“I am writing to you this month about a most troubling concern. It focuses on the battle being waged for this country and especially for the hearts and minds of its children. We are losing both at an alarming rate.” So begins the June newsletter from Dr. James Dobson who has, for nearly six decades, urged us to focus on our families. Most recently, he does so through the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
While we greatly encourage everyone to read Dr. Dobson’s entire timely (and sobering) newsletter, we’ll share some of his closing recommendations with our thoughts:
“I would get my children out of a godless educational setting quickly, before more spiritual and emotional damage could be done. Further, I would think long and hard before sending my graduates to a godless university.”
Remember that homeschooling is not necessarily, by definition, a godly educational setting. Homeschooling is merely a tool to create a godly education. We strongly encourage you to engage in the battle for your children – and take advantage of homeschooling to do it.
“I would either homeschool my children, or find a quality Christian school that would begin every school day with prayer and Scripture reading. If neither option were available, I would move to give my kids a new start somewhere else. That is exactly what my father did when I was 16 years old and was experiencing ungodly influences. He sold our house and moved 700 miles away, which allowed my father to spend the last two of my high school years with my mother and me. He pulled me back from the brink and we bonded as a family during that time.”
Do you start each school day with prayer and Scripture? Is your heart in “keeping up” or in “relaxing in Him?” Our homeschools should be a reflection of our faith and trust in God.
“I would search for a Bible-believing church, where the pastor preaches the Word, and is like the ‘sons of Issachar’ (1 Chronicles 12:32). ‘They understood the times and knew what to do.’ I would also hope that this church has strong children’s programs and youth groups, which could help us raise our children. I know there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people, but some are more helpful to families than others.”
It’s certainly not enough to go to church. We know it’s difficult to change and find a church that is more Biblical, but we agree that parents must. However, while children’s programs and youth groups can assist parents, they can potentially isolate children from adults and even undermine parental decisions. Use caution and choose carefully. We respectfully disagree with Dr. Dobson that those things are necessarily advantages. Don’t make a blanket assumption either way.
“I would try not to let myself become overworked, distracted, exhausted, and uninvolved during the formative years of childhood. Without your care, concern, and involvement in your children’s lives, the culture could take your kids to hell. I have witnessed that tragedy countless times. Even with proper parental supervision, many of our kids can become susceptible to the world’s enticements. Take the time to know them intimately.”
We added the bold to this one because it’s huge! It’s so easy to be distracted by Facebook, cell phones, podcasts, and many other electronically-available options that pull your attention away from your kids. Unplug. Give your kids your time. Become a full-time parent. When you need a break, take one. Schedule one. Get a sitter. Realize that you are actually taking a break. But don’t take a break when they’re right there with you. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other things and then feel impatient with those who deserve your attention and love.
“I would support organizations that are helping to fight the culture war, and I would be an activist myself. We are losing everything of value in this warped society.”
Please support CHEWV annually as a matter of course. Please support other similar God-focused organizations that you believe in. These organizations, at their cores, are communities of people fighting the cultural battles. Read; stay aware of what’s going on and how the battle is raging. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably among those who want to stay abreast and engage. Kudos!
“I would pray every day for our children and/or grandchildren during the critical years. This is what matters most—apart from leading them to know their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Oh yes! Except every year is a critical year. Pray for each child every day of their lives. If not you, who?
And don’t give up if you miss a day or two. This is not about guilt when you don’t, but faith when you do. Get back up, dust yourself off, and get praying!
Don’t undervalue prayer! Often we’re desperately trying to figure out what to do, not realizing that what we most need to do is take it to the Lord in prayer and in trust. Go to your knees! “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” “We have not because we ask not.” The answer might not come as quickly as we hope. It might take a lifetime, but God cares more than you do! He does not give a stone when we ask for bread. Don’t underestimate the power of talking with God, asking Him for help, unloading your burdens, expressing your trust in His care and love.
“Our Lord never told us that parenting would be easy. However, He did promise us that He would always be with us. And that is the hope to which we anchor ourselves and our families every day of our lives.”