In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. ~Psalm 31:1
Public School. You wouldn't believe how dirty those two words seem to be in many Christian circles. It would amaze you how many Christians, in their effort to be spiritual mentors to us, actually caused more harm then good in their less than loving way of telling us how wrong we were/are for putting our kids in public school. I have had a burden for some time now to share my perspective on public school and hopefully put to rest some misconceptions that are floating around out there about public school. Because it's not all bad and no two schools are the same.
So many people believe that God is not allowed in school or that our kids are not allowed to talk about God and that Bibles are not allowed in school. It irritates me so much when I see sayings like the one above because it's not based on truth. My kids bring their Bibles to school with them every Friday because we teach Good News Club (what is good news club?) after school in the school gym. When one of our kids was in kindergarten he wanted to bring his Bible for his first show and tell. We let him and he was allowed to talk about his Bible with his classmates and even told them all that if they didn't have one they should get one! Don't ever tell me a 5 year old can't be a witness for Christ and that God didn't use him that day! Every valentine's day I order the kids Valentine's from CBD and they each have a verse from the Bible on them. Our kids have never gotten in trouble for this. One day one of the boys was allowed to bring a book to read with the class. He choose one from home that was a Bible story. His teacher told him that she could not read this book to the class but she would be happy to read it with him one on one, and she did! Our kids teachers are not allowed to teach about God but our kids have every right to talk about God with their peers and to bring and read their Bibles at school (sharing your faith at school). We have received so many positive comments from our kids teachers about how we are raising our family and for our work with the Good News Club. Many of the parents were thrilled to hear that such a club existed in the school! The common misconception is that God is not allowed in school, and that parents don't want him in school when in reality He IS IN SCHOOL and many parents are happy to have their kids learn about God (notice I said many. There will always be opposition)! Every Christian child that attends public school or Christian teacher who teaches in the school brings God with him/her. Every time we teach about God on Friday's we are putting God in the school. Every kid that brings their Bible to school is bringing God to school with them. It may not be the majority of students but the few that are can make a tremendous impact so PRAY for the ones that are there that they would leave a mark! I think sometimes we sell kids short assuming they can't handle the pressure of the world and that we're "throwing our kids to the wolves" (as we've been told before). Kids are so much more bold and resilient than we adults are and often times a better and stronger witness for God.
I don't want to give the impression that I feel all Christians should be in public school. Quite the opposite. I feel that all the options of education available to our kids are an option. I have many friends who home school and I think it's great they do. I have some friends who have their kids in private christian schools and I think that's great too. My point is that when we start thinking that because we educate one way or another it guarantees we will have kids who will grow up to serve God or not serve God that's where we are getting away from the truth. I have one example of a family who home schooled, the father was a pastor and they raised their family in a way that pleased God. They have one who serves the Lord faithfully and one who has turned away from God. On the other side I see my cousins family (who led me to the Lord) put all three kids in public school and all are serving the Lord faithfully, two are in full-time ministry one of them even held a Bible study in the cafeteria at lunch time. Girls in public school get pregnant, girls in private christian schools get pregnant. There are no guarantees how our kids are going to turn out, what they will do in life, or who they will serve and it certainly is not dependent on how they were schooled. I say all this to ask that we would be more willing to be lovingly supportive of young families as they seek God's will on how to educate their families. That people would take the time to be educated properly on what is true in regards to public school. That there would be less judgment and more grace. I certainly wish some in my life had exhibited more control and addressed their concerns about us putting our kids in public school with more grace and less judgment. I also pray that more Christians would have a burden to seek out kids no matter where they are and desire for their own children to share with them the truth of the Bible! Because really at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. It's not about whether or not my kids could read by 3, write cursive by 5, do algebra by 6, play four instruments by 12 and graduate by 15! It's all about seeking the lost. That's why Jesus came (Luke 19:10) and that's what we are here to do!