That sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? I'm not referring to my parents. My mother, in fact, is the one the Lord commissioned to bring me to Himself. I can't wait to see her again (she resides in Heaven). I'm not alluding to grandparents, aunts, uncles, or any other adult in my life who may have had a hand in my upbringing, indirectly or otherwise. I'm talking about the ones who really raised me.

I'm referring to my peers and even some of my instructors; they were my true mentors and teachers. Everything I learned about the streets came from them. Any profanity, sensuality, hair-raising talk of witchcraft, and revelations of what gangs really do to teens in Salem, Oregon, were infused into my being, never to be forgotten. My mind was filled with all that I read in the school library; I won't elaborate for your sake and mine.

Johannah Bluedorn has written a book titled My Mommy, My Teacher. My Julia used to cart that small book around, tucked under her little arm, because she loved the pictures. She couldn't read the words yet, but if she could, they only would have confirmed in her what the pictures were already conveying—there is safety with Mommy. Home is where Julia belongs.

I too could write a book—My Public School, My Teacher. But my story would read very differently from Johannah Bluedorn's, who, by the way, was raised in a normal home and received a true education—hence, her genuine ability to create a book which brings comfort to children all over the world. My volume would be dark, most certainly lacking of much comfort. It would be explicit and full of godlessness. It would contain heartbreak, rejection, shame, profound sadness, and abuse. Pictorially, it could be described quite easily. Here's a visual—an illustration, if you will: myself, Miss Gena Renee Wright, commencing at the age of kindergarten and moving up (chaotically) through my high school years, sampling every last piece of fruit off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not just gingerly tasting, either. Gorging. In fact, my book now doesn't even need words. That artistic depiction says it all.

I'll never write that book. My God (Jesus, who is the Word) tells me that, because I am a new creation in Christ, I am to focus on what is good and lovely, pure and true (Phil. 4:8). I have no desire to wallow in the mud of my past, my sin. I keep my mind far from reflecting on that tree from which I ravaged. Why should I continuously go back to it? God gets no delight from my reporting on it in detail—even if the last chapter is victorious. We are not to delve into sinful memories for the sake of general reflection. We're not to boast of our "sowing the wild oats" days, either. The world is sick; everyone already knows that. Why savor it even in memory form? That can be a real trap, for others and for ourselves. Leave the sordid details in the dark, where they belong.

As a senior in high school, through a series of incredible, heart-wrenching events, I ran to Him and clung. The scales fell off and victory prevailed. The angels sang and Heaven rejoiced. I was new, reborn! I praise the Lord for drawing me to Himself. But I had years ahead of desperate struggle based on the wolves' prior (and even very current at the time) influence over me—those who had raised me had brought me up well. I could say I was a new creation, and I meant it. I could meditate on God's Word, and I really tried. I went to church and worshiped my God, my Savior. I recognized what He had done. But I had an entire "movie" still inside me, all my memories. Film after film. Screenshot after still form. Profanity was second nature; when you hear it thousands of times on a regular basis, it becomes almost a part of you. You default to "hearing" it internally even when you don't expect it (or want it!). Our children's minds are like sponges, and when they are little, what we allow in, stays in. Garbage in, garbage out—and in. It often stays. While now saved by the grace of God, my "sponge" was still full. And it was a dirty sponge.

Many of you were raised similarly. You know what I mean about the sponge. I don't want that for my children; it's not God's way. They are called to something much, much higher, and do you know what's really exciting about that? The Lord has equipped us, imperfect mommies and daddies, to raise them up in a way they should go. He gave us these precious gifts for a reason! We can direct what hits the sponge.

What does His word say about raising children? Deuteronomy 6:7—And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Can we achieve this if we send them out all day? Sounds like we are to be training them up in Him, teaching them, right? When we rise in the morning, when we lay them down at night, when we walk throughout the day and even while sitting with them in our homes. If they are gone all day long, how does this work? Can it? Even worse, what about the sponge? Who is filling it? Even if you can get a few quick sound bites into them in the morning and at night, what about their real life? What about those who are truly raising them up? Because if you send them away, make no mistake, you are not personally raising them up. Someone or something else is. Beware of this truth, please.

The ones who raised me accomplished their goal. My sponge was filled and filled until it "ran over." And the things that ran out were a stench, pure sewage. I got quite the education while being raised by my wolves. And statistically, I should have ended up a wolf myself, wholly poised to carry on the tradition and raise my own.

But the Lord had the next generation in mind for something greater. He stopped the tradition in its tracks and issued Paul and me a new one. Our children are homeschooled. Their sponges are filled by those who we allow to influence them, namely, us. We fill them with God's Word, Truth itself. We tailor their education so that, unlike me, they actually receive some semblance of "academics" within that education.

Many folks believe that their local government schools are safe. They have no idea what's really going on. I can tell you story after story, things that would drop your jaw. Parents are losing their Christian children to the world in droves because of the wolves who are truly raising them. They believe the lie (sometimes from their own pastors, even!) that, not to worry, they are the ones actually raising their kids up, not the schools. They are blind to the homosexual agenda, the "religion" of evolution, the "swaying away from" their parents which they are receiving from their teachers and/or peers. Some school teachers literally tell the students not to tell their moms and dads what happens in class. Several schools force participation in "Gay Day" events or "tolerance assemblies." Kids have no choice but to go and watch the smut—this is "education." Teens in Georgia were taken to an offsite clinic where some were given pap smears, AIDS tests, contraceptive devices, and a "good talking to" (more "education")—all without the parents knowing of the little field trip. And if the parents ask for the results of pregnancy tests or AIDS tests, guess what they get told? Basically, to mind their own business! Have you heard of the Title X program? Look into it. There are "privacy rights" your child has that you probably don't even know about—and it's all federally funded and made use of by many schools now. If we turn our children over to the schools, they become the business of the schools. And the parents are often the last to know, if at all.

Parents are oblivious of the R-rated visuals their children are taking in on a regular basis, the exposure of pornography on the school buses, the hushed discussions and even sexual encounters their children get to gawk at. The parents are not there, so they do not know what happens during the hours and hours their children are away. See my blog for more of such reportings, complete with site sources (www.genasuarez.com).

I was there in public school; I can tell you. These things exist, and it's by far worse today than it was for us '80s kids. And please don't assume that these things are only happening in certain schools. To some degree, ungodliness is happening in ALL public schools every single day. And it will continue to spiral downward. That's the world's way.

3 John 1:4 - I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

How I love the above verse and cling to it. It reminds me in a very practical manner of my children's sponges. May I work diligently to fill those precious minds with what is pure, lovely, and true. I pray that the Lord will bless our efforts. May our children grow to be faithful to Him, hopelessly in love with the very God who created them. Anything else is for the wolves.

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Paul and Gena Suarez reside in Gray, Tennessee, where they homeschool their four children: Paul (17), Luke (15), Levi (13), and Julia Rachel (10). They enjoy long country drives while listening to books on CD, hanging out with good friends, and staying up late. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
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Copyright 2007.
Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Summer 2007. Used with permission. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com