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Humility is Needed to Cultivate Virtue

Humility is Needed to Cultivate Virtue

How can Christian schools, home schools, churches and parents cultivate virtue among their young students, parishioners, sons and daughters?

This question is surfacing more and more in the classical education world these days, but really has been present among Evangelicals for decades. Parents, church leaders and educators see our youth exiting the Church at alarming rates during college and falling into lifestyles which mimic their secular peers. They wonder desperately what, if anything, can be done to stem this tide?

In reaction, they teach the Christian worldview. They come up with elaborate church marketing plans or youth group events, when really, the solution is much simpler—and cost-effective:

We must remember who we are and who we are not.

We are God’s children, adopted into his household by the blood of Jesus which purchased us from the slavery of our sin.

We are not decent people earning our way to heaven.

Consciously living by this truth as adult role models will rub off on our youth. Instead of pressuring our children to act virtuously, we must teach them by example, and maybe a little overtly, that being a Christian really means living in repentance and utter dependence on Christ for our holiness.

Jesus was obedient for us. He did the saving work on the cross—the atoning, suffering, dying and rising work—for us. Yes, we die and rise again with Him through our baptisms, but that is not our work. He was the one who was obedient to God’s law to save us from our just punishment.

We try to obey the law out of gratefulness for that great work of Christ, not out of need to be justified.

So let’s ease up a bit. God’s commandments take on a different tone when spoken to the saved. As redeemed people, we hear his commands and must remember that Christ fulfilled these laws on our behalf.

Our children need to know what to do when they fail: repent and be forgiven, resting in the complete holiness of Christ, which God the Father sees when He looks at us.

So, how should we rightly cultivate virtue among our youth? I believe the best way to do this is by reading the Word, hearing how we’ve sinned against God, repenting and believing in Christ’s saving work for us, and doing it all over again. In other words, we need not hammer Christian worldview classes. Instead we should live lives of humility, focused on Christ and not ourselves. Yes, our students need to learn theology and apologetics, but I believe having real life models of humble faith will do more to cultivate virtue in our children than any coursework ever could.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rewrite”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of almost 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a monthly newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

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--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

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Here are 2 CM principles to accompany, so you don’t break out in hives at the prospect of a kitchen tornado: “(a) The children, not the teachers, are the responsible persons; they do the work by self-effort. (b) The teachers give sympathy and occasionally elucidate, sum up or enlarge, but the actual work is done by the scholars” (vol. 6, p. 6).
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I had to resist 1) Saying “No,” in the first place. I literally had to say to myself, “Okay, this is what we’re doing today.” 2) The urge to turn baking into a whiteboard lesson on fractions. That would have killed the enchantment quicker than snuffing out a candle. We *may* talk *after* we bake. 3) The urge to correct or do it for her. If the cake fails, it fails, and we will talk about why.
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That is all, happy Thursday!
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