My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

04 May 2007

Here we go

This is why I really like Carl Trueman: he says stuff everyone else thinks but doesn't say. I would love to hear some thoughts on this post at Ref21's blog:

In the US (and it is the US -- I have not seen this so much in the UK) , I
have lost count of the number of women I have come across, particularly in
presbyterian circles, who feel the need to conform to some Reformed cultural
norm. You can tell them on the Sundays: the exhausted and haggard mothers
whose husbands expect them not only to cook and to clean, but also to
home-school the kids. For every omnicompetent wife who seems to be able to
run the world and then some, and still look like a million dollars when hubbie
gets home for dinner (already on the table, of course), there are ten or more
who look crushed and dispirited, who really need to send their kids out of the
house in the morning so they can get some rest and some mental sanity, who need
their husbands to see the problem and take steps to help them. Are they
inadequate as Christian mothers? No. They are crushed by a
"Christian" culture that demands their all and gives no slack.

I am no feminist (my wife will confirm my impeccable Neanderthal
credentials); I have strong views on women's ordination; but I am saddened by
the way Reformed church culture so often tramples its women underfoot with its
mindless identification of biblical manhood with something akin to John Wayne
and its assumption that all Christian women should make Mary Poppins look
domestically incompetent.


What do you think?

34 comments:

Kurt said...

I'd say for every "exhausted and haggard" wife who looks "crushed and dispirited" we have a husband who is not adequately fulfilling his role. He needs to be a leader, loving and serving his wife as outlined in the article, "What Should Be the Husband's Role in Marriage" by Dennis Rainey.

Micah & Emily said...

Give this guy an award. Men should cook all three meals on the Sabbath. And take out the trash.

Apples of Gold said...

Wow, are there really that men/husbands out there like that? I feel blessed. My husband is a peach! He's content with a ham sandwich and a few chips for a Lord's Day meal..and he helps himself after asking me if he could get me anything. Clean up is a breeze too..paper plates are easily disposed of.

BamFam said...

I really liked the sermon David Hanson preached at Chris and Amy Eddy's wedding. He talked about how the husband is the women's beautician (sorry can't remember the passage). He said the man has the responsibility to make the women look beautiful inwardly and outwardly. Seems to me that the women who are haggard and distressed on Sundays/rest of the week are not receiving their weekly beauty treatments.

Here in Oz it is a bit different, concerning jobs that is. Our minister's wife has a job as a relief teacher (substitute teacher). I don't think anyone thinks negatively about it at all, in fact many of the women in church who are mothers have jobs as well. Come to think of it I am one of them, coaching soccer.

I do have to say that the older generation in the church fits in with what Mr. Trueman described. In fact I have heard that they think differently ("I don't want to be one of them") of families who receive help from others (i.e. meals after a baby is born, babysitting, furniture after a fire :-)). Not sure if the attitude is pride on the women's part, don't want to look weak to others, or men who haven't received their masters degree at beauty school.

Thanks for the post, something to think about.
Megfish

Tamara said...

The book Wild at Heart got a lot of press and popularity in Christian circles. I don't know what you think of that book, but the same author (along with his wife) wrote Captivating. It is a book for the woman's soul. It debunks this idea that woman are only there to cook, clean, and raise kids. We are people of passion and creativity. We long to be romanced, saught out, and unveiled. We are mysterious and beautiful. There is so much more to the woman psyche than a help mate. Though we are that. We are also co-heirs in Christ. A perfect example of this is gazing at the scriptures of woman praised in the Bible. They were not your typical "christian culture" women. Deborah, Rahab, Tamar, and the list goes on. We are passionate and not to be treated like a custodial hired hand. Though we are to learn the role of a servant and if the man is neglecting his role we are still to be submissive.

Apples of Gold said...

I disagree that it's the "older generation in the church" that "fits in with what Mr. Trueman described." That's painting an entire group with a pretty broad brush. I can think of many men from the "older generation" (whatever that is) in the church who serve as excellent role models of how men ought to treat their wives. A few examples would be Bob B., Dave L.,Jack R., Les W., as well as my own husband. And we can even go back another generation. My father treats my mother like a queen and there are many in that generation who do the same. Respect toward wives and husbands grows deeper throughout the years. That's why we're admonished in Scripture to learn from the older generations. My dad and the other men I've mentioned from that "older generation" certainly don't fit the stereotype described above.

