Inculcation: A Dirty Word

randomlychad  —  August 16, 2011 — 3 Comments
'Taking time to answer questions_1846' photo (c) 2007, James Emery - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Yesterday’s post was a humorous look at a recent misunderstanding. Why there was a misunderstanding at all is simply because my wife and I take seriously the biblical charge to: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6, ESV). That is, we believe–as our children’s parents–that God has tasked us primarily with instructing our kids in His ways, with inculcating the values we hold dear.

It’s not that we believe that we’re to do this alone, but rather that we’re directly accountable to God–more than anyone else–for what our kids learn. Which means that it’s not the church’s job, their teachers’ jobs, grandparents’, etc., to teach our kids about Jesus.

Which was at the root of our recent misunderstanding. Before we had all the facts, it appeared that a family member was teaching our son something contrary to our family’s values. Thus, we addressed it as such, and made a much-needed phone call.

While the call brought clarity, there are deeper issues, and a deep faith divide between this family member and ourselves. Truly, while this person claims to be “Protestant,” the only thing remaining of their childhood faith is the much-vaunted work ethic. (Believe me, there is much that I could go into here–such as being allowed to worship at the altar of Hefner beginning around the age of ten–that confirms my diagnosis). Suffice it to say that Bible tells us that we “shall know them by their fruits.”

And really that’s what my wife are about, namely seeking to reap a harvest of godly fruit in our children’s lives.

We’re old-fashioned that way. Call it indoctrination, inculcation, whatever, we will unashamedly:

“teach them diligently to [y]our children, and shall talk of them when you sit in [y]our house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deut. 6:7, ESV).

It is up to you, as members of our family, or village, to help–or hinder.

What say you? How do you see? From whence do your children derive their values?

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Great post Chad! I agree and believe that parents have to instill their values into their children -- otherwise it'll be left up to the culture and that's simply unacceptable.

  • As you know, this is a tough issue for me, particularly since my husband's deconversion. I won't say it was easy prior to it, but since, it's become much more difficult.

    I absolutely want our kids to be raised with our values -- I think most parents do. And I want them to come to faith. But I'm definitely working at it far more from the caught not taught side of things. I think for both of us, that's the most respectful thing we can do. Fortunately, when it comes to values, despite our difference in faith, we still hold to the same worldview concerning how we treat those we're in contact with. That certainly helps.

  • Cindy Holman

    I agree with you. It is taught and modeled for sure -- not always easy as we are FAR from perfect ourselves. But now that mine are raised -- and my younger lives on his own in California waiting for music school to start in October -- we just have to know that we lived and were examples in his young life -- while he is away -- and that he will remember what he's been taught and shown through the years. After all -- our kids are given to us as a gift -- they are on loan -- and we are required to be that example for them.