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Educating Your Children: Whose Responsibility Is It? - Charles Thorell

Most parents send their children to government run schools, not realizing the full ramifications of their actions. There are those who will pick a neighborhood with a school that meets their needs but most parents just send their little ones to the nearest school and let the government education system take over. When my oldest son was two years old, I began to think about how he was going to be educated: public, private, charter or homeschool, and realized I faced a daunting task. I am a product of public school, and while my experience was good compared to others I’ve heard, I wasn’t convinced that I wanted the same experience for him. What value do you place in your children?

MY QUALIFICATIONS AS A PARENT

I can tell you that I didn’t need a class on how to create children; it was something my wife and I naturally figured out, and along the way, we were able to find a solution for every new challenge that came along. We are faced with problems everyday and God wants us to solve them with His help. In my research, I found it strange that parents were willing to give up their God-given rights to educate their children just because they didn’t have a degree from a University; they somehow believed they were not qualified to educate their children just because they had no teaching degree.

I didn’t know everything when my first son came along but God has promised to help me along the way. My wife and I have leaned upon wisdom of our parents and seen the Lord’s guiding hand. I sought the Lord about my children’s education and He has opened doors I could not have imagined. All of this came from reading the Bible and holding God to His promises. Every parent is mandated by God to educate their children. How far are you willing to go? If you have children of school age, I would challenge you to prayerfully read the following text. It was born out of the fact that I wanted to be a man who raises his children in the way of the Lord. It really is my philosophy of education and hangs framed in my house as a reminder why I have set our family on this course.

GOALS IN RAISING MY CHILDREN

I love my children and want to teach them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and might.  I want to give them an education that honors God, is academically first-rate, and prepares them for future service in His kingdom here on earth. Furthermore, I believe that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of God is understanding (Proverbs 9:10), therefore, children should be raised under the authority and mentorship of parents who both have fear and knowledge of the Lord and thus are wise (Proverbs 13:20).

WHAT EDUCATION MEANS TO ME?

Education is a tool, either for God or for the Devil. The word “education” comes from a Latin word that means “to bring up, rear, train;” the dictionary’s definition is “to train or develop the knowledge, skill, mind or character.”

Education is the responsibility of parents, not the government, and involves much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. It includes the developing of character and convictions, whether good or bad, and training either in obedience or in rebellion.

MY THOUGHTS ON HOME EDUCATION

home education, homechool, christian worldviewThe home is God’s primary place for the education of my children. It is here that I have almost unlimited control over their environment and believe that a Christian Home coupled with a Christian Church and Christian School is essential for developing a child’s mind that is Christ Centered.

I realize the awesome responsibility God has placed upon my wife and I as parents and there are times when we look at the task that lies before us and feel inadequate. However, we also realize that with the God-given mandate to educate our children, He has not left us to fend for ourselves; the Holy Spirit will empower and guide us every step of the way. As parents, we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth” us. (Philippians 4:13)

WHY DO HOME EDUCATION?

Children are a gift from the Lord and He commands us to raise them in the knowledge of Him. (Psalm 127:3; Proverbs 22:6) The family is an institution ordained by God, headed by the father and sustained and nurtured by the mother as the primary teachers of their children.  

Over the years, Christians have wrongly delegated the task of raising their children to the government with terrible consequences. It is a proven fact that children will take into their adult lives what they learn in their childhood.

God expects us to be involved in making decisions for our children. Since learning is a natural part of being a child, God commands us to use this instinct to teach them His ways and precepts. It is our responsibility to see to it that our children are not taught falsehood or perverted teachings.

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

In other words, God has given us the responsibility of bringing up our children in a controlled environment. Someone once told me, “If you send your kids to Caesar, don’t be surprised when they come home as Romans.”

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Righteousness is the end result of teaching and obeying the Word of God. (Deuteronomy 6:18-25) This is the reason ungodly people are opposed to having the Bible as the core of curriculum. I want the education of my children to give glory and honor to the Lord because I’ll have to answer one day for what I taught or failed to teach my children, including the influences that were permitted to touch them.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH PUBLIC EDUCATION?

I have found there are several dangers of attending a government run school. First, it is apparent that academics have been compromised because the teachers and books are unsound. Secondly, the public schools are deficient in providing a lasting Godly spiritual emphasis. Thirdly, even the best of schools have an ungodly environment where my value system is being undermined. The greatest danger of the public school system is itself, and although the intentions may be honorable, God never intended for a humanistic system to educate my children.

The Bible says we are not to be unequally yoked to unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) Would it not therefore be wrong to allow the public school system to educate my children when it rejects the truths of the Bible, negatively affects their spiritual welfare and destroys their faith in God? What good can come from a public school system that embraces humanistic and secular ideas? What good can I expect from unsaved teachers who are totally indoctrinated in these values? How will they love and embrace my objectives?

