In less than two weeks our third son will be leaving us. He will walk out the door with thoughts of rafting, meeting new friends, caving, and late nights without "The Parents" telling him to get some sleep. He will be just slightly nervous about being so far away from home for the first time in his life, but thrilled about being so far away from home for the first time in his life.
Two weeks later he will come home, exhausted. Thoughtful. Overwhelmed. Prayerful and challenged. Hopefully.
When our oldest son was entering high school, we sat down and made a list of "extra" requirements (things that aren't "legally required" but are "dad & mom" required) in order for him to receive his diploma. Things like:
-know how to change the oil and a flat tire on a car
-be able to do your own laundry
-know how to cook at least a few meals
-be able to sew a button on a shirt
-pay your bills and follow a budget
There are other things on the list, but I'm sure you get the idea. Along with that list, we made it a requirement that he, (and his brothers) must attend a two week Summit conference at least once prior to graduation.
We want our sons to know what they believe and why they believe it. More and more young people are leaving the church and their relationship with Christ once they leave home and we don't want any of our sons to become one of those statistics.
Just the other day the importance of knowing what he believes and why was slammed home to #3. He was at work, plugging along doing his own thing, when one of his fellow employees suddenly asked, "So, do you believe all that Jesus ----?"
"Yes, I do."
Our oldest son has been in college for the last 4 years and he's run into the same kinds of questions. Some people simply want to argue or defend their "unbeliefs", while others are genuinely searching for answers they can trust. Here are just a few of the questions he's been asked while attending college:
What is a human being? What is our purpose?
What happens to a person when he dies?
How do we know what is right and wrong?
If God is a God of love, why are there so many bad things going on in the world?
Is there a God and what is He like?
How do you know the bible is true?
What if you're wrong?
Is Jesus God and God's Son? How can that be?
Is Satan real?
Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
I must admit my faith is based pretty much on "faith" alone. Our oldest son's faith is a mixture of faith and logic. He can sit and reason with people and answer their toughest, deepest questions with logical, practical facts as well as faith.
If someone were to corner me for a little chat, I would have a dreadful time trying to answer those kinds of questions. Summit does have a one week course for educators and I've toyed with the idea of going once our little guy isn't quite so little. In the meantime we'll send our sons, one at a time...