Friday, January 13, 2006

The World Outside

Amy's encouraging comment to this statement I made in a comment to my last post brought to mind a song that relates to my last two posts.

Tony: "I was an outsider too until I left a small private, Christian school for the shelter of public school."
Amy: "Love the comment... . That speaks volumes."

So in keeping with my recent trend, I am posting the lyrics to the song.

by Pinnick, Tabor, and Gaskill

Yeah she told me, that if I wasn't good
He would get me, make me pay for everything I did,
and she said that everybody bad would burn in Hell
I did what she told me and I became someone else.

I had to run
I had to hide
In the world outside
A better chance, out there
If God is everywhere.

I wait for nothing, take my chances let it ride
maybe there's an answer but it's buried by the lies
Somebody told me that it's just a waste of my time.
But I can't get rid of all those bags I left behind

I had to run
I had to hide
In the world outside
A better chance, out there
If God is everywhere.

Now, I am not trying to be hard on us Christians or to criticize. But I do implore us to be very careful on how we conduct ourselves. Let's always try to draw people to Christ and not let our prideful humanity alienate others or each other. It is possible to be different--set apart, in the world but not of it--and to be this with love and compassion. And this means being that light with our Christian brothers and sisters as well as the world.


jettybetty said...

Hi Tony,
I really tried to write a post responding to your experiences and it just didn't come--so for now, I don't think I'm supposed to do it.

We live about 2 miles from a very well known *Christian* school. One of the reasons, we did NOT use it--was just what you have described in your previous post. I believe *Christian cliques* is an oxymoron.

I am a big supporter of what God can do in public schools, but it's no secret there's a set of different set of issues to deal with there (which I personally think are easier--{no surprise}). I still would never say it was EASY!!

Erin mentioned homeschooling as the answer. My question to homeschoolers is this: as much pain as rejection is, it is a part of life. Young people need to learn to deal with it, because they will deal with it all of their lives. So, I'm not sure protecting from it is where I want to go either. {There are some positives of homeschooling I am not mentioning here--this is one of my problems with homeschool.)

BTW, I think I've seen *Christian cliques* at their worst in church youth groups. That's a whole 'nother post!

Rant over--probably won't have to go to my blog--'cause it's all out over here!

Tony Arnold said...

Thanks Jettybetty. Your comments would have made a good post, don't underestimate yourself. The whole school issue is very tough. I do think you run a higher risk of clique problems at smaller, private schools. And I agree about some of the worst being in church youth groups. I did not personally have a problem there, but have witnessed many traumatic settings among friends, friends' children, or within our own church's youth ministery at different points. Our current youth ministery stresses unity, family, and Christ imitating behavior.

On the home school front: I think the driving motive for the decision should be education. That is, parents feel they can provide a better education for their child than can the school system. I don't feel that "sheltering" would be a motive that would produce a good experience. I think the sheltering motivation would produce unexpected and undesired results. But this is said having little experience with home-schooling.

I feel the only time protection should be a motivating factor for home-schooling would be if your school system cannot physically protect your child from harm. Avoiding rampant violence and drugs would be a valid reason to home school. But I feel you need to really be sure this is an actual threat and not a perceived one.


jettybetty said...

Good thoughts.
I agree with your analysis of homeschooling, too!

I am glad you shared your story and brought the subject up. I do think parents need to be very sensitive and supportive during such times in their child's life.

Whatever the place of education--there will be issues--I tend to believe the way parents handle them--will make all the difference in how they affect their children! Each child will be different, too--so what works for one won't necessarily work for the next one.

I do believe our knees are a good place to be when trying to parent children--no matter what the age!

Amy said...

Well said. This is hitting home with me since we do send our children to a Christian school.

I struggle with these questions. I don't want to shelter them, but I do hope to provide the best overall experience available in our town.

Lots to weigh...and I've been weighing it a lot.

erinlo said...

Wow. Good thoughts. I struggle with the homeschooling issue. As a parent, of course my first reaction is to want to shelter my children. I don't think that's always a bad thing, though. I understand that rejection is a part of life, but I think it's our job as parents to decide when our children are ready for it. I don't think my husband was ready for it when in middle school the "cool" boys taunted, "Run nerd run!!" He was threatened and humiliated on more than one occasion and if you think for one moment that I will expose my boys to CRAP like that- OK- I'm getting a little carried away. I don't think we should shelter our children forever, but I would also submit that we, as parents, know our children best and know what they are capable of handling and not handling.

Tony Arnold said...


What you are describing is probably the toughest balancing act a parent faces. And because each child is so different, no one will have the perfect piece of advice.

Unless it was our Lord, pray...

As we all go forward as parents, you bet I will lean on some of my blog friends for advice.

And I echo from my experience, there is no way I want to expose my daughter to all that CRAP!


Amanda said...

Let me just jump in by saying that I am so glad we don't have kids yet. Just reading all of this and thinking about it makes my head hurt!