by Clay Clarkson
Every Christian parent will readily affirm that their children are being raised in a “Christian home.” Probe a little deeper, though, and you’ll find that what they really mean is that their children are being raised in a “Christian culture.” Let me state what should be obvious, but isn’t; Christian activities and interests do not make a home Christian.
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- North Carolina Mom Heart Update and Pre-Conference Information Letter
- Thanks to CA and TX!
- Mom Heart Conference DFW/TX is FULL (Waiting List Closed)
- Mom Heart Texas…Almost Full and Closing Online Registration.
- Mom Heart California…Still Open for Registration!
- January Update #1: Conferences, Books, and Blogs…Oh My!
- December Reminder #1: We’re a Faith Ministry
- December Update #3: Soon…Heartfelt Discipline
- December Update #2: Desperate for Desperate
- December Update #1: Mom Heart Conferences
- The Mom Heart Conference 2013 Registration is LIVE!
- Heartfelt Discipline Update
- Three New Books from Sally, Sarah, and Nathan
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- Mom Heart Conferences 2012 – Thank You!
- Educating the WholeHearted Child
- Welcome! from Clay & Sally
- Mom Heart Ministry
- Whole Heart Online Store
- Keeping Up with Whole Heart Press
- List of Recommended Children’s Literature
- A Life-Giving Mother Moment
- Loosening Up Tied Ends
- Putting The Brakes On An Accelerating Life
- Home Discipleship: Living for God
- Home Education: Learning for God
- Home Nurture: Longing for God
- Home for Good, Home for God
Let me be more specific; a Christian home is never defined by what the children are doing…it is defined by what the parents are doing. Your child could study the Bible every day, listen only to Christian tapes and music, watch only Christian videos, read every missionary biography in the library, know a zillion memory verses, and never miss Sunday School or Bible Club, and yet still not live in a Christian home.
Your children cannot do enough to make your home a Christian home. Only you, their parents, can make your home a Christian home. A Christian home, in uncomplicated terms, is one in which the parents purposefully keep Jesus Christ at the center of family life. You choose to build your house upon the rock of Christ and His word (Matt. 7:24), and then to bring up your children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
In our home, we’ve identified three priorities of Christian home building. Each of these three priorities builds upon the one before it and supports the one following it: home nurture (shepherding your child’s heart to long for God), home discipleship (shaping your child’s heart to live for God) and home education (strengthening your child’s mind to learn for God). We regularly evaluate our home based on how well we are doing in each of those priorities.
If you are doing nothing else in your home, the place to start building is with creating a spiritually nurturing environment that creates a longing in your children for God. If you are doing that, then you should consider beginning to strategically disciple each of your children to live for Him each day. If that relationship is in place, then it should be a natural step to consider home educating your children to instill not just a biblical worldview, but a godly desire and ability to learn for God. Letâ€™s look at each priority.
HOME NURTURE: Shepherding your child’s spirit to long for God.
You create a Christ-centered atmosphere and environment in your home when you begin to integrate Christ and Scripture into every area of your family life; family devotionals, spiritual traditions, close relationships, or even how you decorate your home. It includes developing your child’s character, as well as being sure your own spiritual well is filled up. In a sense, home nurture is enriching the spiritual air that your children will breathe in your home. Books and resources to help you with Home Nurture are suggested in Home & Family, Christian Character, Mom’s Bookshelf, Dad’s Bookshelf, and Words & Music.
HOME DISCIPLESHIP: Shaping your child’s heart to live for God.
Home discipleship is the process of leading your child to follow and serve Christ as Lord. It is one thing to know the language and lifestyle of Christianity, but it is quite another to know Christ. Home discipleship is how you as a parent not only instruct your children about Christ, but model the life of Christ for them, and lead them into a relationship and daily walk with Him. You do that by studying Scripture together, reading and discussing inspiring and challenging Christian books, and getting involved in church and community ministry as a family. Books and resources to help you with Home Discipleship are suggested in Family Devotions, Bible Study, Christian History, Biblical Worldview, and Great Christians.
HOME EDUCATION: Strengthening your child’s mind to learn for God.
Home Education is the natural outgrowth of home discipleship. Your goal is not just an educated child, good SATs and college, or even a career and a good salary. Those may be fruits of your efforts, but your overriding goal should be to raise spiritually mature children who have both the will and the skill to learn, and the desire to keep learning. Your goal in home education, is to raise a well-rounded, spiritually-grounded, truth-founded Christian whose goal in life is to make a difference for the kingdom of God, whatever life path he or she chooses. Books and resources to help you with Home Education are suggested in Teaching Helps, Beginning Reading, Language Arts, Writing Arts, Living History, Read Aloud Books, Family Story Books, and Beautiful Books.
There is no biblical “formula” for building a Christian home. It is really just a relational process of loving God and loving your children. In fact, like the Christian life, most of the process of building a Christian home is simply a matter of walking daily in the power of the Holy Spirit, praying for wisdom, and stepping out in faith. That is what will define your home as a Christian home, that you, the parents, with God’s help, are nurturing, discipling and educating your children at home for Christ.