So I have just finally calmed my ten year old daughter down after her meltdown.
What was the cause of the meltdown?
Yes, that's right... Scripture verses.
We have a particular Wednesday night program that we do at our church for the children. The purpose of the program is wonderful. It is focused on Scripture memorization and the leaders are to work with the children to help them understand the Scriptures they are memorizing. The point is to hide God's Word in their heart. It is a good program and I understand that it must have guidelines and such. There must be a plan that makes and markets it as this particular program in order to differentiate it from all the other programs.
One of the leaders who worked with my daughter told me how nervous and uptight my daughter was as she tried to say her verses. She lovingly told her to relax and remember that this was the Word of Peace.
Now my ten year old is a perfectionist and she is also possibly a little ocd. So when the leader, who is also dear friend, mentioned this to me a red flag of concern went up. When we came home tonight and was getting the girls ready for bed my husband asked what verses they said. Our youngest spirted hers off with her careless giggles as she recited three verses back to back. Then our ten year old, under the pressure, oh my, I do believe the child broke out in a cold sweat. She couldn't get past the first part of the first verse...
Right then I knew we were having a problem... she was missing the point...
As I was kissing her goodnight I tried to explain to her that memorizing Scripture was for her. It was not to get points or a signature. She was learning these Scriptures so that God could bring them back to her when she needed them, whether it be for a problem she was facing or a problem someone else was facing. She was learning these Scriptures so that she could know when God was telling her what she needed to do and where she needed to go in all the how's and why's of life.
Yet she lay there crying because she was under the understanding that she was incompetent because she could not say these verses the way she thought this program said she had to in order to receive the approval of the program... a signature... a point.
Oh my are we missing the point?
This is not the view that I want my child to have of the Word of God. Learning it should bring her joy and peace not frustration and stress. Have we maybe pushed the "programs" a little too far?
"I have a respect for tradition but I have a passion for the truth."
~ Uncle Johnny from Seven Days in Utopia