Effective Teaching ** in a Defective World – Five Smooth Stones to Equip our Students

At Immanuel Christian School, we are called to come alongside parents to educate and raise students to live winsome and holy lives in the midst of an ever-perverse and evil culture. In Pastor Ingram’s book Effective Parenting in a Defective World, he describes ways we can equip our students to win life’s biggest battles. He uses the life of young David as the metaphor for his writing.

The First Stone:
Teach them to suffer well. Suffering is normal.

Our students need to know two very basic facts: 1) Life IS hard, but God is good and 2) life is unjust, but God is sovereign. In this life, they will suffer. Jesus even guarantees it (John 16:33) but they will be set apart from the rest of the world if they realize that God is good and He is ultimately in control of our suffering.

The Second Stone:
Teach them to work “unto the Lord”…because they were created to work.

God’s message is that we were created to work and bring him glory. Our work or vocation flows from God’s design and purpose for our lives. Good teachers help students focus on building their strengths rather than being preoccupied by their apparent weaknesses.

Teach children to work for an audience of ONE. If our students learn that everything they do is considered an offering to the Lord, they will live with the satisfaction that their work doesn’t depend on who else is watching or checking. Successful teachers nurture the characteristics that God has put within their students.

The Third Stone:
Teach students to manage their wealth wisely…because one’s life is a sacred stewardship.
stones in hand
Our culture teaches us that everything we have in life is ours to use as we see fit. But the Bible teaches that God owns everything and everything we have is His – a gift He has given to us. Serve-a-Thon at ICS is a ready–made opportunity to put this third stone into action. When we teach that our giving to others frees our hearts from greed, we teach that our giving is a reflection of what our hearts truly worship.

The Fourth Stone:
Teach them to make wise decisions. Holy living allows one to experience God’s best for his life.

Often students learn to make wise decisions by first making unwise decisions and suffering the consequences. Failure will happen, falls come, but God’s grace is available. Teaching students the “theology of holiness” is at the root of wise decision making. Our students will never become holy themselves, learning to make wise decisions – until they understand that is holy. Arm your students to have a healthy fear of God and to desire to make decisions that are within the boundaries of his law. Making Godly decisions will lead to Godly outcomes.

The Fifth Stone:
Teach them to live grace-filled lives because they were created to receive AND to give grace upon grace.

Authentic living in the light of God’s glory is not about being perfect but about living grace-filled lives through which we make progress in our relationship with Jesus and with each other. In the midst of a fallen world, our intimacy can grow along the path of grace, our love can develop, purity of thought can increase, and we win many of our battles. Teach your students what grace is – the unmerited, unconditional love of God for each of them. Everything He does in their lives and circumstances runs through the filter of divine love. Teach them that an attitude of thanksgiving is the clearest indication that one’s heart recognizes the unmerited love of God.

When we give them the gift of five smooth stones, we arm them to slay the giants the world puts in their paths, and they will be armed ready for the epic battles that lie before them in life. five stonesThey will ultimately come to the same understanding that David had when he went into battle saying, “you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s…1 SAM 17: 45-47.

**Adapted from Effective Parenting in a Defective World: How to Raise Kids who Stand Out from the Crowd. Chip Ingram, 2006.

This is an excerpt from a devotional that KC Teaching Assistant, Allison Masson shared with our faculty and staff.