Friday, February 17, 2017

Why Are The Mannings So Weird?

My family is weird.  To give you one example, my kids don't play organized sports.  It's not because they aren't interested.  Our kids play sports all the time in the neighborhood.  And it's not because we don't have the time or the money.  If we thought that it was important enough, we would make the time.  We all have time for the things that are important to us. But that's the point.  We don't think sports are important.  Organized sports require a significant investment of time, money, energy, and attention, and we don't think sports are worthy of such an investment.  In fact, I believe that the attention and resources that our society devotes to sports comes close to idolatry.

And that's just one of the ways my family is weird.  It's also highly unusual to homeschool.  It's highly unusual for kids to not watch TV except for the weekends, and to not have any tablets or video games in the house.  In fact, it is highly unusual for a family in America to have more than two kids.  I could go on and on.  Our family is weird.  Why?

Our goal is not to be different.  Lydia and I are not rebels without a cause who just enjoy doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing.  Instead, our goals are to (1) obey Scripture, (2) imitate Christ, (3) live wisely (What's the WISE thing to do?), and (4) avoid the Herd Syndrome (not following the crowd, doing something just because everybody else is doing it).  And as a result of living by these principles for many years, our lives look much different than the norm.

At Church Acadiana we are not trying to make a bunch of clones just like Lydia and me.  But our aim is to make disciples (Jesus Clones), and that means we want to teach you to live by the four principles that I just mentioned.  It's okay if your kids play sports, have their own TV, play video games, and go to public/private/charter school.  That's really not the point.  What I want for my children, and for my church, is for you to learn to live and think Biblically.  And that means approaching every arena of life -- parenting, finances, marriage, physical fitness, politics, etc. -- with these four commitments:

  1. Obey Scripture
  2. Imitate Christ
  3. Live wisely
  4. Avoid the Herd Syndrome
But let me warn you.  When you start to live this way, your life will not look exactly like mine, but you too will become weird!

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