in today’s culture. But these men who spoke to us used the Scriptures, and their lives and the lives of their children are a testament to their integrity and boldness on these topics. Their words motivate me to continue to raise my children in a radical, counter-culture, God-fearing way.

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Chuck Black is an ex-test pilot turned homeschooling father. Really. He gave a lot of very practical lessons about raising our children in today’s world. One look at his family will demonstrate his success in the area of parenting – if you stop by his booth, his children are there running the show – they are polite, well-spoken, talented , and well on their way to becoming lights for God in a dark world.

Chuck did an excellent job of reinforcing my belief that it is the family, not church youth groups, that is responsible for developing maturity in our children. “Youth group” is a relatively modern creation. Our family often must choose between youth group activities…and being together as a family. We almost always choose the latter, and I believe that this is the biblical model. Please don’t get this wrong – I’m not saying that youth groups are inherently bad or evil – the point is that parental involvement should be the primary driver of spiritual and emotional maturity. Without it, youth group gatherings can be simply a pooling of immaturity with no real lasting value. When the parents abdicate the role of being the main spiritual mentors and enforcers in the family, the children are operating at a severe disadvantage.

“Equipping Your Children to Overcome the Cultural Pressures of Today” by Chuck Black

· One-hundred years ago, children transitioned to adulthood in a very short time, and at a young age. Today, we allow them seven to eight years of “teenage time”. This is a new invention – it didn’t used to be this way.

· Part of the reason is that there is a lot more time, money, and available entertainment in today’s society

· Children are maturing physically at an earlier age, but their spiritual and emotional maturity is coming later – this creates a maturity gap that is often filled with entertainment – and Satan is targeting this gap, instead of allowing the family to fill it

· Negative peer pressure and broken relationships exacerbate the maturity problem

· Problems in today’s society that need strong parenting in order to avoid them:

· 1) Large amounts of time are spent with immature youth – limit it, monitor it, or stop it!

· 2) Our children are culturally encouraged to spend time with, or have physical relationships with the opposite sex, without commitment – don’t allow it!

· 3) Young people are culturally discouraged to marry at an early age – this creates physical pressures and may increase the length of the maturity gap

· 4) Our children live in an entertainment-oriented world – one way we can push back against this is to help our children discover the joy and accomplishment in labor

· 5) We have culturally established academic education to take place outside of the home – parents are rarely seen as teachers anymore, and this is a fairly recent change in our society (over the last 150 years). Homeschooling restores this area to its proper place.

· 6) We have culturally established spiritual education to take place outside of the home – many parents see Sunday school or youth group as being the prime places where their children will learn about God, and so have abdicated the role of being the spiritual leaders of their family, in favor of a youth minister or another parent.

· When you see a young man or woman who is especially mature for their age, ask yourself – did they get that way because of what happened to them at school, at church…or at home?

· Chuck Black’s wife calculates that homeschooling allows her to spend 15,680 more hours with each of her children than if she had sent them to public school. There is a lot of mentoring and heartfelt communication that can take place during those hours.

· The responsibilities of parents toward their children: 1) Lead your children to the Lord, 2) Train your children, 3) Discipline your child, 4) Equip your child, 5) Protect your children from physical, emotional, and spiritual harm, 6) Carefully expose your children to important things – keep them innocent, but not ignorant, 7) Disciple your children in the Lord – and be purposeful about this, 8) Launch your children toward a target

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Back to Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 1)
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1 comment:

Sierra said...

can I use your picture for a christian event's poster? Your help is very much appreciated!