September 30, 2003
There's No Place Like Home-(Schooling)
"Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord." —Ephesians 6:4
A Church of Christ pastor, who is both founder and principal of his congregation's Christian school, does not send his children to his own school. He knows God's plan is to teach and disciple his own children at home.
John and Mary, pillars of the church, have eight children. The parents have served as Communion distributors, lectors, parish council members, and officers of the parent-teacher organization. But their older children no longer go to church. After receiving a new experience of the Holy Spirit, John and Mary have decided to teach the last two children at home.
Linda has always had a great rapport with each of her four children. But recently she's noticed an aloofness in her oldest daughter Kim. Linda has tried to spend more time with Kim but it seems impossible. She's always driving the kids from one soccer game to the next Linda decided to ask Kim if she would be willing to home-school. After first saying "No," Kim chose home-schooling. Linda and Kim are now closer than ever.
These are three examples of thousands of parents who are choosing home-schooling. For the almost 2000-year history of Christianity, committed Christian parents have been able to disciple their children for Jesus (Prv 22:6). This is no longer true. Like John and Mary, thousands of Spirit-filled parents wonder why they cannot reach their children for Christ They are beginning to realize that in today's schools children are adversely affected because they are primarily influenced by the media and their peers. Turning to the Lord in prayer and receiving wisdom from the Holy Spirit, many parents are hearing God call them to disciple their children at home, where they can be the primary educators and predominant influence on their children.
Imagine you could choose anyone in the world to be responsible for the education of your children. You could choose Pope John Paul, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, a world-famous scientist, the president, or anyone else. Whom would you choose? The correct answer is: Choose yourself. You, as the parent, have the grace to disciple your children for Jesus in a way that no one else can have. The question is not who is best "qual-ified" but who is "call-ified." The one who is called has the grace, the anointing from God, to do the job. That is why the Bible and the Church have always stated that parents are the primary educators and disciplers of their children (Dt 6:7; Eph 6:4). Schools at best should be only assistants to the parents.
These truths are emphatically illustrated by the action of the Church of Christ pastor who was also the founder and principal of his church's Christian school. He did not send his own children to the school he founded and administered, because he knew that God's order was to disciple his children at home. He saw that the school's primary purpose was to serve children who did not have committed Christian parents or who had no opportunity for home-schooling. This shows that home-schooling is called for not because schools are bad but because schools are not the primary educators in God's plan.
In home-schooling, the children spend much quality time with the parents. They spend more time with their parents and a few hours per week with their peer group. This makes more sense than children spending most of their time with peers and little time with parents. Presently in our society, most children live in an electronic youth ghetto and therefore experience alienation from their parents. Home-schooling develops a deeper rapport between parent and child instead of letting the child withdraw into a separate world. Linda and Kim arc witnesses of that.
It's therefore vital to home-school no matter how good the schools are. But in many areas both the public and Christian schools have proven to be ineffective in discipling children for Christ and extremely effective in discipling children for secular society. This is the purpose of public education, but even "Christian" education is often more conformed to the world than transformed by the Spirit (Rm 12:2). Our children are being devoured by the "god of the present age" (2 Cor 4:4). Herods are once again seeking to kill the child (Mt 2:13). We need Josephs to rise up and take their children to a place of refuge where they can grow into men and women in love with Jesus. We need "holy families" who will bring up their children "with the training and instruction befitting the Lord" (Eph 6:4).
At the moment, Satan is unleashing an all-out attack on our young people. We may not have seen anything like this since the days of Pharaoh's massacre of the Israelite baby boys (Ex 1:22). There's a war raging. The school system which was useful a generation ago is woefully inadequate today and no match for Satan devouring our children (1 Pt 5:8). We must marshal our parents and fight for our young peoples' lives and eternal salvation.
For information about curricula, legalities, and bibliography, write: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry, Cincinnati, OH 45211. Attention: Vivian Jansen.