Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Passing on Heritage

I've just finished Northern Farmer's post entitled, "Good Quote". This topic is a recurring one on our agrarian blogs as should be expected. I read a number of the these blogs daily and humbly attempt to post here adding my own 2 cents as often as possible. I have recently been heavily considering this particular topic for my own family, as well as putting together ideas to share with others.

Let me say up front that I certainly believe an agrarian lifestyle is potentially the most satisfying, healthy, and spiritually rewarding lifestyle that man can lead. But, I feel I must be able to back up what I believe with evidence, both biblically and scientifically. As a husband and father of five children, God has given me an awesome responsibility. I must prepare my children for the rest of their lives. I am tasked with ensuring they have the spiritual foundation and the life skills to become valuable citizens of their community and become family leaders themselves. Therefore, when I decide to pass on a belief to my children, I must be sure of its validity. And that is where I am at.

I decided to start a family study that is focused on what lifestyle God expects us to live. As we go through this study, I am seeking wisdom in areas that I have questions. In the next few paragraphs I'll outline my questions.

As I mentioned above, most of us with agrarian themed blogs believe that our lifestyle revolves around the stewardship of the land God has given us and the animals that we raise. Although, many of us find ourselves still dependent on jobs away from the farm as our means of sustenance, while working towards a greater independence from the world's system. This is problem number one. What do we tell our children concerning their own sustenance? Ideally, I would like to say to my children, "operating your own farm is best". But this is difficult to say, given several factors. As many of your posts have pointed out, corporate ag dominates the nation and the outlook for small farmers is often bleak at best. Even with the growth of the agrarian movement in America, it is still very difficult to operate a small value added farming operation in many states, including ours. Additionally, we do not want our children to have to move away from us when they are grown. If they stay near and want to farm, land prices in our area nearly force them to start out in deep debt, that is definitely not the way to go.

Another area that is unclear to me is how to explain to them that although they may not be called to operate a farm, their profession should be agrarian centered. I understand that not all can directly farm the land, but all should support the community that revolves around this lifestyle. That takes a variety of professions. We hope to be able to clearly relate to our children this concept, as well as understand it better ourselves. I personally feel that this is an area on our agrarian blogs that often gets overlooked, but is vital to the growth of the type of communities that we all desire.

Lastly, we are seeking knowledge and understanding. We pray that God will give us a divine understanding of His Word concerning how to teach our children the connection between an agrarian lifestyle and living a Godly life. We also pray for humbleness and that we would have an open mind and not only seek an answer that we desire, but to find the truth. I'll be posting regularly on this study and I would like input from my like minded agrarians out there. Feel free to add your comments and share your Godly understanding, we can use all the help we can get.

God bless,
Mike

4 comments:

The Bradshaws said...

I look forward to further posts on this topic, Mike.

Mary Susan

Alan said...

I think this is a tough subject to tackle sometimes. I agree with you that there seems to be no better way to live that as Christian agrarians. But, where does that lead us when we start thinking about our children’s future? I personally would love to see my kids pursue this type of living but at the same time want them to fulfill what God has called them to do. As far as a biblical standard I think God gave us the reason for our creation in Gen. 1:28. I don’t know of anywhere in scripture where God changed that purpose. I don’t necessarily think that means everyone has to be a “farmer”. I think you can be a doctor, teacher or whatever and still be a steward to creation. The problem lies in that in our society, no matter what the profession, no longer feel called to “rule over” what God has created. Christian agrarianism tends to bring you closer to the Creator and creation. I look forward to more dialogue on this subject.

Alan
Hillview Farm

TNfarmgirl said...

Michael,
So glad you are back! I can't wait to hear more on this - keep some notes as I would love to pass it on to the boys.
Think I should send Julie home with a puppy? ;)
Cheri

jc said...

Interesting Blog! As a homeschooling father of seven, and interested in having a future agrarian lifestyle, I appreciate your humble seeking of God's plan. Your blog is an encouragement to me! Truly, the small farmer will never make it loaded with debt and will never make it without God's blessing. You might be interested in my blogs, one of which is dedicated to the journey of living a debt-free agrarian lifestyle in the future.

God Bless