The churchyard garden

One drawback to homeschool is that some parents choose it to keep their kids pure. (I only pick on homeschoolers because I am one–but I have seen the exact same tendencies in public and private school families.)

There is an interesting line in “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge. He says, “Femininity cannot beget masculinity.”

Just as a woman cannot pass all the secrets of becoming a man onto her son, we cannot pass “sin-less-ness” onto our children. Unfortunately, sometimes we think we can create an upbringing so pure, our children will never make the same mistakes we did. That our babies are perfect, and if we can just raise them right…

It is in arrogance that we think we can create a garden for our little seedlings that is greater than the one in which God placed Adam.

When God made Adam, he made him in His own image Genesis 5:1 “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;” Adam was made perfect, and placed in the perfect garden of Eden, yet Adam chose to sin. Adam was no longer a perfect being. He was a sinner.

Here is the point: when Adam fathered Seth, Seth was born in Adam’s image, not God’s. Genesis 5:3 “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:”

This is because “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6

We are each born sinful, having inherited our vain way of life (behavior or conversation) from our fathers. 1 Peter 1:18 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural…1 Corinthians 15:44-46

It has been this way since Seth. We start off with a nature of wrath: a sin nature. Ephesians 2:3 Because through Adam, sin entered the world. Romans 5:12 And then through sin, death entered and passed to all men. We start off: dead.

I chose to homeschool, so I am not against the idea of creating a nurturing environment where kids are protected…and have less opportunity to sin. (Let’s leave the other reasons out for a minute) But there comes a time when the kids need to be given the sense of responsibility to take charge of this area of their life. And really, the sooner the better.

We had a pastor who once said, “If you put a muzzle on a mean dog, you still have a mean dog.”

So their protection, ultimately, doesn’t come from their inability or lack of opportunity to sin. It comes…take a deep breath…from their personal choice.

Shouldn’t we all give our kids a safe, sheltered childhood? I want to. I love “the churchyard.” But at some point I need to see beyond.

I won’t encourage my kids to put themselves into those tempting situations where they are forced to make irrevocable decisions.

But I need to be realistic. Their redemption does not come from their upbringing. But through (here it is again) their personal choice. Jesus is called the “Last Adam” because judgment and condemnation came through the first Adam, and through his disobedience many were made sinners so then the free gift also comes through one man, Jesus. Romans 5:17-19

Don’t think this concept removes your control from their lives. Since there is only nature we can pass on–it is not the external obedience we need to pursue as parents, but the heart. Direct their heart to Christ.

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