December Babies

Although the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ is unknown to us, most of the world will celebrate His incarnation this month on the twenty-fifth of December. This most holy of days will be commemorated via candlelight services, presentations of Handel’s Messiah, family gatherings, giving gifts, silent nights, and children dreaming of sugar plum fairies.

But today I want to talk about two other babies that were born this December.

First, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, welcomed a baby girl, Maxima (a.k.a. Max) on December 1. They made the announcement on Facebook—no surprise there.

Four days later, our daughter-in-law gave birth to our first grandchild, Cosette. You may find this odd, but for the seven months we anticipated the arrival of this little blessing, Rachael and I chose not to let people know via Facebook. This means we told friends in person or over the phone. Trust me, we were totally jazzed to enter this new phase of life, but we decided to keep the news a little closer to home. However, we did succumb to posting an announcement upon her arrival.

Back to Mark Zuckerberg and his family. You may also have heard that the parents wrote an open letter to their newborn daughter announcing that they will give away 99 percent of their fortune during their lifetime. This money will be targeted toward personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities. Whatever the speculation concerning the tax benefits of the Zuckerbergs’ gift, I want to believe that some of their motivation springs from the natural realization and sense of magnitude that comes with this awe-inspiring stage of life called parenthood.

What caught my immediate attention was the stated purpose of their foundation’s work. You see, I also have the same desires for my posterity. I may not have a fortune to fund all these dreams, and no doubt my strategy for realizing each objective is quite different than his. Also, many of my goals are already well in the works.

Joel 2:28 says that in the last days the Lord shall pour out His Spirit on the church, and our old men shall dream dreams and our young men shall see visions. So let’s take a closer look at Mark Zuckerberg’s stated purposes for the money, and let’s walk through four big dreams and visions.

Personalized Learning

Let’s jump right to the ideal in this arena: home education. In this way of life, parents take an active and direct role in training, discipling, and educating their children within a loving and Christ-centered family. I will continue to confidently and enthusiastically lead, serve, promote, and advocate for the homeschooling community for the benefit of my children and my children’s children. One reason I believe that you, too, should homeschool is the ability of parents to provide custom, individualized, and personalized learning for their children. If you have a budding artist, for example, you can customize your curriculum to focus more time on art classes. If one of your kids feels called to be a missionary to India, you can encourage and support this desire with appropriate foreign language, worldview, and cultural training specific to that nation. Got a math and science whiz? Let him or her participate in multiple science fairs and a local math club and use their spare time to improve the speed at which they solve a Rubik’s cube. Home education can yield experts in many different subject areas. Imagine the possibilities if an entire generation of homeschooling graduates became leaders in their fields.

Curing Disease

The disease I’m most concerned about is that of sin, although I personally can’t do anything to help. As a matter of fact, I’m a contributor to the problem. However, there is a solution, and His name is Jesus Christ. New research shows that homeschooling statistically improves the chances that a child will “keep the faith.” Plenty of other studies indicate that roughly 92% of children in a home school carry on the same faith as their parents when they leave home. This far exceeds the statistics of the general Christian population, which show that 75% or more of teens leave the faith by the time they are young adults. If you’re like me, then your desire is that 100% of your children and 100% of your grandchildren put their faith in Jesus Christ and fall in love with Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. If this happens, then you will be able to say that the disease of sin has been eradicated for those closest to you.

Connecting People

Mark Zuckerberg may have a bit of an edge on me here. After all, he did found a social media giant and has leveraged technology to virtually connect people in new and innovative ways. The main distinction between us is that I work to connect people in the real world. You know, the dimension where you talk, laugh, hug, and physically express yourself to others in ways that don’t require the use of a smartphone. Deuteronomy 6 lists four specific times to teach your children diligently, all of which require physical connection (when you rise up, when you walk along the way, when you sit, and when you lie down). As you spend these moments with your spouse and children, look them in the eyes, listen to them carefully, get into their world, and truly connect with them.

Building Strong Communities

Can you say family? That’s the most foundational community there is. I’m talking a traditional, God-ordained marriage that is composed of one man and one woman, where children are seen as blessings from the Lord. Dr. Debra Bell has conducted research that shows if you were to study the environment in which children learn best and objectively designed a perfect schoolroom to those specifications, you would find yourself building a family. Too often the experts complicate things, asking the wrong questions and finding themselves searching in vain when the answer has been right in front of them the whole time.

As you celebrate the Christ child this Christmas season, pause for a moment to dream a dream and see a vision for your family and the children yet to be born (Psalm 78:6). As for me, I’m going to hold a little package called grandchild number one.

If you were to consider the ways you would like to change the world for the better, what categories of life would make your list?

Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!

Davis Signature

© 2015 Davis Carman

Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is also the author of three illustrated children’s books designed to instill a biblical worldview. Good Morning, God is based on Deuteronomy 6, and A Light for My Path is an ABC book based on Psalm 119. His latest, In the Beginning, is based on the Creation account in Genesis. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!

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