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5)

Evolution, sex education and homosexuality are being mandated with no respect to my authority. I don’t want unsaved and immoral individuals teaching these subjects to my impressionable children. Furthermore, children want to be accepted by their peers, and in a public school setting, this will also cause them to be tempted to conform to sinful influences in the form of language, clothing and playground conduct, etc.

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

With the Bible taken out of the public school system, profane and vain babblings have taken over and resulted in a measured increase of ungodliness.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 2:15-16)

True education ends when the Bible is removed because there is a limit to the knowledge men can gain when they depart from the Word of God.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth… But they shall proceed no further.” (2 Timothy 3:7, 9a)

The only true source of wisdom and knowledge is Jesus Christ. (Colossians 2:3) The only other source for guidance is the world, but if the public school system has rejected the Bible as the foundation for education, what do they have left to teach?

“The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jeremiah 8:9)

EDUCATIONAL GOALS

I want to establish a love of learning in my children regardless of the subject matter. Nothing can take the place of careful, diligent teaching and that training will be impossible if a child does not understand what is expected of them. I want my children to know that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10) God is indeed the source of all knowledge.

I realize that what we study has a great bearing on how we think, and the thoughts that fill our minds form the frame of reference we use throughout our lives; as a result, education is not simply made Christian by beginning with prayer or by adding a course in Scripture. If the course content or teaching method is humanistic, Christian supplements will do little to change the direction. We need to press in to Jesus since He is the Creator, the sustainer of life and author of all that humans have discovered.

EDUCATION WITH A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

How then can I teach truth to my children if it is not in my heart first? (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) God wants me to use every opportunity throughout the day to teach them His Word. In doing so, my children will gain respect for the Scriptures, and as they grow older and are established in the truth of the Bible, they will know what God’s will is for them. This is something that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Christian education means that Christ is central to education. Consequently, our educational theory, methods, and practice must be built upon Christ as their cornerstone. After all, how can we know Jesus apart from His Word? It is in the Bible that God has revealed Himself and His saving purpose in Christ. Because there is only one God and one Christ, there is only one truth. This truth is the focal point of Christian education. While the Bible is not used as the textbook in every subject, it is the foundational handbook for every course and the standard for teaching. I want my children to be educated in History; Culture, Art, and Technology; Language and Literature; Economics; Mathematics; Geography; Science; Government; Society; Health and Physical Education. All of this will be taught with a Biblical worldview. (Psalm 111:10)

The study of the Scriptures is foundational to our program of study. My children need to be mastered by the Word of God before they can properly evaluate the writings of men. If I leave the Bible out of education, what is left but an ungodly education? (Psalm 1:1) If the minds of my children are filled with the Bible in all their studies, it will be much easier for them to meditate in the Law of the Lord day and night than if their minds are filled with other things. (Verse 2) Some might think that if children only meditate in the Law of the Lord, they won’t be very strong when they face false doctrine, evolution, and so forth. On the contrary, God’s Word will bring strength and stability and whatever they do will prosper. (Verse 3)

It is my desire to have each of my children make Christ the Lord of their life and prosper spiritually; anything less is failure. The Bible is the living Word of God. It becomes meaningful when it is read more and more. The Lord says “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways;” as such, the only way we can know His thoughts is through the Word of God. (Isaiah 55:6-11)

If we separate the Bible from the rest of our education, it is impossible to know the mind and will of God. Textbook writers can’t help but inject their opinion into their books. So if they reject what God says, it stands to reason that their opinion also can’t be trusted. As parents, we can’t afford anything that takes away from teaching our children the eternal truths of God’s Word. An education that is devoid of God cannot help but establish an evil mind because it comes from the natural man.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)

THE NEED TO SHELTER MY CHILDREN

People think that a sheltered child will be at a loss later in life when they face the world. I value my children and have a vision for them; as a result, I want to protect their minds and guard their souls from the influences that will endanger them. Why should I expose them to the harmful influences that can come from the public school system, on radio and television, in books and magazines, in evil associates in the neighborhood or even in family relationships? My duty is to prepare them to meet such associations when it becomes necessary. Until that time comes, I will shelter and protect them and prepare them to meet future storms and evil influences of life on their own, with wisdom to trust the Lord and to look to Him for direction and protection, even as I do now.

THE END RESULT

I believe that education is not just the training of the mind, but also of the heart, an ongoing process throughout life. All the years spent learning will equip my children to fulfill a specific role ordained by God. In the end, my wife and I will reap what we have sown.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

May we never forget that prayer and a complete dependence upon God must under gird everything; for truly “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1a)

 

Volume 15, Issue 5