School is about to start back up, and it seems no matter where I turn I hear debates over how and where families send their children to school—as if it were anyone else’s business. Christians, in particular, seem to be at odds with one another over what is the best situation for Christian children. The choices between public school, private school, and homeschool are endless, and the reasons for and against each are plentiful. What I wonder is why parents feel their decision is the right decision, and that their neighbor’s is the wrong one? Why are parents more concerned about little Joey next door than little Jenny down the hall? We need to stop bickering and start befriending, because our children, regardless of where they graduate from, will end up working and living side-by-side when they are grown. If there is one thing we can be certain of as parents, it is that our choices will not always look like everyone else’s. Whether or not most of your friends, family, or fellow church-goers share your opinions does not ultimately matter. All that really matters is whether we listened and obeyed the calling God placed on our family.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we have the freedom of school choice. Though certain states make homeschooling more difficult from a legal standpoint, in the United States overall, parents have the final say over how their children will be educated. Many Christians feel they are being a light to others in the public school system, while others believe public school is too agenda driven. Many Christians think private school provides a better education in a safer environment, while others say drugs and hypocrisy run amuck in such institutions. There are Christians who feel homeschooling is the only option to guarantee their children will receive the attention and focus needed, while others say these children will face isolation and not have as many extracurricular advantages. I know I am not the only person who has heard all of the discussions that go on—it is enough to give you an anxiety attack!—and my children are not even of school age yet.
The spin cycle of education keeps going around, and parents keep trying to prove our points. And do you know what? Satan has us exactly where he wants us. The more we pit ourselves and our decisions again the next family, the more our pride builds. We are convinced that if our children get the best grades and make the starting team, they will be better advantaged when they graduate. But the truth is, if your kid gets the grades, makes the teams, but is filled with an inflated ego and no room for Jesus to fully have His way, then your child is at a grave disadvantage. We need to step back, look up, and seek God’s will for our children and our families in every area—including education.
There is no wrong way to educate, other than that which is in contradiction to how the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and your family. Our children have a divinely designed purpose, and it is up to us to help them discover and walk in their calling as they grow. Getting into the best preschool so their Harvard application will look better is not what matters most. Getting into the Bible, studying with your child, and seeing how they are wired is what will make a difference come graduation day. Regardless of where they walk the stage or what their tuition costs, keep your ears tuned to where God is asking you to go, and run the race He has set before you with perseverance.