We have been looking at one of four key essentials of education. This essential is the importance of discovering God’s call. I explained in recent blogs how there are two calls that God sends out to all people. The first call is a call to a “person” while the second is a call to a “purpose”. The second call is dependent on a person answering God’s first call on his/her life.
God sends out a universal call to everyone. This is a call to life — a call to follow Christ. Anyone who answers this call can then receive God’s particular call — a call to work.
In this post, I want to explain the role education plays in guiding our children and youth to discover God’s call on their lives. We know that salvation is by grace alone though faith in Christ Jesus. However, once saved, Paul makes it clear that God saves a person for a purpose. We are saved by grace and then become God’s workmanship, called to do good works.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)
Since God calls all men to Himself and has a purpose for everyone, education must focus on doing everything possible for every child to discover God’s call on his/her life. This is essential to a good education.
Most people agree that education is a process that is aimed at preparing our children for something. Many Christians, like their non-Christian counterparts, view schooling as preparing their children for more schooling. They have the eventual goal of seeing their children get good jobs. But that is the main preparation they see education is all about. They simply want their children to get a good education in order to get into a good college so that they will eventually be successful and have a good job. This is the average person’s view of how education prepares a child for the future.
Futurist Alvin Toffler once wrote,
All education springs from some image of the future. If the image of the future held by society is inaccurate, its educational system will betray its youth.
His belief was that education prepares students for whatever future society envisions. In Toffler’s case, he saw a future that was going to be dominated by technology. Therefore, he stressed that education must prepare students to live in a high-tech world.
If education is to prepare our children and youth for the future and since God has a purpose for every child, then education must prepare him/her for that purpose. This is preparing our children for the real future. It means that education must have a major focus on leading every child to discover God’s call/purpose for his/her life.
We can deduce from this that the real challenge for the first 18 years of a child’s life is to help the child find his/her calling. Therefore, the education provided our children must have that as one of its key essentials. It is important not to think of education as a means by which a child finds “success” in life. Rather the emphasis must be on the child living a “fulfilled” life. Living this kind of life is determined by whether or not each child’s life is centered on his/her calling.
Success in education cannot and must not be confined or defined by mere academic achievement. Kevin Swanson clearly articulates this point when he wrote,
A successful eduction is achieved when a child is prepared to make maximal use of his God-given talents and abilities in accomplishment of the child’s calling.
This means that the capstone of education is found in the implementation of a child’s calling. One might ask, how can one find out what a child’s calling is? Tim Keller writes that one of the best ways for someone to discover his/her calling is to learn how God created him/her. God’s call will always be in line with God’s design.
We see this essential of education in Paul’s letter to the Romans. In the twelfth chapter Paul writes about God’s will for a person’s life. We are always teaching our children that they are uniquely created and that God has a perfect will for their lives. In fact, it is often told to our children that the best place to be is in the center of God’s will.
It is important to understand that God’s will and God’s call are closely related. I believe that they are synonymous with one another. It could be put this way. God’s will is the fulfillment of God’s call. With this in mind, let’s look at Romans 12. God commands His children not to be conformed to the world. Instead, God wants us to be transformed. This can only take place through the process of “renewing” one’s mind.
Education conforms one’s mind to either a secular or a biblical worldview. So the education we give our children must ensure that our children’s minds are being renewed and conformed to a biblical worldview. But why does God command us to renew our minds? He tells us the purpose behind this command at the end of verse two.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJV)
It is an essential part of any education for students’ minds to be renewed and aligned with a biblical worldview so that they can know God’s will. Then they will have Discovered God’s Call!
- Is the schooling we are giving our children simply preparing them for more schooling?
- Are we educating our children so they know how God created them?
- Are our children coming to a basic understanding of God’s universal call on their lives to know and follow Christ at as early an age as possible?
- Does the education we are giving our children lead them to a basic understanding of God’s call to a purpose for their lives by the time they reach the teen years?
If we cannot answer these questions correctly, we are not giving our children a good education. It is essential that the education we give our children leads them to know God and discover God’s call!