“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)We are all familiar with this verse–it is the bedrock of every parenting handbook out there. Global Scholars professors are living this out each day as they teach, influence and love their students. But when Global Scholars professors also have families, they are also training their own children by living out their commitment to God’s call on their lives. While parenting in one’s home country is challenging enough, serving in another country and culture adds a new layer of complexity to the command to “train up their children in the way they should go.” Serving in Europe for more than 10 years, “Leah and Stephen” share their experience… “How can you help your kids love your country of service?” This question, posed in a seminar for moms of [third-culture kids], has been on my mind for some time. While we remain fully committed to Stephen’s work, the truth is that the kids are mostly along for the ride. Too often, especially for the kids, where we serve is also where we struggle, where we face language and cultural differences, where we live away from family we care about. [W]e want to enjoy ourselves and bank positive memories that can help all of us – not just the kids – love the country where we serve. We enjoy time together…playing games at the coffee shop, celebrating local events, taking excursions to the beach, or relaxing in hammocks. … We’ve gone rock climbing and ziplining, both within fifteen minutes of our house, … [which] allows us to discover how much we enjoy the country where we serve. We could ask you a similar question: What can you do to love the place where God has planted you? Please pray for Stephen and Leah and the other professors and their families worldwide whom we equip to share the love, truth, and grace of Christ with their students, colleagues, and academic disciplines. And thank you for the crucial role you play in “equip[ping] the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
In my February episode of the College Faith podcast, I discuss A College Student’s Guide to Sex, Love, and Relationships with Dr. Sean McDowell, Associate Professor of Christian Apologetics at the Talbot School of Theology, Biola University and author of Chasing Love: Sex, Love, and Relationships in a Confused Culture.