As I left for the Texas conference, I said, "Joy, do you think you could do your persuasive speech on youtube so I could share it this weekend?" and so she sat down in her bedroom, recorded on her computer and spoke her thoughts. I give you my sweet daughter, Joy.
There are many philosophies of discipling children and either sequestering them as young adults, or allowing them to foray into this world, and so I do not want to create division with this article. Each family must walk by faith and do what is best for their children.
However, Clay and I have always been about missions and discipleship and making an impact in our world. So, our pathways are covered with much prayer, dependence on the Lord, and humility, hoping that our labor will not be in vain. It is not our desire to offend or to separate, but to help educate others who want to know our own plan for discipleship in our home.
I learned long ago that either a person is growing and owning a purpose and dream and working towards goals or they are becoming passive, disinterested and slowing down, moving toward death of soul and faith. As a mom, this principle works itself out in this way. Whether I like it or not, this is the fallen place, (Jesus said in this world you have tribulation--Satan has been allowed to wreak havoc in this arena.) And so, I have to train my child with this in mind--that some day they will have to take their place in the battle, someday they will be in the war and either I am preparing them to fight back, to bring light to their darkness or they will become victims in the battle.
How is this accomplished? Of course a whole book could be written about this, (Educating the Whole Hearted Child), so there are many aspects I will not cover here today. We started out with our children giving them a strong foundation of purity, innocence, an understanding of goodness, righteousness, moral strength.We taught them our values and scripture that helped them tie these values to scripture. (The 24 Family Ways) We surrounded them with beauty, creation, scripture memory, feasts, relational love and serving of one another. They developed their soul appetites on what was good and right and true. This is the phase of investing in their foundation and pouring in an understanding of what is right and wrong.
Practically speaking, our children found our home to be a place that was a haven of fun, rest, goodness with dress up clothes and capes and swords and aprons, princess dresses and kitchens--lots of pretending at the areas that they would grow up to be. (mostly gathered from good will stores.)
They grew up on hundreds of books and stories that filled their souls and brains with captivating tales of goodness, bravery, heroism, faith, sweet family values, friendship and so the very soil of their soul grew in grace. We developed their appetites on reading and stories--to learn to love them, before they would ever be shaping their souls on media and machines. What children learn to love first they will love forever.
LIttle by little as they became older, we loosened the reigns of our own authority to give them some freedom make decisions within the boundaries of our advice and instruction and exposed them little by little to the world with us at their sides--having non-Christians over to our home; going into the world with them seeing us interact--(in political places, the arts, movies that we discussed, teaching them how to behave and giving them confidence of how to invest their messages that they had been building in a gracious way, getting jobs in the public arena.) We discussed and let them verbalize their own convictions based on articles we read together, issues we discussed that we knew they would encounter in the world, all at our dining table and in our home. We made time for them, mentored them, took them out for dates with mom or dad to have their own time of talking to us about all that was going on.
Next we looked for places to send them for training and exposure with others--Summit Ministries 2 week trainings--a must for our children--world view and apologetics camp to strengthen young adults in their convictions; a discipleship group at church, a discipleship Bible study with a godly friend; a world view class in the evenings with dinner with their peers in our home.
All of these plans prepared our children to be ready to take their place in their world as Daniels in Babylon--they perceived themselves as warriors, not as refugees who should hide and sequester themselves away. Jesus said, "Do not take them out of the world but keep them from the evil one." We are to all take our stand bringing his light and redemption in a lost and broken world." A light should not be put under a bushel, but lifted up so all can come to the light.
And so, Joy, struggling through years of training, learning how to manage people with different values that she encountered when discipling a group of girls younger than her for 2 years, sharing her faith in different arenas, putting up with disappointments of others compromising their morality, entered her university classes this year, armed with wisdom, knowledge and compassion for the lost--who do not even know what to believe or how to be whole. So I give you one of her speeches that she is giving in the tournaments this year. It came from years of intentional preparation and training.
PLEASE JOIN US WEDNESDAY EVENING FOR A FACEBOOK PARTY, WHERE WE WILL BE ANSWERING QUESTIONS, AND DISCUSSING OUR PHILOSOPHY OF DISCIPLESHIP AND EDUCATION FROM EDUCATING THE WHOLE HEARTED CHILD! INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND HERE.