Saturday, July 23, 2011

What a Wonderful World It Would Be...

Don't much about history.
Don't know much biology.
Don't know much about a science book.
Don't know much about the French I took.
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be.

I have a good marriage. No, I have a great marriage. And I think it is because Brett studies me. He knows what makes me tick. He knows what makes my world go 'round.

He knows that while some chaps wear Polo, I prefer my men in eau de charcoal.
Because where there is charcoal, there is sure to be meat...

And one day last month, when I was having a grumpy day, Brett sauntered into the room and asked casually, "Do you have any chocolate?"
"Why?" I snapped.
"Oh, I guess I thought maybe you might need some today."
"Oh really?" I snarled.
"Um, yes," he smiled.

Wow. He knows that moons, tides, and his wife each have cycles, and he knows what tools help me survive. So he keeps me in chocolate as a rule.

Last week, for date night, he brought home True Grit, and I was pretty sure at that moment he had confused me with his other wife. He knows I detest westerns and mafia movies, and here was John Wayne staring at me from the dvd cover. Bummer.

"No, no, no," Brett insisted. "You will like this one. You will like the girl in here. Plus, it's Rooster Cogburn. You like Rooster Cogburn!"


But, you know what? He was right. I laughed out loud at the feisty female character. She was hilarious. And the movie was a delight.

Why did he know I would like it? Why did he insist, despite my protests? Why does that man keep me in chocolate? Because he is a student of me. He has majored in "NOEL," and he's passing with flying colors.

A good husband is a student of his wife. He is a servant-leader.

A few years ago, a woman published a book of tripe on being a helpmeet in which she discussed three types of men. Sadly, it was a thinly veiled attempt to justify her own knuckle-dragging, neanderthal spouse as a legitimate personality type. A 'command man' she called him. 'Caveman' would be more appropriate. And the caveman type is in serious need of a boatload of sanctification, though since the burning bed isn't a biblical option, I'm sure I don't know what that would entail.

Oh, I can hear the hen house now. Cluck, cluck! Our Noel is a feminist!

Aw, go peck your dirt.
It is precisely because I am not a feminist that I find her writing so tragic. For a woman married to a caveman must submit to her caveman. And I'll go ya' one better. If she wants to honor God, she also has to love and respect her caveman.

But I do not have to respect her caveman. Me with hands on hips, doing my cobra head. "I got five boys, and I ain't raisin' no command men, girlfriend."

[That book of nonsense, by the way, was written by a family whose parenting approach is nothing short of abuse. And if there were any justice in this world, they'd both be in jail as accessories to the murders of children who have died under this 'approach.' Seriously, I'd have no greater joy.]

A caveman is a tyrant.
And he destroys his home.
And he alienates his wife.
And he exasperates his children.

He is no student.
He is the master, the demi-god who speaks from on high, and when he speaks, his minions must shudder in obeisance.
In his warped mind, what's wrong with the Church today is that women don't submit.
He is a leader, a bad one, who misrepresents Christ both to his family and to the watching world.

A bad husband sees the final decision as his right; a good husband sees the final decision as his responsibility. And the distance between that right and that responsibility is a world of shattered women and children--in Jesus' name, of course.

What a sad state of affairs when a husband can be a student of science, technology, history, economics, politics, yea, even the Bible, and not study his own wife, for whom he is called to lay his life down.

What if men took up the call to be servant-leaders in their own homes to their own wives?
What a wonderful world it would be!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Look Ma! No Disciples! (Part Two)

And I took the book and read, and behold, the beastess arose out of Williamsburg and spake unto the people. And the people traded Bibles for Greek idolatry and Hindu history and lies about the first men. And the people went up unto the high places and sacrificed wisdom for the knowledge of the goddess of the well-trained mind. And yea verily the disciples were no more.

Homeschooling is in trouble.
I remember where I was.
I remember what I was wearing.
I had nestled my pregnant body in the shade trees of my backyard and read with eyes wide and mouth open.

I snapped shut the book in disgust.
I.will.never. do this to my children!

I am not afraid of hard work, thick books, and deep thinking. Heaven knows I'm not. But I will not pursue the ego-feeding idolatry of knowledge in a book which refuses to make the glory of God preeminent in all things, most especially the education of my children.

Oh, that was just the publisher, you know...
And I refuse.

Homeschooling is in trouble.
"There's probably a picture of you somewhere with a target on it."
His remark made me laugh out loud. "Yup. Probably."
A gentleman and I were talking of the bastard of homeschooling: the one-day-a-week academy (which, let's all be honest here, is really the "sign-my-kid-up-for-all-his-high-school-classes-and-phew!-I-won't-have-to-teach-a-thing" academy).
Let's just say my opinion is not a popular one.
But I maintain that if you keep saying you're bringing your children home, you really ought to do it.

