|Training For Eternity
by David L. Martin
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Prov 22:6 KJV
Proverbs 22:6 is an important verse for us to remember when considering our children's education. This verse gives us a clear principle, train a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it when he is old. This does not say “and when he is old, he will return to it,” but rather, “and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”. This tells us that after receiving godly training the child will remain on the course, and never depart from it. Unfortunately, it has become the norm for Christian kids to leave the Faith, and because of this fact, we feel forced to comfort ourselves with a vain hope that if we did everything right, then our children will return. (I'm not saying that someone who has left the Faith is gone forever, but that Scripture does not teach that prodigal sons should be normal.)
“Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Luke 6:39-40 NIV
I believe the reason our kids are becoming secular humanists is because they are being taught by secular humanists, and as Yeshua said, becoming “like his teacher.” I also believe that the reason that our kids are developing secular worldveiws, is because they are reading secular worldveiw textbooks. So what do we do?
We have three ways of handling the problem; we can ignore it, we can attempt to excuse it by trying to alleviate the consequence, or we can deal with the problem and remove our kids from the ungodly schools. Option one is obviously not acceptable, a 75% to 85% failure rate in raising children for the glory of Messiah is not something to be ignored.* Option two is what, sadly, a lot Christians are attempting to do. Instead of dealing with the root problem (sending kids to ungodly schools and letting them read ungodly textbooks) we are trying to alleviate the consequences of it. For instance, we try to set up programs meant to “train out” of our kids the secular teaching. (Why don't we just not expose them to the secular teaching to begin with, then we don't have to train it out of them?) Other times we try to tell our kids to “be a light” in the schools, as if somehow that good deed will make the exposure to secular humanism okay. The problem with these attempts is that it focuses on trying to lessen the consequences and attempts to justify sending children to the schools. Consider this analogy: Sexual immorality is a sin, and AIDS is sometimes a consequence of that sin. But suppose, some doctor invented a way to cure AIDS, would that make sexual immorality okay? Of course not, sexual immorality is a sin even if the consequence is alleviated. And knowingly exposing our children to ungodly teaching is also a sin, even if we make the consequence not as bad, the sin is still a sin.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
Psalms 1:1 KJV
(If someone is reading secular textbooks and/or going to a secular school, he is not only receiving counsel from the ungodly, but he is also being educated and indoctrinated by the ungodly.)
Option three is therefore the only way to go, we must remove our children from the ungodly teaching (thus dealing with the problem) and start to teach them in the training and instruction of Yahuwah (thus doing what we're called to do).
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead,
bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Yahuwah.)”
Eph 6:4 NIV
As parents, it is the highest responsibility you have, to train your children for eternity. We must be diligent to teach our children in the ways of Yahuwah, for when done Biblically, will impact not just your child, but also their children, and their children's children, for eternity. Yahuwah wants, what has been called “multi-generational faithfulness,” simply meaning that Yahuwah wants the Faith of the fathers to be handed down from generation to generation, to the glory of the Messiah, Yeshua.
*Reference: Brian D. Ray, Ph D., Homeschoolers Grown Up, 2004.