On the other hand, I've seen some (not all) from the "younger generation" with uncaring and self-centered attitudes. In fact, a few years ago, a group of young men in our church made jokes about their future wives, and women in general, referring to them as "fujan material," apparently a Japanese term for a housewife. Hopefully, now that some of those young men are now married, they realize that if they want to be treated like kings, they should treat their wives like queens.

BamFam said...

To clarify apples of gold, I was just talking about the older generation in the church we attend, not in the broader church.

David said...

I think he had a good point to make about men in the church. There is going to be a discussion about this at my university in the next couple days so it should be fairly interesting to discuss.

Jared said...

Kurt - thanks for the great article.

I do think Trueman's comments aren't without merit. That is, I think some Christian women can be forced into a specific mold which doesn't have much to do with Biblical womanhood but more with conservative Christian ideals (i.e., homeschooling, perfect cook, etc.). The answer: Men opening their eyes to their wives needs and the church being very, very careful not to place unbiblical expectations on wives.

Kurt said...

Since you brought up homeschooling.....I have observed that it becomes a "burden" for the Christian family because of two reasons:

1) The husband has abdicated his part of the responsibility by delegating most or all of it to his wife

2) The mistake of trying to emulate the educational methodology and/or content of the government school system

Properly address these two issues, and watch the "burden" of homeschooling become the joy that it was meant to be for the Christian family!

Jared said...

Kurt, I think your last comments show the reasons behind Trueman's original comments. That is, to believe/th9ink that homeschooling is given by God to be a joy for the Christian family is to go beyond Scripture. Can it be a joy? Yes, absolutely. Can we assert that it is given by God to be a joy? I don't think so. And as soon as we do, we subject some women whose talents and gifts lie elsewhere to an ideal of womanhood and wifehood not pressed upon them by Scripture but by zealous husbands.

Having said that, I think your comment about not copying the pattern of the world's education systems is on target.

Kurt said...

Dear fathers & mothers,

If you think that Scripture doesn't address every aspect of how we should live a righteous life, consider:

"All scripture...is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2Tim 3:16

If you think raising your children at home is "burdensome" and should be avoided, consider:

"...count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (trials).." James 1:2

If you think a mother's "talents and gifts lie elsewhere" and should take precedent over raising His children, consider:

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
3John 1:4

For those who have
"...ears to hear, let [them] hear." Matthew 11:15

God bless you fathers and mothers who hear and answer the call....

Jared said...

Kurt, your last comment is a perfect demonstration of how God's people can become entrapped in one, specific way of living/educating/whatever despite it not being prescribed in Scripture. Your comments insinuate something that cannot be defended: that those parents who choose an option other than homeschooling for their children are being (1) unfaithful to Scripture, (2) "down" on the wonderful duty of raising children, (3) neglectful mothers, thus (4) disobedient. Not only can you not support this insinuation from Scripture, you are treading on dangerously thin ice, being willing to seriously offend faithful Christians.

The problem behind your comments is what I would term an oppressive hermeneutic. Reformed Christians have always understood Scripture speaks to every area of life; but you're not satisfied with that. You need to take it one step further and say that Scripture infallibly informs every methodology and application of Scriptural law and teaching. And when you (or Doug Phillips or anyone else) claim the Bible shows homeschooling is the only valid path, you have entered into oppressing God's people with "eisegesis" instead of "exegesis" (reading your thoughts into Scripture rather than God's thoughts out of Scripture).

Mothers & fathers, your call is to faithful parenting. That may well include homeschooling. It may not. Please make that decision based on the fear of the Lord, the teaching of Scripture, and the wise counsel of your spiritual shepherds.

Kurt said...

BTW Jared...

I noticed that you overlooked my point #1, which came first because I believe it is the biggest reason why raising children at home has become such a burden to some mothers. The father is not doing his part!

Alas, that's quite understandable since this worldly culture has deceived us into knee-jerk thinking that child raising is "women's work." Rather that allowing women to consider other "vocations' based on some perceived "gifts and talents," we need to encourage the men to take part and work with their wives, don't you think?

Kurt said...

Jared,

This is where I believe you go wrong in your thinking: "Mothers & fathers, your call is to faithful parenting. That may well include homeschooling. It may not."

