Sermon Illustrations

Parent Realizes the Parallel Between Training Children Academically and Spiritually

I’d like to invite Dean Ridder to come up and share what he wrote on his blog a couple months ago (see Dean is a member of PBC, plays in the Praise Band, and is the principal of Pontiac Christian School. He’s a very gifted writer as you will soon find out.

“Before my family and I moved to this area, we lived in Indiana. The public school district in town was known for its small-town feel and its high scores on state standardized tests. There are many factors that combine and contribute to the kind of academic success the district enjoyed. Some point to the district’s P.A.T.H. Program as a reason for the success. The acronym P.A.T.H. stands for Parents as Teachers of Hanover. P.A.T.H. is a privately funded organization that teaches parents how to prepare preschool-aged children for school. They also check the growth and development of the children.

“Our family received P.A.T.H. training, even though my children were never enrolled in the district’s schools. Our sons were assigned a therapist at birth and had monthly visits for the first four years of their lives. Each boy had separate monthly sessions with the therapist to monitor whether they were learning at a sufficient level for district standards. Growth and development tests were given twice a year to monitor progress. We were given activities to do with the children, and were supplied with information about how we could improve our child’s ability to learn.

“I began to use the therapy sessions as a reminder to check-up on our family. When the therapist came to check on the physical growth and development of the children each month, it was a reminder to us to check the spiritual growth and development of our family. The therapist came to check that we were preparing our children to be ready for school. We checked to make sure that we were preparing our children for the Kingdom of God.

“Getting my children academically ready to learn is important, but not nearly as important as training my children in the knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ. Raising our children to be strong Christian adults isn’t just going to happen. We need to make intentional plans and lead the way. The Lord clearly assigns responsibility for the spiritual training of children to their parents. Sending my children to Sunday School to be taught by someone else’s Mom doesn’t relieve my wife and I of our responsibility in this area. Sending my boys to Awana to have someone else’s Dad hold them accountable for memorizing Scripture doesn’t change, lessen, or fulfill MY responsibility.

From a sermon by Brian Bill, Parenting Priorities, 11/15/2009

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