This post is part of a series that began here.
This all started a week ago Sunday you know. I subbed in Little Bit's Bible class and boy did that get my mind racing. It has been enough years since I taught Bible classes on a regular basis that it was a really eye opening experience for me.
That got me to thinking about how all of it has changed since our country was founded. Sunday schools were started to educate the poor children and keep them off the streets on their only day off. Then public schools took over the task of academic training so Sunday schools focused instead on religious training. Then, flash forward many years here, the schools removed religion from the picture all together. Now I feel that the church is removing academics from the equation as well.
Where does this lead us?
Hopefully, it leads us to the conclusion that we, the parents, are responsible for our children. Even though the church, and specifically the tradition my family is from, has done a great job in the past of teaching God's word to children, we cannot rely on that. As was mentioned in the comments on the last post, we've spent too long thinking the church is going to do for our children what it did for us. That ship has sailed. That pendulum has swung. Those days are over. YOU might attend a church that does a stellar job of Bible instruction. I am so glad if you do. However, it does not remove your responsibility. In fact, maybe it's a good thing that many children aren't learning very much in Bible class anymore. Perhaps it will open more parents' eyes to the fact that they need to be about the business of instructing their children.
For several years now I have understood this. I began to understand that the Bible tells parents to train their children. Not school teachers. Not ministry volunteers. Parents. That is part of what led us to homeschooling. I did not always understand this. And even though I understood it--I still hadn't accepted it. My husband told me over and over, "We have to teach them here at home. Anything they get in Bible class is icing on the cake." I agreed. But I haven't really wrapped my mind around it until now.
I guess you could say my eyes have been opened and I can accept as fact that my children will not learn what I want them to learn in any children's ministry. No matter how awesome it is. Will they get something out of it? Of course! But not what I have had in mind all this time.
And guess what? They aren't really meant to. They are meant to learn here at home from me and their dad. This is why there are home churches and family integrated churches by the way. Once you get this--it changes your life. But what about those of us who do not home church or go to a family integrated church? What about all the Christian parents who weekly send their little charges down the colorful hallway to what was formerly known as Sunday school?
What are we going to do about it?
I'd like to hear from you before I go on...