Recently when speaking at a banquet, I was asked to include the testimony of a mother that I mention in Kingdom Education. As I reread this testimony I was convicted about my role as a father and grandfather in regard to the education of my children and grandchildren. I was led to share this testimony in this week’s blog. I trust it will challenge and encourage you.
I was speaking at a church in Texas one Sunday morning in August. The pastor told me that a mother who had children in their Christian school was going to share a testimony right before I preached. This was something that I was used to when speaking at churches and/or Christian schools. I was prepared to hear the typical testimony about how thankful she was for the school her children attended. Boy, was I in for a shock. Here are her remarks.
Eight years ago my husband and I made the decision to send our children here [to school]. We based our decision on God’s Word which says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This is God’s promise that if we seek to put Him first in our children’s lives that every single thing that our child needs to fulfill God’s perfect plan – not our plan, but God’s perfect plan – for their lives will be given unto them.
She then recounted a phone conversation she had had at the end of the school year with Mrs. Clausen, the first grade teacher of one of her seven-year-old twin daughters, Keaton.
[Mrs. Clausen] was quite distressed because Keaton had scored poorly on her test and [Mrs. Clausen] naturally felt responsible. My response to her was, “Mrs. Clausen, did you teach my child to love the Word of God? Yes. Did you teach her to praise and worship Jesus? Absolutely, you did. Did you love my little girl with the love of the Lord? Always. Then both you and Keaton have had a successful year. I’m not worried about her test scores.” I wasn’t. I knew that God would make sure that Keaton had everything she needed to fulfill God’s perfect plan for her life…I am so glad that I didn’t worry about Keaton’s test scores because test scores don’t count in heaven. I’m so glad that I didn’t sweat the small stuff. You might argue that with me, but test scores are small stuff in comparison to knowing Christ.
What makes this mother’s testimony so powerful is to understand the background to it. Again, this occurred on a Sunday in August. The phone call with Mrs. Clausen took place in late May or early June, a couple of months earlier. In late July, a couple of weeks prior to this Sunday, little Keaton had been killed in an accident. Lorin went on to share:
I am so grateful that in preparation for Keaton’s death the Lord placed my children in a school where for many years they have been saturated with the Word of God and His powerful truths. Though academics are important, it is the Word of God that has seen us through our darkest hours.
Never once has Cameron run to her math book for comfort. Never did we open Presley’s science book to find words of encouragement. The facts in Bailey’s history book didn’t sustain us. Not one time have Conner’s spelling words lifted our spirits. It is God’s Word and His Word alone that has given us comfort, strength, hope, assurance, peace, and joy.
Life is hard. I want my children to have everything they need when facing the storms that tomorrow will bring. Let me assure you [this school] equips our children well. They receive a good academic education, but with that they also receive what is most important. They receive a great spiritual foundation.
So, when their little world is rocked, when their dreams are shattered, when their lives are all in pieces, they know what to do. They have been taught to pray. They know what to believe. They have learned God’s promises, and they know who to run to, for they have been introduced to Jesus.
This mother understood that each of her children was an assignment given to her and her husband from the Lord. They knew that it was their responsibility to follow God’s directions on how to educate their children. She had the right eternal perspective when she continued her testimony by saying:
Like you, I desire my children to have an excellent academic education, but first and foremost I desire, no, I am desperate, for them to know this awesome God. They must know the One who gives strength to the weary, who gives hope to the hopeless, the One who is able to bring forth beauty from ashes, the One who is able to work all things for good, the One who turns weeping to joy. They must know Jesus and know Him well.
I am so grateful for [this] is a school where my children will not only learn multiplication, they will learn about the One that multiplied the loaves and fishes. Not only will they learn division, but they will learn about the One who divided the Red Sea. They’ll learn about the world and its creations, but they will also learn about their Creator. They’ll learn language and the mechanics of words, but they will also learn about the One who is the Word.
Lorin finished her testimony with the following words.
One final word to the parents out there. Choosing a school which your child will attend is often a very difficult task. Every year when registration time approaches, critical questions are asked. Performances are evaluated. Pros and cons are weighed.
Each year as you prayerfully contemplate this crucial decision, may I encourage you to seek not what is good for your children, but what is best. Seek not what is important, but what is essential. Seek not glamour, but godliness. Seek not a place that gives your children opportunities to socialize; seek first that which gives your children opportunities for servanthood. Seek not to increase their fun; seek to increase their faith. Seek not tools to make them rich; seek first to give them tools to make them righteous. Parents, seek not what makes your kids happy; seek first what makes your kids holy. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness, and then sit back and claim God’s promise that every single thing your children need to fulfill God’s perfect plan for their lives will be given unto them.
- As parents and grandparents, do we have an eternal perspective that is driving our decisions when it comes to educating our children?
- Do Christian educators and church leaders understand what is really of eternal value when we consider the education of our children and youth?
- What are we as the home, church and school seeking first as we strive to educate the next generation?
- What would happen in our homes, churches and communities if every Christian provided his/her child a biblical worldview education?
How parents, grandparents, church leaders and educators answer these questions will determine whether or not we will capture the hearts and minds of our children for Christ! Be sure to leave your comments and share this with others.