[Editor's Note: The following has been adapted from an interview with "The Art of Neighboring" co-author Dave Runyon on the "Navigating Your Child's Education" podcast for parents. Make sure to check out the full conversation here.]
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When I was a kid, my siblings and I listened to Steve Green’s “Hide ‘Em In Your Heart” albums over and over again. These albums are a collection of dozens of kids’ songs that are basically just Bible verses put to catchy tunes. To this day, when I notice fear rise in me in a particular moment, I instinctively start singing, “When I am afraid I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You,” from Psalm 56:3-4 thanks to one of those catchy tunes. The title of the albums is a nod to another Psalm—Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Because of the truths embedded in them, these albums were instrumental in my spiritual formation in my earliest years. Learning truths from God’s Word and committing them to my memory helped to shape me into the person I am today, now with children of my own.
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From a child's youngest years, they are asked by adults: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Answers typically include professional athletes, firefighters, astronauts, and doctors, sprinkled with more imaginative outliers like princesses and unicorns.