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Discipleship of

Young Children:

Home Training

vs.

Kindergarten

by

Earl & Diane Rodd






Young years are crucial in molding the attitudes of our children. In this essay we examine the discipling of young children with the objective of learning how to lead our young children into a living and powerful relationship with Jesus our Lord. We will examine the history of training young children and contrast that with Biblical models.







Discipleship of

Young Children


Home Training vs. Kindergarten




Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

4th edition - January 1994

5th edition - April 1998

6th edition - May 2000

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.



FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.




Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.



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Discipleship of

Young Children

Home Training vs. Kindergarten

Young years are crucial in molding the attitudes of our children. In this booklet we examine the discipling of young children with the objective of learning how to lead our young children into a living and powerful relationship with Jesus our Lord.

The Disciple in the Bible
Luke 6 :40 says, "A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained will be like his teacher."

The Greek word translated pupil in the New American Standard Bible has only one other translation in the New Testament. Every other place where the word is used it is translated disciple or disciples. There are over 250 references to disciple in the New Testament. The purpose of this study is to determine what is the attitude of a pupil or disciple, what is the behavior of a pupil or a disciple and what is further significance of this verse to parents who have chosen to educate their children in their own home.

Isaiah contains all three Old Testament instances of the English word "disciple". The Hebrew word is limmud which means "taught." This same Hebrew word is used in only three other places, one in Isaiah and two in Jeremiah. In one reference it is translated "taught" and the other two "accustomed to" rather than disciple, but the meaning is the same: a disciple or pupil is one who is specifically taught or trained by one specific person. A disciple or pupil according to the Bible does not have many teachers or is subjected to many voices or opinions to confuse, distract or cause unnecessary distress.

The Isaiah references make God's standards very clear. The first reference is Isaiah 8 :16 which says, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." That verse by itself doesn't seem to speak very much to hometraining parents, but when the whole context of the verse (verses 11-22) is examined, Christian home educators discover Biblical truth and guidance. These words were truth for Isaiah, and they are truth for us today who wish to obey them. Isaiah 8 :11-22 says,

Isaiah 8:11
11. For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
12. "You are not to say, '{It is} a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of {it.}
13. "It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
14. "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, {And} a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15. "And many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught."
16. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
17. And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.
18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
19. And when they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? {Should they} {consult} the dead on behalf of the living?
20. To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
21. And they will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward.
22. Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and {they will be} driven away into darkness.

Please note:

  1. The fear of the Lord is the first and foremost lesson of a true disciple (verse 13-14). Proverbs 9 :10 is just one of the many Biblical references that reminds us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
  2. God Himself is a sanctuary to those who fear Him and obey Him (verse 14).
  3. Isaiah was not a prophet by himself. He recognized that his children also were signs and wonders from the Lord to disobedient Israel (verse 18).
  4. The written word of God is our only standard and source of instruction (verse 20). Those who do not instruct according to the word of God have no light or revelation to guide in times of darkness.

Isaiah 50 :4 contains the other two uses of the English word "disciple" (or "disciples"). Isaiah 50 :4 says,

Isaiah 50:4
4. The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens {Me} morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

Because many believe this is a Messianic prophecy that can only apply to Jesus, the Messiah, the truth or reality of true discipleship is lost. Jesus said His disciples would become like Him. Paul understood this Biblical principle too. Romans 8 :29 says.

Romans 8:29
29. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

Again the whole context of the passage from Isaiah needs to be read not only to understand the attitude of a disciple but to also be warned. Isaiah 50 :4-11 says,

Isaiah 50:4
4. The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens {Me} morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
5. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient, Nor did I turn back.
6. I gave My back to those who strike {Me,} And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
7. For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8. He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me.
9. Behold, the Lord God helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.
10. Who is among you that fears the Lord, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
11. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand; And you will lie down in torment.

