Inspired by an article in Briefing #51 called ‘Starving our Children’, one of our readers sent in this Lead Balloon.
Lead balloons: ideas only slightly too outrageous to be taken seriously.
I really do want the best for my kids; it would be inhuman, un-Australian, even ungodly, not to want that. After all, they are the future of this country—the future of this world. They deserve the best. That’s my God-given role as a parent. Anything less than that is just plain unacceptable.
I want the best education for my kids. None of this run-of-the-mill public education stuff for my kids. No sir. I will make the sacrifices necessary to send them to a private school. Sure, it costs a bit more, and it takes a bit more of my time each day, but it certainly is worth it. They get a much better, more well-rounded, disciplined education. None of this namby-pamby, new-fangled stuff that gets passed off for education at the public schools these days. I want something that will give them a good head-start in the real world. Something that will give them the opportunity to make their mark in Australian society in a positive sense.
And speaking of opportunities, I want to give my kids every possible opportunity that they can have in life. After all, we don’t yet really know how God has gifted them. We don’t know what talents lie hidden just beneath the surface, just waiting to burst forth, given the right opportunity. I want to give them that opportunity.
And so, for my son, I will take him to cricket in the summer, and to soccer in the winter. I will take him to training during the week. And I will even pay to have a bit of private tuition on the side. Who knows; he may be good enough to play for Australia one day. And he is a fairly tall kid for his age. So I am thinking of taking him along to basketball next year. The Boomers are making a name for themselves at the moment, and there are real opportunities for advancement in that sport. I guess that I will have to fit that in on one night during the week. On Tuesday afternoons I take him to piano lessons. Sure, it’s one more trip in the car each week (actually two, if you count picking him up again). But it is just one more opportunity that he needs to have. Who knows, God may have gifted him as a concert pianist. Then he could have all sorts of opportunities to witness for God to all sorts of famous people.
I don’t play favourites either. I try to do the best for my daughter as well. She does not seem to be into team sports so much. I did try her in the netball team, but she didn’t seem to get the hang of that at all.
However, she is showing a bit of promise in the more individual areas. I take her along to swimming lessons each week and to swimming practice every morning—well, every morning except Sundays. I don’t want to profane the Lord’s Sabbath.
And I take her to her flute lessons on Monday afternoons. And to her ballet class on Friday afternoons. Who knows where she may end up? The Sydney Symphony Orchestra? The Australian Ballet Company? All I know is that I want her to have the chance—the opportunity—to make it to the top. And I am willing to make sacrifices to do that for her.
I want to give my children a good start spiritually as well. And so I take them along to church and Sunday School each week—when they want to go. I wouldn’t want to force them; I have seen how bad that has worked out on other kids. They usually sleep through church—I am not sure why—but I guess they absorb a fair bit by osmosis anyway.
And I have devotions with them each night. We even use Scripture Union notes. Yes, I know that they cost a bit. But I really feel that it is worth the expense. I just wish they’d take a bit more in. But they usually seem so tired by the time we get to it each night, and they just don’t seem to be able to take much in then. I guess that is just Satan having his little go at us.
I did try having devotions in the morning for a while, but they had to get up so early, and then they didn’t concentrate as well in school so I went back to bedtime Bible reading. Well, I guess that there’s plenty of time for them to catch up on that sort of thing as they grow older—you know, Bible reading and spirituality and their relationship with God. I plan to catch up with a fair bit of that myself in a few years—after I have seen the kids through university.
My son is a clever boy at school. Don’t get me wrong; he still has a long way to go-but he is rather smart for his age, and he does always come top of his class. The other day, someone in the church suggested that I encourage him to learn New Testament Greek. After all, they said, God wants clever men in the ministry.
I set her straight right away. My son is busy enough already. He’s got quite enough on his plate. If God wants him to go into the ministry, then God is quite capable of letting him learn Greek when the time comes. It is not my place to pre-empt God’s calling by forcing him to do Greek now.
I know all this is pretty demanding on me. It takes time and money and effort. And it involves real sacrifice on my part. But I really want the best for my children. After all, they only get one chance at life.