“We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”Voddie T. Baucham Jr., Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God
I love that quote from Baucham. It’s why we did private school for the first few years of our children’s education and homeschooled the rest. Our youngest child went to public school for his last four years. He undoubtedly had an impact for Christ. He had a positive influence on many of his classmates…though we’re unaware of any eternal results that came of it. And I’ll admit, it impacted him in some positive ways. He learned discipline and leadership through his commitment to Marching Band. He met his future bride in high school…such a beautiful, godly young woman. Socially it was pretty much a wash. No real gains…not tremendous losses. Academically it was sub-par to the homeschooling that he got. The commitment expected of him to Marching Band greatly challenged the control of our family calendar and his participation and involvement in his church and personal discipleship. Philosophically, it created a battle in our home that we could have easily lost had God not mercifully intervened. Three years out and on the threshold of marriage, both he and us as parents have some regrets about the decision to let him go to high school, but God is using it for His glory and for our good. It has deeply impacted the way our son plans to parent his own children. #SoliDeoGloria
I’m so thankful for godly teachers and administrators who serve the calling of the most High by serving in the Roman Empire. We have several teachers and school board members in our congregation. I’m so grateful for their testimony and witness. They are truly light in what is an ever darkening world. I’m thankful for holy students who live for Jesus in that environment. What a tremendous testimony!
That however does not discount or negate the effect that Caesar has on children born into a family with a Biblical Worldview. When parents surrender the academic, social and philosophical development of their children to the empire they WILL BE trained for the worldview of the empire. So many say, “My child is going to grow up and function in that world. I don’t want to shelter them in a bubble. They’re going to have to learn to live in that environment sometime.” I find this excuse severely lacking in responsibility and accountability. For my three children, that was OUR job (my wife and I) – teaching them to function in the real world around “real world” people, under OUR care and supervision. It was OUR responsibility.
But for most, public education is just a fact of life…any other way is not on most people’s radar or feasible in their 2 to 4 job per couple schedule and income. It’s just a given and many parents couldn’t fathom educating their children another way. I understand that some just don’t have the means or the ability to home school or do private school (to be honest, I’m about as equally against most private schools as I am education funded by the state). It’s not that sending your children to public school is evil; it’s just incredibly dangerous and as a parent with a Biblical worldview. You must be EVER vigilant and so very, very PRESENT.
For me personally, I’ve not liked the product of any other program designed and governed by “the state” for the welfare of its people. I wasn’t going to trust the formation of my children’s worldview socially or philosophically, mentally or emotionally and very little academically. I’m not going to trust a state institution that is determined to separate God from the institution to teach my children about sexuality, identity and tolerance. God is not going to hold the school responsible. He’s going to hold me responsible.
It makes me sad when I look back as a pastor. I had so many people in my life, while we were raising our children and making these decisions, that made me feel like what we were doing was so arrogant, impractical, elitist and over-protective that I ignorantly felt like I was not qualified to shepherd our congregation in parenting because so many of us were all the same age/had kids the same age. We tried to lead by example but when I talked about parenting, I got ignored or made fun of by our church members who were “peers”. They felt they knew just as much about parenting as I did. I neglected to set the example AND teach the example, to expose the dangers that we saw for what they really were. I neglected the families that would listen because of the loud voices of those who didn’t want to. Though I wish I could have a redo, I’ve been entrusted a voice with a new generation of parents and families. May God continue to have mercy on us all.