Who Are You Raising?

by Carol Jensen

If you lived in Ancient Greece, you would know the gods as powerful superheroes – imperfect like men and inclined to capriciousness, jealousy and anger – yet endowed with extraordinary capabilities to affect human conditions. Sort of like The Incredibles. However, men and gods both would be equally subject to the cosmos, victims of the universe.

In this Athenian or Spartan world, government would be a man-made invention, a product of reason. Man’s job in that government would be to protect society. He would be accountable to the political leaders for the discharge of this duty. Families would exist to support the power of the state, with children being trained to support the nation’s well-being. Kind of like No Child Left Behind.

The Odysseus’s of your day would be those who brought glory to themselves and their country through their superior knowledge, beauty, strength, or cleverness. You know…like Hollywood stars and Superbowl champs.

But on the other hand, if you lived in Ancient Israel, you would know God as your creator and perfect Father – One who had given you the power to choose your course. As a free agent, you could be a victor, not a victim. Like David against Goliath.

In the Israelite world, you would have god-given rights – life, liberty and (promised) land – that would be protected by government. Political leaders would be accountable to you for the discharge of this obligation. The family would be divinely appointed for the support of individual character – each child in turn being trained to love truth and lead through service. Like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Jobs of your day would be those who brought glory to God and dignity to man by their obedience, sacrifice, faith and integrity. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.

Well, you aren’t in Greece and you aren’t in Israel. You’re in the USA and you homeschool, so what’s the big deal? The question isn’t where you educate your children. It’s what model you use. If you subscribe to an online program, a charter school, a distance curriculum administered by the state, or are accountable to your school district for the courses you teach, you may be training your students under a Greek model. Instead of sending your soldiers out to fight on the plain, you may be inviting the Trojan horse within your walls.

But if you are more interested in transmitting values than in scoring on the next standardized test, if you are family-focused, adamant about your liberties and accountable to God for how you raise your children, yours may be the generation that tumbles the walls of Jericho.

To determine which model you fall under, ask where the accountability lies. Do you report to a divine source or a government source for your children’s education? Who gives you the power to administer their training?  It makes a difference because you may be raising Achilles. But maybe you are raising Daniel.

You can leave your thoughts, comments or suggestions here on my feedback page. Thanks!

- Carol