My friend, Luke Rosenberger's, has been kind enough to put on paper some of the thoughts he had to wrestle through as he read Going Public by David & Kelli Pritchard. Yesterday, I shared his background and the first of four points. You can follow Luke through his Twitter account HERE.
I shared yesterday that I was reminded that I need to focus my teaching to my daughters on the three important things. First, to teach them the importance of having an incredible love for Jesus. Second, that they are to obey me unconditionally. Third, they need to learn self-control. Today, let me share the other main thoughts I took from this book.
2. Be Aware of Teachable Moments
I believe there are many times throughout a school year when opportunities will arise to walk my daughters through different circumstances. This book brought some encouraging words as to how to go about engaging our sons and daughters. They write:
"Whenever something bad happens at school, we parents have a choice about how to view it. The incident can lead either to a reaction or a teaching opportunity . . . We can fly into the mindset of I can’t believe how awful the schools have gotten these days! I’m getting my kid out of that disgusting place ASAP! . . . Or we can step back, take a deep breath and ask ourselves, Is there potential for learning here? How might this be used to further character growth and maturity in my child?"
I never know when a teachable moment may arise, therefore I need to set this as a priority in my own life. I need to first of all be available! Which is huge, considering how many other things can distract my attention. But when an occasion arises, I must be willing to let my girls process what took place. I should be eager to ask good questions and attempt to get an understanding on what they are thinking about this particular event. My overall attempt will be to shed light on how this fits or doesn’t fit our family’s philosophy. I want to see my girls have a proper perspective on life, so I need to be there and willing to talk about the events that take place through their day while they are away from our home.
3. I Have a Unique Role as a Dad
My wife is incredible as a mom! I have no idea how our family would make it if not for her wisdom and understanding of caring for our four daughters. But raising our kids is not a responsibility that is completely left to her. We as dads need to step up to the plate and be willing to take responsibility for what takes place in our homes. We must be one hundred percent committed to what goes on in our kids schooling and in their lives.
One the greatest responsibilities I believe I have as a dad is leading my kids to a greater love for Jesus Christ. That can only be done by consistently bringing them to the Word of God. I will admit that I do not always do this well, but I was greatly challenged as I read this book. They gathered everyday (with their 8 kids) at 6:30 in the morning to read through one chapter in Proverbs and five chapters of Psalms. Now I don’t know if 6:30 am will work for us but what I do know is that my kids need to hear the Word of God. I cannot allow that responsibility to be passed off to someone else, I need to step up and realize what a privilege is to point my kids to God.
I don’t want to just read the Bible to my kids either, I want them to know beyond a shadow of doubt that God’s Word is what dictates my every move as their dad. I like what David Pritchard, the dad who co-authored this book had to say when he talked about anchoring your family to a Biblical perspective. He said,
"I take responsibility for being the spiritual compass of our family. If anybody’s wondering where true north is, I hope they automatically look in my direction. I hope they know from experience that Dad has a grip on what the Bible says about current life situations- that he keeps a “God-ward” view of things."
4. The Mission Field is Closer Than We Often Think
As the Pritchard’s are coming towards the end of their book they have a chapter entitled, “The Nearest Mission Field.” They offered some very valid questions when it comes to reaching out to those in our community with the gospel.
"Should Christian students and their parents look for any avenue into the hearts and souls of others whom they meet on campus? Do we have any reasonable role to play in bringing them closer to the Savior? Does the Second Greatest Commandment – to love your neighbor as yourself – apply here? Or is it too dangerous to faith that is still young and green?"
They go on to say that this is not the first responsibility of their young children to proclaim the gospel but the responsibility for us as parents to fulfill. Yes, they desire for their kids to model what Christianity is all about, but it is us as parents who have the opportunity to interact with teachers, administrators, coaches, other parents and even our children’s classmates. Being in the public school will put you together with all sorts of different people that are coming from a number of different perspectives. “It is our privilege and calling to speak Christ in ways that resonate with them.”
Going Public is a book that will encourage you as a parent to not just drop your kids off for their education. It will challenge you to engage them on a daily basis as they go from Kindergarten all the way through High School.
I believe this book is incredibly solid and filled with practical wisdom for any parent who desires to see their son or daughter honor Jesus Christ with their young lives. Regardless of where my kids attend school in years to come, I have been confronted to step up my efforts as a parent. I will be recommending this book a lot!