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    by Mike McHugh

Homeschooling Is A Relay Race
Date Posted: May 11, 2006

Home school parents have many responsibilities confronting them in the race to prepare their children both academically and spiritually for service within Christ’s kingdom. What a growing number of home educators are realizing, however, is that their task is ultimately like a type of relay race as they work toward the goal of someday handing off their children to godly marriage partners. Even home schoolers, therefore, are not spared from this paradox of parenting in that they are working hard to train and nurture their beloved children precisely so they can give them away.

Christian parents must never lose sight of the fact that the normal culmination of biblical child training is when their child is successfully united to a godly marriage partner. Moms and dads, therefore, must remember how important it is for them to set a true and godly example before their children of how a Christian marriage relationship is to function. They also need to invest time and energy instructing their children in what the Scriptures say about the covenant of marriage and how the differing roles of husband and wife are ultimately complimentary and under the Lordship of Christ. The Word of God provides clear instruction in regard to marriage beginning in Genesis 2, and continuing on in passages such as Leviticus 18, Mark 6:18,1 Corinthians 6-7, and Ephesians 5.

Once parents have taken the responsibility to instruct their children in regard to biblical marriage, and made it a point to model these same principles on a daily basis, they must determine how they will help their older children to select suitable marriage partners. Fathers, in particular, have the duty to take the lead in guiding and protecting their children while they pursue what is commonly called either biblical courtship or Christian dating. Regardless of the specific mode a particular mom and dad select to guide their children toward marriage, fathers must insist that their children only consider suitors who are dedicated Christians. In addition, fathers must be willing to help their daughters qualify potential suitors by taking the time to personally interview each one who comes calling.

Obviously, there is no one set of questions that fathers should use as they interact with young men who have expressed an interest in their daughter. Nevertheless, here are a few sample questions that dads could use as they seek to evaluate a suitor. These same questions, by the way, would also be suitable to use in a slightly modified fashion when evaluating a young woman to determine if she is suitable for your son.

  1. Do you consider yourself a Christian? If so, why?
  2. Who is God, and in what respect is He Lord of your life?
  3. Tell me your view of the Bible and the Law of God?
  4. Describe your current relationship with your parents and local Church leaders. Have you had any problems relating to godly authorities in your life?
  5. What are your goals in life on both a spiritual and career level?
  6. How do I know that I can trust you to treat my daughter honorably and with moral integrity?

The mere fact that a young man is willing to submit himself to an interview with the father of a girl he is pursuing, helps to establish the fact that such a man is seriously interested in her. For this reason, fathers must be gracious and gentle as they interview young men who have come to ask permission to court or date their daughters. Even when a father determines not to permit a particular young man to pursue his daughter, he must not be rude or overbearing; but, rather, firm and kind as he sends the man on his way.

It almost goes without saying that selecting a proper marriage partner is one of the most significant decisions that any person can make. Young adults, therefore, need the guidance, support, and protection of their parents as they seek to find a marriage partner with whom they can be equally yoked. When home school parents fail to prepare and shepherd their children toward Christian marriage, they often find that all of their hard work in the area of child training is ultimately undermined. It is, after all, a well established fact that in the relay race of Christian home schooling, the issue of who wins or loses is often decided on the basis of how well and firmly the baton of faith is passed to the next generation.

"The Way" from Kevin Pauley

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Biography Information:
This column is written by the staff at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As a pioneer in the homeschool movement, Christian Liberty ministries has been operating a full service, K-12 home school program for over thirty years and a Christian textbook ministry (Christian Liberty Press), since 1985. The mission of Christian Liberty is to provide parents with quality, affordable educational products and services that will enable them to teach their children in the home and to train their children to serve Christ in every area of life. A more extensive explanation of the CLASS home school program can be obtained at www.homeschools.org.
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