Thursday, September 5, 2013

A dull blade for battle.

I'm going to start you off in this post with some interesting math figures.
    The average child in America spends 6 hours a day in school for 180 days per year, for 13 years. So 6 x 180=1,080 hours per year. Then 1080 x 13= 14,040 hours per child for k-12. Now, this is an estimation on time spent, so don't get your knickers in a twist. We won't count hours spent on projects, homework, etc. Like I said, we are using basic numbers here.  
Now I will give you a new set of numbers. If your child attends Bible class every single Sunday for a year and classes are an hour of instruction, that is about 52 hours per year. Let's multiply that from the time they are born until they are 18. So 52 x 18=936 hours in 18 years. That friends, is less than the amount of time spent in one year of school. So we wouldn't quite have graduated Kindergarten. If you want to add in an hour long bible class for every Wednesday night in there it would be roughly a total of 1872 hours from birth to 18 years....not quite enough to pass first grade. 

         Those numbers make you think. I understand that your child may spend more than that per week in the bible and I also understand that I am lumping things together and not dividing learning into subjects when I do the estimates for a school year. Yet, even with those things it is nothing short of shameful. Would we send our kids into the world with less than a 1st grade education? Certainly not! Then why do we think its ok for their knowledge of the Bible to be so sparse? We are sending our children to battle with blunt blades. How effective can this possibly be? 

        It might be argued that the children learn the Bible by watching you live it. While that is a noble idea, and there is something to be said for making your actions an example, I wonder if you would let them learn math by you living it. A lot of people use math more often than the Bible during the day and would still not find it acceptable.  Can we learn how to build a rocket by seeing one launched?  We need basic knowledge that is steadily built upon. 

        If we do want to talk about examples, let's look in the mirror for a moment. When was the last time your kids saw you sit down just to read the Bible? Or pray when it wasn't a meal? We must practice what we preach! Bible stories used to be common knowledge, even among non-church goers. Most of it has all but faded away from common knowledge. Most people I talk to about reading their Bible insist that it's just too difficult if a book, and they'll just trust a preacher to help them out with questions. Preachers can be wrong. They are human. It is OUR responsibility to study and sort truth from fiction. Look at acts 17:11. Personally I love to question everything and I even enjoy a good debate now and then with reasonable people. You learn so much by questioning. 

         Currently we live in a world where anything and everything you ever wanted to know and learn is at your fingertips.....except things like, compassion, honesty, and common sense. I think that some part of us feels we can look up what we need to know, when we need to know it. While that might be great for finding a recipe, it is not the same as having the knowledge tucked away in your heart. What is tucked in our hearts shows through in our everyday lives. 

          We are also a busy society. We profess to put God as #1, yet we talk to Him rarely and know so little of His letter written for us. I wonder how it would go over if we used the same level of "#1" with our spouses. I picture it going over like a pig without wings. I pray that if we find time for soccer, dance, piano, movies, and  baseball practice,  we can find time for teaching our children the word of God....and ourselves for that matter. 

        We are all in this. Our culture doesn't want us to teach our children all this "god stuff".  I've been told more than once that I should expose my children to everything and let them decide. More importantly, Satan doesn't want us to teach our children. Satan likes a nice, dull blade. 

       Don't know where to start? There are so many curriculums and programs out there, that it's crazy. Ask for help or suggestions. You don't have to spend money or get fancy. You have options, you just have to be willing to try something new and maybe even step outside of your comfort zone.  

       Do not be deceived into thinking that you know the stories, or know what you "need to know". It is our sword. We need to know it, how it moves, feels in our hands, and exactly how to handle it. There is always more to learn. Always. God will highlight different thoughts at different points of your life. Let God teach you.

         We need to sharpen the blades of our children and teach them how to keep it sharp.  Don't let them go to battle unarmed. The world is ready for them, ready to destroy them. They are our children, nieces, nephews....our future.  In fact, what do OUR blades look like? This is really about All of us, isn't it? How can we teach our children to sharpen their swords if we don't even know where ours is?? 


Let's get to work renewing and expanding our knowledge and handing it to the next generation as well. Let no one be unarmed. 


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