The following article was written for our monthly school newsletter. With permission from our principal, we are sharing this with you; praying you are inspired and blessed by the heart of his message. Enjoy!
Upon consideration, there are probably hundreds of reasons why a person would choose to home school. People pulling their kids from public schools cite poor education, low test scores, large class sizes, lack of good teachers, bureaucracy of schools, lack of individual attention, or the accommodation of individual needs, the prevalence of drugs, violence, alcohol, or other substances. Then we can add the moral side of the equation: peer pressure, the tolerance of that which the Bible calls sin (if not outright encouraging it), trans-gender bathroom laws, a generally anti-Christian agenda, and more.
Any of the above reasons, if not all of them, would be valid reasons to yank your kids from a wolves’ den. For the Christian parent who wants to follow the Scriptural mandates found in Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6:4, Psalm 78, and other locations, it does not make sense to put your child in an unloving, God rejecting setting, in front of teachers bet on the indoctrination of lies and biased material, and then hope that our children turn out ok.
Judges 2:10 gives us the result of parents not actively engaged in the discipleship of their own children, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.”
We are called as Christians to go and make disciples. God expects us to start at home, and while it is true that none of us can make our child come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, much less choose a life of obedience for them, the blame for a generation rising that does not know lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents. They did not know because they were not taught. That is one issue that we can, and certainly do have a very large part to play.
Deut. 6:7-9 gives us a serious command to teach the Law specifically, though we could apply it to the whole of God’s Word for practicality, to our children.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The command is for throughout the day, not just Sunday morning, or during Bible class, but all day long. When idle (sitting), in transit (when you walk), the last thing we hear before bed (when you lie down), and the first thing we consider in the morning (and when you rise up). Verses 8-9 basically tell us to so arrange it that God’s Word should be ever before us for consideration and reminder.
If we want our children to know the truth, and to be able to recognize (and avoid) the lives of the Enemy, then we must constantly be setting the truth before them. How else will they come to know it? Many of us have heard that banks teach their employees to recognize counterfeit money –not by classes on what to look for – but by constantly handling the genuine. Even when they cannot at first identify why, the teller gets to a point where they know that something isn’t right when they come across a phony bill inserted into the mix. They are taught to follow that instinct, stop, and examine more closely.
May the same be true of our children. Our desire is to so immerse them in the truth of God that when the false comes along they instinctively put up their guard and examine it, seeing where it doesn’t measure up against Scripture. I don’t want my adult son needing me to check his pastor out to see if the man is teaching correctly, I want him to be able to determine that for himself. How else can he teach my grandkids to recognize the truth?
The second reason why home schooling best fits the command to disciple our children is found in the second part of Judges 2:10, “nor the work which He had done for Israel.” It is my belief that our children trust God when they are little simply because Mommy and Daddy do. And when they are little, that is fine. Their faith can, does, and should be able to rest on ours; But I am not planning to raise a spiritual infant, but a well-trained, strong, victorious Christian soldier that is capable of teaching his own kids to be victorious Christian warriors as well.
As our children grow up, the focus needs to expand and go beyond “What did God do for Israel” or “What can God do?” Rather it needs to broaden to help our kids see what God has done for them, and what He has been doing in their lives. God helping blind people to see some 2,000 years ago can be encouraging, (please don’t misunderstand me, it is vital to know that He is able to do all that Scripture records), but how much more unshakeable is our kids’ faith when it rests on the certainty of what God has already done for them? When they come to the understanding that Jesus has never let them down before, it is so much easier to know, believe, and cling to the promise that He never will. They need to grasp that the promise wasn’t just for Lazarus, but for them as well, and that God’s personal track record with them is 100% faithful as well.
I know of no curricula that can teach those life lessons. So, as the school year begins, and the books are opened, remember that you don’t introduce them merely to stories about Jesus, you are introducing them to Jesus Himself; and know that as you do so, your labor is not in vain.
Ensure that your kids learn the life lessons they wouldn’t be taught anywhere else.
That is why we home school.
Your Turn!: Share with us a few of the resources in your home, and homeschooling, which help build your children’s faith!