Monday, March 7, 2011

Christian Education is an Atmosphere

My children were baptized together in January.
Recently, I wrote about educating within our atmosphere, the circumstances of life which God ordained for us, the textbook-wasters. Today I’d like to consider the areas of our home-atmosphere in which we may have some effect, whether for good or ill.

When Ms. Mason declared that “Education is an atmosphere,” she not only stated that children should experience life without being patronized or coddled much, although they should be sheltered according to good sense, but she also implied that the atmosphere of our homes are the true classrooms of life.  In simpler terms, and we’ve heard it before and again, More is caught than taught.

It always gives me pause, so let's stop here for a bitty.

When I consider the atmosphere I most want to cultivate in my home, the atmosphere by which I most want my children shaped, it is indeed the atmosphere of Christ. More than ancient history or sciences or Shakespeare (gasp!), I desire that my children know intimately and truly the heart of their Savior. Without this knowledge, it matters not what may else fill their minds. Without this intimacy, something false and hollow will surely capture their hearts.

And I just cannot bear that thought..!

“That … is the kernel of life: to make up our minds what it is that we want, what is worth striving for; and it is this central aim which makes the atmosphere of our lives, which stamps itself inevitably on our ways and words, so that we are for-ever [sic] declaring it, though it may be unconsciously and involuntarily.” (M. F. Jerrold, Volume 8, no. 12, 1897, pp. 772-777)
In order to cultivate this atmosphere of Christ in my home, I must start with myself by modeling a life that clings to, relies upon, finds supreme pleasure in, and is comforted fully by Jesus the Christ and His work at the cross on my behalf.

But it’s not easy for me.  You see, I'm a sinner.

As much as I outwardly love my children and delight in them, I’m a rather private person, having been raised as a near-only child and left to myself mostly.  It's not of pride; it's more of nature.  But left to this nature of mine, the strength of my faith goes often unseen until given a moment to speak of it, to share it, to encourage another with it.  Although my children are well aware of my knowledge of God, they are sometimes surprised by my utter dependence upon Him ... which shames me.

If there’s anything I wish not to withhold from them, it is this, and yet I often fail by displaying a quiet confidence in my God who saves base and wretched sinners like me; provides for our every need and for our delightful pleasures, too; reveals His will and my sin, never allowing me to stray far or long; comforts nearly every sorrow, leaving the others to mold and shape me; leads me along His lighted path as I carry a burden that is not heavy; and loves me with an everlasting, merciful and long-suffering love.

I must learn to be more of a blabber-mouth... for the children’s sakes, of course ... as I continue to allow Him to shape me through the work of His spirit and, thereby, create an atmosphere filled with His glory!

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

May the atmospheres of our homes bring about the fruit we so desperately desire to bear in His name and for His fame!  Amen.


  1. An atmosphere of Christ! Yes! Like yourself I have to remind myself to share more my everyday Christ moments with the children.

  2. hmmmm... I know exactly what you mean! Too often, I keep quiet when I should speak and speak when I should keep quiet... urgh.

    This is exactly what I'm working on for, well, my whole life so far. ;)

    thanks for the reminder, and for submitting it to the cm blog carnival.
    amy in peru


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