Please note:

  1. The major requirement of a true disciple is to have a listening ear (verse 4-5).
  2. The tongue of a disciple is to be used to sustain the weary (verse 4).
  3. Only one word from the mouth of a true disciple is necessary to sustain the weary (verse 4).
  4. A true disciple is awakened each day by the Lord Himself (verse 4).
  5. The ear of the true disciple is opened by the Lord Himself (verse 4-5).
  6. A true disciple remains obedient and humble in spite of opposition (verse 5-7).
  7. A true disciple allows the Lord to vindicate and defend him (verse 8-9).
  8. A true disciple who fears the Lord trusts the Name of the Lord and depends on God when all seems dark (verse 10).
  9. A true disciple doesn't light his own fire for light. He waits for God to bring His light and revelation into every situation of darkness.

The final use of the Hebrew word limmud in Isaiah is Isaiah 54 :13 which says,

Isaiah 54:13
13. "And all your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great.

The Hebrew word translated "sons" is also translated "children" and "grandchildren." The Hebrew word translated "well-being" means "completeness, soundness, welfare and peace."

The book of Jeremiah uses the Hebrew word limmud twice and in both places it is translated as "accustomed to". The first reference (Jer. 2 :24) speaks of donkeys. The other reference is Jeremiah 13 :23:

Jeremiah 13:23
23. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? {Then} you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

This verse shows the power of regular habit and teaching by declaring the difficulty of doing good when one is taught ( limmud ) regularly to do evil.

Hometraining parents must be confident in their decision to keep their children home and under their singular influence. However, we must also realize that many alternative lifestyle families, New Age disciples etc., have also chosen to train their children at home. The issue is not only the safety, security, time and opportunities that the home provides, but it is also the curriculum that parents choose to provide for their children that distinguishes Christian hometraining.

The main issue for Christians parents who are hometraining is: Are we secure in the choice of the Bible and its contents as the first and most important foundation for our children?

Family, friends and educational authorities (Christian and non-Christian) accuse hometraining parents of being too narrow in their thinking and in their choices of curriculum. These hometraining parents are tempted to substitute curriculum materials that appeal to the worldly ideas of man's philosophies, man's criteria and man's achievements rather than seeking diligently for Biblically based curriculum that will disciple or train a child in the way that child should go, the ways of the Lord. The issue for hometraining parents is very basic: Do we believe the Word of God can adequately train our children to be equipped for the 21st century? It is so easy to quote II Timothy 3 :16,17 but do we really have faith to rely totally upon it? It says,

II Timothy 3:16
16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17. that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

This issue must be faced for most educators agree the years 0-7 are the most crucial learning years of a human being. This is why educational institutions (non-Christian and Christian) insist upon having children at earlier and earlier ages. Communism has a known reputation for taking three year-olds from their family environments because it understands this basic foundational principle of the human personality. The one who trains a child is the one who has influence and power over the child. From the Old Testament references we have seen that this influence and power belongs not to parents but to the Lord Himself. He is the One who wants to teach and instruct our children. Parents are called to assist Him in this process not to replace Him. We are called to create an environment where He is able to teach freely without hindrance or opposition. His Word makes this very clear, but do Christian home educators believe this and so order their curriculum and activities according to this basic principle?

If so, then the basic curriculum from years 0-7 must be the Bible. Any other substitute will only bring distraction and confusion. The foundational years of a child should be spent in laying a Biblical foundation that will be the child's standard for the rest of his life. Proverbs 22 :6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." All other curriculum used after those years will have to be accepted or rejected by whether it meets the Biblical standards.

Biblical Truth Relevant to the Very Young
The human spirit can learn to hear and obey the Lord long before reading is a skill. Isaiah knew this and wrote the following,

Isaiah 49:1
1. Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.
2. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me, And He has also made Me a select arrow; He has hidden Me in His quiver.
3. And He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory."
4. But I said, "I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice {due} to Me is with the Lord, And My reward with My God."
5. And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength),

Jeremiah knew this and wrote,

Jeremiah 1:1
1. The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin,
2. to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
3. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4. Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
6. Then I said, "Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth."
7. But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.
8. "Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord.
9. Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10. "See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant."

David knew this and wrote the following,

Psalms 22:9
9. Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust {when} upon my mother's breasts.
10. Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother's womb.

and in Psalm 71 :5,6 David says,

Psalms 71:5
5. For Thou art my hope; O Lord God, {Thou art} my confidence from my youth.
6. By Thee I have been sustained from {my} birth; Thou art He who took me from my mother's womb; My praise is continually of Thee.

