Why Christian Education? – Is it Really Worth the Money?
This is the time of year when parents begin considering school options, especially if their child’s current school is not meeting their academic, emotional, social, or spiritual needs. I am a big proponent of Christian education and honestly, it is because I am seeing the benefits of having been committed to this educational philosophy for many years now. My eldest son will be a Senior in high school next year and has been in Christian school for every year of his education thus far. I suppose if I did the math on how much his schooling has cost, I might put my head in my hands at least for a moment and think briefly about the mortgage I could have made a dent in, or the trips I could have taken, or the boat I might be enjoying every weekend. The truth, however, is that I have never regretted even one dollar we have spent on Christian education, and I believe it is one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.
I grew up in Texas and went all through the public school system and I suppose I received a pretty good education in a fairly safe environment; but looking back, I think it is more about what I didn’t get that counts. Unlike my son, I did not learn to look at the world through the lens of Scripture and a biblical worldview and I didn’t get to practice living it out in the halls of my high school under the guidance of teachers and administrators who would point me back to truth when I faltered. I did not learn to appreciate math and science and literature and language through the eyes of a Good and Righteous God, nor did I ever consider choosing a career based on God’s calling for my life. Yes, I went to church every Sunday, but every Monday through Friday I was learning and studying about a world that at least appeared to operate completely apart from God and the principles of the Bible. Although I was learning the Bible theoretically for two hours every weekend, I was living eight hours of every day of the week under an entirely different system of thought and behavior. I left high school and went through college trying to choose a career path instead of trying to discover and understand what God had created and equipped me to do.
Unfortunately, I spent most of my twenties, and even some years in my thirties and forties, trying to unlearn some worldly philosophies and relearn what it looks like to really live according to God’s Word. Now, I realize not all of that has to do with a lack of Christian education and I would not go so far as to say that public education failed. It just wasn’t able to prepare me for a life of following Christ, which is ultimately what I want most for my children. Although a school, even a Christian school, cannot provide a perfect formula for discipleship, when parents, the local church, and Christian education work together under the grace and help of a Sovereign God, I believe we can surround our sons and daughters with truth, and help build a foundation that will be immovable, even in a world that is falling apart.