Training: to form by instruction, discipline and drill
In my last entry I used the analogy of competitive sports for exploring the concept of training. We all realize, however, that teams are formed for other reasons than competition. The following examples show what I mean.
In January I had a health crisis and phoned 911. Within five minutes, a team of four paramedics arrived at my home. They performed tasks for which they were well trained. Working together, they played a nearly flawless ‘game’ – for my benefit. Their equipment functioned well and was adequate to assess my needs and get me to a hospital’s emergency services.
Not long after that, I opened my front door to three firemen, in full uniform, on the porch. Finding nothing on the outside, they asked where they could find the fire. There was no fire; it had been, in fact, a mis-cue from my alarm system company. This team of professionals was careful and courteous and did not leave until they were sure that all was well with me.
Now, it’s common knowledge that a fire station has a captain who’s in charge. Firemen spend their ‘down’ time training for duty and servicing their equipment. At best, comradery is high and firehouse time often looks like family-time because the personnel actually live together in order to respond to urgent need in a timely fashion. And, at best, these team members experience lives of personal fitness, fulfillment and even fun, as individuals.
So, what would happen if Christian parents saw themselves as ‘captains’ and their homes as God’s ‘fire stations?’
- Would the resources they work diligently to provide be funded and organized with God’s Kingdom purposes in view?
- Would their children’s instruction be focused on fitness, including service – to God and to others?
- Would the children join their parents from earliest years to joyfully practice disciplines for their growth in grace and in the knowledge of God?
- Would parents, partnering with the larger, Christian community, make sure the family had ample opportunity to be ‘good neighbors’ to those near and far?
Scripture gives ample support for this model. One thread of truth, often called the Abrahamic Covenant, begins in Genesis 12. God made an amazing promise to his friend, Abraham. (vs.1-3) The fulfillment, as chronicled throughout the Bible, depends on Abraham having a son – a family. And the bottom line is: God’s people (often working in family units) are blessed (not solely for their own good) to be a blessing…to funnel God’s blessing to others.
Please share examples of this that are true in your family – to bless our readers.