Every year thousands of Christian families have to make a decision about schooling for their children. Arguably no other decision parents make in a lifetime will have a greater impact on their children. Should they send them to public school, charter school, private school, private religious school, virtual school, home school, virtual home school, or some other exciting new option? How do Christian parents sift through their choices to make sense of it all? Is there a guiding principle we can use to help make the right decision, one that will provide a hierarchy for ranking all the variables? Scripture is always a good place to start.
What does God’s word tell us about educating our children? Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is one informative passage to help believing parents think about their children’s education:
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
What can we learn from this passage about educating our children? First, “The Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” God claims ultimate authority over every other authority in our lives—over government, family, and all else. He does not share that position with any other entity. Because of that, He is to be our first love; love of God should come before all other loves: before love of spouse, parent, child, job, or pleasure. We are to love God completely, holding nothing back.
This orientation to God as the primary authority in and love of our lives also makes God our foundation for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. All forms of education presuppose a source, foundation, or beginning of knowledge. There is no such thing as a neutral education, in spite of claims made by some institutions, and any education built on a foundation other than God, or even shared with another foundation, is an education that leads away from God.
Second, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children…” God requires believing parents to teach diligently His words and ways to our children. That is supposed to happen when? All the time, the passage tells us! Whether we are standing, sitting, walking, in our houses or on the road; at all times we are to teach our children about God, even putting His word before their eyes in all times and places. Any education that does not have this constant, diligent teaching of God’s words and ways as a primary goal is an education at odds with the responsibility of Christian parents.
If you are a Christian trying to decide how to educate your children. I encourage you to consider Deuteronomy 6:6-9 as a guiding principle for making that decision. Although the other variables you have to consider are numerous, ask yourself what is the most important goal of your child’s education. I think the answer is in that passage of Scripture. If you are interested in a school that will partner with you to accomplish the goals set forth in that passage of Scripture, I invite you to check out Trinitas Christian School. We are entering our twentieth year of working faithfully toward those goals for each family we serve.
Headmaster Ron Gilley