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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
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Bill Pride

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 cursed”?

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 before?

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:

  1. Parents trusted the public schools to educate their children, without checking to see what they were teaching.
  2. Parents trusted the Sunday school and youth group to fill in the rest . . . again, without checking to see what, if anything, was being taught.

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 to start.

Bill Pride is the father of nine totally homeschooled children.

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