When you talk about homeschooling (i.e. children being taught by parents), education, raising up your children in the Lord as separate issues, you go beyond Scripture. In other words, Scripture makes no such distinction as the normative pattern and practice in Scripture are Mom and Dad educating their children.

Since you obviously don't believe this, then it might be helpful for you to explain why "homeschooling" is good for your family, but not good for someone else. Just what criteria would you as a church leader use to help a family determine "the righteousness" in this matter?

Jared said...

Kurt,

About fathers abdicating responsibility, I agree with your point but not with your probable application. That is, I agree men are responsible for their families and the welfare of their wives, but I'm not convinced that men must be the primary teacher of their children.

If I gave the impression (I certainly never said it outright) that I believe education & parenting are separate issues, I misspoke. They are most certainly related. Parents have no right to abdicate their responsibility for their children's education and rearing. But (!) they do have a right to delegate, which they must do wisely (please see Hannah sending Samuel to Eli, Jesus being taught by the priests, etc.).

This statement is a perfect example of the hermenuetical problem I was speaking toward: "Scripture makes no such distinction as the normative pattern and practice in Scripture are Mom and Dad educating their children" - that is indefensible; yet it's one of the kind of statements I hear often from "homeschooling-only" advocates. There are examples of parents teaching their children and there are examples of other people teaching folks' children (see Paul & Gamaliel, see Christ giving preachers and teachers to the whole church, not just the adults). The "normative pattern" is responsibility for Christ-centered education/rearing/parenting (since they're all related - not for one methodology of education.

As far as how I would counsel parents choosing between education options, I hope I would approach it Biblically and sensitively. That is, the basic responsibility of a Christ-centered education must be pressed and answered (how is this type of education Christ-centered?); then we address how each option would interact with the strengths and weaknesses God has providentially built into that family. Then we can address what "type" of education parents wish to give their children (parents wishing to give their children a true classical education are probably over-reachign what can be accomplished at home). And so on.

Another problem in the "homeschooling only" crowd is a spiritual problem: the desire for one, singular, prescribed answer to a question which demands wisdom rather than lists. The education of our children cannot be forced into a "one-size fits all" box. Like it or not, it is a challenge which demands wisdom, not just a proof text. This discomfort with needing to use Biblical wisdom, this preference for looking for that "one-size" prescription, is not Biblical Christianity. It is fundamentalist, anti-intellectual churchiness.

Barry York said...

Amen to both Trueman's thoughts and your well-stated defense above, Jared.

With regard to the question, "Just what criteria would you as a church leader use to help a family determine "the righteousness" in this matter?" how about a one-word answer? Wisdom.

Seeing my wife trying to exercise her gifts of motherhood in caring for our babies and hospitality as we planted the church, while growing frustrated trying to teach math and other subjects to fidgety teenagers, was the impetus for starting the academy here at the church. If some of my fellow home schoolers want to regard me as lapsed or unfaithful (and believe me, they have), so be it. I'll take my happy wife and God's freedom over their frowning countenances any day.

Kurt said...

Jared, if your criteria requires education to be "Christ-centered," then by definition, government schools would not be an option. I'm glad to hear you say this!

Barry, as I recall, you had a link to the Robinson Homeschool Curriculum on your website. Why would your wife need to "be trying to teach math and other subjects to fidgety teenagers" when you have an excellent self-disciplining, self-teaching curriculum to work with?

Jared said...

Kurt, of course you realize you're unceremoniously dumping words into my mouth. I am no fan of the public schools in general, but I do believe one can utilize the public for a Christ-centered education, though it is a stiff and high challenge most Christians utilizing the public schools do not rise to.

An example: One reason I might counsel someone to utilize the public schools would be for their excellent special education programs, especially for the more severely retarded students.

Please don't misread me as an advocate of sending all our kids to public schools. As Barry put it, the issue is wisdom; Biblical wisdom will lead us to see that God's infallible and immutable commands (give your kids a Christ-centered education) can have various and differing applications depending on context (using a public school to supplement some of the academics parents might want high schoolers to hvae).

Kurt said...

...I do believe one can utilize the public for a Christ-centered education..

"government-school education" and "Christ-centered education" are oxymorons, i.e. incongruous terms. Government schools are predicated on a Godless curriculum and environment.

It sure is a shame that we have to rely on government institutions for any kind of education for our children, when we have parents and the ekklesia as God's instruments here on earth. If we might only catch the vision....