Luke knew this and wrote

Luke 1:41
41. And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42. And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed among women {are} you, and blessed {is} the fruit of your womb!
43. "And how has it {happened} to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44. "For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

Paul knew this when he wrote

Galatians 1:15
15. But when He who had set me apart, {even} from my mother's womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased
16. to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
17. nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

We do not need modern scientific knowledge or psychology to teach the truth about the intricacies of the human species. Our Lord has provided the basic truth about humanity in His written word. If we will read it, search it out and believe it, the Lord will be able to guide us through all the challenges and unknowns that lie before us as hometraining parents.

Practical Application of Biblical Truth
Parental reading of the Bible from conception to age 4 enhanced by music, songs, stories, etc. that are Biblically based and sanctioned by the Lord should be the basic curriculum for hometrained children. Ephesians 5 :15-21 says,

Ephesians 5:15
15. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
16. making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19. speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20. always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21. and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Parental discipline and chastisement should be the major concerns at the ages 0-4. Children have only one basic commandment as stated in Ephesians 6 :1-3 which says,

Ephesians 6:1
1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),
3. that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

If this commandment is neglected or abused at an early age, confusion, rebellion and grief will be the inevitable result.

Christian home educators should reject any pressure to provide a "kindergarten" program. Webster's Third International dictionary defines "kindergarten" as

"a school or division of a school below the first grade usually serving pupils of the 4-6 age group and fostering their natural growth and social development through constructive play with blocks, clay, crayons and by group games, songs and exercise."

The 1985 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica has this historical definition of kindergarten,

It stressed the emotional and spiritual nature of the child, encouraging self-understanding through play activities and greater freedom, rather than the imposition of adult ideas. p.867 Vol.6

A more extensive description says this,

The kindergarten was unique for its time (1837). Whereas the first institutions for small children that earlier appeared in Holland, Germany, and England had been welfare nursery schools or day-care centres intended merely for looking after children while parents worked, (Friedrich) Froebel stood for the socializing or educational idea of providing, as he put it in founding his kindergarten, "a school for the psychological training of little children by means of play and occupations." The school, that is, was to have a purpose for the children, not the adults. The curriculum consisted chiefly of three types of activities: (1) playing with the "gifts" or toys, and engaging in other occupations designed to familiarize children with inanimate things: (2) playing games and singing songs for the purpose not only of exercising the limbs and voice but also of instilling a spirit of humanity and nature; and (3) gardening and caring for animals in order to induce sympathy for plants and animals. All this was to be systematic activity. p. 55 Vol.18.

From these two explanations it is readily apparent that the historical root of the kindergarten program is based in humanism and not in godly principles. Day-care centers were organized to care for children whose parents were working in factories during the Industrial Revolution. Kindergarten attempted to replace the home atmosphere that was neglected by working parents with activities that could easily be performed by a mother who was home all day with her children. However, kindergarten also encouraged freedom and play rather than adult instruction and values. This view of kindergarten is now viewed by most western nations as an essential experience to a child's educational and sociological development. However, history has proven that the parental abdication of hometraining and education has produced a society that is incapable of establishing the Biblical standard upon its culture. The problems get worse every year. God's word says,

Proverbs 14:1
1. The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

In our modern culture we now have the insane situation of mothers having to work to keep their little ones in a kindergarten program. These mothers are convinced they are not capable of providing for their children once they reach the age of 3-4, and thus they abandon their homes to provide the necessary money to keep those children in quality kindergarten programs. Christian kindergartens fit into this category. It is a deception that started in the Industrial Revolution. Money replaced dependence upon God as the One who was the best provider. Now the vicious cycle is complete. Kindergartens are supported by women who could stay home with their children, if they believed they were capable of training, disciplining and educating their own children. God's people perish for a lack of knowledge.

