Shopping for clothes that look good can be overwhelming, but not for my four-year-old granddaughter, Juliette. The outfit could be fuzzy or shiny. That would be nice, but what matters most to her is the answer to the question: Is it pink?
The decision becomes so deliciously simple. Shopping for a school for our children is far more confusing and complex. We know that we are looking for a place that teaches things. So...what does a particular school offer? It could teach three different foreign languages or cross country skiing in P.E class. Those things would be great, but does it teach what matters most? Is it pink?
God commands all of us to be formed by His Word. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 instructs us to, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might…”, and the word of God “shall be on your heart…”, and we are commanded to teach it to our children, “when we sit in our house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise.” We are to be intentional, consistent and diligent in this duty of growing in our faith and love of God and in passing on our faith to our children. The formal education of our children should reflect this God-given responsibility. Teaching God’s truth matters most.
How can we teach our children as Deuteronomy 6 calls us to do all day and everywhere? A very large portion of a child’s day is spent in “formal” education. What we call formal education is the outcome of intentional decisions about what and how to teach. Some of these are made by state government or local school districts. Some decisions are made by school leaders and teachers. Christian school is a place where the decision makers choose to teach what matters most because they know what matters most.
Does that mean that Christian school decision makers will not choose a strong academic curriculum because they are so concerned about teaching what is in the Bible? In reality, the Christian school is an educational institution with more reason to teach academics well than any other kind of school. After all, it is God’s world. Creation itself reveals who God is. Christian school frames the study of creation (meaning all that is in this world) in the context of knowing God; what matters most demands excellence in teaching about the world and whose world it is.
Christian schools are free to choose a comprehensive education, including fine arts and physical education, informed by God’s revealed wisdom so that students can think, learn, and create in ways that glorify God. This kind of strong academic education will certainly prepare students for college, but even more, a Christian school education will give context to what is learned which will help students fully understand and be able to solve the real problems our world faces.
Christian educators are also focused on the spiritual formation of students in a Christian community. When Christian educators teach what it means to love others, they start from real Gospel love, not biology, psychology, pop culture, or just plain old desire. Imagine a school who is partnering with you to teach your children to live out the kind of love which brought the creator to the cross. Of course, what matters most of all is that spiritual formation means students will be taught the truth of God’s word as it points them to the one and only way we can have an eternal relationship with the creator God.
Christian school offers a complete education. It includes all the pieces that will help your child serve well in this world, participate in genuine community, and know the message of the Gospel. Parents choosing Christian education are more able to fulfill their parental calling as they partner with Christian educators who can choose what matters most because they know what matters most. Maybe choosing a school is not quite as complex as we think. Maybe choosing a school is deliciously simple. Is it pink?