This post finishes a series about the belief statement I wrote about Christian education while studying at Wesley Institute. You can read the two prior posts on this topic, Education to the glory of God and Educating for godly dominion. Christian education must prioritise love for God and people, which is essential to the teachings of the Bible. We are hoping to homeschool, so in future I hope to adapt and expand on the thoughts in this belief statement for that purpose. A Christian education must also be a gospel-focused education. I hope to carefully consider how this could work itself out in our family, specifically with reference to reaching out to our community from our home. The possibilities for education in the home have become so much more exciting and real following the birth of our son Elnathan Michael Drew on Wednesday! Dave is excited about teaching our little one. He's already been observed speaking to the little guy in languages other than English and there seems to be classical music on around here more than usual!
"In order to become effective rulers of the world, children and young adults also need to obey the Great Commandment. Jesus taught that love for God and our neighbours is the principle around which we are to orientate our lives (Mark 12: 29 – 31). Christian education provides opportunities to prioritise love for God throughout the day and in every subject area. God can be glorified as a teacher reminds a student that He created numerical order and working out mathematical problems is possible. When the whole class recognises a sin or problem, they can learn to look to Christ as the answer. As a school, staff and students can sing God’s praises together and pray. Christian education also provides many opportunities to teach children about loving their neighbours. God’s word can be applied to students’ interactions with others and attitude toward themselves. They can be taught that their emotions, thoughts, words, and actions are important to God. Teachers can give moment-by-moment, situation-by-situation instruction about obedience, anger, speech, forgiveness, and many other topics. The academics in a Christian school should never be sub-standard, as this would display a lack of love for the students. Instead, students should be equipped to use the gifts God has given them to serve Christ and His body, the church.
As well as providing opportunities to teach about love for God and others, love for the gospel is an important characteristic of a Christian education. The centre of God’s work for humanity is the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These truths also need to be central to a Christian education. The Bible not only commands Christians to believe the gospel, but to become people who can disciple the nations according to all that God has commanded (Matthew 28:20). Christian schooling can enable teachers to disciple students from both Christian and non-Christian homes. Teachers have wonderful opportunities to reach out to families who do not know Christ, or are struggling in their walk with Him, as well as those who are passionate about the gospel. A focus upon the gospel also gives students the strategies they need to deal with sin. Christian schools cannot protect children from sin, as each person in the school has a sinful heart. Instead, they provide an environment where sin can be exposed and biblically addressed. Through Christian education, students learn the answer to the problem of sin. In their particular circumstances, they can be reminded of God’s grace and its transforming power."