What is our Biblical responsibility towards our children regarding education? Does the Bible even address public vs. private schooling? Did Moses forget the 11th commandment "Thou Shalt Homeschool"? (giggle)
The Bible is silent regarding phrases familiar with our modern modes of education but it is not silent on feeding us principles that we can use to direct our decision making. It is late on Sunday night and I have so much readying to do to make our FIRST. DAY. AWESOME! (of lessons tomorrow) and so without delving into a huge three layer Hebrew or Greek study, I'll toss some nuggets I hold dear your way and urge you to continue the study on your own.
First, we can read scripture (because it is life GIVING!) and see that God created a basic unit of society called the family. A man was to leave his parents, love his wife, have children and this was how life was to be. A family. Living together, children under the care of their parents. All God's design. Then we skip forward and see that children are clearly a gift from the Lord. God gave children to parents, not to a village or a school board or even to a church. Let's consider together: right now if you were given something you absolutely desire or need, perhaps a dream vehicle, a new post baby wardrobe, a farm (!), or so on, how many of us would really even consider saying, "thanks, but you know I think so-and-so down the road would take better care of this vehicle so they can use it all day, or she would wash these clothes more carefully so I think I'll let her wear them during the day, or I don't want this farm during for eight hours of the day because it might be too much work" - what???? How ridiculous do these scenarios sound to our ears? How much more precious gifts are our children than things.
We can see God's view of teaching taking place in the family unit in Genesis 18:19, Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (also see Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 11:18-21) , Isaiah 54:13.
How might these scriptures direct our education decisions for our children?
2 Corinthians 10:5
I'd urge you to read the wisdom in the book of Proverbs. I like that there are 31 chapters in proverbs because it works easily to read one a day and countless nuggets to include in our walk with Christ.
Sean and I agreed that we could not read what scripture has to say about friendships and push our children out of our home at their most impressionable ages, into an environment where their peers would be the most influential people in their lives. When American children go to school, they are not thinking, "I must get the most education I can today and learn to love learning...", they are anxious to see their friends, wondering what so-and-so will be wearing, waiting to hear about the weekend, wondering if that boy or girl will talk to them...
Finally, friends, there is no place in scripture where we are taught or where we can pull principle from regarding sending our children out as little missionaries, as salt and light, so the saying goes. I suppose some parents might have well intentions to send their children into public school hoping to enlarge their own area of influence and to reach out, but I would venture to state that visiting the same library every week, choosing the line with the same clerk at the grocery store, inviting neighbors over for coffee, volunteering together as a family - any of these would be much better ways to make an impact on our community without sending our children away for the majority of their day.
It is late. Thankfully, my stepmom made me a beautiful iced coffee a few hours ago and I'm ready to tackle what I need to. I hope these thoughts find their way gently into your hearts and give you food for thought. As always, nothing I write here is representative of the church we attend and where my husband is on the board of elders. Our thoughts and conclusions are our own.
Have a beautiful night,