I’ve been thinking about Christian school children. More specifically, is it helpful or not to put your children in a Christian School?
Does the benefit of being in a Christian education environment five school days per week outweigh the risk of not having your faith challenged in everyday living?
Here’s my thinking: most people brought up in church who give up on their faith do so during their college years. Just an observation that I can’t prove or disprove through empirical data. However, if it’s accurate, it raises a few additional questions. 1.) Does a Christian education prepare you to answer the questions others are asking about faith or even your own? 1 Peter 3:15(NLT): And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 2.) Does Christian school need to be followed by Christian college to be effective?
Of course, maybe I’m coming at this wrong. Perhaps Christian education doesn’t prepare you to engage a secular world as it prepares you to live a Christian life. But isn’t engaging a secular world the whole point of go into all the world and make disciples?
But all of that is a pretty heavy load to put on elementary-aged children, and I get that. So maybe Christian school is mostly there to ease the concerns of parents. After all, their kids won’t learn about evolution or gender identity or sexuality. They won’t learn anything to challenge their family values or beliefs. I would rest easier knowing that my kids don’t interact with anyone else outside of school.
Okay, let me get to the point. In my opinion, it seems to me that the isolated environment of a K-12 Christian school doesn’t prepare anyone for the world young adults live in. Maybe the elementary school could reinforce the basics taught at home, but after that, enrollment in public school would provide the right environment to create a personal faith. Parents can help explain and guide their children while working out the answers to their friends’ questions. Real workable believable understandable solutions they can accept and live out.
I didn’t go to a Christian school. My kids didn’t either. I wanted to, but my parents disagreed. My only practical experience with a Christian school was three years at Bible college. I learned a lot about how I was supposed to think. I learned in theory how others thought but never really knew how to interact with a world that didn’t feel like me. One day a coworker at the furniture factory where I was working asked me a question that highlighted how out of touch I was. He asked what I was studying at college. I said that one of my courses was on Romans. He said; what like the ancient Romans? I didn’t know what to say. It has taken me years of constant exposure to ideas and beliefs that I don’t have to articulate the hope I have as a believer.
Guiding your children through an environment that challenges what you want them to believe is scary. I would instead do that while I can still help them and not wait until I’m no longer the primary voice in their world.
Just my opinion.