I’m thinking today on the motivations a parent might have to send their child to school. Some people have enslaved themselves to debt or demand a certain lifestyle that they feel it necessary to have both parents working & making money, which in turn leaves little time to educate (or even watch) their child — that’s a common problem in a life devoted to the American dream.
Others have doubts about their ability to properly teach their children, and that’s a separate post (but in short — God didn’t give you your children on accident, hoping that you’d find someone better suited for the task ASAP).
The most baffling (to me) are those believing parents who simply do not want to spend the time or take up the task of educating their children. It is a burden that would interfere with a preferred daily lifestyle. It is a belief that the possible difficulties facing a parent taking up the role of educator is just too much (we’d fight too often!) and therefore best if the problem is placed in the lap of a dedicated teacher making far less money than they deserve.
Consider this by R.C. Sproul, Jr. -
…we should understand that teaching our children is our delight, our joy, our opportunity. When we see spending time with them as a burden, rather than a joy, we see further evidence of how encultured we have become. Children, biblically speaking, are a blessing from God. And we ought to seek out time with blessings from God, not plot out ways to avoid them, or hand them over to others.
And yet, the mother portrayed in the comic above, though no religious convictions are attributed is just as easily the Christian mother as she is a pagan mother. How did we get to this point? We’ve reached a point where the daily routine of school-aged child is spent in a class, away from their parents. Evenings are spent in a frantic rush to play sports, do homework, watch TV, play video games and get to bed in time to do it all again. Weekends are much the same. Seasonal vacations are short and the arrival of the routine is met rarely with gladness (save for Mom & Dad) but rather with glum fatalism.
Children desire to be with their parents because God has created them to be under their care until the time comes to “leave and cleave”. That they prefer the company of their parents to that of their teachers, nursery workers, day care attendants, is clear. That so many parents could make such a reality, could grab hold of this brief time God has blessed them with, but instead choose an empty home from morning until afternoon and an obstacle course filled with recitals, games, and practice, practice, practice makes me befuddled. I don’t get it. I see it as the primary driving force to have your children away from the home and it just doesn’t make sense to me. Is this time truly so tedious? Is the cost truly so high?
1 Timothy 2:11-15 is a passage of Scripture that has been picked up by all sorts of folks, abused, misused, and mishandled. It’s justified all sorts of bad theology complete with lives that reflect Jesus poorly because of said theology.
Last Sunday, I preached on the issue showing that Paul’s words to women have been controversial (for different reasons) from the time he wrote them up to today. Give it a listen if you have a chance and weigh in with what you think about the Women teaching & holding authority.
Tomorrow: Some more thoughts on education.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states “ And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
From a religious perspective, are parents justified in delegating the theological training of their children to Pastors, Sunday School teachers, and Youth Group Leaders? Is it good enough to make sure that their children are diligently taught, even if it’s not by you. I say no, God gave you these children and is commanding YOU (yes you) to instruct them.
But what about education in general? Are we justified in making a distinction between religious education and “book smarts” education? The majority of parents delegate their child’s “book education” to someone else. They’re not involved. Is there truly such a distinction between school & theology? Does God say “That’s not mine.” in regards to book learnin’?
That’s the question I have in mind for next week. I want to devote the whole time to the issue of home schooling & education because, quite frankly, I think I’m starting to look at it not as “best possible method of education” but rather as “clear command from God.”
I hope you’ll be along to work it out with me. Also – preaching in Tacoma this Sunday AM — hope to see you there as well!
Outside of reading this, there’ s been a whole lot of Greeking & Hebrewing. I’ve been preaching once a month at the Columbia Bible Presbyterian Church in Scappoose, OR for the past two months (sermons here).
Break time is over, though, so I’ll get back to blogging. You’re welcome (I kid, I kid).
From the post:
Lets face it, the Reformation has a tendency to be only about Luther, Calvin, and maybe Zwingli, Knox, and Wycliffe. I’m not saying these men are not important, quite the opposite, they are the most significant figures of the period, but their preeminence has a tendency to overshadow other men that played key roles in the reformation. Often some of these lesser known men were responsible for formalizing the theology of the more well known figures. Further, some of these men were dear friends, confidants, and supporters of the other figures. Our first “second-tier” reformer is Johannes Oecolampadius.