“Johnny, give your toy to your sister. You need to learn to share.”

“No, Annie, I don’t feel like taking you to the party tonight. It’s time you learn to give up your own desires once in a while.”

“We shouldn’t complain when our high taxes go to support the homeless. The Bible says we should sacrifice to help others.”

All three of these statements have something in common. Do you know what it is?

All three have a faulty understanding of the meaning of sacrifice. The first sentence sounds pretty innocuous and I’ve often heard it said to toddlers. The second statement is a little more problematic and you may have heard parents of teenagers say this. The third statement shows the full picture of misunderstanding biblical sacrifice.

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“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7:9-11)

I once read a supposedly amusing account of a mother whose young son left the house one morning to catch the school bus.  But he returned after a couple minutes and in a discouraged voice told her that school was boring and he hated it and wanted to stay home.  Her reply was something along the lines of, “Life’s tough.  Get on the bus.”

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One of the key tenets of Marxism is that the end justifies the means. In other words, if the goal is desirable then you can use whatever means are necessary to achieve it, even if they are unethical. After all, it’s for the “greater good,” right?

A Christian worldview rejects this notion wholeheartedly. Good ends should be achieved by good means. God has given us standards of right and wrong that He expects us to obey regardless of whatever noble goals we are pursuing. For example, as Christians we support worthwhile charities and missions. However, no Christian in his right mind would reason that it is acceptable in God’s eyes to rob a bank in order to give lots of money to a charity or a missionary. 

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Not every family is blessed by having a Great Oracle of Wisdom such as myself in their midst, but my family is lucky. I am always ready to dispense Advice and Instruction whenever I’m asked for it, and often when I’m not asked! (Isn’t that nice of me?) And although my Vast Talents occasionally go unappreciated by my thankless family, I have no doubt that you will appreciate the tips on homeschooling and childrearing that I, the Homeschooled Oracle, have to offer. I share these Fabulous Tidbits out of my store of Personal Experiences, Personal Observations, and from the Stock of Truisms I learned from my Venerated Parents.

A-a-hem. Here it goes.

Kids will be kids. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to act like well-behaved adults—usually at a younger age than parents give them credit for.

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