Christian schooling is often seen as a contentious issue among Christians. Yet most would agree the Bible teaches that parents are responsible for raising and educating their children.
Whether Christian parents choose home schooling, secular, private or Christian schools this responsibility remains. The Bible says Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord Ephesians 6:4
The Barna Group* reported that 85% of parents do believe they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children about religious beliefs and spiritual matters. Yet few spend any time interacting with their children on spiritual matters. Most expect t heir church to do it.
In many ways parents are like spiritual shepherds to their own children
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3
Like a shepherd, parents care for, lead and protect their children. How we choose to raise our children, and who we engage to help us, provides an example for our children to follow.
When parents enlist the help of others to assist them, be they teachers, sport coaches, Sunday School teachers or even piano instructors they don’t lose their responsibility. It is ultimately up to parents to decide who will be their child’s teacher.
It is unreasonable to expect teachers in secular, or even many private schools, to teach our children biblical truth. Even Christian teachers may be discouraged or prevented from doing so in these classrooms. Religious belief is treated as being separate to the rest of life.
Christian schools are not a way to escape from other education systems, nor take over the task of home or church. Christian schools are an expression of Christian parents attempting to fulfil their responsibility to raise and train their children in a godly manner. They do this by co-operating with, or teaming up with, other like minded parents.
Christian schools help parents to train the next generation to understand the real world as God designed it. Their hope is that children will discover their place in God’s great story, learn how to serve others and be better prepared for life. In Christian schools parents can do together what they feel they cannot do alone. They remain active and willing participants rather than merely consumers of an educational service.
Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them Deuteronomy 4:9
Is school helping, or hindering, you as a parent to strengthen and encourage your children’s faith?