It might not be what you think.
I’m a second-generation homeschooling Dad. I won’t deny my bias in favor of home education, nor my belief that it’s an amazing lifestyle that offers tremendous benefits to families willing to make the commitment. After all, I experienced those benefits myself.
But in addition to my personal experience, I have more objective reasons for believing in homeschooling. And today I’d like to share with you what may very well be the single greatest reason why every Christian parent should consider homeschooling their children.
As we look at Scripture, we see a pattern emerge about how God views education. The Biblical model for education is always God centered, faith driven, and parent directed. No exceptions.
We could talk about all three of those elements, but today I want to focus on the third one.
In debates among Christian parents about educational choices, the discussion often seems to center around the educational content. Advocates of Christian education rightly point out that our public school system is becoming increasingly hostile to our faith—that the environment has proven itself toxic to our young people, and that the worldview taught isn’t consistent with our beliefs as Christians.
That’s a discussion worth having, but lost in that often contentious debate is a point that, in some respects, is even more fundamental.
It’s the question of who is doing the teaching.
Throughout Scripture, we see multiple passages commanding parents to teach, instruct, and guide their children. From the classic passage in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, where parents are commanded to teach their children diligently, to Ephesians 6:4, where fathers are told to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the pattern is consistent: parents are given the fundamental responsibility for the education of their children.
Grandparents are given some responsibility as well, but guess who isn’t given responsibility? That’s right: the government. But guess who else isn’t given the primary responsibility? The church. Yes, the church has a role, but nowhere in Scripture will you find the church given the main responsibility for the training and education of the next generation. That lies squarely with parents.
Now, there are some responsibilities in life we can delegate. If you hire a lawn care company to mow your grass, the owner of that company can delegate the task to an employee. As long as the employee does a good job, the owner has fulfilled his responsibility.
But there are some things we’re not supposed to delegate. My brother once made the statement that God has given parents a jurisdictional responsibility to teach their children—not as something to delegate, but as something to do.
There are some big words there, but the idea is simple. God created different areas of responsibility (i.e., jurisdiction). There are certain tasks that are given to the government that can’t be done by individuals. There are other tasks that are given only to the church. And, of course, there are some tasks that are given only to families. Extreme caution must be used when delegating any such fundamental responsibility to someone else, even another God-ordained institution.
Too often, however, Christian parents in America are ensnared by a mindset of delegation. We delegate our children’s minds to their teachers at school. We delegate their physical development to a coach or P.E. instructor. We delegate their entertainment to TV, video games, and the Internet. And we delegate their spiritual growth to a Sunday school teacher or youth pastor. Then we sit back, satisfied that we’ve got it all under control.
But God doesn’t call us to merely coordinate our children’s upbringing. He calls us to grab hold of our responsibility with both hands and do the hard work ourselves.
A simple question we should ask ourselves is this: when it comes to my children, am I delegating more than I’m doing? I’m not saying we can’t delegate anything, but when we start delegating to others more than we’re personally doing, I believe we’ve crossed a line God never intended for us to cross.
This is one of the primary reasons I believe in homeschooling. It’s not just about the content of the education and the fact that the government schools are hostile to our faith. It’s about the simple fact that God didn’t give the government (or church, for that matter) the responsibility for teaching my children. He gave it to my wife and me. And we want to take that responsibility seriously.
Maybe you’ve considered homeschooling in the past, or perhaps you never have. If you’re on the fence, allow me to encourage you to look to Scripture to see what God says about the training of the next generation.
And let me also encourage you to grab hold of your responsibility as a parent and never let go. Remember, some jobs were given to us to do, not to delegate. Raising the next generation in the ways of God is one of them.
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