I am excited to be going to the Teach Them Diligently Conference this week! One of the presenters will be Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing. If you get to go to the conference, please try to make one of his sessions. After listening to him, I bought two of the books recommended, and quite a few of the Lamplighter Theatre productions, and they have been wonderful! Here are some thoughts I had after his presentations:
Mark Hamby was fascinating to listen to and very passionate about his topics. The sessions were about building character and excellence in children. I really have a desire to introduce my son to real heroes. Heroes of the faith and heroes in history. So this was my motivation for going to Hamby’s sessions. I went to 4 of his sessions and ordered the 5th one to listen to. Now I am even more motivated to teach character to my children and I feel more prepared to tackle the responsibility. His sessions were more like a Bible Study to me, so I soaked up as much in as I could!!
One of the truths I had to grasp was that I cannot force character traits onto my children. They have to be intrinsically motivated and have a “want to” for change. Instead, I am going to need to come up with ways my kids can emulate good role models. This could take place by dealing with people or by reading books. TV is a waste of time and detrimental to the thinking process, so it’s not the best way to go about teaching character.
Hamby mentioned the word “AGON” where we get our word “agony.” He spoke about agonizing, or attempting, to reach the highest level of excellence for the glory of God and how we should aspire to reflect God in our work. Paul talks about us running the race of life and striving for excellence and perseverance. People today don’t like to agonize over anything. We don’t want to exercise to lose weight; we don’t want to cook our own food in the kitchen so we go out; we don’t want to read the hard books so we get the condensed versions; we don’t want to deny ourselves so we wonder where God is in our lives.
Romans 5 begins: “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
If we are willing to endure the tribulations, then we receive perseverance which produces character. So what will motivate a child to endure adversity? If I can teach my kids that God is in control and that He is the hope of our salvation, then the Holy Spirit has to take over and build the momentum that produces proven character. I can’t do this “raising kids” thing in my own power. I MUST surrender my kids to God and allow Him to mold their hearts.
God wants us to be “partakers of the divine nature.” We can’t be like someone we don’t know. I need to make sure that I am in the Word and learning about my God, but I also need to have my kids in the Word, daily.
The Greek word for “blind” gives us the picture of someone who purposely closes the eyes. So the person who lacks these character qualities (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love) is purposely closing his eyes to the Truth and has “forgotten his purification from his former sins.”
So we need to be “more diligent” and “practice these things.” God has called us to participate in what He is doing. As I add knowledge, moral excellence, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love to my character, and it costs me something as I die to myself, in turn God gives me the most theatrical performance of my life and He has paid for it all.
I don’t want to be “useless and unfruitful.” And I certainly don’t want my children to be that way. My conclusion from these sessions is this: I HAVE to be in the Word and growing in these character traits myself so that I can be an example of a Christian hero to my children. And then as I teach them about Jesus, I want them to see what a hero He is. Because Jesus is my hero.
Right now, the kids and I are in the middle of reading Teddy’s Button. It’s a fantastic story about a little boy who finds his faith in God and learns how to fight, and be a soldier in the Captain’s army, against the enemy of self. I’ve also listened to Teddy’s Button and Hedge of Thorns through Lamplighter Theatre. They are phenomenal productions!
So if you are headed to one of the homeschool conferences in your area, please be sure to stop in and listen to Mr. Hamby. You will learn quite a bit!
Disclaimer: I received no products from this company. I just want you to know about these awesome products!!