As these definitions have shown a kindergarten is an environment where children are "socialized," and their natural man is allowed to gain ascendency. At the age of 3-4 small children are subjected to many voices, varied entertaining and interesting activities, multiple concepts and ideas, differing cultures, numerous behavior patterns (good and bad) and this all occurs in an environment over which parents have little or no control. Parents can only depend upon their child's report at the end of the day of what occurred there, or the teacher's report of what occurred there may find its way to the home. The parents are not there to assess or discern any situation correctly or wisely. Parents are totally dependent upon a stranger's assessment of their child. Whether it be good or bad is not the issue. The issue is: Can parents trust this assessment?

Jesus said,"...everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. " A child who attends kindergarten etc. from years 3-5 will have a multiplicity of teachers, various adults (who may say and do contradictory things), numerous peers (whose behavior and speech patterns are untrustworthy) and literature (stories, plays, music, songs, etc.) that present divergent and confusing concepts, lifestyles and philosophies -- these are the teachers of a child who attends kindergarten and all this in violation of a very basic educational principle made by the Lord Himself: a disciple has one teacher.

The word of God as has been previously quoted states that God desires to speak to a child while still in the womb. Yet modern man refuses to obey a simple scriptural command: "Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God" Psalm 46 :10. From the womb to the grave modern man has an uphill battle to hear the voice of God and obey Him only. Luke 6 :40 says,

Luke 6:40
40. "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

In the previous section, we examined the Old Testament references that contain the word "disciple," and we applied those Biblical principles to the attitude and curriculum of the Lord's disciples who are being hometrained.

When the Bible is the basic foundation curriculum, the attitudes and behavior of a child assume one convergent whole rather than a divergent set of rules and regulations that have no common purpose or goal. The specific rules of God for humanity all function for one major purpose: to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The divergent and conflicting rules of man also function for one major purpose: conformity to the world. Paul warned us in Colossians 2 :8,

Colossians 2:8
8. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Thus we shall see that the behavior of the Lord's disciples will separate us from the behavior of the world. As we examine the scriptures, we must remember it is this behavior we wish ourselves and our children to emulate. Humanity was made in the image of God. Thus Paul could say,

Ephesians 5:1
1. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2. and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3. But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4. and {there must be no} filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Most of the curriculum that we find in kindergarten or on the TV doesn't fit this Biblical standard. Sesame Street and similar curriculum designed to appeal to a child's natural man do not teach a child to give thanks as the Bible demands. Silly talk, ridicule, coarse jesting, etc. are the confusing elements mixed into a supposedly simple way to learn to read and to count. The behavior that results from a true fear of the Lord cannot be taught by cute worldly animal characters. A dracula (part of Satan's kingdom) will not teach a child to count adequately or concisely. The child may be entertained and stimulated and may enjoy the program immensely, but the cultivation of a thankful heart will never come from such an educational diet. Moses prayed,

Psalms 90:11
11. Who understands the power of Thine anger, And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?
12. So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.

This must be our goal too.

We now live in a generation where the occult and sexually deviant behavior has brought a plague of disease upon mankind that few other generations have experienced. Sodom and Gomorrah is the Old Testament example of the desperate times in which we find ourselves concerning the AIDS epidemic. The New Testament shows us the root problem that leads to such extreme disobedience. Romans 1 :21 tells us exactly what occurs.

Romans 1:21
21. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

These people once knew God, but they refused to acknowledge God as creator, refused to honor Him by giving thanks and the light of God's truth that He placed within them became darkness rather than light. (Romans 1 :18-21) Many contradictory voices drown out the voice of The Lord.

Hometraining parents must be very careful of such a deception and be confident that the written word of God will adequately prepare their children for all that will challenge them as adults. II Timothy 3 :16,17 says,

II Timothy 3:16
16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17. that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

We must be sure that we don't expose our children to voices and ideas (literature, music, videos, movies, TV programs, etc.) that will deafen their ears to the voice of the Lord. If we believe these scriptures to be true, our behavior (practice) will prove to others what we really believe.

We must be willing to choose the Bible as the perfect curriculum in opposition to choosing that which maybe good or may be the best. The Bible is better than the best. It is perfect. The Bible is better than any work of man, whether it be literature, drama, etc.