In the Golden Age of homeschooling, parents taught their children at home.
I know.
Crazy-stupid idea.
But I'm just stubborn enough to stick to my guns on this one.
Just ask my husband.

Today, parents who think they're homeschooling (and, yes, they really, really do think they are homeschooling), have forfeit their position as discipler in the lives of their children to...

wait for it...

people with letters like:
BS, chemistry...
BS, mathematics...
MA, English lit...

...while I still submit the only letters that need be associated with the truly quality educator are:
D-A-D and M-O-M.

Homeschooling is in trouble.
We are putting away our books and plopping our children in front of computers and satellite classes.
Well, at least they're at home, you say.
Well, it might be helpful to point out that, while not all conversation implies discipleship, all discipleship implies conversation.

But the satellite has replaced conversation with the parent.

These are the Dark Ages of the homeschooling movement. There is no doubt about it.
Somewhere along the way, we decided it was more important to form a grammatically correct sentence than a Biblically correct idea.
Somewhere along the way, we decided it was more important to balance a stoichiometric equation than to worship the God of the periodic table.
Somewhere along the way, we decided it was more important to memorize the Greek gods than to meditate on the Word.

How utterly tragic.

If we can't form a Biblical thought, we should not waste our time writing a sentence--because we'll have nothing to say.
If we don't worship the Creator, then we simply create scientists who search for facts rather than Truth.
If we don't chew on the Word of God, but we input useless knowledge, we succeed only at raising children who have malnourished souls and bloated minds.

Dr. John Patrick, president of Augustine College in Ottawa, Ontario, says that the difference between good education and bad education is that bad education tells us we must understand to believe, but good education tells us we must believe to understand. That is the crux of the matter.

Truth must precede facts...
or the facts will be wrongly interpreted.

If we don't homeschool to the glory of God, we won't create disciples;
we will create Products of Academia.
If we don't homeschool to the glory of God,
then we shouldn't bother to homeschool at all.

Look Ma! No Disciples! (Part One)

The good people at Focus on the Family sent me this alert a few weeks ago:
"How DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) Could Impact You and Your Family."

Finally, I thought, someone is going to spell out for me why I should care about DOMA! I've been waiting for this for a long time. Yippee! And here was the elucidation offered by Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Policy at FOF.

"Already, an increasing number of public schools are promoting controversial and confusing sexual topics to kids. Homosexual activists groups like GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) sponsor events that discuss homosexuality in thousands of public schools and colleges across the nation. This can often create a pressure-cooker situation for Christian teens."
That's it. That's the bomb. That's the thing that should keep us tossing and turning in our beds.

Let's see. An education system run by the government is going to promote a government agenda? Gosh! I never thought it would come to this...not.

(For the record, I do think there are valid reasons that we should care about DOMA, but how it makes Christians feel in humanist settings is not one of them.)

Jesus warned us to render unto God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's. RC Sproul, Jr, comments in his excellent homeschooling apologetic, When You Rise Up, that the corollary to that is this: Do NOT render unto Caesar what is God's.

Simple--but profound. Yet that is precisely what believers all over the country do every day. Statistics tell us that 80% of children from believing families reject the faith when they grow up. Eighty percent! If that doesn't get your attention, my fellow believer, I don't know what will.

Of course, my favorite of the flimsy arguments offered in defense of throwing our kids to the wolves is, "But if all the believers pull out of the public system, the public system will fall apart!"


Another argument is that the government school system is a war zone, and we must send in our Christian soldiers to fight. Not even God Himself did that. Don't believe me? Try Numbers chapter one and 2 Chronicles chapter 25. Men did NOT go off to war until they were twenty years old.

Meanwhile, we're sending our five, ten, fifteen year-olds directly into artillery fire. And, I daresay, this battle for their souls is far more lethal than any battle against the Canaanites. Allow me to connect the dots for you. You'll need one ruler and one pencil.

Draw Dot A. Label "Government Education"
Draw Dot B. Label "Reject the True Faith"
With the help of your ruler, draw line from Dot A to Dot B.
Problem explained...

So, when Mr. Minnery soberly warns me that without DOMA, my kids will suffer pressure in government schools, I say, "Stuff and nonsense. Pressure in public schools was happening long before this issue ever came up. That's why my children aren't there."

They are at home--in a pressure free environment. And when it's time for them to meet that big, bad world, they will be old enough, strong enough, and properly trained with the weapons of that warfare.

Spiritual weapons
For a spiritual war.

But I'd be kidding you if I thought homeschooling wasn't failing, as well.
And I, one of its most stalwart advocates, now also find myself one of its most vocal critics.
More to come...