Over the past several weeks we have been looking at the purpose of education through a biblical worldview lens. The education we give our children and youth has significance to the degree its purpose is consistent with the God’s highest purpose behind man’s existence. This means that the main purpose for education must equip our children and youth with the ability to better glorify God and enjoy Him throughout all of life and eternity. For this to happen, our children’s education must guide them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to glorify God in whatever they think, say and do.
We have identified several goals that education must pursue in order for it to achieve its ultimate purpose. So far, we have looked at the following goals that must guide the education our children receive at home, church and school. These goals are:
- Education must lead them to true worship of God
- Education must lead to transformed lives
- Education must equip them for war
- Education must guide them to know and do God’s will
This week I want to suggest one other goal that our children’s education must pursue. It can be stated this way.
Education must equip our children and youth to live wisely.
Many years ago, a wise mentor encouraged me to read one chapter of Proverbs each and every day. I haven’t always done this but I have read through this wonderful book of wisdom many times. The main writer of Proverbs is Solomon, the wisest man (apart from Jesus) who has ever lived. Solomon establishes the main purpose of this book within the first few verses of Chapter 1.
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 1:1-4 (KJV)
Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, set out to teach his son wisdom. Throughout this book, there is an emphasis on three things.
There is a progression that must take place in our children’s education. They must increase in knowledge for we know that without knowledge God’s people were destroyed and taken captive by their enemies (Hosea 4:6; Isaiah 5:13). In Hosea 4:14 God tells us that a people without understanding will come to ruin. The word ruin literally means to be trampled.
The education that we give our children and youth must be grounded in knowledge based on truth so that they won’t be destroyed and taken captive by false thinking. However, knowledge is not enough because they must be able to apply that knowledge to real life situations from God’s perspective. When this happens, they will be able to discern what is true and what is false. They will then exhibit wise behavior. When they live wisely, they won’t be trampled by the culture but will be able to think and act from a biblical worldview perspective.
Getting godly wisdom must be a major goal of the entire educational process – at home, church and school.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:9-10 (KJV)
When one of the goals of education is to challenge children and youth to acquire insight, discernment, and wisdom, the result is that God is glorified. Achieving this goal of education will also lead to true success (Joshua 1:7-8; Proverbs 3:4).
If we want our children’s education to equip them to live their lives for God’s glory, it must:
- lead them to true worship of God
- bring about spiritual transformation in their lives
- equip them for spiritual warfare
- guide them to know and perform God’s will
- equip them to live wisely in today’s anti-Christian culture
When these goals of education are achieved, our children and youth will advance God’s kingdom which will, in turn, bring Him great glory. Is the education your children are receiving at home, church and school driven by God’s ultimate purpose for them? Are these goals serving as the foundation stones to your children’s education in the home, church and school? If not, are we setting them up for failure?