Making Tough Decisions – And Sticking With Them!

Making Tough Decisions – And Sticking With Them!

A pivotal moment in Esther, where a challenging situation shifts to a life threatening one, is when Mordecai refuses to bow to Haman.

The Bible doesn’t tell us how he arrived at this decision. However, Mordecai’s answer to the questioning palace officials was that he was a Jew.

There is not much to suggest that it is wrong for a Jew to bow down to other people. Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David all did it.

But there were some good reasons for Mordecai’s refusal to bow to Haman.

Haman was an Agagite, an ancient enemy of the Jews. The Agagites stemmed from King Agag who himself was an Amalek, the first nation to attack Israel when they left Egypt (see Exodus 17:8-14 and 1 Samuel 15:2-35).

Haman was also a very proud man, who idolised his powerful position. To bow down to him was to feed his idol.

Mordecai justifiably refused to bow to Haman. Yet it is easy to see how a God-fearing Jew could have come to a different decision and in doing so avoided much suffering – at least in the short term.

Whatever his reasons, Mordecai’s actions stemmed from a deep conviction, as day after day he refused to bow. He refused notwithstanding the awkward questions. And even after Haman convinced the King to legislate a mass slaughter of the Jews – because of Mordecai’s decision – still he refused.

Imagine the inner turmoil Mordecai must have gone through knowing that his actions had put the whole Jewish nation at risk. Nevertheless, his resolve, and his faith in God, remained steadfast.

Rather than go against his convictions, Mordecai approached Esther to ask her help in rescuing the Jews. Esther was reluctant, understandably so, as she would have had to risk her life to approach the king. Mordecai shows his faith in his reply to her – “if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place”.

Sure enough, through Mordecai and Esther’s efforts, God delivered his people.

Christian parents make decisions based on their understanding of the Bible, their faith, and their convictions.

Living in a fallen world can make these decisions very complicated. Often Christians will reach different conclusions and make different choices.

Even the best choices can have good and bad consequences. Whilst we may feel the positives outweigh the negatives, the negatives don’t just disappear.

This can make decisions difficult to stick with. The difficulty is exaggerated when the consequences impact our children.  

I am encouraged by Mordecai, who stuck with his convictions, even when he could justifiably have made a different decision. He stuck it out, notwithstanding the risks, trusting God. And God honoured his faith and perseverance.

Of course there may well be times when changing tact is the right thing to do. We must be humble and flexible enough to recognise those occasions.

But short term consequences are rarely the best way to judge a decision. 

Salt dough fossil dig

One tricky decision to make as a homeschooler is what curriculum, if any, to use. 

After reading “The well Trained Mind – A Guide to Classical Education at Home” by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Bauer, I was interested in Susan’s history curriculum “The Story of the World”. 

I’ve started it casually with our kids, as they are still very young, and have been impressed by the content, particularly the activity and craft ideas. 

This activity is our own adaptation of Susan’s “archaeological dig”. 

We did all these steps over a couple of weeks. The kids loved it!  And still keep their dinosaur fossils under their pillows…

You will need:  

  • 250 g Salt
  • 250g flour
  • 125ml Water
  • Plastic dinosaur toys
  • Paint
  • Deep tray
  • Compost
  • Small spades/spoons
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper and pencil
  • Bucket
  • Net
  • Tweezers (optional)
  • Gardeners thread and tape (Optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Mix together the salt and flour.
  2. Slowly add the water until it forms a doughy consistency. Then knead into a smooth dough. (You may need more or less water than that stated.)
  3. Roll into small balls and flatten slightly.
  4. Press different parts of the toy dinosaur into the dough to make impressions of their body parts – e.g. claw, face, tail, foot. 
  5. Allow dough to completely dry out overnight.
  6. Once dry and hard, have your child paint the fossils.
  7. Allow paint to dry.
  8. Bury the fossils in a deep tray of dry compost or mud. 
  9. Attach string horizontally and vertically across the tray to make a grid so the children can record which part of the grid they discovered the fossil like a real archaeologist (optional).
  10. Have the child gently dig up the fossils, sifting them in the net and brushing them clean with their paintbrush. Explain that fossils are very delicate.
  11. Children can draw their findings on their paper.

 

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