Recently the church email group… thingy… was signed up to receive RC Sproul, Jr.’s Kingdom Notes. Since I’m on the church email list… thing… I got today’s Kingdom Note: “I am tempted of the Lord.” A quote really stood out to me this week (please note that I am taking this somewhat out of context, but essentially coming to the same conclusion.):
Which is more important, raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, or being salt and light? Christian homeschoolers are tempted to choose the former, while Christians who send their children into the government’s schools are tempted to choose the latter. What do you think?
What do I think? When I read that quote, I immediately thought of 1 Peter 3:1,2,&4:
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Yeah, I know, this passage is for wives, but I think it can apply to us all, at least to some extent.
I remember studying this passage in a mothers and daughters Bible study a few years ago, and I was initially very confused by the King James language. I mean, “they also may without the word be won by the [talking] of the wives.” Yeah, I couldn’t really see that happening. So, looking up “conversation” in the 1828 dictionary was a really good idea. Here’s what it says (it’s amazing how definitions change!):
1. General course of manners; behavior; deportment; especially as it respects morals.
Okay, that makes more sense. “they also may without the word be won by the [behavior] of the wives; while they behold your chaste [deportment] coupled with fear.” But… fear? Again, bit of a definition change there, or at least a less common usage of the word:
FEAR, n. 9. Reverence; respect; due regard.
Well, that makes more sense than the modern sense of fear, which is something like terror or phobia, or something. “While they behold your chaste [deportment] coupled with [respect].” Okay, the last word that sort of confused me back then was “chaste:”
2. Free from obscenity. While they behold your chaste conversation. 1 Peter 3.
Hmmm, look at that. 1 Peter 3:2 is used as an example for the second definition. I reckon that one will be the most applicable for this verse. “While they behold your [pure] [deportment] coupled with [respect].” So, as Christians, what do these verses, so often only applied to wives or prospective wives, look like? I think they look something like this:
“…that, if any obey not the word, [the world] also may without the word be won by the [behavior] of the [Christians]; while they behold your [pure] [deportment] coupled with [respect].”
It is my prayer that I will one day be able to raise my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (which, to me, implies homeschooling, among other things), and to teach them to witness at the same time through their conversation. I believe that the children of Christians are some of the strongest evangelical “tools,” if you will, that we have today. When the world sees well-behaved, polite children, they’re surprised, sometimes to the point of asking questions, which is a wonderful opportunity to verbally witness as well. So, one type of conversation often leads to another type, which occasionally leads to a conversion. Okay, that sounds kind of lame, but it could be true!
11Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
— Proverbs 20:11
Sorry, this turned out to be longer than I originally intended, but it’s a subject I have often contemplated, and Pastor Sproul’s “What do you think?” was too much for me to resist. … Okay, I might could have resisted, but why?
‘course, having to pack the laundry room next might also have been some incentive NOT to resist it. Guess I better get back to work. 😛