Back in 1984, my husband and I enrolled our son in karate classes after a week at Vacation Bible School at a church we were attending; he had come home from VBS each day talking about the kid who kept taking his stuff and pushing him around. “I did that turn-the-other-cheek thing, Mom, that’s in the Bible, but he just does it more.” My husband thought it best that we become proactive, teaching our son how to defend himself against bullies, taking to heart something his dad (a World War I decorated veteran) had instilled in him, “Don’t start a fight, but never walk away from one.” As important a lesson as that was for me as a parent to learn in the physical realm, it has tremendous practical implications in all areas of life and thought. For if we fail to “arm” our children with the weapons God has ordained for them (and us) to use in defense against the onslaughts of the enemy, we will indeed be walking away from or defeated by the spiritual battles we are involved in daily.
From a very early age, my children were exposed to Bible story books. When they were able to read, I began to study individual books of the Bible (KJV) with them as part of our homeschool curriculum. As we went along, we discussed the issues, implications, and imperatives contained in what R.J. Rushdoony calls “God’s law-word.” We wouldn’t take on too big a chunk at any one time — just enough so that we had something to discuss and digest. My kids grew to understand that every word of Scripture serves as a command or mandate from our King. Thus, ignorance was never going to be an acceptable excuse, since God had given us His rule for our lives and contained it all in a book the size of which we could carry. This is how one begins to think Biblically and how dominion actually takes place.
There is a possible downside to all of this that I feel compelled to warn you about. That is, once your children begin to think Biblically, you have to learn to deal with questions and challenges to decisions you make and opinions you hold based on what the Word of God has to say. I’ve had some pretty lively discussions as my children progressed in years, as certain passages of Scripture were used to justify or explain a certain behavior or decision. However, if they were going to cite passages from the Bible, I made it a requirement that they had to properly exegete (explain the verse in context) as part of their plea. There were times I had to back down and reevaluate a particular issue based on their effective argumentation.
This arming process will serve your homeschooled children in good stead when they venture beyond your tutelage into the world of junior college and the university — whether secular or Christian. For every subject and profession, if it is to be truly learned and lived out to the glory of God, must view all tenets, practices, and policies from a thoroughly Biblical point of view. My son, many years after that bully at VBS, encountered a challenge in his job of being ordered to solicit business from an organization that, at its core, was wicked. He informed his employer that he would not sell to this account. When threatened with being fired, he stuck to his guns. Subsequently, when members of his sales team threatened to quit if he were indeed fired, his employer backed down. But, that didn’t mean his employer didn’t try more subtle manipulation — all to no avail. My son later told me, “I told them I had survived having to justify my decisions to my mom while I was growing up. I said to them, ‘You are no way as tough as my mom!’”
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:4–5)
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].