© 2011 Vicki Lewis
“A Christ-centered education is one is which God is accorded His rightful place and is given all the significance He is due.” In Part 1, I shared that Steve and I developed this working definition of our goal for home schooling in answer to the question, “What makes an education distinctively Christian?” For the answer we must look at the “teacher’s guide.” When we turned to the Bible to see what principles God gave about educating our children, we found that God gave instructions to parents (1) to teach their children about Him, (2) to teach what is godly and right, and (3) not to teach what is ungodly or evil.
First, He says to teach our children about Him. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today, are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) As believing parents, we must have a saving faith in Jesus Christ and love our God wholeheartedly, and then be diligently committed to sharing that personal relationship with our children. We must make good use of all the teachable moments available to us. Home schooling becomes a lifestyle or an everyday adventure with God as the primary instructor who teaches us His truths in all areas of life. Home schooling is the most consistent way to teach and disciple our children in God’s ways as we go about our daily routine.
Second, God tells us to teach what is godly and right. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Take any idea, hold it up to the plumb line of God’s absolute truth, and then consider how it measures up. We are also commanded to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2b) and we are taught that “in him [Jesus Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). True wisdom and knowledge do not have their basis in textbooks and universities. Godly wisdom is founded in the Lord Jesus. Our children need to have a personal relationship with Him -- then they can experience and understand all subject areas as they are being taught from a godly perspective.
Third, the Lord does not want us to teach our children the details of ungodliness, unrighteousness, or wickedness. He commands us: “Do not learn the ways of the [heathen or ungodly] nations” (Jeremiah 10:2); “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2a); and “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
How will we ever carry out these instructions if we do not home school our children in such a way that Christ is at the center of everything we learn together? How will we teach our children to love God with all their minds as well as with all their hearts? How will we protect our children from being snared by the world’s philosophies? Praying at the beginning of the day or adding Bible study to an otherwise secular curriculum is not what makes us a Christ-centered home school. Rather, it is because we have sincerely and prayerfully tried to live out these (and many other) biblical principles of education. In Part 3, I will describe how we can begin accomplishing this important task by following God’s wise plan.