"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."

Earl & Diane Rodd
November 30, 1987 93 Great Ryrie St.
Heathmont, Victoria 3135
Phone (03) 879-4082

The next FHC meeting will be the first Sunday of December, that is December 6 , 1987. The meeting will begin at 1 pm at: YWAM 1 Kent Road Surrey Hills, Vic

For those who have not come before, our format is (1) Bring a simple picnic lunch along (sandwiches, fruit etc.) and avoid the rush of eating at home and getting to the meeting. (2) Spend our lunch time sharing with each other.

It has been suggested that some families could be helped by being able to borrow curriculum material from others who are finished (reusable books). If you have material with which you are finished, or would like to borrow material, please mention this at the meeting.

A year ago, we decided that Sunday was the best day for a monthly meeting. If you do not normally come to the meetings on Sundays, but would faithfully attend if the meeting was on Saturday, please contact us. If you attend the Sunday meeting now, but could not attend on Saturday, please mention this at the next meeting.


The subject of "socialization" is often a main issue of confrontation for families home training. The subject is often raised in two contexts:

  1. Home training families sometimes receive either questions about the socialization of their children or objection to home training because of a lack of socialization.
  2. Home training families are exposed to teaching either within the church or in society which explains psychological (humanistic) reasons for children to be in institutions with lots of other children, even from very young ages (3 years old).
We believe that the matter of "socialization" is one in which Christians are in danger of the frog-in-the-boiling-pot-syndrome where change occurs so gradually that Christians end up accepting humanistic psychology (boiling in the pot) without ever realizing the danger. As humanistic psychology dominates education and child training in our society, there is more and more emphasis on taking children out of the home at ever younger ages. Unfortunately, Christians often follow the trends of the humanistic society and believe that "socialization" is a sufficient reason to get children out of the home, away from the training of parents and into a peer environment. Before going further, let us review the meaning of the word, "socialization".

In Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Copyright (c) 1981 by Merriam-Webster Inc.) we find two primary definitions of "socialization".

  1. The action or process of making socialist or putting on a the state of being socialized.
  2. The process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of his society through his education and training for adult status - compare ENCULTURATION.

Often, these two meanings are confused. In this letter, we want to focus on the second meaning and consider the Biblical method of socialization. From whom is a child to acquire habits, beliefs and accumulated knowledge? And what culture should children be taught, the humanistic culture or a Biblical one?

From Whom Should a Child Learn

The Bible specifically mentions a child's father and mother. It never mentions learning the culture from a peer group.

Proverbs 4 :1
Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.
Proverbs 4 :3-4
When I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, then he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; acquire wisdom!"
Proverbs 6 :20
My son, observe the commandment of your father; and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.
Proverbs 23 :22
Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
The Bible clearly states that a child's father and mother carry responsibility because they are the ones who gain joy or grief by the child's behavior (Proverbs 10 :1, 29:15, 17:25, 15:20, 19 :13, 29 :3).


One aspect of the humanistic idea of socialization is that children can only learn to relate correctly with people if they spend many hours a day with children who are the same age. Notice that even the dictionary definition of socialization carries no implication of learning from peers. One easily observes that when young children spend a lot of time in each other's presence, they are a bad influence on each other. We are not speaking of the effect of bad company but only of the bad effect which young children have on each other. They bring each other down to a lower standard of behavior than the standards of any of the individual children.

The other aspect of the humanistic idea of socialization is that children can only develop good friendships in a institutional environment (in the company of many children their own age).

The book of Proverbs gives us godly wisdom concerning friends. In Proverbs , we can find two key statements concerning "friends" in the plural, that is many friends.

Proverbs 18 :24
A man of many friends come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 19 :4
Wealth adds many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend.
Proverbs 19 :4 has the idea of many opportunistic friends since they are only friends due to wealth.

Now in contrast to these statements concerning "many" friends, the book of Proverbs does say very positive things about a friend (friend in the singular) indicating the value of a true friend.

Proverbs 18 :24
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (some believe that this verse may refer to Jesus as our friend).
Proverbs 17 :17
A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 27 :6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

Here we see a picture of a friend who is trustworthy and able to correct and challenge a person to raise his behavior to a higher standard in God's sight.

Further, Proverbs 7 :1-4 says

My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you.
Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your intimate friend".

This scripture reveals that God's priority is being a son with understanding and wisdom, rather than being a man of many friends. The context of this verse also reveals God's method of the father teaching the son, which is where discipleship starts.

Discipleship versus Schooling

The Biblical pattern for advanced training beyond the instruction in the home is for discipleship and not schools. We see the Biblical pattern in Paul, who was trained by Gamaliel (Acts 22 :3); in Samuel, who was trained by Eli; and in the disciples, men who experienced the highest education ever known to man, who were trained by Jesus. Thus "socialization" in the sense of being with many peers is never a priority in the Bible.

The concept of a school has its origins in Greek society and comes from pagan philosophies. Discipleship has its origins in Hebrew society which is based upon God's Laws. The fundamental principle is that since God is our creator, it is He who should be consulted as the master educational psychologist.

Instructions to Fathers

The Bible provides instructions for fathers with regard to their children and provides a standard of measurement. The simple instructions are:

Ephesians 6 :4b.
Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3 :21
Do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.
So we see that fathers are to bring a certain kind of instruction to their children and to keep them from losing heart (losing a love of learning, losing a love of the truth, losing persistence). There is nothing in these Biblical instructions which indicates that fathers should see that their children are "socialized" in the sense of putting them with their peer group.

Finally, the Bible gives standards of measurement for a father's training of his children. These standards are given in the qualifications for elders of the church. As you read these standards, realize that there is no Biblical relationship between these standards and the humanistic idea of socialization.

Titus 1 :6
..having children who believe,
I Timothy 3 :4
..keeping his children under control with all dignity,

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd