As the Twig is Bent, So Grows the Tree

feeding-the-birdOne particular homeschool speaker who often discusses topics regarding parenting and marriage once presented a metaphor that I have never forgotten. He said that he imagines his children as blank books. Each individual that his children come into contact with, hypothetically, writes in their books. It becomes evident when these children have grown into adults, that they are products of those individuals with whom they have previously encountered, those who have “written” in their books. Knowing that he was the “gate-keeper” and shepherd for his children, he was cautious and deliberate when considering who he permitted into his children’s lives. He understood that each day when his children awoke, their world views were being formed. He understood the old proverb “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree” and that if you train up a child in the right way, according to God’s commands….he will not depart from this truth when he is old.

Whether we realize it or not, each of us possesses a worldview. We all view the world in a unique way based upon our pre-suppositions and biases that we have acquired throughout our lives. Our worldview is formed by each movie we watch, each conversation we have, and each book we read. Our worldview is formed in school, in church, and around our kitchen tables each evening. It may begin in pre-school or on the lap of our Mother. If our pre-school teacher was a moral relativist who did not believe in teaching “right” and “wrong,” we may have begun to understand this point of view and perhaps came to believe this ourselves. When our mom teaches and trains us at home, we may begin to understand that there are indeed absolutes or universal truths; our worldview begins to take shape very early on.
Even though most scientists pride themselves on their objectivity and ability to reason empirically, they absolutely do possess their own set of biases and pre-suppositions that they filter through while forming opinions about the world, performing an experiment, or even observing a fossil. While some of us use the Bible as our measuring rod and view the world by considering what the Bible states and what God teaches, others come to their conclusions based upon various worldviews that they have become familiar with. Neutrality is impossible because we have all been influenced one way or another. Perhaps it is Charles Darwin, or Karl Marx, maybe all of those Beatles albums you listened to helped form your worldview. For me music was a huge part of my influence. If you attended public school you were most likely taught some variation of secular humanism and moral relativism; the “religion” of the schools.

I have several homeschool friends who have enrolled their children in the public schools system. They are quite confident that their children are equipped to deal with the anti-God worldviews and biased teaching that goes on in government schools. In fact some declare that God spoke to them…and told them to put their children in these institutions. I confess that I do not feel like my children are prepared to enter this type of environment and I am convinced that God’s word tells parents that they are supposed to do the teaching, training, and discipleship.

Being a late bloomer, I attended college in my mid- 20′s. I was 26 years old when I took a critical thinking course at a local community college. I enjoyed it…but often quibbled with my professor. This teacher was much older than I, sophisticated yet somewhat patronizing with me. Even though the class was in critical thinking, his lectures were absolutely biased and he was quite dogmatic and unwilling to acknowledge any alternate point of view. An anti-Christian bias was weaved into each lecture. His goal was to undermine the teachings we received from our parents and from living in our “Christian America.” Even though I thought I was prepared to defend the truths of the Bible, I was not. He was brainy, bold, and sophisticated. I was earnest and sincere, but not equipped to handle his line of questioning. He had the advantage and many times, I would return home quite upset. My husband would talk and pray with me.. We often joke that he would “de-program” me so that I would not be indoctrinated. Sadly I was being influenced and even though I protested in each class…..I was beginning to doubt myself and God’s infallible word. I was being brainwashed….and I was not a child but a young married woman. With this in mind, do I believe my Jr. High children are equipped to handle the school systems anti-God values? Absolutely not.

My dear children still have many blank pages in their books and my husband and I are working constantly to give them what they will need to enter the culture grounded in a biblical worldview and prepared to be used by the Lord. We continue to record in their “books” those things which are good, pure, and lovely and we also are allowing them to know about the evil that does exist in our world. We are carefully spooning this out to them though, always wanting to emphasize the good, and allow them to have an old-fashioned carefree childhood as much as possible. Our world view studies will continue on and hopefully our children will not be as vulnerable as I was in college. The days are passing quickly, and the years are flying by…my prayers are that the Lord will give my husband and I wisdom concerning the books, curriculum, and extra curricular activities we participate in always keeping in mind the old proverb “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Blessings to you as you train and disciple your children at home. ~Anne

7 thoughts on “As the Twig is Bent, So Grows the Tree

  1. I understand and relate with emotion to your thinking. I teach preschool special education, kids with severe disabilities from genetic to injury issues and/or health problems. I am a biblical Jesus christian, but have to accept good and well thought out and verified scientific information with multiple sources of support as the best explanation for natural world history and cosmological events. The Big Bang is THE creation event. Because time to God is not as it seems to us, a billions year old universe is fine. Biblical literalness, or ‘actualness’ actually, isn’t important and not any basis for my knowing Jesus as my own Saving God Incarnate. Be wise, do not ill equip and frustrate your children with unacceptable doctrine useless for faith in a post-modern world. Let the soul that was in Jesus live long and prospers, and lose the theological insistence that he found so horrible in the religiously rigid of his day. You could be choosing bliss instead of wisdom in well-intentioned ignorance at the cost of real truth.