Man's creativity can not compare with the subject matter God has placed within the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the foundational truth of humanity is told in a literary form that has no equal.

Good adventure stories may be found in libraries and in book stores, but the perfect or complete adventure stories are found in the Bible. David running from King Saul or Paul's encounters with religious hypocrites are just two of numerous adventure stories contained in the Bible. These stories are perfect because God has recorded them, and He is able to teach us His truth through them. They do not appeal to the carnal fleshly nature of a child, but the perfection of God's truth will feed a child's spirit and strengthen his inner man. Courage and perseverance will be learned in the perfect context: seeking the Kingdom of God.

Good love stories may be found in the film libraries of Hollywood, but the perfect or complete love stories can be discovered only in the Bible. The stories of Boaz and Ruth, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel are three perfect examples of God's truth. Within God's Word the truth of the love between a man and a woman can be taught and learned correctly. Christians don't have to watch TV soap operas or series to learn the negative effects of wrong sexual choices. God's Word perfectly covers the stories of David and Bathsheba, Tamar, Jezebel, Herodias etc. to clearly teach His standard to His people.

The best war stories may be aired on TV or on videos, but the perfect war stories are contained within the Bible. God has perfectly portrayed battles with divine intervention through angels or specific plans that puts Star Wars to shame. The defeat of the Egyptian nation and the battles of Joshua, Gideon, Jehoshaphat, etc. are just a few of the perfect battle plans that God wants to share. The defeats are there too, but the defeats always clearly show that disobedience to God's will and purposes will never bring victory. The stories won't appeal to the baser elements of natural man - blood, death and human violence are not stressed. However, the inner man of a child will learn the lessons the Lord wishes to present at ever deepening levels as he grows and understands the true stories that God has provided in His word.

The suspense that accompanies the supernatural found in the Bible exposes the fakes of entertainment found in the world. Angelic visitations, resurrection of the dead, an axe that floats, fire falling from heaven, etc. are all contained within the safety and security of God's supervision and selection. His tree of life produces safe, abundant fruit. Whereas the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil always brings death.

Christians have been deceived long enough by the worthless useless and futile attempts of man's creativity. There is nothing the world has to offer that is better than the Bible. Good literature and the best movies may be found outside the Bible, but the perfect literature that can fully train a child can only be found within the pages of a Bible.

Hometraining parents must be on the offensive concerning their choice of the Bible as the perfect curriculum for their children's foundational education. Bible believing Christians We have no reason to be insecure, defensive, unsure, guilty or condemned. When we provide the Bible and its contents to our children from the womb to age 7, we have given them the perfect foundation as the standard by which all other ideas, concepts, theories, philosophies, literature, etc. can then be judged. Psalm 19 :7-11 says,

Psalms 19:7
7. The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.

The question is: Do we hometraining parents believe this scripture enough to base our children's education and their future upon it?

David said,

Psalms 101:3
3. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
4. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.

Solomon said,

Ecclesiastes 12:11
11. The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of {these} collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.
12. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion {to books} is wearying to the body.
13. The conclusion, when all has been heard, {is :} fear God and keep His commandments, because this {applies to} every person.
14. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Paul said,

II Timothy 3:16
16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17. that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

And God told Joshua,

Joshua 1:8
8. "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Hometraining parents must make a strong decision to believe the Word of God and search for curriculum that adheres wholly to the principles and truth contained within the word of God.

Parents can be very strict concerning the food intake of their children. Candy, cookies, and after dinner sweets are good and they taste nice, but they are not essential for a child's body to grow and mature properly. Most mothers are very conscientious about limiting such items in the family diet. It is no different in the spiritual realm.

The literature, (books) drama and plays (TV shows and movies) of the world may be interesting and entertaining but they aren't essential for the edification of a child's spirit and may even prove to be detrimental and harmful. The best literary diet for a child is exposure to the Word of God. From the womb to age 7 a child's ears should be finely tuned and trained to hear, understand and obey the Word of God.

The prodigal son (Luke 15 :11-32) had been exposed to the perfection of his father's home. He had tasted the perfect, he knew the perfect and he knew where to go to find the perfect. Thus despite his foolish decision to forsake the perfect, he had a sure foundation or standard by which he could judge everything he experienced away from his father's home. He came to his senses and came back to the perfect.

