Christian Parent, Christian School: A Potentially Powerful Partnership
Peruse the handbook of almost any Christian school, and you will most likely encounter the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). It is usually found in the school’s purpose, vision, or philosophy statement. In other words, it is the underlying principle for the school’s existence. This should be a comfort and inspiration to the Christian parent whose mission in parenting is the same!
In Scripture, parents are ordained as the God-given authority over children; the church is the God-given authority over believers. With these two entities working together, they can delegate authority to a school that will continue to carry out the same mission in training children as Scripture dictates. Put these three together (the home, the church, and the school) and you will find that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). If a child is being taught the same truth from the three primary institutions that dominate his or her life, a firm foundation is laid that cannot easily be shaken.
So, what should a partnership between a Christian school and Christian parents look like in order to complete this “cord of three strands”? First, there must be a common and agreed-upon belief system and purpose. You cannot have a true partnership without this. Be sure you understand the school’s statement of faith and are committed to the same basic scriptural principles for training children. If you are in agreement, then . . .
The school should
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Will your child grow up loving God and loving people? How will they view culture, politics, hardships and material wealth? How will they interpret all they face in life? It all depends on worldview. For the Christian family, teaching a Christian worldview is paramount in the educational process. It undergirds everything else that is taught. It is one of the main reasons Christian education is so vitally important.
What is a worldview?
A worldview is the composite of all the beliefs and assumptions that direct how a person views life and, therefore, how a person chooses to live. Our most important beliefs relate to God. If people believe that God is merciful and gracious, that leads them to seek a relationship with God. If they believe that their god or “god-like important idea,” like evolution, is indifferent or cruel, they do not seek a relationship, but seek to appease that god or to find relief or happiness in something else.
A worldview has innumerable other components:
“Worldview” is not just an abstract philosophical topic. It is practical. It makes a difference every day. A worldview does not just affect your child; in a very real sense it is your child. That last statement seems a little extreme, but I am not the first to say it. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Our “heart” is the seat of the thoughts (Genesis 6:5), the emotions (Genesis 6:6), and the will (Daniel 1:8). The heart is the place of belief and unbelief (Romans 10:9; Psalm 14:1). The biblical word heart is very much related to the word worldview. Thoughts, beliefs, and emotions shape the will, and the will is manifested in how we choose to live. God commands, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Certainly, parents are charged to protect the hearts of their children. This is the essence of shaping their developing worldview.
What does an individual’s worldview affect?
OK, not quite everything, but most of the important things in life. Here are a few important areas that will be affected by your child’s worldview:
Jerry Wass, biblical counselor and Christian school administrator, says that you know that you have succeeded as a parent when you see your children raising their children for the Lord. Raising them “for the Lord” means helping them to develop a biblical worldview.
How is a worldview developed?
A worldview is not something that a child receives on his or her eighteenth birthday. It is forged one interaction at a time, starting before the child even understands words. By the age of five, the basic ideas are set, but they are continually being developed in further detail and revised by new input. There is a major time of reevaluation beginning in the teen years and continuing through the early 20’s. This is the time when the capacity for higher-level reasoning is coming to maturity. The individual reevaluates many of his or her assumptions about life and either solidifies them as his or her own or rejects them. This is a crucial time in each person’s life.
How does Shawnee Mission Christian School help you shape your child’s worldview?
First, we are third.
The home is the primary institution for building Christian worldview. Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3 discuss the nurturing of children in the context of family. God works through His established lines of authority.
The church is also established directly by God “for the perfecting of the saints . . . unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 6: 12-13). These “saints” include the children of the congregation.
But parents are allowed to call in helpers to the task. The main point of Galatians 4 is that the Old Testament law was designed to teach us our need for God’s grace. However, it makes that point by an analogy which assumes that the role of the “school teacher” is right and proper:
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Shawnee Mission Christian School will help you develop in your child a Christian worldview that will stand in this age which attacks those principles from every side. Here’s how:
Shawnee Mission Christian School exists for no other reason than to help parents train up their children in God’s way. That is, we are here to help you develop a Christian worldview in your child.
We would enjoy being a partner with you in developing a Christian worldview for your children. Contact us for a visit. You can also download our Christian School Selection Guide below which will help you ask the right questions as you visit various school options.
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