Monday, August 13, 2012
Let us Reason Together
When I was in school, a majority of my classmates had little or no interest in current events. Oh, big things like what pop star had a chart topping single or who was winning the Super Bowl peaked their interest, but little things, like what was happing in Chechnya or who was really to blame in the Iran-Contra affair left them glassy-eyed and limp. When I would start talking about Lt. Oliver North or bleeding-heart liberals, they would roll their eyes and say things like "She's a nice girl, but strange".
Not only were politics off-limits to my classmates, religion was as well. When I would ask if Christians had to live by Old Testament Law or if they were governed by Grace alone, my friends would laugh and say "who cares? What are you wearing to the dance on Friday night?" I just didn't get it - they didn't seem to care about the things that I thought were most important in life.
When I became a mother I wanted to pass my vision, my passion, on to my children. I wanted them to seek God and love Him. I wanted them to know what was going on in the world and to stand up for what was right and good. I wanted them to be able to reason - to make their case - to be engaged. And so, I started thinking about how I became engaged. What I discovered startled me and changed my entire view on education and parenting.
When I was very young, my parent became Christians. They were good friends with another couple that were new Christians themselves. Our families would get together frequently and our parents would talk. No, they did more than talk. They would pull out their bibles start turning pages and talking a mile a minute. "It says we need to...", "Yes, but over here, it says this...". Pages turned, thoughts were exchanged, excitement filled the air. I sat, listening, mesmerized. My parents were passionate. They genuinely wanted to know the truth. They genuinely wanted to do God's will. They were true seekers. As I listened to my parents and their friends, I was engaged. Here was a group of adults reasoning together, and we, their children, longed to be a part of this great thing. Never, in children's church or youth group had I been so effectively engaged than sitting in my living room listening to my elders. If I had a question, I would timidly, quietly ask. Immediately pages flew and my dad, my mom and our friends would seek God's answer. They would explain verses, help me understand the meaning. They made me want to know.
I came to find out that I was not the first child to be engaged by reasoning with their elders. Jesus, when he was twelve was found in the temple reasoning with the elders. He wasn't hanging out with a group of his peers, talking about their latest happenings, he was engaged with the elders of the land.
My dad has always been politically aware. During our evening meal, my parents would often talk about what was going on in the world. Not only did we discuss current events, we discussed how those events lined up with scripture. We talked about the morality of any given situation and discussed how God would have had us handle the situation. My brother and I reasoned together with our parents. Their take on political and religious issues weren't relegated to dusty books filled with dates and useless information, they were alive, relevant and engaging.
Do you ever wonder why our population is spiritually bankrupt and politically apathetic? Perhaps it is because we have never reasoned with our elders. Perhaps the only reasoning we do involves mass media and an agenda driven educational system. Perhaps our reasoning skills revolve around an Xbox and an Ipod.
Sir Knight and I frequently discuss the state of the nation, moral issues and religion. We question, we search and we dig deep. When we are in the midst of a rousing conversation our children are glued to our side. They have questions. They have ideas. They have input. Because we talk about all of life, they are aware and engaged. They would much rather discuss Middle Eastern relations and Israel's place in the world than they would major league sports. They hunger for biblical answers to the modern problems our world faces and desire to know how they fit into the grand scheme of things. They love to sit at the feet of their parents and reason with their elders.
As parents and elders we need to engage our children. We need to reason with them day and night. We need to talk about what is going on in the world and seek after the truth. We need to engage our children in the history we are making. The greatest education comes not from books, facts and figures but from the young reasoning with the old.
And so I say....Come, let us reason together.