Our Children’s Inheritance
By Bill Pride
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #86, 2009.
Should we be spending our children's inheritance or helping them lay up an inheritance in heaven
Have you ever seen a movie where everything goes wrong to the point
where the hero’s sidekick turns to him and says, “I think this ___ is
The economic news today feels somewhat like that. After reaching a
record high in October, 2007, the Dow Jones average plummeted to a low
point less than half that last month. Layoffs in January from America’s
top 500 public companies alone totaled 163,662. All that’s missing is
the sidekick popping up and wailing, “This economy is cursed!”
The Bible has an antidote to national disaster:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the
heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth
with a curse. Malachi 4:6.
What does that mean, “turn the heart of the fathers to the children”? If
the heart of the fathers needs to be turned, where was it pointing
In a lot of cases, it is pointing toward the pursuit of personal peace
and affluence. I am reminded of the bumper sticker: “I’m spending my
children’s inheritance.” The recent ongoing multi-trillion dollar
bailout is just another example—a huge uptick in spending our children’s
inheritance on a national scale.
What’s the opposite of “spending our kid’s inheritance”? Putting them
first and giving them a heritage. For Christians, this means giving them
a Christian education thorough enough so that they are capable of
handing it on to their kids.
Passing a heritage to the next generation is like an enormous relay
race. Asaph describes it in Psalm 78:
I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known and our
fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing
to all generations to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength,
and his wonderful works that he hath done. . . . which he commanded our
fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the
generation to come might know them, even the children which should be
born; who should arise and declare them to their children.
Unfortunately the baton has been dropped. The current generation, as
well informed as they try to be about social causes—world hunger, stem
cell research, etc.—are largely ignorant of doctrine—who God is and what
he has done as recorded in His Bible. They are ignorant of what God
expects from them. They are almost completely ignorant of two millennia
of church history, and know next to nothing about how religious belief
influenced their own country’s history.
As Michael Spencer asserts in his March 10, 2009, Christian Science
Monitor article “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”:
We evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox
form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught.
Ironically, the billions of dollars we’ve spent on youth ministers,
Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young
Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how
they feel about it.
How did this state of affairs come about? In two ways:
- Parents trusted the public schools to educate their children,
without checking to see what they were teaching.
- Parents trusted the Sunday school and youth group to fill in the
rest . . . again, without checking to see what, if anything, was being
Many of us now homeschooling grew up deprived of our own religious
heritage. We know from experience that public school is not the place to
regain that heritage. I hate to say it, but many of today’s churches
aren’t either. The youth education program of most churches is little
better than entertaining babysitting. Serious Bible education, doctrine,
and church history for kids and teens? Forget it!
If we want to give our children a lasting spiritual heritage-and take
the first steps towards reversing the godlessness and self-indulgence
which are cursing the entire Western world-our homeschools are the place
Bill Pride is the father of nine totally homeschooled children.
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