The Home is Still the First School

Our students today choose to overlook the fact that the home is the first school. In its most subtle form this sad truth puts our families in cold relationships and in its heart it shows the deadly spirit of arrogance.

Every national government and educational institution acknowledges the fact that learning begins at home, and that the parents are the first teachers of every learner. It is also true they say that the formative years spent in the home will have the most powerful bearing in the following years of a person’s learning.

Every student knows this; it is a basic and well-disseminated fact in schools. However, our students ignore it to their own peril and destruction. They try their best to learn only from the outside environment, taking into little account that the most important lessons of love, social development, and self-actualization are best learned when we begin learning them in our homes with our families.

The school is important. The instructors, textbooks, classmates, and learning activities all contribute much to the well-being of every student. However, if the home is deprived of its privilege to lay down the proper foundations for the total development of a person, then even the best educational institutions will fall short in its goals of forming well-educated and well-transformed students.

Going Biblical, the parents are instructed to teach their children the moral values and the right perspectives in life as shown in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This popular verse demands for a radical call to parents: if you want your child to live a fulfilled happy life, train him! Instruct him! How you train and instruct your child now will determine his life in the future!

And how should a parent properly train and discipline his child? By giving discipline that does not invoke anger, and by guidance that leads the child nearer to God as said in Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Yet this too, is overlooked by the parents. In the fear of securing only the financial aspect of their children, most parents today deliberately choose to abandon their children by working abroad to provide for their high-quality education. The results are devastating: children wanting for love and seeking them in unhealthy relationships, and not so uncommon, is broken homes. And that is all because of wanting to give them a better life by the means of abandoning them.

Alas! The children could well be blamed too! Even when a home is blessed with the most spiritual and caring parents who give their utmost efforts in educating their children, some children still choose to have their own ways, separated from the guidance of their parents. This is complete arrogance and in direct defiance against the admonition of the Bible in: Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” The dishonouring of the parents is one major reason why the youth keep on getting frustrated in life even if money and other resources are well available. They just do not see that the blessing of the parents is a must for them to succeed.

The home is still the first school. This has been taught over and over again in every educational institution. Yet, there is very little that a school could do to make this an actual experiential realization for all. The acceptance of the fact that the home is still the first school begins with the parents and the children themselves.

So here is what I say to the parents: Take hold of your responsibility! Nurture and educate your children in holistic ways! Teach them morality and disipline them in the ways of the Lord! Only then, they could benefit from the academic things of the school.

And to the children: Listen and honor your parents! Do not be wise on your own eyes! By giving them respect you can know for sure that your life will be a blessed one.

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What it Takes to be a Social Being

Everyone as a human being
Is not an isolated earthling
If you will just look around
There is so much to be found

There are so many dying
They need proper feeding and clothing
Would you dare to share
An extra pound of care?

Children need proper guidance
In this world of disturbance
They need to know the right values
In everyday life that should be used

The world around you is utterly broken
Even the tiniest of hopes seems to be shaken
What could be my role in this society
What could be my share of responsibility

Training Up the Children

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Teaching at the Sunday School for children is my first ministry, beginning from 2005. And until now, I still find myself having the joy of training up the children for Christ.

Right now, I teach at the Sunday School at JIL San Teodoro. And as always, I am tempted to teach academically: dictating the lecture notes, giving quizzes, oral recitations, Scripture memorization, and assignments. Well, these things aren’t bad after all, for I desire also the Sunday School to be a training ground for their studies at school. I simply would like them to be acquainted and trained for future academic life in school.

However, I thank God that I am not missing the real virtue of the Sunday School, and that is to help them grow more in the image of Christ, and that is the very essence of discipleship. By simple ways, I am trying to teach the children how to really pray, and we do it ‘hands-on’. I also ask them to pray for a friend to come to know Christ as a regular assignment. And during our sessions, I also ask them questions that relate to their everyday life and try to give them instructions on how to be a better person.

In my mind and heart, I always ask myself, ‘Is what I am doing really enough to help them grow in Christ?’ which is easily followed by a prayer, ‘Lord, bless our sessions and make them instruments so they may know You more.’