On July 8-9 in Lublin and on July 11-12 in Lviv, the seminar “My family is my fortress” was held. These seminars were organized within the framework of educational projects of the Christian for Ukraine International initiative. The speaker was Dr. Bruce Anderson, President of the Institute for Reformation (IFR), President of the International Theological Education Network (ITEN), Doctor of the Oxford Center for Mission Studies, pastor, missionary and teacher.
The issue of building relationships in the family and raising children became relevant during the difficult wartime, when millions of families are experiencing forced separation, when a significant number of children do not have access to a full-fledged education. In a time of crisis, it is the family that should become a support for Ukrainians, so today it is more important than ever to prioritize the value of the family and become a support for each other.
Strong family relationships begin with family history, identity, and intergenerational connection. The formation of family traditions and quality time spent with children contribute to the creation of an atmosphere of trust between parents and children, which is why Bruce Anderson positively evaluates the phenomenon of home education. The speaker described the advantages of such education, in particular, wider opportunities for parents to influence the definition of the content of education, conveying ideas and context, which is so important for the formation of the child’s values.
Since modern society and the state so often distort the purpose, authority and order of the family in society, Christians must develop a vision of reforming family life (and all its spheres) in their societies.
— Bruce said.
Neither the state, nor the church, nor the community are responsible for the education and upbringing of children. This is the duty of parents, because they control the information consumed by their children, they have the opportunity to influence the “spiritual food”. Despite the idea from the 20th century about the state as the main provider of educational services, Christian families should form their traditions of learning and passing on values regardless of whether the child studies at school or at home.
Bruce Anderson drew attention to a number of factors that parents should take into account in the process of teaching and raising children: the influence of the environment, culture (television, movies, social networks), the atmosphere in the church, etc. This raises to a new level the inclusion of parents in the holistic educational process, their influence on values, the content of education, as well as the motivation of children.
In conclusion, the speaker emphasizes that building relationships in the family and raising children is not a short way, but a systematic and hard work that lasts for years. However, this time passes very quickly and parents should have time to make the right investment in the education of their children.