Train a child in the way he should go
I started with The Baby Whisperer – I figured anyone claiming to be able to make every single baby perfect with minimum effort had to get their confidence from somewhere…turns out it comes from thinking you’re wonderful, eating lots of chocolate, and swearing every so often. I’m sure there are some good lessons in there – anyway, if my son’s perfect after a couple of months you’ll know where to go to find out how you can do it too!
I then discovered an interesting little article in which some guy talks about this thing he made up with his wife. They celebrate their sons becoming men in a Bar Yeshua. The article’s here.
I potentially like the idea, and I like the way his kids clearly take on responsibility when they ‘become a man’. All good so far. Then comes the curriculum for passing the ‘man test’:
- Knowledge of the contents of the Bible.
- Know the names of books of the Bible in order.
- Know Bible history.
- Read the Bible all the way through.
- Know main themes of biblical books.
- Understand how Biblical teaching centers on Christ.
- Know Greek and Hebrew (amount of knowledge tailored to the child’s ability)
- Memorization of selected verses and passages of the Bible.
- Knowledge of the major teachings of the Bible (doctrine).
- Memorize a children’s catechism as a summary of doctrine.
- Be able to explain doctrines and respond to questions using one’s own words.
- Personal piety.
- Using devotional materials
- Prayer diary
- Day-long personal retreat for prayer and fasting with Daddy
- Growth in understanding of means for overcoming sin
- Projects of service and mercy.
- Serving the church; serving the needy.
- Wisdom in dealing with various spheres of life.
- Finances: tithing, drawing up a year-long budget; checkbook balancing; investing.
- Etiquette: table etiquette, greeting etiquette, letter etiquette, conversational etiquette, sexual etiquette.
- Apologetics: answering questions and objections about Christian faith; understanding the Christian world view and the main competing worldviews and ideas in the United States.
- Sexuality: knowing Christian teaching and standards for thoughts and actions. Understanding how God designed male and female bodies.
Um…wow? I can’t do half of that now! The age for this test is his son’s 13th Birthday, and assessment starts at 11. Drawing up a year-long budget at age 11? Learning biblical Hebrew and Greek? Memorising a catechism and the full order of Bible books?
Perhaps I’m shooting too low with expectations for my son, but does this strike anyone else as making a kid grow up a tad too quickly? Part of me thinks that a boy who’s memorised Scripture, serves faithfully in the local church and has training in apologetics has got to have a good headstart for moving out into the big wide world, but part of me can’t get away from the fact that at 12 I’d probably want him to say ‘do you want to go outside and play football’ rather than ‘have you ever wondered about John’s use of logos?’
Any thoughts, anyone? Particularly from parents of boys? Any tips would be very welcome!