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The First 22 Years

For the first 22 years of their lives, our children spend most hours of most every day (and many nights) focused on learning skills for a future career. What will they be when they grow up? What college will they attend? Are they falling behind? And we continually measure their progress based entirely on their performance of such skills (which are most often the entirely wrong metrics). We call this their “education.”

Then we lament that—after they’ve spent these most formative years of their lives mostly focused on a future career—they go out into the world and put their careers ahead of their marriages, faith, family, neighbors.

Of course that’s what they will do. After all, we spent their entire lives up to this point showing them exactly where their focus in life should be and what is most important. Attempting to include a few hours or activities a week spent on faith, family, and personal holiness shows them exactly where such priorities fall in comparison. And they inevitably live accordingly.

If we truly want to raise children who become the kinds of adults that put the most important things first, we simply must make dramatic changes to how they spend the first 22 years of their lives.

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