Parenting is hard. It’s so hard that often you find yourself wanting to scream and pull what little hair you have left. It’s even harder to find resources to aid you in your quest to be a good parent. There are thousands of parenting books, blogs, magazines, courses, and videos. My brain hurts just thinking about all of the research that I’ve done to find good parenting resources that align with my beliefs and echo the kind of environment that I’d like to foster in my home.
Luckily, I have a wife. A wife who lives to research. She is constantly researching topics from health and nutrition to web design and organic gardening. Recently she stumbled upon Sally and Clay Clarkson who co-founded Whole Heart Ministries and have written dozens of books to “encourage, equip and enable parents to raise wholehearted children for Christ.” In their mission statement, they say their content focuses on the biblical and practical aspects of home nurture, home discipleship, and home education. This is exactly the kind of resource I’ve been looking for.
In the preface to their exhaustive book on home education, they reference King Solomon from the Bible. Solomon is known for being wise, wealthy and famous, but what’s often downplayed is the degradation of his heart. Solomon’s heart became divided. In 1st Kings 11:1-8 we read:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David, his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8 And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
He didn’t follow the instruction of his father David in 1st Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon, my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” They go on to explain that these are simple goals that we ought to be aiming for as Christian parents.
I want my kids to be intellectually curious and confident enough to take big risks in life, but what I’m more concerned about is the state of their heart. I want to instill in my kids a robust Christian worldview that produces a fertile environment for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and regenerate their souls. I’m excited to dive into these resources and glean some biblical truth and encouragement for our parenting journey.