Forty-two years ago when our first child entered the first grade, I was elated that finally he would be with us all day, since his dad and I were both public school teachers teaching at the same school that he attended. Five years later another child began Kindergarten, and then yet another five years passed and our last child entered Kindergarten. All of our children began and graduated from a public school. They were all leaders and well- grounded in their faith in Jesus. They made good friends with those who had similar morals, and they reached out to those who were not Christians. Being followers of Christ, we talked about the things going on at school, and thought about the response we should have. We were so grateful that our children took a stand against drugs, drinking, and pre-marital sex. We prayed for them every day asking God to protect their minds and hearts from the evil one who desired to kill, steal, and destroy their faith in Christ. They were able to be witnesses to students and staff by the way they lived their lives, and some lives have been changed forever, praise the Lord!
Today, however, the enemy seems to have a larger toe-hold in the world, and many of the children of Christian parents are turning from their belief in Jesus. They are followers, not leaders, and their desire to “fit in” is the driving factor of their lives, not being obedient to Christ. What their peers say is more important to them than what their parents say. But, if a child is grounded in his/her faith, strong willed enough to take a stand for what is right and pleasing to God regardless of what stand others take, then that child would be a light in the public school and would probably thrive in that setting. I believe that there are three areas that must be cultivated if you want your child thrive in a public school setting.
Parents Must Pray:
Parents should pray, pray, pray for their children, asking the Lord to reveal His will for each of them. Eventually all children must live in the real world, but they must be grounded sufficiently to withstand the devil.
Parent’s must Educated Their Children in God’s Word:
We must make sure that they have God’s word hidden in their hearts and that they understand how to use the Word to stand firm. That education comes from talks around the dinner table, talks while traveling, talks while taking a walk, talks when doing the dishes, etc (Deuteronomy 6:7) .
Parents Must Live-out Their Faith:
The parents must live their faith day in and day out in front of the children. The children must see how knowing God is a vital part of their parent’s lives. One child may need to be home schooled for a few years to get that solid foundation, while another child may be ready to attend public school at Kindergarten age, but the parents living out their faith is a vital part of their children’s preparation.
Our public schools need students and staff who are a light for Jesus. They need to see Christians who are sold out for Jesus and live their lives everyday depending on Him. They must see the difference in Christians, so their hearts will long for the peace and joy that knowing Christ brings. Our job is to make sure our children and grandchildren understand and practice God’s Word. We must be an example that they can follow since they are watching our lives and picking up our habits.