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Where are all of the christians in the public school? Should Christian parents send their children to public schools? These are big questions and big topics amongst believers as we get back into the swing of the school year. I heard someone say not too long ago that children who are in the public school systems are (basically) being indoctrinated and graduating believing exactly what the schools tell them. Which, right now, is a whole lot of craziness.
The gist of the message was that our society is so skewed in their thinking these days that we are teaching everything but truth. That they are being taught and thus believing that they can choose which gender they want to be based on how they “feel” and that we are allowing our children to roll out of the school system and into the world like tiny little political robots. Like our school system is popping them off the assembly line and shipping them off into the world to do and be and believe whatever they have told them they need to believe.
Now. Let me say, I do believe that there is an anti-Christian/anti-Conservative agenda within our nation right now. I don’t disagree with that notion and I don’t argue that. We do not live in a “christians and their beliefs matter more in the public school” type society anymore. We live in a time in which everyone does believe that they can be what they want who they want based on their feelings. We have children as young as seven choosing to be a certain gender because they ‘feel’ like they should be and parents backing that choice in an effort to gain for themselves 10 minutes of fame. We are living in fallen times and it’s heartbreaking.
That said, the American public school system is not at fault for the state of our nations youth and fallen morality: PARENTS ARE. The fall of our youth and our teenagers may have something (and I mean a very small something) to do with the path that our culture is going down. But, schools are not 100% to blame for our nations depravity. The lack of parental involvement is where the real issue is.
When I was growing up, my mom and dad knew everything I did, everywhere I went and every single person who I went with. Overprotective? Sure. Overbearing? Somewhat. Over-involved? Not really. Cautious and aware and looking out for my well being? Absolutely. My parents knew where I was, when I was there and who I was with 99% of the time. There was not a whole lot that I did that that they didn’t know about. If I wanted to go places or hang out with people, they were going to know about it or else I was going to stay at home. Simple as that.
Our culture says that parenting in this manner is wrong. Children need “freedom to express themselves” and they have the “right” to make those kind of choices. They don’t have to tell a parent where they are or who they are with because that “infringes” on their rights. Lemme tell y’all something: my children lost their right to make their own major decisions the day that they were born. Mama didn’t do 20+ hours of labor to give them free reign to make choices that I know could harm them.
Our culture tells us that kids need to make choices and I agree with that. But, the Lord tells me that my children need guidance. They need direction. There may be some christians and gifted educators in the public school, but it’s not their job to build up my children in their faith. They need me to impart wisdom and shed light into their lives and their circumstances. Our children are given to us as a gift to shepherd and guide and lead in hope and truth. They don’t need their christian parents to rely on the public school for growing their faith.
When we see children walking in the ways of the world, what we are generally seeing is a child who is lost and without that kind of guidance in their lives. When we see a “product of the system” we are witnessing a lack of parental intervention. Now, that’s not to say that every single child born into a Christian family will accept Christ and receive salvation at a young age. That would be amazing, but that’s not biblical and it’s not a guarantee. There are tons of stories—including my own—of prodigals who stray the path and walk away from their beliefs. That doesn’t mean that it’s the public schools fault.
I have watched Christian private school children land in prison. I’ve watched Christian private school children end up addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have witnessed Christian homeschool children fall into debauchery and sexual sin. I have watched public school children pastor churches and become missionaries. There is no one right way to educate our children. There have been plenty of christians from the public school who have made a cultural difference. Powerhouse Christian author A.W. Tozer never once attended seminary or earned a biblical degree. He was born into poverty and mostly self-educated…there was no Christian private school or Christian homeschooling for him (src). C.S. Lewis attended boarding school (via). Billy Graham attended public school and actually found the first Christian University he attended too legalistic (src).
All of that to say this: I believe our role as Christian parents isn’t to force ourselves into a bubble believing that we are doing wrong by our children if we send them to public school. We aren’t doing wrong by our children if we send them to private school. We aren’t doing wrong by our children if we choose to homeschool them. We are doing wrong by our children if we depend solely on education to shape them into spiritually mature, kingdom warriors. Teachers are paid to teach—reading, writing and math. Our job as parents is to mature our children’s faith-inside and outside the home.
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