I often mention a particular Proverb I think Christian people have begun to neglect. It is Proverbs 29:15, and it goes like this, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” As Christians, we have something the rest of the world does not have in the same way: the Holy Spirit. Part of the work of the Spirit in our lives is to illuminate God’s word for us so that we have belief and understanding that is not available to those who do not have the same indwelling Holy Spirit. So when Christians read in the Bible, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother,” we can know that it is true.
Last week, we shared ten practical tips for achieving enduring success and experiencing the wonderful fruit of classical Christian education at Trinitas, This week, we have ten MORE practical tips we've assembled from our teachers which we hope will benefit your family.
The best things in life are often also the hardest things in life, and classical Christian education is no exception to this truism. To help Trinitas parents and students achieve enduring success at Trinitas and experience the wonderful fruit of classical Christian education, we've assembled these ten practical tips for success at Trinitas taken directly from our teachers. Simple, practical, but sometimes a bit pointed, we hope these steps are received in the spirit they are offered and are helpful to you.
God has created the world to work in a very ordered way. He is a God of order. He brought order out of nothing—out of chaos if you prefer—to establish a peaceful habitation for humankind. Adam’s job was to maintain God’s order in the garden. When he failed at that, he was cast out of the garden, and the job got a lot harder; nonetheless, as his descendants we inherited the job. God’s people are to maintain order, a God-like order, of God’s creation. It is a hard job. Just look around at the mess we must bring to order. But we were made for it.
When children and God come up in the same conversation, few Bible verses get quoted more frequently than Proverbs 22:6, which reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Interpretations for this nugget of godly wisdom vary. If one considers the verse alongside the command to parents in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to diligently teach the ways of God to children, and alongside the command to children in Exodus 20:12 (and repeated in Ephesians 6:1-3) to honor and obey parents, then Proverbs 22:6 becomes clearer. We can see that it fits into a larger context for the way God would have us approach child rearing: we are to intentionally, purposefully shape our children’s thoughts and actions toward God.
One of the books that all new Trinitas parents are required to read in their first year at Trinitas is Teach Them Diligently. Through the years this book has informed the school’s policy and practice about correction and discipline in the classroom. It's a helpful guide that many veteran parents and even our classroom teachers turn to for help in discipling children.
There is something in a boy that loves danger. That love frequently manifests itself in ways that polite society does not approve of, so we often squash it thinking we have done the boy a good turn, saved him some trouble down the road. What we ought to do instead is help him order his love of everything else to its proper place so that his love of danger becomes bravery in the face of evil, or even just resolve and determination in the face of the difficulties of life for the good of the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, though, our tendency is to squash and emasculate. And where has that gotten us? What has become of masculinity? Whatever happened to killing the dragon and getting the girl? Our boys and men are wilting in the face of dragons while the girls are girding on their armor for the fight. Backwards? Uh, yeah.
About the time we wrap up the school year, my thoughts turn to my garden. My garden provides a quiet place for work and contemplation, and as is my wont, my musings rarely stray far from my life as a teacher. Cultivating in my students a love for learning and a desire to love God and neighbor is a lot like cultivating a garden.