The objective of all true educators is to provide learning to students. But the framework in which that takes place in a Christian school is clearly distinctive from its secular counterparts. Our colleagues in the arena of public education see the state as the party responsible for educating a child. As Christians, we view this responsibility differently because we see it through the lens of Scripture which plainly declares that this weight rests on the shoulders of parents: “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:19). “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
A Christian school can assist parents as parents delegate part of this responsibility to trustworthy educators. Christian education, rather than competing with parental responsibility, can greatly aid parents. Here are just a few of the ways that Christian education strengthens families.
1. A Biblical Wordlview
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:16–17).
Godly teachers can reaffirm the biblical worldview already being taught in the home. The student’s forming and acceptance of biblical beliefs is aided by the compounding effect of hearing the same truth from multiple angles and perspectives. When the message from Sunday is echoed by the math teacher on Monday, its ability to penetrate the heart is enhanced. When the verse discussed during family devotions Thursday night is the memory verse in Bible class, there is a cumulative effect.
Conversely, a number of competing secular influences consistently attempt to chisel away at the biblical foundation laid in a Christian home. Sunday’s message and Thursday’s family devotions can be drowned out by the varied opposing voices of the secular world. The Bible warns that a young person is not to listen: “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge” (Proverbs 19:27). Parents are in a key position to protect their children from those voices.
2. Daily Exposure to Godly Mentors and Role Models
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
The mentors and role models a young person is exposed to on a daily basis in a Christian school can be spiritually strengthening. The coach of the sports team, school administrator, cafeteria volunteer, music teacher, classroom instructor, and guest chapel speaker are just some of the individuals God can use in a young person’s life. These servants of God can inspire transformation in the lives of students. God certainly worked in my life this way, and I am eternally grateful for the influence of men like my high school coach who God used to call me into that same ministry.
3. Wholistic Development
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
Mankind is a multi-faceted creature with physical, emotional, and social needs. Sports, music, and extracurricular opportunities are key components in most schools. A wholistic development, though, must include spiritual development. Christian education not only provides Bible classes, but it also infuses and integrates Scripture and a biblical worldview into every aspect of education. Christian education strengthens families by providing an education of the total student in a wholistic way that education which deemphasizes the spiritual nature of man and often promotes anti-Christian views cannot provide.
4. A Nurturing Environment
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
It would be foolish to claim that Christian education is immune from sinful behavior. Unfortunately, the sins of society penetrate the walls of a Christian school too. But Christian education actively seeks to create a habitat that exposes these destructive attitudes and actions for what they truly are. In a biblically-based way Christian education provides a nurturing environment that is the kind of spiritual soil necessary for young people to experience consistent growth. This Christian greenhouse is extremely beneficial for a young person as they establish their foundation for life.
While this brief list is far from exhaustive in outlining the benefits of Christian education to the Christian family, it does provide a taste of the type of joy-filled partnership that can result from this biblical model. The fruit of this partnership between parents and Christian educators is well worth the time, money, and energy involved in laboring to train the next generation of Christian leaders. Together the home and Christian school can experience the incredible blessing of seeing God continue to develop laborers for His harvest.