Sunday, February 3, 2013

Does The Bible Have Anything To Say About Education? {40+ Scriptures}

Whenever there are decisions to be made about the raising of my children, I tend to look all over the place before I remember that within the pages of His Word I can find everything I need to know. Over the past three years I have poured over the pages of scripture to see if indeed the Lord does have anything to say about educating my children. 

And in fact, I have found that the instructions given are seemingly endless... I have only touched the surface here. We can learn so much simply by reading the biographies of great men like Moses, Abraham, David & Paul, and so many more found on the pages His Holy Word. How did they train their children? What were the successes and failures? What was consistent amoungst all the folks that the Lord called "wise" in His Word?

I also want to make it clear here that it is not my intention, nor my place, to tell anyone how they should educate their children.  The goal of this post is point out that the Word of God is FULL of instruction on how we are to educate our children. The definition of education that I am going off here is from that of the great, G.K. Chesterton.

"The most important fact about the subject of education is that there is no such thing. Education is not a subject, and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life."

Is not that our calling as parents... to "transfer a way of life to our children?

And I know it can be done in so many ways. I know that I myself grew up in the public school system and I am a respectable member of my community, a passionate, thankful Mama and wife, and I am completely and utterly in love with my Jesus. 

God can and will do whatever He wills for each and every family that seeks His face (and often times He even shows grace on those who don't) When I was young, my parents didn't know the Lord, and I can guarantee you that in my younger years they did not seek the Lord about my education, thus what I mean about His grace. 

I have a friend in my life that has chosen a different path to educating her children than  My Joey and I have.  She's an extremely godly woman. She's passionate about her children and her Jesus.

She has a special needs child and has chosen to put her son in a regular education classroom. I have been so blessed to hear the ways that the Lord is using her amazing son to help those in his class see their classmates in a different light. Her son is not a boy of many words, but because of her choice to get involved in the public school the way that she has, his life speaks volumes . And I believe with my whole heart that her choices are bringing glory to her Savior. She also teaches her children the Word in their home. She lives the Word with her life, so her children are daily seeing Jesus in their Mom.

No matter what choice we make, we must make it based on, and rooted in, the scriptures. If our children are away from us for various reasons, then we must be that much more intentional when they are with us.  We cannot pass our God-given duties as Mama's and Papa's off to someone else. No one can pour life and truth into our children the way that we as parents can. 

Clearly the Lord has led our family to educate at home.  And like most people who have sought the Lord diligently about a certain topic, I will admit that I am quite passionate about what we do. I can see affirmation all over The Word concerning the benefits of having our children in our home. I do not deny that I think that homeschooling is a wonderful blessing for both child and parent. 

But please know that the goal of me writing our family's journey in this quiet place is not to make everyone make the same choices that we are making, but rather to encourage us all to run constantly to His Word as we strive to figure out this life. 

That being said...

When I started my search I was simply looking for scriptures that talked about training in some way or another. Below are the ones that have stood out and stuck with me over the past three years...

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6

"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11

"Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 32

"Start children off on the way they should go,

 and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22

"Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." Joel 1

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6 

In other words, we are called to disciple our children. Discipleship demands time, effort, sacrifice. It calls for the "passing on of a way of life."

What is wisdom? What is knowledge? 
Who is wise? Who is the fool?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
(What form of educating my child will daily, hourly, "when they walk along the road, when they lie down and when they get up")  teach my child the "beginning of wisdom?")

"In other words, our educational choice has to be based on the fact that God cannot and must not be ignored in the process." Baucham)

Who it the fool? The Bible says,
"The fool says in his heart, “There is no God." Psalm 53:1 

We can not be neutral when it comes to giving our children a Biblical worldview about God.

For the Scriptures make it clear... We are either for Him or against Him.

In fact, He spits neutrality out of His mouth. Revelation 3:16. 
And  in Mathew 12:20 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”  

The Bible has a lot to say about the wise verses the fool.

"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." Proverbs 13:20  (Are my children be walking with the wise?)

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. Proverbs 14:24 

"Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools." Proverbs 14:33

"The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly." Proverbs 15:2

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools." Proverbs 15:7

"The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly." Proverbs 15:14

"Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge." Proverbs 14:7 

And the Lord has not only made clear what the fool looks like, but in Proverbs 2, through the mouth of Solomon, He so eloquently describes how our children can become wise. 

"My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
 and applying your heart to understanding

indeed, if you call out for insight

    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just

 and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,

    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,    and understanding will guard you."

The words that are chosen to describe the hunt for wisdom are powerful... "store up" "apply your heart" "call out"  "cry aloud" "look for it as for silver" "search." 

Our training up of our children towards wisdom canNOT be a secondary endeavor.   It's constant. It's a seeking out of something that is so valuable to us that we would give everything we own to have it.

