Education can never be neutral. Whatever is being taught to a child is being taught from a particular worldview and the person who is teaching the child is discipling them. As Christians, we operate from the perspective of a Biblical worldview. We see all truth as God’s truth. Man has not and cannot create anything. All that can be learned or understood or appreciated belongs to God. In education, man is only discovering His truth (science, history, math) or mimicking His beauty (art, language, music, etc.) In this post I will be sharing 5 Opportunities Unique to a Christian Education.
Discipleship: A Parent’s Responsibility
Before I start, let me clarify that a Christian education does not save a child. Only God saves. For Christian parents, however, the purpose in teaching our kids from a Christian worldview is to be obedient to the command from Scripture to “teach [these truths] diligently to your children, to 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” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
Consider the inspiration of these verses.
Psalm 78 “We will not hide these truths from our children, but we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders…He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.”
Joel 1:3 “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.”
Deuteronomy 32:2 “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
Apart from the following five opportunities that I have listed below, we have the privilege to simply reading the Bible to our kids. Let’s give them the real thing! They should become so familiar with truth that they can spot counterfeit. This is a Christian parent’s first responsibility. Let’s not neglect it!
When we give our kids a distinctively Christian education, we have the chance to pass on truths that are hard to find anywhere else. Here are 5 Opportunities Unique to a Christian Education.
Video: 5 Opportunities Unique to a Christian Education
#1 Bible History
We have the opportunity to give our kids an understanding of the sequence of Biblical events and how they point to the gospel. There’s so much more to the whole story of the Bible than isolated Sunday School lessons.
Consider the chronology of the Bible.
- The fall of man
- The promise of a future Messiah woven throughout the Old Testament
- Call of Abraham
- Israel goes to Egypt
- The two great leaders of Israel, Moses and Joshua
- The period of the Judges
- The repeated cycle of turning to God wholeheartedly followed by the apathy and turning away of his people
- Kings of Israel
- The divide of the northern and southern kingdoms
- Exile of the Jews in Babylon and Assyria
- Return of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to Israel and rebuilding of the temple
- Birth and life of Jesus, the promised Messiah
- Death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ
- The future revelation of Christ at the end of time as told in Revelation
This is just a glimpse of the Biblical framework. Seeing how the whole story fits together is something that is often rarely studied, even in church. As Christian parents, we have the opportunity to show our kids the whole story.
For example, when you are familiar with the lives and stories of King Uzziah and King Hezekiah, reading the prophecies in the book of Isaiah, who spoke during their lifetimes, will not seem so foreign to you because you will understand the context and culture of that time and place. Or, here’s another example. When you have read and re-read the many battles of the Jewish people throughout different time periods and see how often they were completely outnumbered yet won against their enemies, you can fully appreciate how God was working on their behalf.
Bible History and World History
Where does Biblical history fit in with World history? These are not two separate studies. They happened jointly throughout time. A definitively Christian education can bring these two together.
For several years we have used Veritas Press Self-Paced History Lessons. What I love most about their program is how they weave Biblical history in with world history to present the whole story. Veritas Press teaches history chronologically, starting with Creation and continuing through modern times.
Understanding the whole of Bible history is crucial to fully appreciating the desperate need of man and the message of the gospel.
#2 History of the Christian Church
In addition to Bible history, we also have the opportunity to teach our kids church history. I believe the purpose of coming together as believers at church is primarily to exegete the Word. Where, then, will our children learn about the history of the Christian Church? Although I grew up in church and attended Christian school, I cannot remember learning much about church history until I became an adult. I am fascinated to learn the history of the church in the context of what was happening in world history at that same time. This is another opportunity for parents to give kids a more well-rounded understanding of human history and how it fits with our faith.
There are many benefits to knowing the history of the church. Here are a few.
- When you know the history of the church, you will be less susceptible to new, progressive “Christian” teachings because you will see how the church throughout history responded to similar heresies.
- Knowing church history can help understand the hard sayings of the Bible. Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” When we look back and learn what our Christian forefathers believed, this will help us interpret Scripture with wisdom.
- Church history is very interesting and inspiring!
#3 Doctrines of the Faith and Apologetics
One way to teach kids about important doctrines of the faith is to catechize them. Using catechisms, kids can learn the simple truths from Scripture in the form of a series of questions and answers. Some well known catechisms are the Westminster, Heidelberg, and Baptist catechisms.
I think we should remind kids that these documents were written by men and are not inspired by God. They are, however, useful in making Biblical truth simple, concise, and easy to remember. Additionally, I think it is important to keep these lessons short. Doctrine is heavy stuff! Don’t weary the kids with sermonizing.
Singing hymns can also introduce kids to truths from Scripture. Many of the hymns contain doctrinal truth written in beautiful, poetic form. Is this the generation where the hymns die out? I hope not!
As our kids grow and enter the adult world, will they be ready to give a defense of their faith? Recently our kids were also able to take an Apologetics class at our co-op. This class challenged them with questions about why they believe what they believe. It made them really think! They learned how to defend their faith using Scripture, the ultimate authority.
#4 Christian Heroes
Who are our kids’ heroes? Do they know the life stories of Christians throughout history? How have Christians from other time periods and cultures lived out their faith? We can challenge our kids to live above the status quo by introducing them to great men and women of faith who lived for something that outlasted them. This is another opportunity unique to a Christian education.
Throughout our many years of homeschooling, we have read several Christian biographies. I like to read these once a week during our Morning Time. Give them Christian heroes! Introduce them to people like George Muller, Amy Carmichael, George Washington Carver, Charles Spurgeon, Polycarp, Richard Wurmbrand, Corrie Ten Boom, John and Betty Stam, and more! Let’s inspire them with stories of heroes who displayed great trust and faith in the promises of God’s Word.
You can read more about this here. 11 Excellent Christian Biography Resources for Your Homeschool
#5 The Influence of A Living Testimony
One time in a class at church, the teacher posed the question, “What has been the biggest faith builder in your life?” There were several answers, but the one that stood out the most to me was this. “A living testimony.” Perhaps one of the most persuasive and compelling influences that will cause a person to believe the truth of the gospel is a living testimony.
Paul told believers to “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Jesus said, “A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher.” What else but the transforming power of Christ can explain a changed life? There is no better witness to the gospel than a life lived in complete surrender to Christ in humble response to God’s Word.
While it can be argued that there are godly Christian role models in many educational settings, sadly most traditional school environments severely limit what a Christian teacher can say and do. Consider the difference when a Christian parent (or teacher) can fully live out his or her faith alongside a child over a period of time!
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What opportunities would you add to this list? Comment below!
You may also enjoy reading Teaching Bible in Morning Time.
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!