Gift 40 – Homeschool Watch (1)

In preparation for parenthood I’ve been trying to “tune in” to the homeschooling happening around me.   I don’t mean “homeschooling” as we often think of the word, rather, the underneath lessons parents are teaching their children everyday through their words, habits, actions, attitudes, etc.   Research continually points to inescapable fact that parents are the biggest shapers of their child’s identity—in short, they’re the most important teachers.   So if this easily missed homeschool curriculum is unfolding in every car ride, conflict and conversation, what exactly is being taught? I will be retelling the stories of the very best homeschooling examples as I see them…

As I drove to school one morning I saw that someone had rearranged the letters on the church sign right across from the Holland Christian parking lot. Some neighborhood kids must have thought it would be funny to write something inappropriate and unashamedly offensive. Two cars in front of me, a sliver minivan slowed before pulling into the church parking lot. I watched as a woman and her middle school son got out of the vehicle, walked over to the sign, and together changed the words back to the original message.

Talk about a powerful homeschool lesson. Maybe this mom was intentionally teaching her son in this moment, but more likely she was just doing a small act that needed to be done and invited her son to join along. Either way, what I was seeing went far beyond changing the words on a church sign.   This mom was showing her son that when you see something wrong, something that hurts others, you don’t just drive by. We don’t merely shake our heads and talk about how wrong or upsetting something is, but we get out of the car. What an attitude to have towards injustices both locally and globally, worldwide and close to home.  Though probably unaware of the significance, this young man was receiving an incredible education before the school day even started.

Stay tuned for more homeschool lessons coming soon!

Advertisements

Gift 5 – Action Figures

“[We need to] just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the ‘do’ part of faith…love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.” – Bob Goff

“Christian life is action: not speculating, not debating, but doing.” – Frederick W. Robertson (1816 – 1853)

“Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

luke

When I was a kid I collected action figures almost obsessively. I would heap blankets on the floor of my bedroom and stage “mountain” battles between my GI-Joes and Star Wars toys. The cool thing about action figures is that the characters are made as though halfway through a motion—slashing with a lightsaber, running to the crime scene, flying on a skateboard while tossing a pizza in the air (Michelangelo the ninja turtle). They’re doing something.

Have you ever met a kid who wanted to play with an opinion figure? Me neither.

Imagine a boy getting his toys together for a meeting. “Okay guys, today we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of being a polypropylene composite.” Doesn’t happen. We’d rather do something. The reason companies make action figures instead of opinion figures is because no one ever wanted to play with an opinion figure. There’s a word kids use to describe things like this that are all words and no action: boring.

In Matthew 25, Jesus separates all people in to one of two groups—one group going with him and his father, the other group going away to be punished. The folks who get to go with Jesus are the ones who fed the hungry and thirsty, invited strangers to become friends, clothed the naked, took care of the sick, and visited the imprisoned. In other words, the ones who did stuff. The interesting thing is that Jesus didn’t ask the people on his right what they thought about predestination or about Christians getting tattoos, shockingly, he didn’t even ask them what they believed. He simply saw what they had done and knew right away what was in their hearts.

Son, when Christ returns I want you to be found—like an action figure—in the middle of doing something. Being dangerous isn’t about having certain ideas, or agreeing with other Christians, or even just about believing certain things, but about a heart so filled with love for God that it comes out. Sometimes Christian culture (Christian school, church, etc.) can be breeding grounds for opinion figures; boring Christians who talk too much (I’m guilty!), but the Bible is like an exercise DVD in that it’s no good being passive. Imagine watching “Power Body Strength Training” while sitting on the couch eating French fries. What’s the point? Likewise, Jesus asks time and time again, “What’s the point of hearing my words if you’re not going to do them?”

So lets make a deal: I’ll stop writing, you stop reading. Receive the love of God with open arms and go do something about it!