It must be what we pour the bulk of our time into as we raise up these souls for His glory. The only way my treasures are going to gain true wisdom is from an intimate seeking out and savoring of their Savior..." For the Lord gives wisdom; from HIS mouth come knowledge and understanding." How can we truly educate our children apart from immersion into the depth of the scriptures?

Who our children spend their days with matters...

"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher." Luke 6:40

Are we being intentional about who we are allowing our children to be taught by?
As parents we are responsible for doing our due diligence in knowing what it is that is being poured into the heart of our child. And the Word makes it clear that if it is not a solid Biblical worldview, then we are doing an extreme disservice to ourselves and to our children. (Colossians 2:8, 1 Timothy 6:20-21)


But aren't our kids supposed to be salt and light?

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you." Mathew 28:19-20  

Are they to be salt and light? 


But not without sufficient training in biblical worldview. 

Our children are very moldable and easily influenced, as they should be.... that's what makes these early years in parenting so sweet; we've been given an opportunity to mold souls towards eternity. These are the years that our children will learn what it is that they believe and know to be true. Whether intentionally or unintentionally we have to admit that our children are daily being influenced by something or someone.   As their parents, we have the privilege of influencing them towards Christ as we walk by the road,  as we work, as we train, as we  cook dinner, as we scrub toilets. 

"Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals." 1 Corinthians 15:33

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

"Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith." 1 Timothy 6:20-21

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and it's leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 


Here are five simple questions that we can ask our children to see what their worldview actually is. In fact I had to ask myself these questions and discovered that in some areas my own worldview was not Biblical. 

What is the nature of God? (Many believe in "God". They believe that he is a "higher power" or a "guiding force" in their lives. But the God of the Bible is personal, sovereign, set apart. He's creator. He's rational, relational, He speaks to/with His people. He redeems lost sinners and judges the unrepentant.)
What is the nature of man? (Are we a result of random evolution or are we a special creation of God?)
What is the nature of truth? (Is truth relative or absolute?)
What is the nature of knowledge? In other words, how do we know what we know? (Is it naturalism, the insistence that the world materialized out of nothing? Or do we hold that God created the world and everything in it, therefore pursuing knowledge with a balance of reason and revelation?
How do we determine right and wrong? (Are ethics cultural? What does the Bible say about ethics?) 

Who's teaching our children? What view of the world are our children retaining? What are our children about their Jesus? What are our children learning about their neighbor and how they are supposed to view their neighbor? What are our children being taught about where they came from, what their value is, and how to respect and honor their neighbor above themselves?

We need to take the time to pour these truths into our children.

How we raise this generation, will effect many generations to come. Let's raise our treasures to bless the next generations by giving them an incredible, solid view of their Savior, allowing them to see all aspects of life through the eyes of their Jesus who created them with the most extravagant love.


 There is very little said about Jesus' childhood. But in the small handful of things that the gospel writers did include was this one very profound verse...

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52

If the Son of God Himself spent his first 30 years growing in wisdom, how much more so should we be pouring the Word into our own children, who I guarantee, do not soak up wisdom the way that their Jesus was able to do so?


I mentioned it earlier... Chesterton's definition of Education...
"The most important fact about the subject of education is that there is no such thing. Education is not a subject, and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life."

"The question we should be asking is, “Who is qualified to ‘transfer a way of life’to my children?” and “What ‘way of life’ matters to me?”
In light of the scriptures, I find these questions worthy of our attention as parents. 

Why must we teach our children the Bible?

Because the Bible is our source of wisdom...
"The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip." Psalm 37:30-31

Because the Bible is our source of righteousness...
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Because the Bible is our source of direction...
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalm 119:105

Because the Bible is our source of hope...
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

But I don't feel capable of educating my children in this way?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3

God is faithful to help us to do what He has asked of us.


More scriptures that have led us to this place of home educating...

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful". Colossians 4

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5

"All your children will be taught by the Lordand great will be their peace." Isaiah 54:13

"Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." Proverbs 1:8-9

" Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well." 1 Corinthians 10:23 MSG

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." psalm 23:1


Education is a huge decision in both the lives of children and their parents. But I find no better place to go to make any large decision in life, than straight into the scriptures. 

May His Word alone determine our steps. 

Oh that the hearts in this home, and in the homes of Christians around the world, might settle for nothing less than what the famous old hymn proclaims...

"On Christ the solid rock we stand, ALL other ground is sinking sand; ALL other ground is sinking sand."

My prayer is that these scriptures and articles are only the beginning of a journey worth embarking on. Don't take my word or anyone else's for that matter. Seek your Savior, and I guarantee, you won't be found wanting. :)


And Two Incredible Books that just might change the way the world views education...

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham

Repairing The Ruins by Douglas Wilson