Here is a test. Can you quickly write down what the major character needs are of each of your children? As dads we are not only responsible for the education of our children, but also their character. Any character issue that is left unresolved in our children becomes a future spouse or employer’s problem. If our children get by with laziness, lying, stealing, disrespect, or disobedience, they will only get worse once they are out of our homes.
I spoke to a saleswoman just yesterday who said she and her husband had decided to tell their twenty-three-year-old “dead-beat son” not to contact them ever again. That will not solve anything. Hopefully, none of us will ever experience a situation as grave as the one they are in, but the principle that we will reap what we sow is an iron-clad guarantee. The doubly sad part of their situation is that these parents view themselves as ideal role models and poor, innocent parties. Therefore, they will probably never humble themselves sufficiently to resolve the breach. They are not willing to accept responsibility for what they have created.
So, does that mean there is no hope since none of us are perfect? Certainly not! God’s grace is sufficient and in our weakness He is made strong. However, we must humble ourselves and be willing to admit our failures. We need to seek God’s answers to the problems. We must cry out to God for insight into the problems as we look past the surface issues to the real root causes. We must accept the possibility that we dads may have a significant part in the solution. Then we must commit to do whatever is necessary.
There is one area I encourage you not to overlook as you search for causes. I am convinced one of the biggest contributors to much of the difficulty in homes is the TV. I could write pages about TV and what it is teaching anyone watching it. I believe none of it is of value. Some might say, “Wait a minute, sometimes we watch educational shows.” Yes, but aren’t most of them humanistic and teach evolution? Wouldn’t it be much better if our children were reading the information out of a godly textbook? They would still receive the knowledge while improving their reading skills at the same time. I used to justify watching TV, when in actuality it was my own laziness and desire to be entertained that kept us watching it. It is a mistake to confuse entertainment with rest. One day of rest is good, more than that is likely slothfulness.
Others may say TV is great entertainment. Entertainment it is, but certainly not great or profitable. Could it be responsible for a generation that is entertainment starved? There is never enough. Children show up at youth groups looking to be “wowed” and to spend each moment having fun. There is no concept of serving or spending time profitably.
I’m told there are many programs that teach rebellion, disrespect for parents, laziness (that we must be entertained), and unhealthy sexual ideals. I’m sure the list could be much longer, but if there is a grain of truth in what I’ve heard about TV these days, then why keep it in the home?
Certainly there are many other areas that should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, most require difficult decisions to be made. We have all made a very tough one in deciding to home educate. Now the question is: Are there other difficult ones that could help to solve character issues while there is still time?