We Passed the Test

“Mother, our class is supposed to be in a program at school, and I don’t know whether I should be in it or not.”  With these words, our seven year old Bruce introduced what would eventually become a major family crisis at our house.

The program, as it turned out, was entitled, “Dancing Around The World.”   Bruce’s part involved a Mexican folk dance, complete with Mexican hat and costume.  Bruce was caught between desire and conscience;  Mother and Dad between emotion and conviction.  Rationalization was easy.  After all, it was just a folk dance, a really innocent thing.  And, he’s only seven years old.  Surely a little thing like that couldn’t hurt him.

Reasons for forbidding his participation were apparent, too.  After all, it was “dancing,” and if Bruce is to grow up resisting the pressures to conform, he must learn very early that there are just some things he can’t participate in.  And besides, if he is allowed to participate in this dancing, how and where will we draw the line between this and other dancing?  So the decision was made.  Bruce must not participate. Bruce was disappointed.  “How will I tell my teacher?”  “We’ll talk to her,” we said.  “But she won’t understand.”  “Sure, she will,” we tried to reassure him.  He was hurt, and his tears got to Mother and Dad.

“It might go hard for him, sure enough,” we thought.  “How will Mrs. Coleman react?”  “It might affect his grades.”  “I don’t mind when it’s me, but it hurts when it’s my children,” one of us blurted out.  “What will the other children say?”  “Will they make fun of him?”  “I wish he could attend a school operated by Christians.”  More and more we wondered if we were making the right decision.  All such decisions seemed so easy before they were ours to make.


The crisis is now over.  All of our fears turned out to be completely ungrounded (as is usually the case).  Mrs. Coleman was very nice.  In fact,  she  said  that she

had friends who were members of the church and that she understood our position.  Bruce is happy.  He was given the responsibility of leading the audience in the pledge to the flag, and he loves that role.  Mother and Dad are happy, and are grateful that things turned out so well, though we admit to being a big chagrined at our wavering over that decision.


Many more crises will arise in the future.  Christians cannot be “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2).  The sincere servant of the Lord will be faced with many school activities in which he cannot participate.  He will often be “put on the spot.”  Pressures will be tremendous.  I still feel for Bruce and pray for him as he faces the future (and for his little sister, too).  But, I’m happy to report that he has passed his first test.  And, with the help of the Lord, his mother and dad passed, too.  And I’m quite sure that we are far better prepared for future crises now that the first

one is successfully behind us.  By Bill Hall


The footnote to this story is that Bill and Charlotte Hall’s son, Bruce went on to preach the gospel when he grew up.  He was preaching in Toronto, Canada.  One day, he was on his way home, riding his bicycle and talking to his wife on the phone.  He had an aneurism as he rode and died.  He was faithful unto death and his godly parents surely are comforted in the fact that he died “in the Lord.”  When we guide our children in the Lord, what comfort it gives to our hearts as they follow the godly lives we have set before them.  Let us help our children, as the Hall’s did, to not compromise but to stand for the truth. It’s in the seemingly little decisions we make for them early in life that affect them for the rest of their lives.  Let us do our part in rearing them to obey God - Barry)