The Baptist Beacon
What is God's Will for the Education of our Children?
By Wanda Harrison, Hendersonville, TN
This is a subject that has been on my heart for quite sometime. My husband and I have raised two daughters. I have seen, felt and tasted of what secular and Christian education has to offer, all the way through college.
To seriously ask the question "What is God's will for the education of our children?" is the first step to finding the answer and applying God's word to our lives. In this world we have three choices available to educate our children. The first option is Public Education, where God and His word are not welcome, for they were removed in 1962. Until the year 1837 all schools were Christian or religious in their origin, this is the year public schools were started. The belief that God holds authority over both church and state began to fade.
"Gather the people together men women and children and thy strangers that is within thy gates that they may hear and that they may learn and fear the Lord your God and observe to do all the words of this law. And that their children which have not known anything may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as ye live in the land thither ye go over Jordan to possess it." Deuteronomy 31:12_13. Three grand festivals were held a year, males were obligated to appear, every age, sex were summoned to assemble together the first day after the Sabbath. The King then read the book of the law as it says in Deut. 31:12. As we read "and thy strangers"; this was people who knew not God so they may be convicted of the true God and attain knowledge of Him. The law was also read on the Sabbath and at home.
In our Public Schools today we see children that are unlearned of God to the point that they believe that He wasn't our creator. They do not fear God (Which is the beginning of wisdom). From this ignorance of God we see the results in Psalm 78:5_8; "For he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make known to their children. That the generation to come might know them even the children which should be born who should arise and declare them to their children. That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments. And might not be as their fathers a stubborn and rebellious generation that set not their heart aright and whose spirit was not steadfast with God."
It is very obvious to us all that we have a stubborn and rebellious generation of children in our society today. I asked some children, "Why the stubbornness and rebellion? Their answer was "their parents don't care." The Bible verses just told us how to solve this problem.
The second option for education today is Christian Education. Where God's commandments are taught and He receives honor. Martin Luther started Christian Schools in Europe in 1517 because he felt everyone should be able to read the Bible. From this the pilgrims brought education to America and served us until 1837. Baptists in Tennessee purchased Enon and Wirt Collage in 1857. From this Bellwood Academy in Macon County was purchased in 1882. From the verses we have read we see God placed the duty to educate the children on the parents and also what they are to be taught. Christian education prepares our children for the real world, and instills solid defenses against conformity to the unreal world of the secular community. "And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2. Christian education contains more than cold academics, it trains a child how to live, not just how to make money, this is biblical. Moral direction is taught which can only be found in the Bible. In Judges 17:6 it speaks "Everyone did as he saw fit." Children are taught right from wrong, not if it feels right do it. Discipline is taught and enforced biblically. They answer to their superiors but most of all, to God for their actions. They benefit from quality friendships, wholesome social activities, safer environments, minimal exposure to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Secular sex education is nonexistent. Abstinence is taught. Bible class is everyday.
The final option in education is Home Schooling. This method is also biblical. "For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." Gen. 18:19.
Sometimes parents think that the secular environment offered in Public Schools will strengthen their children by forcing them to stand up for their own beliefs, even though some have not been saved and have not yet believed. God's word does not say "Give a child twelve years of training in the way he should not go, and he will be made stronger by it." Instead it says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6.
Some people feel that by sending their children to Christian Schools or by Home Schooling them that they are robbing them of "Academic excellence" or "athletic excellence." Where are our priorities? Which is most important? "To the time of the end, many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4. Can we not see how knowledge has increased in the last 100 years, in comparison to the world 1,897 years ago. We have read verses today of the knowledge God puts importance on. "My children are destroyed for lack of knowledge because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt not be priest to me seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6.
As Jesus is our example that we are to pattern our lives after, let us ask "Which type of school would Jesus want His children in?