I mentioned that I read a book by Frank Boreham recently entitled Mushrooms on the Moor. It is a book of theological essays for lack of a better description though these are not highfalutin big-word essays. It is a very readable book and I highly recommend it.
One of the ideas that particularly got me thinking was that we must not let our beliefs be like used clothing. That is, we cannot just borrow what we believe from other people. Now, I do belive in absolute truth and I suspect that Mr. Boreham does as well, but I also think that he has a point. Have you ever been around some one, perhaps in a Bible study, who has a favorite author they are constantly quoting? It can be annoying. They treat that person as if they are almost Scripture themselves. Or perhaps you have been that person? The young I think are especially apt to get carried away with one book or another and to swallow all that it says whole.
This is how Boreham puts it:
“A man’s faith should fit him like the clothes for which he has been most carefully measured . . . A man might as well try to wear his father’s clothes as try to wear his father’s faith. It will never really fit him.”
Now here we reach an interesting point because as I think as parents, and perhaps especially homeschooling parents, we are always trying to fit our kids into our clothes. Let me reiterate that there is an absolute right and wrong. And yet each of the billions of people ever born is unique and each has a unique relationship with his Maker. My understanding of God is never going to be just like yours. We each see different parts. And no doubt we each hold to our own errors.
There is an awful lot out there to help parents convey their faith to their children. And I will admit I want my kids to believe most of what I believe though there are some areas where I might not care if they come to different conclusions (things like whether to celebrate Halloween come to mind). But most of all I want them to have a relationship with God. And if it is a relationship it will be dynamic and unique. It will not be just like mine (and there is a lot of room for improvement anyway). But I think as parents we want our children’s salvation so desperately that we find it hard to trust that the truth of God’s Word is powerful enough to do its work without our constant interfering and encouraging (which might just be a nice word for nagging).
I post here about a lot of books I have read and I think that to do so is a wonderful thing. It puts us in touch with other minds and the ides they have held. From each one I take a bit, some here and some there. Some have more to offer than others. None are perfect. To return to Boreham’s analogy, this is a bit like trying on other people’s clothes to see how they fit. But in the end, we take a piece here (“ooh, I liked the cap sleeves she wore but the skirt was too short; I want mine more like so-and-so’s . . . “) and hopefully in the end come to some sort of whole that fits us well.Though if we ever stop tweaking our outfits I suspect we are in trouble too.