This post is a little different than normal. To some of you it may seem irrelevant, but I hope you will read it anyway and consider how it might apply in your own corners of the world.
To set the scene, a month or so ago a friend told me to go on our high school website to find the names of the books my daughter will need for her sophomore English class this year. There were three titles; one I am unfamiliar with, the other two I loved when I read them in my book club in another city. In fact, one of them is an all-time favorite so when I recently noticed another book by this author on the New York Times bestseller list, I put it on reserve at my local library, which coincidentally I just picked up today. Needless to say, I was excited these were the books my daughter would be reading.
A couple weeks later another friend wanted my opinion on the controversy over the sophomore reading list. What? Controversy? I was surprised by this so she forwarded to me the email on the same two books that I really like to get my opinion on why the fuss.
Throughout the email, paragraphs from the books containing profanities and adult situations were pulled as examples to support why these books should not be read by our high-schoolers. If reading these excerpts was all you knew about the books I see how one would be alarmed. I also understand why many adults prefer the sensitive nature of these topics not be discussed. However, having read the books I believe the language periodically used and the situations addressed are pertinent to the character development and overarching themes.
More significant to me is giving my kids the proper lenses to see the sinful broken world we live in and its desperate need of a Savior. A world where sadly the particular issues of rape, alcoholism, neglect and abuse have or will effect people that my children are friends with. As a Christian parent, I want to discuss these issues and implications (at the right time) with my teenagers while they are still in our home. I want these opportunities and conversations to be used to help shape their worldview, instill compassion and give them the tools to be a light in the darkness all around us.
So I sent my dissenting thoughts back to my friend and then quickly forgot about it… until yesterday.
Yesterday, I was at the equivalent of a PTO meeting and heard our principal address the controversy. It was apparent the grief and stress the book issue had caused him was much greater than I had realized.
And as I listened to him speak I just sat there thinking, “I know how he feels”. You see, my husband being a pastor also has to deal with a lot of issues that distract him from his primary calling to preach and teach. Sometimes he gets attacked or inundated with complaints and controversies that weigh him down and suck the life out of him. It effects him personally and therefore effects us personally.
Now please hear me, I am not saying we have to bite our tongues and shouldn’t ever speak up for what we think is right or weigh in on suggestions or ideas we may have (sometimes that is absolutely necessary and may even be me). All I am saying is that too often someone like a pastor, principal or teacher only hear the bad stuff and the complaining.
But what about all that is good? What about letting them know how what they said or did impacted you?
They need to be encouraged!
And that is why I write; just simply compelled to give my support to the principal, school and education my kids are receiving and to let the administrators know that this Christian mom (and pastor’s wife) is proud of our schools and the leadership!
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