What happens if a child has never been exposed to the perfect? What occurs if the child has had the perfect combined with the good or the best in such proportion that he rejects the perfect in preference to the best? One look at modern society and the compromised state of most local churches will give us the answer. Confusion and the blind leading the blind are summed up in one Biblical statement,

Judges 21:25
25. In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Jesus Christ has won the right to be King in the homes of parents who wish to train their children at home. May hometraining parents be very careful to train their children according to the King's standards and His methods.

Hebrews 11 :3 gives us further insight into the usage of the Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare." It says,

Hebrews 11:3
3. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

If our great creator God created the whole universe by His spoken word, why is it so hard to believe and accept His written word as the perfect and adequate foundational training for our children? Hometraining parents are continually pressured to accept the humanistic idea that the written word of God is not sufficient or adequate. When we are pressured to add other subject matter to a young child's learning experience, the Word of God takes a minor place in the activities of the day. A devotional reading tacked on the end of the day will not satisfy the scriptural command found in Deuteronomy 6 :4-9 which says,

Deuteronomy 6:4
4. "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
5. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
6. "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
7. and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
8. "And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
9. "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The Bible must be first and foremost because God's word brought our natural world into being. His Word also has the same power to bring our spiritual man into strength and power if we will dedicate the time and effort that is necessary to allow the written word of God to do its work in our lives.

Jesus said, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." Luke 6 :40

Unity in the home can not be achieved by exposure to a diversity of voices or activities which teach contradictory views about God and the truth as revealed in His word. Jesus said,

John 17:20
20. "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
21. that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, {art} in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.

Jesus makes it very clear that belief in the written word of God as set down by God through various men is the prerequisite to unity. Any deviation from the written word of God no matter how slight will produce disunity.

Jesus went on the say that it is the unity of believers that is the greatest tool of evangelism. He said the world will believe (continually believe) that the Father sent Him when it sees unity. We know that the world of our modern society doesn't believe that the Father heart of God sent Jesus. Over half of the professing visible major denominations debate the virgin birth, the deity of Christ and the atoning work of Calvary to cover the spirit, soul and body needs of man. God's word is continually rejected by non-Christians and so called Christians in favor of cults, the occult, psychology, psychiatry, modern science and medicine. The divergent voices, opinions, doctrines and traditions make it very clear to those outside of Christ that the church they can visibly see offers nothing different from what they already have.

It is not the purpose of this booklet to delve into unity, but it must be noted that families can only be united by hearing the same voice. I Corinthians 1 :10 gives us further insight into the Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare." It says,

I Corinthians 1:10
10. Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There is only one way this verse can be achieved in hometraining families. The Bible must be the sure, complete, perfect foundation upon which every other educational endeavor must be built. If not, the family will not be the evangelical tool the Lord desires it to be.

The generation gap and teenage rebellion have their root in the ignorant refusal to give the Word of God it's dominant place in the education of young children. If non-believers observe Christian families with all the same problems, dilemmas, heartaches and grief of the world, what kind of witness are we portraying? It is a negative witness of hopelessness, despair and futility. However, if members of a Christian family think alike and talk alike as Paul exhorts us, then the non-believer has the true hope and trust that he too can posses such unity and common purpose.

Matthew 4 :21 and Mark 1:19 both verify the completeness or prepared state the Lord wants for His disciples and families. In both these verses the Greek word katartizo is translated "mending." It refers to the work the disciples were doing when Jesus called them to follow Him. In the natural they knew no fish could be caught if there were gaping holes in their fishing nets. It is in this context that Jesus said,

Matthew 4:19
19. And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

It is the responsibility of Christian home educators to be certain that our families are mended, prepared and ready to catch the harvest of people that God will send our way. Any gaping holes of humanistic philosophy or divergent activities must be sewn up and mended with the truths contained in the Word of God. Only then will we be complete and prepared for whatever the Lord sends our way. Only then we will be of effective help to another fellow human being. The youngest to the oldest must realize the importance of being able to speak the Word of God effectively into any needful situation. Ephesians 4 :29 says,

Ephesians 4:29
29. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such {a word} as is good for edification according to the need {of the moment,} that it may give grace to those who hear.

