By Kevin Dodson
Over the past couple of days, I have been turning some things over in my mind. Obviously I believe that education is a critical component to life and being a parent. I have been a teacher for 10 years now and I have developed some pretty strong opinions. I do not claim to be an expert, but it is something I have devoted my life to. I am at the stage of life when I see lots of “First Day of Kindergarten” pictures come across my social media feeds. With that in mind, I wanted to take the time to write a series of posts dealing with making the right educational choice for our children. I boiled it down to three questions that everyone should ask about the school they are entrusting their children to. Thanks for reading and please comment with your questions, thoughts, and opinions.
I have saved this entry for the last one because I believe it is the most important. It will also probably be the most controversial. I know lots of people who do not share this conviction, what follows is what I believe God’s word tells us about the principles of education. This is really the first time it comes down to something that the public sector simply cannot do. I know lots of amazing teachers who teach in public schools. I know lots of wonderful Christian teachers who teach in public schools. I thank God for them every day because our society needs them desperately. This really has nothing to do with the value of the public education system as a whole. This post concerns Christian parents and what the Bible says about educating our children.
Question 3 – What are you doing to infuse a Biblical Worldview into every area of my child’s learning?
If you have engaged in this conversation before, I am sure you have heard lots of great verses out of Deuteronomy and other places in the Old Testament that reference how we ought to bring up a child. I think those are all fantastic points, but it is not really where the deepest part of this conviction comes from for me. The most meaningful verse to me personally on this issue comes out of 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
There are several principles in here that apply to the educational system we entrust our students to. Obviously education in Biblical times was dramatically different than in our modern society. But like many things, we must apply Biblical principles to our lives.
Paul is instructing Timothy to “continue in what (he) has learned.” Unless you homeschool your children, the majority of what your child learns comes from other people. That is why you send them to school right? So that trained professionals can guide them in their acquisition of knowledge. However, when that knowledge is not filtered through a Biblical Worldview, it is at best foolish (I Corinthians 3:19) and at worst detrimental to their spiritual self. If our children are to continue in what they learn, it stands to reason that it is the responsibility of a Christian parent to make sure they are learning things that align with Scripture.
The next principle concerns the people that you are entrusting the education of your child to. Paul reinforces the education of Timothy because he knows the people who have taught him. Like I already said, I know lots of wonderful Christian teachers in the public sector, but I also know some teachers who have a clear agenda that is contrary to a Biblical Worldview. I see lots of curriculum that does not allow for a Christian Worldview. If you cannot say of everyone that has taught your child that you know that they have a strong Christian Worldview and that have a personal relationship with Christ, how can you have any faith in the system that is educating your child?
For the sake of keeping this post from getting too long, I am going to skip ahead and jump to what I feel is the most important piece of this verse. Paul tells Timothy that through teaching that aligns with Scripture, “the man of God may be complete.” When we remove God and his Word from the realm of education, we are not fully educating our children. When our children are taught about God at church and knowledge at school, they begin to form a seemingly logical separation of the two in their mind. This leaves them incomplete in their education. When they attend a school where trained professionals who have been mandated to incorporate Scripture and the truths of God into their daily lessons, it gives them a whole and complete education. Students are able to more clearly understand that all truth is God’s truth. Students are able to see the gifts and talents in their lives as a call of God on their life, not just that they are good math so they should be an accountant. They are instead, equipped for the good work that God has set before their life. The public sector simply cannot provide that level of complete education.
Does this all mean that if you do not send your children to a Christian school that they are doomed? Of course not. We all know amazing men and women of God who came through public education. However, it is our job as Christian parents to train up our children in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6) When we outsource that training to a system that has completely removed God from the equation, we are not fully doing our job.
I know the reaction of a lot of people to this post will be as follows; “That’s all well and good, but I don’t have an extra $10k a year to send my kid to school.” All I can say to that is that if God calls you to do something, like I believe he has all Christian parents in this case, then he will provide the means. I get to see the faces of students’ every single day who do not have the means to be here by any natural way. It is only through the supernatural provision of God that they are here. I see faces of students’ whose parents work extra jobs, sacrifice nice cars and nice vacations, and who go above and beyond any reasonable expectation as a human being because they believe in fulfilling this call of God on their life. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells us that “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” We just have to trust and obey.
Ask the question; it matters.
Ask the question; Scripture matters.
Ask the question; your kid matters, a lot.
Previous posts in this three-part series can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2.
Kevin Dodson is the Director of Educational Technology at Lake Country Christian School in Fort Worth. Also an LCCS alumnus, he has a B.A. from Midwestern State University and an M.A. from the University of Dallas.
Find out how an education at Lake Country Christian School addresses the “Three Questions” by contacting our admissions team for more information on LCCS.