    1. Thanks for commenting Mr. E. I’m not sure what you mean by a biblical Jesus Christian, but it sounds like you do not believe that the Bible is the word of God. Although there are doctrines in the Bible which I do not understand, I believe in God’s word which is the most verifiable book of all antiquity. The foundation for Christian doctrine finds its genesis in the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. It is imperative that we interpret and understand those chapters, as well as the ones that follow, in a literal, historical context. Without that understanding the whole of scripture becomes of none effect. If one rejects the story of creation why should one accept the virgin birth, resurrection or even the words of Christ which tell us that we must be Born Again. The story of the Big Bang sounds much more unbelievable than the creation account. It can never be tested or proven…your faith must be much stronger in order to believe such a thing as this. Even the scientists cannot agree. Science continues to change and often lines up with God’s word given enough time. Thanks again for visiting our site. ~Anne

  2. I am an ordained minister. I majored in religion in college and then went to Divinity School.
    The Bible is not the literal word of God. The Bible contradicts itself in many places. It was written over many centuries by many authors. They often did not agree with each other.
    The knowledge of the world is primitive in both the Old and New Testaments. Ancient peoples did not know that our sun is a star and that stars are far away suns. They did not know that the planets revolve around the sun and not the earth. There are two different stories of creation in Genesis and they use two different names for God.
    Faith does not justify being ignorant. Faith is the way to lead your life. That is valid today as it was yesterday.
    Ancient peoples did not know much abut how the body functioned. They thought the heart was the source of thinking, not the brain. They did not know about bacteria or viruses. Ignorance has diminished over the centuries. Do not confuse the knowledge of people in the Bible with the knowledge of the modern world.
    You will lose followers if you teach from ignorance rather than knowledge. You discredit yourself if you show that you don’t know very many things.
    Biblical scholars disagree among themselves about how to interpret the Bible. It was written in languages that people do not speak today. It was translated from other languages that people do not speak today. Translating and interpreting are extremely difficult tasks.
    You are probably reading the Bible in English translation. The Old Testament was written in ancient Hebrew which is not spoken today. Thousands of words in the Old Testament are used only once. What does a word mean when it is only used once? The New Testament was written in koine Greek, but Jesus and his disciples only spoke Aramaic. How bilingual were the persons who translated from Aramaic into Greek?
    Religion and faith are very complex. They require a life time of study and practice.
    Even when people think they are doing good and helping others, they might actually be hurting them.
    My father introduced antibiotics into chicken feed so that chickens would grow faster. That brought the price of chicken way down. Now, we are learning that too much antibiotic is making them less effective as the bacteria are changing to become immune to those antibiotics.

    1. Thanks for visiting our site and commenting. It sounds like you have some knowledge yet perhaps you have never come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He loves you and desires a personal relationship with you. You may know about him but it is all together different to come to believe in Him and trust him with your life and eternity. Trust in Him with a childlike faith and ask him to forgive your sins. He will forgive you and never leave or forsake you. He will give you peace and joy…not happiness all the time but a peace that the world cannot offer. Religion and Bible knowledge cannot save us..but Jesus can. He will never turn away anyone who comes to Him.
      Acts 4:12 tells us that salvation is found in no one else and there is no other name by which we must be saved. Please call on his name today! ~Anne

  3. The bible is a spiritual book, and only by reading and studying them spiritually can we truly understand the message being conveyed in it. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship must worship him in spirit and in truth.( John 4 : 24 ). Human logic and understanding cannot fathom God.

    May God keeping revealing himself to mankind in incredible ways.

    Remain abundantly blessed all commentators.

    Chris Chinweoda Ugwueze.

  4. As the twig is bent, so the tree grows. Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as
    saying, “To educate a person in the mind, but not morals, is to educate a
    menace to society.” Our schools don’t teach wisdom. Wisdom being the use of knowledge with good judgment. We have all been given the fantastic gifts of a human body, (one that is far beyond our ability to fully comprehend), a beautiful earth on which to live, (and all it contains), and 24 hours each day, (each day being a potential new beginning),to use widely and do with as we see fit. The proper response to the receipt of such gifts is gratitude. And the proper expression of that gratitude is to take very good care of those gifts use them wisely.

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