Encouraging Parents Regarding Their Children’s Education
The first 8 years that I spent in ministry were as a teacher in Christian education. I am now beginning my 12th year in the pastoral ministry. Although the path I have travelled is not one I would have planned for the pastoral ministry, I am completely confident that the Lord brought me along that path in order to teach me important lessons such as communication, organization and parent/student relationship skills.
After teaching 8 years in Christian education and during my 4th year as a youth pastor at a local church, our family faced a very difficult decision regarding our children’s education. We were faced with the necessity to home school our oldest daughter. You may think this to be an easy decision. I promise you, it was one of the most difficult decisions that I had made up to that point as a father and pastor. Why? Because I was removing my daughter from the school/ministry where I had been called to help pastor. I had to walk through the doors at our ministry each day to assist young people spiritually, knowing that I had taken my daughter out of that very environment. What do you think was the reaction of other staff? of teachers? of other pastors?
As difficult as my decision was, every parent is faced with that decision even if they don’t realize it. The problem is that many parents just glide through the process of choosing their children’s education without actually thinking about the long-term effects their choice will affect their child. Why is this important? Why devote an entire series of posts on types of education? Because this decision is one for which you will stand accountable!
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:7 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.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 22:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Proverbs 29:27 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
What do all these verses have in common? I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t a home school co-op, Christian schools, private schools, or government schools, or even the church. IT IS PARENTS!!! Scripture lays the burden of your child’s education and development squarely on your shoulders. Yes, you may delegate some of their learning to others through a school, organization or club, but the burden and responsibility sits on your shoulders. The responsibility to prepare your child both academically and spiritually may seem daunting and you may even need to partner with others to accomplish the task. Great care and consideration should be taken when choosing an institutional partner that will mold your child through the most significant years of their development.
As I see it, there are basically four or five options regarding your child’s education. They are home school, home school with a co-op, Christian school, private school, or government school. I realize there may be blends of some of these, but these five are the options that are most likely to be presented as you make educational choices for your kids. In the days to come we will break down the pros and cons of each education option. Reader beware! This is not a blanket approval of any one type or style of education!
In case you were wondering, the situation with our daughter was actually helpful to our family and ministry. Though it created awkward conversations initially, the problems it helped uncover were evaluated and addressed. Our family wouldn’t change that part of our story even if we could.
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DJHarry Isaiah 64:8 We are the clay!