Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
If we were to play a word association game using the word education, what thoughts would first come to our minds?
Those who live in Wisconsin as I do, would no doubt have fresh memories involving a year of turmoil in our public school system. Words such as tenure, benefits, contracts, standards, recall, and vouchers have been bandied about.
But the problems don’t stop there. Along with challenging political issues come a myriad of social concerns. Words such as bullying, sexting, broken families, drug abuse, metal detectors, gay-straight alliances, early childhood sex ed, have also… and unfortunately… become commonplace when discussing the education of our youth.
What about Christian education? Is it immune to the political and social problems of society at large? … in our Christian homes children are besieged by the devil, the sinful world,and their fleshly desires (as are their parents and teachers).
What about Christian education? Is it immune to the political and social problems of society at large? Of course not. Both in parochial schools and in our Christian homes children are besieged by the devil, the sinful world, and their fleshly desires (as are their parents and teachers).
Christian parents and children are in danger of falling into the same pitfalls that plague secular education.
Are we not tempted at times to equate a “good education” with one that leads to a high-paying job and financial security, rather than with one that strives to develop talents for Kingdom work and earthly contentment?
Are not also we lured into the popular dogma that all truth is relevant and that to “coexist” (as the bumper sticker suggests) we should remain silent when God’s truth is challenged?
Do we model political correctness to our children just to avoid awkward situations and potential ridicule from the world?
Do we while away our time on the frivolities and ambitions of this world instead of spending more time with the “one thing needful”?
Toward a Complete Education!
Whether our children attend a public school, parochial school, or a home school, let us recognize this: without Christ their education will not only be incomplete, but even detrimental to their future.
Though God does not command the specific method by which a child should be educated, He does provide clear guidance.
“Train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6), and “…bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
“You shall teach them [God’s words] to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 11:19)–in other words, whenever the opportunity presents itself throughout the day!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
The Bible also cautions against teaching our children the ways of the world.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
Without doubt the responsibility of educating today’s youth in the ways of God is a weighty one, perhaps the most difficult thing for parents and congregations to do.
Yet, let us take comfort in knowing that with God nothing is impossible. His Word works!
And as another school year is about to begin, let us aspire to have words such as these associated with Christian education:
Christ, grace, hope, faithfulness, humility, contentment, and service.
May the Lord richly bless the education of His children, younger and older, through us.
Grant Thou me strength to do
With ready hand and willing
Whate’er Thou shalt command,
My calling here fulfilling;
To do it when I ought,
With all my might, and bless
The work I thus have wrought,
For Thou must give success.