Thursday, March 24, 2011

“When You Rise Up”: Ordering Your Day Around Spiritual and Character Teaching

“You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up Deuteronomy 6:7

One of the ways that we tried to show the children the importance of spiritual and character training in our home throughout our twenty-eight years of parenting was to put spiritual training and character training first in our day.

We used the model in II Peter 1:5 as a basis for our how days would flow: “But also for this reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to your virtue, knowledge.”

From this verse, we taught our children and tried to manage our home in a way that reflected this—that we should put “faith” first in your life—spiritual training in our homes in the case of a family. And we should put virtue second—character training in the Christian home. Then we should put knowledge—or education.

Now, we are dedicated homeschoolers (we began twenty-eight years ago this fall by teaching my younger sister at home each day)—and we followed this pattern for our daily schedule and our prioritizing all of our school years—with tremendous success. Education (knowledge) was never considered low—but it simply came after faith and virtue. And our children’s amazing academic success has proven that this strategy did not hurt them one bit. (Our oldest son tested out of his entire college degree except for two classes for which there were no exams available. Our next child, a daughter (with severe dyslexia and dysgraphia) who is now a missionary nurse, received perfect verbal ACT scores two times and received full ride academic scholarships for all three colleges she attended. All of our kids have taken college classes during their junior and/or senior years of high school. Yep, this approach benefits academics too!)

What exactly does this “faith first; virtue next; knowledge next” approach look like in a family’s daily life? Join us tomorrow for the answer to that question!

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