Prior to 1963 the school district of Abington Township, Pennsylvania had this statement in their public policy:
Each school…shall be opened by the reading, without comment, of a chapter in the Holy Bible…Participation in the opening exercises..is voluntary. The student reading the verses from the Bible may select the passages and read from any version he chooses…There are no prefatory statements, no questions asked or solicited, no comments or explanations made and no interpretations given at or during the exercises. The students and parents are advised that the student may absent himself from the classroom or, should he elect to remain, not participate in the exercises.
I grew up in a very authoritarian household. My parents were extremely strict and ultra conservative. As a result, as I’ve stated in previous posts such as Baby in the Corner I will ill equipped to deal with the “real” world. Shy and socially awkward, I didn’t cope well with others not having been raised with the same morals and values.
I absolutely did not want my kids to experience that social ineptitude so they’ve been wildly exposed with proper supervision and limits to the world. (I think my ex-husband feared I might go a bit too far in the opposite direction, but I’m happy to report that I found a happy medium.) But because of this, I never felt the urge or need to teach Bible in our now 8 years of homeschooling. I figured they would get enough of that at church without me shoving it down their throats.
I was wrong. Very wrong. And even though I am confident my children know what’s right and what’s wrong, and how to handle themselves in more questionable situations without giving in to pressure, I have failed miserably in giving them a “solid as a rock foundation.” Somehow I lost sight of the fact that it is not our works that save us, it is not our ability to follow the rules, it’s the grace of God. We cannot earn it, we cannot steal it, it has been given freely, sacrificially.
It’s been a hard road for me to come to this conclusion and I pray that I am not too late. But now our daily school session starts like those in Abington Township from those many years ago. We start with God’s word, the Bible. We start with reading it and thinking about it. And while I may, on occasion, add my two cents, I am mostly prayerfully silent as I leave it to God to open their eyes and meet them where they are at.
All I can do is guide and point, pray and be there. God will do the rest. I have found my happy medium between shoving my faith down their throats and introducing them to God’s love through His word. Have you introduced your child to your God? Have you given them the one and only tool they need to know Him better? If not, I challenge you to do so today.