Jared said...

What if we had a Christ-centered government?

Yes, parents and the church are God's instruments for children. But nowhere does God deny permission for these instruments to use other instruments, for the primaries to delegate to secondaries. You do this every time you let your daughter hear a sermon, or read a book by herself.

Please tread lightly, Kurt, in your insinuations. You really ought to give the benefit of the doubt that those who disagree with you have "caught" a biblical vision of Christ-centered parenting and educating, suffused with great amounts of wisdom, refusing to surrender to oppression from within the church from those demanding a "one-size fits all" approach to life. The approach you're taking (and obviously wishing others to take) wouldn't just result in more homeschoolers. It would result in an oppressive, schismatic church with the sheep (homeschoolers) on one side of the aisle and the wisdom-loving goats (Christian schoolers, public schoolers) on the other side. If we must be separate from people in the church, let's be separate on things which God has made abundantly clear, not on your personal applications of Scriptural principles.

Kurt said...

You do this [delegate instruction] every time you let your daughter hear a sermon, or read a book by herself.

The difference is I know exactly what she is hearing in a sermon and reading in the book, and have oversight. There is NO oversight over what she hears and experiences for 6 to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in a God denying environment.

It's really not rocket science. :>)

Jared said...

To claim parents of public-schooled kids have no oversight is, again, indefensible. Not to mention the problems between the lines of needing to preview everything our kids hear within the confines of the church.

On a separate topic, I would like to point out a pattern: In this discussion (and past others), I and others have laid out various arguments, objections, assertions and thoughts. Your pattern, Kurt, is to hone in on that one sentence you can jab your sword at without taking seriously the whole of our thoughts or arguments. The post and above comments have provided a number of points you haven't responded to, yet you expect me to respond to each of your points (which I try to do). I trust the readers of these comments realize the one-sidedness of this kind of pseudo-debating. By picking and choosing the topics you want to talk about and blithely dismissing most of our arguments out of hand, you prevent real, genuine debate and disagreement to happen.

Kurt said...

The approach you're taking (and obviously wishing others to take) wouldn't just result in more homeschoolers. It would result in an oppressive, schismatic church with the sheep (homeschoolers) on one side of the aisle and the wisdom-loving goats (Christian schoolers, public schoolers) on the other side.

If the ekklesia was not Holy Spirit honoring, I would agree with you. But, I believe that with God, all things are possible, as we seek to honor Him. Matthew 19:26

Kurt said...

Jared,

I'm sorry that you don't like the way I respond. As you well know, the problem with debating someone with different presuppositions, is that it is fruitless to address every single point. Simply exposing a major point of yours that is representative of our presuppostional differences can be sufficient to negating your other comments, and allows others to follow it more easily. We have to remember our audience.

Tamara said...

I'll chime in. Lisa wasn't homeschooled and she turned out great. :)

Apples of Gold said...

I can speak from experience on the issue of homeschooling vs. government schools as I have two daughters, one whom I homeschooled, and one whom I sent to a government school for high school. After my husband was injured, I needed to devote my time and efforts to his rehabilitation; therefore, I reluctantly enrolled my youngest in the local government school after being told that there were several Christian teachers there and it was a great school. In retrospect, I can say that there were a few positive aspects of the total experience; however, the negative aspects far outweigh the few positive ones. I now regret that decision, and if I had it to do over again I would have chosen a different path for my impressionable young daughter. Although there were a handful of Christian teachers at the school, the curriculum was not Christian based, and the majority of teachers were very poor role models as well as negative influences. Nor was the student atmosphere conducive to my daughter’s spiritual growth. And sure, we can point to many people and say, ‘They went to a government school, and they turned out okay.’ I can say that about myself. It’s rather simplistic to think that way, though. For one thing, the atmosphere was much different back then as it is today, and even though I may have done “okay,” I wonder if I would have better thrived in a Christian atmosphere if given the opportunity. I wonder if I would have avoided certain temptations as a teen had I not been subjected to an ungodly atmosphere back then.

I realize there are some who have been offended by Kurt’s warnings regarding government schools. Even though I have been part of the targeted audience in this regard, I have not been offended at all; quite the contrary. I appreciate the fact that Kurt believes deeply in his messages of warning to other Christians in sending their kids to government schools. Although I do not believe it’s a salvation issue or even a right vs. wrong issue, I think warnings are a good way of reminding parents to reflect on the decisions they are responsible for making for their own children as they will ultimately have lifetime consequences whether you agree with all the aspects of Kurt’s arguments or not. In the end, it’s each parent’s decision to make and each parent will have to live with the consequences or rewards of that decision.

