Saturday, November 18, 2017

7 Ways a Christian Education Can Make a Difference

There's no question that a Christian education is special. It doesn't matter if you're in a primary school, seminary, or somewhere in between. To be able to spend your time around people who love God and want to obey Him is a joy that is almost unequalled by anything else in this life. We are to be in the world, rather than of it; but spending more time in a Christian environment, especially when you're young, can encourage you to maintain your witness when you do find yourself in it full-time.
Although there are probably others, here are seven ways that a Christian education can make a difference in the lives of your kids.
1. It will provide daily spiritual food.
Some schools will have worship services as part of their daily or weekly schedules. Teachers may open their classes with prayer and Bible reading. That alone can set the tone for the rest of the session.
2. It can help students to establish lifetime values.
Studies have shown that students who attend any faith-based school come away with a clear idea of what their values are. Those who are left to their own devices seldom know what they believe in. Like all children, they need to know what the boundaries are and, if they don't, then they tend to drift from one set of values to another, often for their entire lives.
In today's world, it's especially important for students to be grounded in Christian values, not least because they will be challenged to compromise them in almost every area of life once they leave school and start to make their own way.
One value that is essential is learning what the Bible says is the difference between right and wrong. The world makes no such distinction, preferring instead to leave it up to the individual. The Bible clearly teaches, however, that men and women will naturally choose evil over good. This is one reason why parents are exhorted to "train up a child in the way he should go."
3. It can reinforce Christian values.
It's not enough to be taught Christian values. There also needs to be reinforcement.
Think of a Christian retreat, for example. If you've ever been on one, then you know how easy it is to come away from that experience on a spiritual high, all pumped up for service to God. But a few months down the road, it all seems like a distant memory. You find that you're back to the same old routine and have the same bad habits.
If you continued to meet with other Christians for the purpose of reminding yourself of what you learned and discussing how to put those principles into practice, then your life would more closely reflect the good intentions you had when you left.
The same thing is true in a school. Listening to one or a handful of Bible-based lecturers on the necessity of Christian values may generate some enthusiasm; but it won't be lasting. In order for that to happen, those values need to be reinforced.
4. It provides Biblical role models
Teachers in any institution are role models to their students. In a Christian school, however, those people will have a vibrant relationship with God.
Think for a moment of the impact that Christ had on the eleven disciples who spent three years with him day after day. It's easy for us to sit on the sidelines and criticize the impulsiveness of Peter, for example; but he wrote two letters that are included in the New Testament, and his experiences recorded in the Acts of the Apostles exemplify the influence that Christ had on him.��Christ was the ultimate role model. His modern day disciples should be worth copying, too.
5. It gives students the opportunity to make the right friends.
We all know how cruel children can be to one another, as the playground will testify. While Christian schools are not immune to this, their emphasis on glorifying God and teaching children to do the same can help students to recognize the characteristics that their friends should have. Because many of them will try to practice the behaviors that are consistent with what they're taught, they will learn to identify who their friends should be outside of a Christian environment as well.
6. It teaches students to respect authority
This is a biggy.
Since the 1960s, society has encouraged everyone to challenge authority. While it's true that not everyone who is placed such positions fulfills them responsibly, it is nevertheless proper for young people to learn to respect those who hold them.
God has placed these people over us to protect us, and so when we rebel against them, we're ultimately rejecting Him.
7. It teaches kids that education is a privilege
A Christian education also teaches kids the privilege of being able to study at all.
There's no question that a Bible-based environment is special for a lot of reasons, but few people in the United States realize just how privileged they are to be able to live where they do.
Children especially, need to know that there are millions of people in the world today who can't read or write in their own language. And kids need to cherish their education because it frees them to do so much more than they could do without it.
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