I am eternally grateful to many of you who regularly comment on one of my posts and/or send me quotes, articles and other information. One of my readers recently sent me a link to an article that immediately captured my full attention. It was the title of the article that I found so fascinating. It was written by a pastor and the title was,
What if God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot About How You Educate Children?
After seeing the title to the article, I immediately clicked on the link and carefully read what this pastor and parent had to say. I was intrigued to find out how he answered the question. As I read the article, I realized that the author had asked a very important question. However, he didn’t try to answer it. Instead what he really answered was an entirely different question. The question he answered was,
What if God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot of Where You Send Your Children to School?
This person did what so many parents and church leaders do when it comes to educating their children. They make the fatal mistake of equating education with schooling. It is true that schooling plays a major role in education. However, education is a multi-faceted process of raising a child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. By multi-faceted I mean it involves the home, church and school.
As I continued reading this article, I saw similar things that I have heard throughout my ministry in education. The article presented several opinions that this person had about schooling. Some of these included (keep in mind that he is talking about “schooling” not “education”):
- Christians have elevated education into one of the most important elements in the successful raising of our children.
- An important goal of parenting is to raise children who are well-skilled and well-adjusted so they can contribute to society.
- Christian parents have the “additional” goal of raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord – hoping that one day they will come to faith in Christ.
- Christian parents are equally divided about where they send their children to school: public, Christian or homeschool.
- There is little observable difference between the outcomes.
- Children educated in these different ways have turned out to be successful, godly adults and others have turned out to do very poorly in life and reject the Christian faith.
The author concluded that perhaps God doesn’t care [which option we choose] nearly as much as we think He does. He went on to say this.
Maybe God doesn’t care which option we choose as long as we choose on the basis of conviction and then make sure that we don’t act as if that choice alone will make or break our children.
Again, I want to make the point that every time the writer used the word education he really was talking about schooling. Throughout the article there was no mention of any Scripture that he used in making his decision of choosing a school for his children. I thought to myself that if I wanted to know if God cared about how we educate our children, I would try and see what God’s Word says about it.
At the end of the article, readers were given the opportunity to respond by writing a letter to the editor. So, I responded by doing so. I shared with the writer that I did not believe that he gave an answer to the question he initially asked but merely talked about how each parent must prayerfully choose a school for his/her children. I stated that the Bible does not tell Christians where to send their children to school.
However, the Bible has a lot to say about how we educate children such as one can find in Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, Ephesians 6 and Psalm 127. Then, there are all the references in Scripture where God warns us about the danger of sitting under false teaching and false teachers.
It was interesting to read another article by this writer explaining why they had chosen, along with their child, a Christian college. Read carefully what he wrote.
As happy as we’ve been with our children in public schooling, we do think there’s value in having that year of (a year at a Christian college), what really comes down to worldview training.
I found that statement very interesting to say the least. This is exactly what I see taking place in the vast majority of Christian homes. Parents will send their children to secular schools from kindergarten through high school and then send them to a Christian college so that they will get some “Christian worldview” training. The problem with this is that, as George Barna has found, the worldview of a child is pretty much formed by the age of 13.
What was eye-opening to me as I tried to wrestle with all that I was reading was something that the writer’s son had to say about his schooling experience. In yet another article by this pastor, he asked his son some questions about his experience in public schools. In one question the young person was asked about any negative influences that public schooling had on him. His answer was very revealing.
Of course. You can’t soak into a worldly culture for years and not be changed. Probably my most egregious offence was adopting a two-layer view of everything. At school, my response to a given question would be one thing, whereas if I were in church, I would respond quite differently.
The young man went on to say that he read Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth, and realized that he had compartmentalized his life into the sacred and the secular. He then had to take two years in order to renew his mind and think biblically about all of life. It was evident that his parents were intentional in trying to give their children biblical instruction at home. However, this is more the exception than what happens to most children who end up receiving a secular education throughout their elementary and secondary years.
There are two concluding thoughts I want to leave with you. The first thought I want to make is concerning a statement that this writer made in the article that was sent to me. He stated,
And do you know what I have observed? I’ve observed that there’s little observable difference between the outcomes (public, Christian & home school).
I hope that this causes you to think about what is the focus and what are the results that we are striving to accomplish through Christian and home schooling. Yes, there are differences between the different schooling choices as the Cardus study has reported. However, the reality is that too many of our children have been and are continuing to leave the faith in their late teenage years. If there is little or no observable difference seen in our children’s lives due to their schooling experiences, are we willing to ask ourselves why? Could it be that what is happening is because Christian and home schools are not being true to God’s ultimate purpose of education? I will never forget something I heard Dr. Albert Mohler say several years ago.
The Christian school cannot be secular education dressed up for church. It must be the church armed for intellectual battle!
The second thought I have is that we can’t merely try and see if God cares about where we educate our children. The home, church and school must answer the bigger question. Does God care a whole lot about HOW we educate our children? The answer to that question must be answered with a definitive YES!!! This means that we cannot go on in the same way we have over the past several decades. It is absolutely mandatory that the home, church and school address the issue of education biblically!
This is why I have dedicated whatever time I have left to developing resources that do exactly that. It is exciting to see hundreds of Christian school educators being trained in developing a biblical worldview and philosophy of education through the resources that are available through my Kingdom Education Ministries’ Prime Membership. If your school is not a member, I want to urge you to consider becoming one TODAY. Contact me by clicking HERE and I will send you information on how to do this. God cares a whole lot about how we educate our children. Let’s make sure that we are doing it His way!