“An open mind is like an open mouth,” G.K. Chesterton once said. “It is intended to close on something solid.” Chesterton, the voluminous British journalist, believed in both open minds and open mouths — as evidenced by his physical and literary girth. Without an open mind one will never learn to think, and without an open mouth, one will never learn to eat. Chesterton’s point was that we must learn when to open both mind and mouth, and when to clamp them shut on something certain.
To follow with this metaphor, parents can be tempted to force feed their children intellectually. After all, the outside world is carnal, secular, hostile to faith, and filled with a host of other cognitive Boogie Monsters that our children should be sheltered from entirely. Why teach them to think when it is so much easier to simply tell them what to believe? I’m going to argue that the goal of teaching is thinking. We are to teach our children to know the gospel in a way that enables them to think critically about the world they live in.
This excerpt is from an article I published with LifeWay’s Parenting Teens Magazine. To read the rest of the article click here.