I can think of Biblical accounts where God’s people were warned of various behaviors and when the people didn’t like the message, they ran the messenger out of town. I don’t know if this applies in this situation or not, but it came to mind. I don’t condemn anyone for sending their children to government schools. I’d by a hypocrite if I did. I look at kids like the Stockwells and see strong Christians and it’s obvious that the government school system did not spoil their Christian character. But I also think that by sending our children to government schools we are taking certain risks. Some kids are stronger in their faith than others, and I believe Satan takes advantage of our children’s weaknesses, and the government school seems to be a favorite playground of his.

These conclusions that I just shared were verified recently when I read an article at Worldnetdaily.com regarding this subject. The article was entitled, “Christians need Exodus from Pharoah’s system/Minister says 3 of 4 kids lose religious beliefs at public schools.’ The article is definitely worth a read, and the results of a recent study are disturbing. A portion of that article reads, “"Based on statistics, there is a 70-to-80 percent chance that a [Christian] child will abandon the church and their faith in a public school career," Moore told WND. The bottom line, then, is Christian parents need to lobby their pastors, pastors need to lobby their denominations, and their denominations need to start programs creating and operating public schools.”

If I had read that article prior to sending my daughter to the government school, I may have made a different decision about her education. Warnings are a way of helping us to consider all aspects of the debate, whether we ultimately agree with them or not. To me, this is what Kurt has attempted to do, not because he wants to point a scolding finger, but because he cares about what is happening to our children. So whether you agree with his analysis or not, I hope we can at least try to avoid overreacting by becoming so easily offended.

Well, that’s my two cents worth…hoping maybe someone can learn from my experience.

Nathan H. said...

First, I'd like to say I really enjoy this blog - even if we've only barely met, I do read your blog fairly consistently and appreciate your insights!

Anyways, I think it is the perfect time for me to chime in considering I was homeschooled through 8th grade and now am 6 days from graduating from a public high school. The past four years have been wonderful. I sincerely appreciate my homeschooling background, having been firmly rooted in gospel truth. However, public schools are by no means hellholes and devil's playgrounds. Although I can't speak for every public school, I was able to navigate through four years of public education by building solid Christian friendships, participating in Christian activities at the school and generally avoiding the inevitable problems (drugs, alcohol, and the people that involve themselves in such).

You can't stay locked up at home all your life - eventually, people must enter that cliche place known as the "real world". Whether the appropriate time for that is college, high school, or even earlier or later, it's got to happen. If parents recognize a child's confidence in faith and the truth, public school is not the least bit a bad option.

Eh, I didn't make much sense, and I'm way off topic from the original post, but I saw my chance to comment and ran with it...

Pat said...

As another student who has experienced education first in the home and then in public school I feel a need to comment here. Through elementary and middle school I was homeschooled and received a strong education rooted in faith. As I approached high school, through much prayer and consideration my parents decided to send me to a public school.
While public school has it's pitfalls, I was blessed to have the guidance of parents who remained a stronger influence in my life than any of the teachers or friends I met in high school.

Moreover I am convinced God used my time in public school to test and strengthen my faith as well as connect me with certain teachers and organizations that gave me direction in my life. I am currently studying engineering at Purdue and am blessed to play an active part of the ministry there, and if I had remained homeschooled these opportunities would not have been presented to me.

Apples of Gold said...

These examples are why I said this is not a right vs. wrong issue, and I know my daughter has a different view on the subject. She would probably say that the government school was not such a negative influence because she was very lonely in the homeschool situation and she preferred government school over homeschool, mainly for the sports opportunity. I know there are some Christians who can, and do, weather the government school experience much better than others who might be a little weaker in their faith. My experience was from a parent's perspective which cannot be overlooked since we see things through older and wiser eyes.

That said, I think my daughter will be okay, but I do think we had a lot more bumps in the road with her than we did with my older daughter who was not exposed to many of the negative influences that we faced because of being in the government school system.

Like I said, there were positive aspects of being there, just not as many as the negative ones when I looked back and compared the two.

Apples of Gold said...

