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  • Writer's pictureJordan Lynde

Why Christian Education?

In Proverbs 22:6 we read that we should “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Think about this: Children spend about 2,080 hours a year at school, over the course of 13 years. This is 27,040 hours of a child’s life. If a child is awake for 12 hours a day or 84 hours a week and spends 40 of those hours at school, that is roughly half of their waking hours being disciplined, trained, and taught by the school. That is half of their waking hours over 13 years of their lives! The Bible specifically tells us that it is our job as parents to teach our children. God tells us in Deuteronomy 11:19, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

As we begin to search for a biblical perspective of Christian education, we come to the passage found in Deuteronomy 6:5-8: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” Hebrew history reveals that the father was to be diligent in instructing his children in the ways and words of the Lord for their own spiritual development and well-being. The message in this passage is repeated in the New Testament where Paul exhorts parents to raise children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Proverbs 22:6 also tells us to "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Training includes not only formal education, but also the first instructions parents give to a child, i.e., his early education. This training is designed to plant the child firmly on the foundation upon which his life is based.

As we move to the subject of formal education, however, there are misunderstandings that need to be addressed. First, God is not saying that only parents are to educate children as many would assert, and, second, He is not saying that public education is bad and we are to educate our children only in Christian schools or home schools. The principle found throughout all of Scripture is that of ultimate responsibility. God never directs parents to avoid education outside of the home; in fact, it isn’t even addressed. So, to say that the only “biblical” method of formal education is home schools or Christian schools would be adding to God’s Word, and we want to avoid using the Bible to validate our own opinions. Just the opposite is true: we want to base our opinions on the Bible. We also want to avoid the argument that only “trained” teachers are capable of educating our children. Again, the issue is that of ultimate responsibility, which belongs to parents.

The issue in Scripture is not what type of general education our children receive, but through what paradigm that information is to be filtered. For example, a homeschooler can be given a “Christian” education but fail in life because he or she does not truly know the God of Scripture and does not truly understand scriptural principles. Likewise, a child educated publicly can grow to understand the fallacies of the world’s wisdom by seeing its failure through God’s Word which has been diligently taught to him at home. Information is being sifted through a biblical lens in both cases, but true spiritual understanding only exists in the latter. Similarly, a student can attend a Christian school but never grow to understand God in an intimate, personal relationship. Ultimately, it is the parents who are responsible for shaping and molding the child in a way that will succeed in accomplishing true spiritual education.

In Hebrews 10:25, God gives Christians the command, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The body of Christ is an integral part of the education of children, assisting parents in nurturing and educating children in spiritual matters. Exposure to something outside of the family structure, in this case sound biblical teaching from church and Sunday school, is good and necessary.

So, no matter what type of institution of learning we choose, parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s spiritual education. A Christian school teacher can be wrong, a pastor and Sunday school teacher can be wrong, and parents can be wrong on any particular viewpoint theologically. So, as we teach our children spiritual things, they need to understand that the only source of absolute truth is the Scripture. Therefore, perhaps the most important lesson we can teach our children is to examine the Scriptures every day to test all things they are taught—from whatever source—against the Word of God.

Making a financial sacrifice and putting an emphasis on a Christian education makes our children feel cherished and important. It gives them the example that investing what God gives us into things that glorify Him, is good. We (as parents) take the money He has blessed us with and invest it into a Christian education for our children. Additionally, the support system that exists in a Christian school cannot be found in most public schools. The value of things such as parents, students and staff praying together, weekly chapel sessions designed to uplift and encourage students, and after-school clubs that glorify God is incalculable.

Still, there is no perfection. There is sin everywhere. However, in a Christian school, sin is recognized as sin and is dealt with using Christian precepts of repentance, mercy and love. This teaches kids to deal with things the way Jesus taught us. This is not done in the public-school system.

Christianity is not just something we do on Sundays. It encompasses our entire lives. It permeates every aspect of our beings. Choosing a Christian education is important for every aspect of our children’s lives here on earth and eternally because it gives them the opportunity to be closer to God through setting a foundation of Christian morals, intellectual concepts, exposure to the word of God, Christian teachers and staff who are positive role models, Godly relationships with staff and other students, conflict resolution that is rooted in God’s love, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the school, the family-like support system, the presence of prayer in the school and the encouragement to live by the rules God has given us. In regard to education, what is more important than that?

If you are considering a Christian education for your child and live in San Tan Valley or Queen Creek, give Compassion Christian Academy a call…Low tuition, one on one teaching from trained educators, a nice facility and most importantly, the Spirit of God in everything we do and teach!

We might be just what you’re looking for.

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