Who do you trust? How did the person or entity earn your trust? Over the past couple of years, a number of parents have realized that their trust in the school education system, grounded in their personal childhood experience, needs to be revisited. When class curriculum is found to extend beyond reading, writing, arithmetic and accurate history, and when grade-level test scores drop to their lowest level in decades, it is time to verify.
Ronald Reagan’s statement, “Trust, but verify” was made famous when he signed the INF treaty with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. It literally means that responsible persons should always verify everything before committing themselves to a common business with anyone, even if the other party seems completely trustworthy. Dads and moms are the responsible persons when it comes to their kids. They are to be engaged in the classroom education by knowing the teachers and the curriculum being taught.
For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message – 1Peter 2:6-8. “…one who trusts in Him” – In his book, Case for Christ, Lee Strobel flipped Reagan’s statement around. He wanted to verify before he would trust. He set out to “determine if there’s credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God.” And, as a seasoned journalist, he had the methodology to follow through with his quest. On the journey, Lee Strobel verifies the reliability of the New Testament; that Jesus lived in fulfilment of Old Testament prophesies; that He was crucified and died; He was placed in a tomb; He was resurrected and appeared to the disciples and many others; and, He ascended to His Father in Heaven. It is a great read that I highly recommend. I respect Lee’s tenacity and due diligence to verify the credible evidence that Jesus is Who He said He was. Many have come to believe in Christ as a result of reading Case for Christ. Many others have accepted the verification granted to Thomas by Jesus after His resurrection, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”- John 20:29. And, many stumble and fall through life.
I saw a sign in a restaurant that read, “In God we trust. All others have to pay.” We can have absolute trust in Jesus the Christ, that God is God and that He is sovereign. For all others, be they in the schools, the churches or the government, the responsible dad may trust, but he must also verify they are trustworthy.
Here are some tips:
- Know your kids’ school administrators and teachers;
- Be alert to the curriculum being used and all that is happening in the school;
- Meet with your pastor regularly to verify his commitment to preach under the word of God;
- Know your elected representatives at every level and verify their commitment to good governance, and to decreasing the size and scope of government.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for Your trustworthiness. I confess that too often, I have abdicated responsibility and blindly put my trust in the wrong place. Forgive me. I trust You, Your word and the direction You provide as I turn to You in prayer and worship. On that foundation, strengthen me to trust but verify in this world. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father trusts in God, but verifies others as trustworthy.