Monday, March 2, 2009

Heading for Rumspringa

Family devotions. Are they necessary? According to the results of the survey, no. Okay then, what, if anything, does God's Word say about it? Quite a lot, actually. Referring back to a previously mentioned passage, Deuteronomy 6, we actually fall short if all we do is family devotions. In that passage, God gives the guidelines for how we are to involve His Word in our families - everywhere and always. In other words, we are to have it so interwoven into our lives that we couldn't imagine life without it. Not just that we have Bibles in our homes, but that we use it and apply it and know how to handle it. That, based upon God's Word, is how we live a successful Christian life and pass those values on to our children. The title to this section is "Heading for Rumspringa" - allow me to explain. In the Amish community, there is a practice regarding their youth called rumspringa. The idea behind this practice is at a certain the youth are basically "released into the wild", allowed to go out and live like the heathen, and when they have fulfilled all the desires of their lustful, wicked hearts, and sown all their wild oats, they make a choice as to whether they will continue on the outside, or return to the fold. To their credit, 80-90% do return. The reasons, however, are not due to the great influence of the religion on their heart and minds, but are more related to family ties and financial security( since it's the only life they know and the only work they've trained for, it's easier to return than to start from scratch). My question, then, is are we heading for rumspringa( translated - running around)? It seems this is the practice that many Baptists are employing today. The phrase that particularly caught my eye in researching this was that of "sowing the wild oats." I'm sorry, but I was of the understanding that God promised us we would reap that which we sow. So then, if we sow wild oats, will we not reap a wild harvest? And if we have not instilled enough knowledge of the doctrine and principles of the Word of God in our children so that even if given the opportunity they would shun the ways of the world, have we not failed to properly instruct and train them? In closing, I give the example of the sons of Rechab in Jeremiah 35. In the midst of a time of rebellion, chaos, and wickedness in Israel, these sons stayed true to the teaching and instruction that had been handed down for several generations. What a powerful testimony they had, so much so, that God held them up to the entire nation of Israel as an example of what they should be. May God challenge us to avoid rumspringa and determine to raise up our families to follow the example of the Rechabites.
C. Lee Carr

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Burke,
I have enjoyed reading your series over the past couple of months. What a challenge to myself as my husband and I try to rear our kids for God. We have entered a new stage since we now have one in the youth group. When you finally get around to putting all of this in book form, mark me down for a copy--but it better be an autographed one! :)