A Few Principles for Education

There has been a lot of debate over the years on how to go about educating children.  Historically, Christians have  been people of the Book and have valued education.  Although the Scriptures don’t specifically command us to raise well-rounded, well-educated children, I believe those goals can be assumed from the Word of God and are certainly the way of wisdom in a dark and corrupt world.  As a result we must shape our educational perspectives on general principles and wisdom.  Among other things, the Scriptures do clearly and plainly teach the following:

  1. A child’s education must be foundationally God-centered and Bible-based.
  • Eph. 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • Prov. 1:7 The fear of the Lordis the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (see also Pr.9:10, Ps. 111:10, and Pr. 15:33)
  1. The goal of the parent is to instill in their children those virtues required of adults. (Look at the habits or patterns of behavior in our children.  Now imagine those same habits in an adult.  Would you hire that adult?  Now ask yourself when  should you start working to correct that behavior?)
  • Prov. 22:6—Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  • See also Prov. 13:24,Prov. 7:1-3, 8:32-33
  1. That parental labor includes the training of the mind and patterns of thought.
  • I Cor.13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
  • Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God…
  • Luke 10:27 …You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
  1. Knowing the Scriptures, even at a young age, is commended.
  • 2Tim.3:15…from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
  • Dt.6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children
  • See also Psalm 78:2-8, Dt. 4:9, & Mt. 19:14
  1. Children need to be educated with vigilance and systematic diligence.
  • Is. 28:10 …For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.
  • Dt. 6:6-7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall 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.

Since the Scriptures are sufficient for directing us in every good work (1 Tim. 3:16 & 17) we can assume its guiding principles, though not specific, are sufficient to guide us through the stormy waters of raising, training, and educating children.  To the principles outlined above we add:

  • Prov. 11:14 in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
  • James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
  • John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth

God has not left us to flounder in the troublesome world of educational theory and fad.  We have a sufficient guidebook, an ever present helper, and a loving heavenly Father who has orchestrated all things for the good of His people.  I think that’ll work to get the job done.  Peace and grace.

(This was first publish in the Bradford Bulletin Vol.6 Issue 27 )