Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

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.

Sincerely,

Dale Slater

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will be trading in swimsuits for school clothes and beach time for books.  Summer seems to go by quicker now than it ever has before.  For some parents the return to school cannot come soon enough, but for others it brings anxiety.  This is the first (official) year that my wife and I will start schooling, and I must admit that it is a little scary to think about my children’s education.  I want them to get the best education that they can get while being in an environment that fosters godliness.  For our family, we have chosen to homeschool.  I know that this is not the best choice for everyone; but no matter your schooling choice, we can all use some encouragement as the new school year starts back.  Over the next several weeks I am going to be publishing a series of blogs aimed to do just that . . . encourage the parent on the upcoming school year.

I have asked three guests to write on their preferred schooling option (Public School, Homesschool, Private Christian School) and give we parents some hopeful words on the upcoming school year.  Each one has sent their children through all 12/13 years of schooling with great success.  Among those now adult children are doctors, teachers, nurses, authors, computer-techs, farmers, actuaries, musicians, and a whole host of other things.  More importantly than their vocational success is that almost across the board, they all have grown to be godly men and women.  This is ultimately what we as Christian parents are striving for.  A good job is great, but a godly heart is what we all desire.  They get there not just through reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also by knowing and serving God.  That may seem daunting, but I believe we can be encouraged by those who have walked through it before and have come out on the other side.

For your benefit, here is a quick bio on the guest writers so that you can have a little info on the people who are writing.

Dale Slater (Public School):

Mrs. Dale Slater taught in the public school system for more than 30 years.  She and her husband were blessed to have 3 children who all went though this school system.  Dale was the single most influential teachers for me during my schooling years.  While she taught me much about math, she taught me much more about the Lord.  She was a daily godly example to her students and anyone that was around her.  Both she and her husband did not just teach their children at school, but more importantly, at home.  There is no one else I can think of who would be better able to encourage families who have chosen this option to school their children.

Desiree Sheats (Homeschool):

Desiree is one of the godliest and humble women I have ever known.  She and her husband were blessed with 12 children of their own plus one that they adopted.  She has just recently graduated, after 30 years of homeschooling, her last of 13 children.  When my wife and I need direction or affirmation on our choice of education for our children, this is who we run to.  The Lord has given her a heart for the homeschool community and the wisdom to encourage many generations to come.  While never formally obtaining more than a high-school diploma herself, with the Lord’s guidance she and her husband educated their children in not just math, science, and English, but also in the things of God, which has had the most lasting impact on her children.

William “Bill” Butt (Christian School):

Dr. Butt saw fit to send all 3 of his children through 12 impressionable years of Christian education.  Not only did he send his children through a top-notch Christian school but he also taught at this school part-time in subjects such as systematic theology and apologetics in order to prepare the future generation to be able to defend their faith.  Dr. Butt is a doctor of medicine, but his heart is geared toward teaching the things of God.  This is most evident for anyone that has ever been around him for very long.  All of his children were the benefactors of such a school system, and I believe his words will be an encouragement to families who have chosen this avenue of education for their children.

No matter what educational choice you make for your children, we all need encouragement to press on.  I hope this series of blogs will help you to do just that.  It is not meant to be a debate on which system is better, but rather to encourage you as a parent where you are.  If you are still struggling through this decision for your children, let me suggest this little book called Perspectives on Your Child’s Education” which gives a very well balanced view on the four potential types of education choices that parents face.

I pray as school starts back soon, you will find comfort in these words and any anxiety that you may have will be placed at the foot of the cross.  We are all commanded to educate our children, whether we delegate that responsibility or not.  So in doing so, pray for them, play with them, and participate in that education process for the glory of God.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell