[Day 2] The Education of the Mind
We want children to become both educated and genuinely spiritual. Only those whose spirits and souls are both inspired and developed can read the Bible with understanding. This is why full-time training must be a basic requirement of at least four years of undergraduate education. Without such an education, it is difficult to fully comprehend the divine truth as revealed in the Holy Scripture. One may be able to read some stories of the Old Testament or the Gospels, but Christ and the church, as it is revealed by the Apostle Paul, are divine, mysterious, even esoteric; they are abstract and difficult to comprehend.
Parents who educate their children properly can build up their ability to learn, so that the child’s vessel may be built up with the word of the Lord. The goal is not to see how many books they have read, but to see whether they can acquire knowledge and absorb it from his studies. Today this is not necessary because so much information is stored in the computer cloud and can be accessed with a single finger. Now a child only needs to develop the ability to learn how to master knowledge, and how to analyze and use it to prepare himself so that he can be constituted by the Word of the Lord.
Training of the mind—A child’s mind must be trained and educated from an early age so that his mind is clear, pure, and prepared to understand the Word of God. In this way he can touch the heart of the Lord. It is very important to be clear-minded and not confused in order to understand God’s Word. Therefore, we need to train our children from an early age to be clear and pure in mind. Children from 0 to 6 years of age have an absorptive mind and strong learning potential. How can we help our children train their minds? It is by encouraging children to read more, and to read well, the book of books. Reading the book of books if the Bible will fill your child with words of wisdom. Honestly, no one who has not read the Bible today is considered wise; for how can he be said to be wise if he has not read the wisest of books? At best, he has human wisdom, some heart to deal with others, and how to survive in complex situations, but he has no wisdom of God.
After children learn to read, they learn to repeat, analyze and summarize words. Recently we accompanied five children of our two younger brothers who met once a week to read a chapter of the Bible. They first read in Chinese, then in English. They were then asked to recite a passage. The oldest child was asked to summarize first what this chapter was mainly about. He was then helped to recount and analyze what he had omitted. It is also important to train a child to have a clear mind by having him learn to write a book report and make a summary after reading a chapter of the Bible or an appropriate book. In addition, parents need to ask more questions of the child so that he can learn to think, analyze, solve problems and develop his learning ability.
Children have 8 multi-intelligences: language intelligence, logic math intelligence, space intelligence, body motion intelligence, music intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, inner intelligence, and natural observation intelligence. Each child has his or her unique intelligence qualities and needs to be taught from the ground up. There is no need to make comparisons, nor to force the child. The parent, however, should educate him according to his intelligence and develop his intelligence to the fullest. What parents need to do is to find out which aspect of the child’ strength is the most dominant. From an early age a child’s strengths can be educated, cultivated, and developed. But no matter what the child’s strengths, traits, and specialties may be, the basic language intelligence must be cultivated and trained because language intelligence is essential to read the Bible and to know God.
In any case, we need to develop our children’s ability to read and to have good interests and hobbies. This is very important!
Let the children practice prophesying and learn to express what they have read. In the church life we have many opportunities to cultivate children’s language intelligence. For example, practice prophecy, sharing, fellowship, testimony, etc. Prophesying is the best training for a child to learn to speak and express what he has read. This is the first aspect of the training of the mind.