Monday, January 2, 2012

The Benton Creed

Love God ...

Ken and I have always loved God.  But learning how to love God with what He's asked for has been a journey we've been taking together for over two decades.

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

We've loved ourselves better.

He has been faithful to our mustard-seed faith.  He has grown it and there lies deep within, at the root level, the hope that our faith will be purified.  That it will grow and stretch out, and that others will find grace under its branches.  And that four shoots will spring up and grow sturdy and add to the numbers that are planted beside still waters.

In the beginning of the Bentons whole, we loved God.  We journeyed to church, fed friendships, blessed meals and tried to be good, to give credit to a good God by our witness.  We VBS-ed, Children's Choir-ed,  talked of what we knew of Love.  But good is never enough, and it's not what He asked for.   He asked for "all."

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9

In the beginning of the Bentons whole, we loved the Holy God, but we did not love Him Wholly. 

And it was here in the journey that He moved.  Here we heard Abram's call to journey by faith to an unknown land, to a promise of blessing beyond measure, to take the Hand that would grow our faith, our character, and the God-shape of our family.

Ken and I have tucked away for two days to plan for 2012.  We have circled dreams, miracles, and promises to pray through.  And we have finally drafted our creed.  We wanted clarity in answering the question for others as to why we homeschool.  We wanted accountability in answering that question for ourselves.  I'm grateful for a God that writes good stories and that He authored mine.  I wish I had known him better at the beginning of the Bentons whole, for I would have started at the beginning of our family with this creed.  And since my word for this year is TRUST (more on that another time - I have discovered in homeschooling just how much of a control-freak I am!), I trust that God will raise up mighty people of faith out of the Benton whole because we were obedient out of the little faith we offered Him.

The Benton Creed
 or Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
We believe our main goal is to raise children who love the Lord and are committed to following Christ.
We believe what a child knows is really insignificant compared to what he or she believes.
We believe our main objective is to fulfill our God-given obligation to “train up our children in the way they should go.”  Proverbs 22:6
We believe it is vital for our children to know:
                    1. What they believe. 
          2. Why their beliefs are true. 
          3. How to articulate their beliefs.
          4. How to live their beliefs consistently.
We believe God’s primary reasons for commanding us to teach our children are to:
          1.  Enable God to purify us in the fire and pressure of the homeschool setting.
          2.  To help our children know, love, and be prepared to serve God.
We believe home education is a lifestyle decision and not merely an academic alternative.  
We want our children to excel academically, however, our main motivation for homeschooling is not academic prowess.  We want our children to be able to apply the truths they learn to everyday life.  We “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (including academic) things will be added to us.”  Matthew 6:33 We stay focused on our long-term goals, but we consistently follow the daily leading of the Holy Spirit. If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing Christ-like character in our children, we will have academic success as a natural result of our obedience to God. We believe God desires for us to have close family relationships, and He uses the process of family discipleship to develop Godly character in both our children and us. 
We believe this is “what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
We believe weshall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

It feels good to define the promises, dreams and miracles you want God to do in your life, Favored One!  And again today, Welcome to the New! 


  1. A great book for planning as a Christian is Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. May you be in the center of His will as you plan for your family's future!

  2. Thanks! I'm always looking for new sources. We've been doing annual planning for a few years now, but this is the first time we've packed a suitcase and stepped away for a couple of days. It was such a wonderful thing to do that we might start a semi-annual practice! The Lord be with you!

  3. that is a beautiful idea Tobi - a creed for your family. I love the way that it's centered on God, and your emphasis on education and what you want it to be, I think it serves as a sound foundation. A brilliant idea – brilliantly done. God bless you and your family Tobi.

  4. Suzi, I love you.
    Craig, thanks for the beautiful words of affirmation. These are the most exciting days in the Lord yet. Blessings and His peace to you.


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