Monthly Archives: February 2016


Eagles High School Basketball Team Flying High

The Regents Academy high school basketball team finished the regular season at 11-5, achieving the best record in Regents program history. Congratulations to all the boys for their dedication and hard work, and to Coach Lee Hill for his leadership. The team now heads to San Antonio for their first round TAPPS playoff game.

Pictured below are the team’s three senior leaders, who were honored at last Saturday’s final home game: Aaron Bertke, Caleb Henry, and Will Hill, with Coach Hill.

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On Needing to Be Stretched

May I remind you of a truism? Parents don’t raise children; they raise adults. Our aim, then, as parents is to raise our children to be mature adults who know how to handle responsibility, to sacrifice for others, to plan ahead, to act and speak wisely, and who are able to do hard things that are worth doing. Yet, we as parents too often set low expectations for our children and indulge them into irresponsibility.

Author J.R. Miller puts it pungently:

Our best friends are not those who make life easy for us; our best friends are those who put courage, energy, and resolution into our hearts. There are thousands of lives dwarfed and hurt irreparably, by pampering. Parents ofttimes, in the very warmth and eagerness of their love, do sad harm to their children’s lives, by over-helping them; by doing things for them which it were better to teach them to do for themselves; by sparing them struggles, self-denials, and hardships — which it were far better for the children to meet.

Your children need to be stretched. They should be expected – by their parents – to do hard things, things that challenge them and that require self-denial. This doesn’t mean that all of childhood becomes discipline, with no fun and only dour frowns of disapproval. Rather, let me encourage you to lovingly push your children so that they have to push back against just enough adversity to develop real strength of character.

Several ideas come to mind that can help accomplish this:

  • Teach your children accountability by holding them accountable. Don’t allow them to get out of consequences every time if they simply say they forgot.
  • Expect and train your children to speak to adults and have conversation with them. Don’t give in to calling it shyness when your child refuses to speak to an adult.
  • Give your children jobs to do. Some of the jobs should be challenging. A few should be downright hard. Help them to learn the lesson that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Say yes to your children whenever you can, but be ready to say no. Remember that it is your job as a parent to say no.
  • Your children are always watching you. You should hold yourself to a high standard so that your children will learn to do the same for themselves.
  • Expect your children do what you ask of them “all the way,” not just half the way. Require that your children obey you thoroughly and always follow through.
  • Require that your children finish what they start. Sometimes slogging through to the end is lesson enough.

Many more ideas could be added. Ultimately, loving our children is our highest duty and most powerful tool as parents. But loving them doesn’t mean making things easy for them. Our goal is to train our children to love the (high and godly) standard we set for them. We can’t pamper them into loving the standard. And while punishments have their place, we can’t punish them into loving the standard either. This is because this is not what God does with us. God calls us to keep His Word, and then He enables us to do so by His grace and Spirit, forgiving us and renewing us in His grace. God has in mind for each of us to be something far greater than what we are now, and He will do whatever it takes to transform us – even causing us to go through adversity and hardship. We should imitate our Heavenly Father with the children He gives us.


Always teaching

At a recent faculty meeting I shared these words by author Todd Whitaker in What Great Teachers Do Differently:

Teachers are the filters for the day-today reality of school. Whether we are aware of it or not, our behavior sets the tone. If students overhear us whining and complaining about something, it may be the talk of the school for days even if it was something minor. By the same token, if we always approach things in a positive manner, then this is what the students reflect. The most effective educators understand this and choose their filters carefully.

Whitaker has hit on a foundational educational truth: teachers are always teaching, both with their words and their lives, both inside the classroom and out, whether they intend to or not. Simply put, much more is caught than taught. As the Lord Jesus taught in Luke 6:40, a pupil “is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” Or as David Hicks wrote, “The most important thing, therefore, about a classical, Christian education is that faculty members exhibit in themselves the virtues and values that we want to see in our students. Thus, in the classroom the teacher is the primary text.”

Regents teachers truly take these words to heart. Imperfect as we are, we know that we must seek to be the example of Christlike virtue, love for learning, and maturity that we want to see in our students. In Whitaker’s words, we must see ourselves as the “filters for the day-to-day reality of school.” If our school will be a place of joy, obedience, patience, diligence, compassion, curiosity, and respect, then our words, actions, and attitudes must embody these very traits.

It strikes me as I write these words that the same truth equally applies not only to teachers but also to parents. When Moses commanded Israel to teach God’s law diligently to their children, he first charged parents to place the commands of God’s law in their own heart and then to “talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. . . bind them as a sign on your hand, and . . . as frontlets between your eyes. . . write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). We are never to stop teaching God’s Word to our children; their entire environment is to be filled with God and the blessed standards of His law. We are to bring up our children in a culture dominated by the holiness and love of God in Christ, what St. Paul calls “the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

When the Holy Spirit empowers parents and teachers to live, speak, and love His Word, and we do this intentionally in the presence of our children, “filtering” what we say and do (and how we do it) in a Christlike way, powerful results follow. God works in the lives of our children. He shows them Christ and His gospel and His wonderful truth. This is what I want more than anything else in the world.