In Ecclesiastes 4:12 the “preacher” says, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Christian parents should apply this concept to the education of their children. When the parents, the church, and the school are all preaching the same message, the result is true education for Christian children—the kind of education that forms virtue and points children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). Borrowing a term from the Romans, we can call this “threefold cord” of parents, church, and school an education triumvirate.
Parents, of course, are the first cord. They bear the responsibility for educating their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph 6:4). No other entity can take the parents’ place in this calling. God plainly requires parents to educate their children in such a way that they know Him, that they know He created everything, that they know He even now reigns over all of it, and that He requires them to be holy.
The church, the second cord, could easily be the first mentioned in this triumvirate because it bears the responsibility for training Christian parents and then coming alongside those parents to train children. The church must preach the unfiltered word of God, making plain to parents what God requires of them concerning their responsibility to raise Christian children. No other entity, not the government and certainly not pop-psychology from Good Morning America, is responsible for training Christian parents in how to raise Christian children.
The Christian school is the third cord. The school is responsible for continuing the work done by the parents in the home and the pastors and teachers in the church. The school is to give children their reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in a way commensurate with what the child learns at home and at church. The school is to teach the child to apply Colossians 3:23 to his studies. The school is to take a part in helping the child become a winsome, fitting vessel of the Gospel who can articulate precisely and communicate clearly. The school is to come alongside parents and church to help the child understand what it means to live a Christian life in this world. Christian children spend about thirty-five waking hours at school every week—this is an important cord.
When these three work together, it truly is a beautiful thing for the Christian child—an education triumvirate. Children who receive this kind of education hear a consistent message from parents, church, and school. There is harmony in their world; everything makes sense. Children flourish under this triumvirate and are far more likely to continue in the way they should go.