Galatians 6 :5 opens with this same idea of being a unit that can be used to restore and repair others who need God's grace. God needs homes of refuge and safety where the word of the Lord can be heard clearly without condemnation or guilt but does bring conviction and repentance. In the following passage the word translated "restore" is the same Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare." Paul exhorts with these words,

Galatians 6:1
1. Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; {each one} looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
2. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.
3. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have {reason for} boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
5. For each one shall bear his own load.

This is God's plan and purpose to reach those around us, and in Matthew 21 :16 we realize this type of evangelistic witness knows no age barrier. In this passage the same Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare" is translated "prepared." It says,

Matthew 21:16
16. ... 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast prepared praise for Thyself'?"

This passage demonstrates that not only does God wish to use children as a sign and wonder as Isaiah stated, but it also indicates that these young ones are still in the homes. A child who is being nursed by his mother cannot be one who is far from her side. Does our modern culture ignorantly stop the praise of God from young children's mouths by plucking them out of their mothers' arms too soon? Is the praise of our God choked in the throats of these little ones because other voices are so loud and so demanding of attention that these little sounds are brushed aside or ignored?

In its context it is easy to see that God's plan for young children and the praise and thankfulness that they exude is a strong spiritual weapon against the enemy. Psalm 8 :1-2 says,

Psalms 8:1
1. O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!
2. From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength, Because of Thine adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

This Psalm shows us that praise in a young child's mouth has enough power behind it to stop the work of the enemy. This is not a religious program or method that entertains the natural man. This is true spiritual warfare that occurs in the security and safety of the home. Psalm 149 :5-9 teaches us this same principle concerning God's will for families. It says,

Psalms 149:5
5. Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6. {Let} the high praises of God {be} in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,
7. To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishment on the peoples;
8. To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron;
9. To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord!

Verse 5 makes it very clear this activity does not occur in a church service. Singing for joy on our beds makes no sense when given a religious interpretation. The praises of God within the security of the home is a worthwhile activity not just for the spiritual education and edification of ourselves, but it also serves as a much wider sphere of influence. The devil and his forces are bound when families praise and thank God. There is no age limit to this activity and the ramifications of this truth are staggering.

Is the enemy running rampant in our society because abortion violates the sanctity of the womb and stops young mouths from praising our Lord? Does the enemy go unchecked because TV programs, radio broadcasts, video games and worldly music and entertainment silence the words and music of praise of our children ages 1-7? Are the kindergartens and day-care centers really the devil's program to stop the praise and thankfulness from young lips that would bind his activity? Do these institutions and modern trends help or hinder the Kingdom of God? The Word of God makes it very clear what curriculum and what kind of activity hometraining parents should be promoting. The sphere of influence one home in one neighborhood could have is limitless. Do we realize now why the opposition from family, friends, neighbors and even churches is so strong? The enemy even used Peter to oppose the will of God in Jesus' life. In Matthew 16 :23 we read Jesus' words,

Matthew 16:23
23. But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

Training our children at home is not a trendy idea. It is God's will and purpose that will meet opposition and resistance from the enemy. It will take many forms, but if we are dedicated to see God's will performed in our lives, He will do His part to help us in every battle we may face.

In I Peter 5 :10 we see another scripture using the Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare." It says,

I Peter 5:10
10. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen {and} establish you.

What a beautiful promise. We can trust in the written Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit to provide a total, complete curriculum for our children. Hometraining parents do not have to be defensive, but we must be diligent. We should not be argumentative, but we must be persuasive. We do not need educational credentials, but we are to be full of faith and wisdom. Be encouraged by the words of Paul,

Colossians 2:1
1. For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
2. that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and {attaining} to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, {resulting} in a true knowledge of God's mystery, {that is,} Christ {Himself},
3. in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.
5. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
6. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, {so} walk in Him,
7. having been firmly rooted {and now} being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, {and} overflowing with gratitude.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd