The Bible As Bromo
Immediate gratification is in! It’s a Clinton specialty. Weedless, uniformly green lawns are required by our neighbors. Burger King has new competition at Boston Market and the super market deli. Ten minute oil changes take too long.
People live in hard pursuit. The race for excellence is all consuming, especially in the field of home education. Parents have been drafted to do what they thought others were supposed to do. With the kids strapped in, moms ply the freeways with fuzz-busters and crash bags turned on. It’s a personal choice. Maybe it’s productive and even necessary for some. The race can make for an impressive record when all the activities, lessons and events are cataloged.
Speed and efficiency have their place, but there is an area where a strict speed limit should be enforced. This is in the teaching of Bible to our children.
Unlocking The Treasure Inside
The Bible has to be approached reverently if it is to yield its precious fruit. Faith needs time to listen and learn. The Holy Spirit operates on His own time schedule which seldom involves the fast lane.
Parents sometimes say that they want their children to have their questions answered. They demand courses that deal with "teen" problems or the specific issues that plague their particular family. The Bible has the answers, but not often in "digest" form.
Who Shall Have The Preeminence?
The preeminence of the child is too often thrust ahead of God’s honor. We want our answers and our problems solved now. We too often hear that "Learning all this Old Testament history stuff is too boring. What does it have to do with me, anyway?"
Instead of giving in to this protest children should be taught to receive instruction, to wait on the Lord with patience. They should no be allowed to dictate the parameters of what they are willing to hear. Dessert should continue to be served last, after peas and porridge.
Unfolding the Biblical message with all its background, personality and profoundness should be the stimulation, not me and my present needs. Answers are there and they are abundant. Solutions will be forthcoming to those whose ears are open.
Life’s explanations are constructed, however, of a more complex fabric than the latest "how to" book or sensational devotional guide. This is the reason that Covenant Home provides the more weighty (read boring) studies of God’s Word in its curriculum programs.
The problem is revealed by impatience. "My teenager needs answers, she can’t see why she should have to learn about Abraham and Sarah." Extreme yes, but it makes the point. This girl really needs to learn about Sarah’s quiet spirit and how she called Abraham Lord. (I Peter 3:4-6)
Engagement With The Word
Laziness is a worse offender. "I can’t keep my boys interested. Their attention spans reach only to the ends of their eyelashes." People demand pictures, videos, audios, CDs, anything but wrestling with the Scriptures themselves. Modern technology is a gift of God. It has its place among all His other favors, but what is needed is an engagement with the Word. This means quiet, orderly work and endurance.
Time is another obligation; ten, twenty, thirty minutes, whatever you are capable of mastering. Jesus says, "Seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened to you." He means to seek Him. Learn the character of God. Make the effort to focus on the Person of Christ, on the very words used in Scripture to describe Him and His works. No four color illustrations, no video to push into the slot, just concentration.
How To Receive Instruction
Children should be taught to know how to receive instruction, not just ask for me and mine, now! Waiting on God is part of their answer, not trying to use His Word like the Yellow Pages. Their solution is in learning to build a sound structure of the knowledge of God, not just looking for quick rationalization bytes.
"Now" is the operational adverb, "me" the duty noun of the on-line generation. But, you can break this failure syndrome. Study Arthur Pink’s, The Attributes Of God, or a similar work. This will help focus your child on God and His majesty, rather than on me and mine. It will emphasize the bigger picture over the myopic self.
Rev. Dale K. Dykema