Our unsurpassed and all-defining identity, mission and purpose on this planet: Image the Trinity. Marriage and family are iconic of the Trinity. In our capacity to love, we literally participate in the life of the Trinity. We are called, literally, to make God, who is Love, known. As parents, no responsibility is greater than forming our chidren for this identity and mission. Below are some candid, challenging thoughts for us parents as we come before God and consider this most important question of our childrens' education.
No educational situation is perfect. However, if a child's moral compass is being compromised, nothing else matters. Their education may leave them with the coolest "ship" on the Seven Seas-- without a moral compass, it'll be dashed on the rocks.
Are children immersed in a culture that reinforces their identity and mission as imago dei (image of God)? That forges Godly character?
Are their hearts, minds and lives being forged in sound revelation, logic and reason with regard to moral matters? (i.e., sexuality, relationships, etc.)
Do they recognize they've been blessed to be blessers? Encouraged to cultivate their unique gifts, to strive for excellence, as forms of "worship"?
Is all this reflected in their choices of discretionary activity? Conversation? Life-decision?
With many parents of kids in even the "best" of private schools, we share a general lament that this is generally not happening. The "best" of kids are adrift when it comes to their moral compass. Worse, many feel disenfranchised, discouraged, confused, bewildered... depressed, and in increasing numbers, suicidal.
Many are so plugged-in (average of 7 hours a day discretionary time) that they don't know the meaning of relationship. They don't know how to communicate, much less share deeper thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears. Many lack the logical framework to evaluate the world around them. And God? For most, He's a moral concept. Indifferent. Hardly personal, much more, deeply interested and desiring to inhabit and guide us.
And the best of teachers would rightly point out their limitations; they can not make up for what is lacking in homes.
This is not an argument for "everyone must home school." It is an encouragement not to keep that door nailed so tightly shut as you come before God and consider this highest parental call.
We never thought we'd be homeschooling any of our kids, much less all our kids, much less through high school. All that came about as we came before God and considered the fundamental question: What context will best form these souls entrusted to us for the Kingdom?
This is a question of faith. Like Moses before the Burning Bush, or Abraham with Isaac at the altar, or Mary before the Angel-- faith demands that we set aside our doubts, reservations and fears. What God calls us to, He will provide for.
As parents, we certainly have a ways to go. The verdict is out until they meet their Maker. However, I have to affirm strongly: We've had our challenges-- but they are resulting in compasses that are true, solid, beautiful, owned. In spite of our many imperfections as parents, I strongly affirm the unsurpassed power, dignity and beauty of parents and home as God's-designed capacity for children to truly become the best versions of themselves.
As a bottom line, location of your child's education does not change your primary call and responsibility. Any others are merely your delegates. No one is more responsible. No one is more effective. No one will be more accountable. So be invested. Be engaged. Entrust yourself to God's grace. And understand (and know we understand), if they're not under your roof, your work and challenge is much greater, not less!
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