Sunday, October 11, 2009

Isn’t how we educate our children a preference?

As I come to the end of the series on homeschooling I think this last question in its broadest sense is the one I have heard as much as any other. At the heart of this question is the idea that God’s word is not specific or explicit enough as to give an answer. For me this comes from a couple issues. One is from those seeking to justify sending their children to the government schools who are seeking to do so by claiming God leaves this up to each of us. The other angle that this question may come from is in not seeing God’s word as sufficient for all things thus there are things, such as how we school our children, that God’s word does not speak to in a clear manner. I think if you have read the previous posts on homeschooling you will see that this is not the case. God is specific that we are to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4) and this does not happen in government schools.

Now the actual answer to the question is Yes and No. It is yes in that there are no specifics as to curriculum or method of teaching explicitly set out. But even here I would say God’s word is more specific than most give it credit. By this I mean that while God may not say use Saxon Math or some other specific curriculum we are to judge even a math curriculum by where it places God in the context of the curriculum. Now this may sound strange to some as one may ask what does God have to do with math but He has everything to do with math. We need to raise children that understand that math does not work without God and thus God is to get all credit in the endeavor of math. This same principle applies to every subject so we need to see how any curriculum we are evaluating deals with God so that our children see God as integral to all areas of study. Remember that what your children learn early on they will carry into their later life. Thus there is room for preference in curriculum but that is only within the parameters God sets forth in His word.

But this is not the usual direction the “preference” question is intended to go. As I said before the usual direction taken is to find allowance to have others teach our children in the public sector, the question of homeschool vs. Christian school is for another day. The conclusion that seems abundantly clear from scripture is that while there is an area of preference in what is taught the area of preference with regards to being able to send our children to government schools is were God answers the preference question with a definite “no.” It is not only our duty to be responsible for the training of our children we are also tasked to protect them from all that the government run schools are seeking to instill in our children. Since Jesus says that a disciple will be like the one discipling them (Luke 6:40) it seems clear we as Christian parents should be the one doing the teaching.

Over the course of this series I pray that the articles were taken as they were intended. To both encourage and challenge parents to not simply do what they feel is right but to do what God commands as right. In a day and age that balks at absolutes let us understand that God’s word is absolute and in the area of schooling our children it is much more explicit than it is often given credit for. Even if the government schools were neutral, if such a thing was even possible, we would still be called by God to raise our children ourselves. As believers we need to make sure our decision to homeschool is not grounded in the state of our government run schools but is grounded in the all sufficient word of God. Yes the government schools direction should make our decision to homeschool easier, it really should, but even then our decision is to be grounded in God’s word not our preference.

My call to you, if you do not already, is to do whatever it takes to take your children out of the government schools. Seek God for the strength and direction to accomplish this change. It may not be easy and it may not happen overnight but it needs to happen. If your lifestyle must change it must change. If you need to seek help, do that as well. Again this must all be done with your conviction coming from scripture as it will be God’s word that will sustain you when things get tough and if your conviction is anything other than biblical you will be tempted to give in if things appear to change or the trials appear too hard.

Please read over the links below as much of the biblical grounding for our call to disciple our children is given in them. This is not a call we are to do in our own power as if that is the case we will fail. This is a call that is to be done in God’s power and for His glory.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

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