I would like to make one more small observation about the subject. I believe the temptations and influences in government schools are much different for girls than they are for boys. Experiences will also be different based on things such as maturity level of child (including spiritual maturity), involvement of the parent, what teachers the child may or may not get, etc... There are so many factors that should be considered before making this important decision.

I hope my comments did not offend anyone, because that was not my intent. I just thought that by posting my experience others might be able to benefit from what I have learned. I'm just thankful that my daughter graduates in a few weeks and this whole government school experience will be behind us. I'm very proud of my daughter. She has accomplished a lot in the past five years and she has matured a great deal, including spiritually.

BJ said...

Jared, you're great at stimulating thought and dialogues. For what it's worth, I'm a young woman in the Church, a believer and a girl who grew up in a Christian home. I went to public school from Kindergarten through 12th grade and have rubbed elbows with homeschoolers, public- and privately-educated students in several different environments. In my experience, God is powerful enough to save His people no matter what the circumstances--public, private or homeschooling aside. For me, public school proved to be a chance to learn how others view Christians and how they view man. It's not the best option for all students, but I'm thankful my parents put me in public schools: it allowed me to learn to interact with non-Christians on a daily basis (with the wisdom of my parents always at my side). Furthermore, I gained training in the visual and performing arts, writing, mathematics, science, foreign languages, broadcasting and so many other areas--which is practically impossible for a homeschooling set-up to offer. But more than nurturing my God-given gifts, my parents didn't abandon my brothers or me to the school system. My mom, in particular, took it upon herself to engage in the school system, to be IN the schools and doing what she could to show love to others and support me with wisdom, guidance and spiritual encouragement. Suggesting that putting one's children in public school is practically a sin is inaccurate and, frankly, it's what gives many Christians a bad name. We're supposed to engage ourselves in the world and shine Christ's light in the darkness. It is up to the Lord to lead parents along their individual paths in educating their children. He can and does protect them, save and sanctify His people whether they are homeschooled somewhere in the Congo or attend a huge public school on the Southside of Chicago. Bottom line: His will and plan prevails. We just have to trust that He knows what's best for each of us and that He will show us.

Alicia said...

Great comments, BJ. Jared as well. I don't have anything to add. I appreciate how you consistently respond with kindness and wisdom, Jared, with much truth.

Derek Brenneman said...

I want to start out by saying I graduated from a public school.....I know, I know its mind boggling to think that I still come to church on Sunday and am not a drug dealing alcoholic.

I have been in all three types of schools, public, home school, and private. I began my schooling at home, after that I attended a private school for a year, later I spent the final 5 years of my educational journey at Rossville High School, and my am I glad I went to a public school. Being exposed to worldly temptations while still being in a moderately controlled environment at school and a stricter environment at home was a great blessing. Now when I venture out into the world my convictions have been tested with temptations. I cannot say enough about the "real" world experiences in public schools that I faced. Homosexuality, alcohol, drugs, etc confronted me. After dealing with these things I would come home and whether I asked or not my parents would keep me straight on these issues, using God's word. Now as I prepare to go to college I know where I stand, because of my experiences and my parents guiding light into the word. I know I don't and won't smoke, do drugs, etc, still blows the mind huh?


Also if the temptations are different for boys and girls at public schools, I know for a fact a girl can live a Christian life and have her beliefs cemented at a public school. Since I was five years old I have known a girl. We were home schooled at the same time and went to high school together. Throughout the years I have become to know her extremely well, and I can say one thing and know it’s the complete truth. She is one of the most Christian people I know. To be honest when I look into her life I wish I could be half the person/Christian she is. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting her you will have to take my word. She is the perfect example of a person that has gone to a public school and came out the other end with her beliefs more affirmed than if she would have been sheltered till her 18th birthday.

I would also like to add the high school sports, which are not offered in the home schooling realm, strengthened me in many many ways. However, that is a different argument for a different day.

Brothers and sisters, I am not saying that home school is right, that private school is right, or that public school is right. The choice, as Jared has said, is up to you and your convections. However, the idea that public school is this big monster, and friends in all these blogs that idea has been an underlying theme, is absurd. Come to think of it, maybe public school is a monster, the junior monster if you will, a place for Christian adolescents to be tested. However, in this test there is a safety net, loving parents and a loving church. I have come through this test with a stronger faith and much stronger convictions. Still shocked?

Derek Brenneman