The concept of today's homework leads us back to when we were teenagers. How easily were you influenced as a teenager? I pretty much stayed out of any real trouble, but certainly pushed some limits - mostly with rebelling against my parents! I was influenced by my peers, but thankfully most of them had their heads on pretty straight too!
Now that you have reminded yourself of what it was like to be a teenager, think now of Daniel, who was probably only 15 when they were taken captive into Babylon. The following verses tell us about how Daniel and his friends were selected...
Daniel 1:3-4 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, who was in charge of the palace officials, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah's royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. "Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men," he said. "Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians.These young men were from royal and noble families so they were likely used to some form of comfort and privilege. However, not anything like the luxury they were now in! As I think back to my teenage days I think of the few families that were wealthier than the rest of us. They had bigger and nicer houses, nicer clothes, and all the reallly cool stuff. Their houses were the ones that we always wanted to hang out in!! But this was nothing compared to the luxury of what we saw as we watched our favorite celebrities on MTV!!!
Ok, so I think we get that the luxury was an influence, but what about the training they were to receive? Verse 5 tells us they were to be trained for 3 years, so from about age 15 - 18 years old! They were trying to replace God and the Hebrew culture with the training in the gods and culture of Babylon.
If you know me, then you know that we do home preschool with our three kids. I have my very own built in preschool class with a 4 year old and 3 year old twins!!! We have often been asked if we will continue to homeschool and the answer is that we simply have not decided. But what about how we are teaching them and what we are teaching them? We are the biggest influence on them right now. That, of course, will change soon enough and they will be most influenced by their friends and we will "know nothing".
As I was doing today's homework I started to think about what my kids will be like as teenagers. Will they be leaders or followers, how easily will they be influenced by their friends, what sort of kids will they be friends with? As these thoughts were so fresh on my mind, the study led us to the following verses...
1Timothy 4:7-8 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.Spiritual training in godliness should be the top priority in what we teach our children! Obviously a topic very far from public school agendas...hmmm one more check in the homeschool column.