Cultivating Connoisseurs

Joshua and I were never amusement park, Disney World, playdate parents. Not from the beginning, not even now 20+ years of parenting under our belts. Yes, we have gone to the fair, the water park, the once in a lifetime Disney trip with our kiddos. But we stepped away from the flashing lights, our eyes blinded by the glare and realized we wanted our children to be experiencers of "real" things. Children can live in imaginary places without much prompting from their parents. We've had a couple kids with imaginary friends, built forts in our living room, engaged in snow ball fights behind the barricades of the the loveseat and the sofa. But we want them to know real life adventures.

Therefore, we have dragged them to art museums, science exhibits, ballets, symphonies, plays both indoors and al fresco. Road trips around the U.S. stopping to eat picnics at rest areas so we could afford to see the Grand Canyon. Feeding the homeless, missions trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic and India and Tanzania, so they could see how to reach out to and touch the lives of others. We homeschooled, public schooled and scrounged our pennies in order to send them to what we consider to be the best little private school in the world, all in our quest to give them the best education we could give to them.

It was intentional, this exposure to the wonders of nature and God's beautiful creation. The introduction of what gifts God has endowed to mankind through the expression of the arts. Teaching them to use the gifts that the Lord has bestowed on them to reach the lost and the hurting.

As a result, we have engaging conversations about Dante, Shakespeare, and the French Revolution. These kids know the wonders of Monet, the beauty of Tchaikovsky, along with Mickey, Minnie and the gang. They gather around our bed and volley us with questions about the Trinity, and eternity and life here and now.

Childhood is a season, a phase, a small portion of their lives and we want to instill in them while they are young the love for all things beautiful, not creating consumers but connoisseurs who can recognize diamonds in the midst of a world who wants to give us cubic zirconia.


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