Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stages of Faith

A Classical look at Faith through the Trivium


I got to thinking this morning about the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric of our faith.  And while none of life is separated perfectly into neatly packaged seasons, I thought about these sweet years of training up our children from infancy to adulthood as phases of our faith. 

The Grammar stage are the years our brains aren't fully developed to think logically.  From birth to about 10-12, we love the facts and order and routine.  We parrot and memorize well. These years of our children's lives are filled with tiny chiseling events that strip us of our much of our control, causing us to cling to Christ in the minutia and for practical help. We begin with giving birth and then sleep deprivation and then all the small moment to moment events in a mommy-of-young-children's life that cause her to not even be able to finish a thought or sit down for an entire day.  These are exhausting years physically and emotionally causing us mommies to cry out for strength, patience and wisdom moment by moment.

We then begin raising the argumentative, questioning, Dialectic kids (Jr. Highers) who force us into a new phase of clinging to Christ—a deeper measure of trust and letting go of control as He reveals Himself to our analytical children. These years are characterized by kids whose brains begin firing on all cylinders, but it's too much for them to handle.  So we are faced with "Whyyyah?" attitudes. 
They are trying to make sense of all they already know and piece it together.  We are in constant battle of the wills to train their speech, facial expressions, eyes (to not roll), tone of voice, etc., etc., etc.....Our need for Christ is now for wisdom and strength to not send them to military school.  In all seriousness, we are clinging for wisdom in training their hearts to love their God with all their hearts, minds, and strength.

And then Rhetoric beings (high school and beyond) that stand before us and leave our homes begin making decisions for their lives without our direct help.  Their decisions affect good and bad.  And all that they choose and that happens to them affect us as well.  And now we are in complete trust mode in the Lord.  Anything and everything can happen to them and we will encounter hardship as we watch our children figure out adulthood with the Lord or just witness trials they endure.  There are many many events that can, will, or do happen that affect them, us and our entire family.  These can be joyful or tragic and yet, God has shown us through his faithfulness throughout the previous phases that He is reliable, that He is in control, that He loves us and our children more than we do and that "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  Phil. 1:6

How gracious of God to prepare us for this Rhetoric phase in our children’s lives by starting our journey with small, constant grammar events, leading to larger measures of faith-stretching trust and then completely entrusting our hearts and our children’s hearts where we have no control.  We are fully living rhetorically faithful lives, trusting, enjoying and fellowshiping with Him.  He is about the business of causing us to persevere to the end.  And He will do it!  Soli Deo Gloria!

 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”  Heb. 12:1

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