Yesterday a series of two odd, shall we say, coincidences came across my path. One was on a veggie tales add where someone claimed that people who let their kids watch veggie tales are just "indoctrinating their kids in to religion." Later in the day, my wife and I needed to get our monthly shopping done (shopping we can't get done locally feeding an army of 4 hungry boys), and so we made arrangements to leave town right after work. Running a little later than intended (as we always do), we explained to the boys that we needed to get our shopping done, that Sam's Club only is open so long, and we really needed their help. This, being the routine since they were younger, showed how up to the challenge they were. Grabbing three shopping carts (Two for us, one for the church), we then proceeded through the store, calling it the wagon train. I made hand signals and fun calls, and the boys helped with the front and middle carts, while Michaelene and our youngest took up the rear. Throughout the store, people talked about how well behaved and disciplined the boys were (and happy, even!), and what good helpers they were. From shoppers to store workers, people were both surprised and delighted at the behavior of our kids, and how they helped. What does one have to do with the other? What the person who commented on the veggie tales video didn't understand is that everything we do is indoctrination. The biblical word we use is called "training." No matter if we follow Christ, or not, if we discipline our kids, or not, they're being indoctrinated in to something, trained to become something. I told folks that we wanted our boys to be good men who follow Christ and were good workers when they were older, that we're training our boys to be godly men. One way or the other, we're all in training our children. What we're them training for is the most important factor. We can't let popular jargon dissuade us from our high calling: to "train up a child in the way they should go." I don't want my kids simply to be good men, but to be godly men who love Jesus and others above all else. I need to be that myself, so I must seek Christ first, along with all others. I need to train so that I might reach my goal, and take others with me, as the Lord allows. Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. Hebrews 5:11-14
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.