Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Does the Bible mandate homeschooling?

That is the question asked by Nathan Busenitz at the Pulpit Magazine blog. The question is a dodge, a distraction because it is the wrong question. The question is not does the Bible mandate home school? The question ought to be: should a Christian send their child to a secular school where God is mocked and if not, what are the other options?

Does the Bible specifically mandate homeschooling? Not explicitly no. You won't find a verse that says "Thou shalt educate thy child at home". But that doesn't mean that we are left without any guidance in raising our children.

Which seems the more God-honoring choice? To send our children to a bureaucratized public school, where God is forbidden and Biblical teaching is not only absent but opposed? Or to teach our children at home where God is worshipped and the teaching is all done in the light of Biblical teaching?It seems like a no-brainer for the Christian parent. Read the Bible and see what it says about honoring God in our lives, in the raising of children, in being a part of society.

Homeschool is not a viable option for every family, I get that. Some homes are single-parent, some have both parents working full-time. Not every Christian can homeschool their children, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be the preferred option. But at the risk of being combatitive, too many parents ship Suzie and Johnny off to public school because the world tells them to and quite frankly because it is a lot more convenient and easy. Homeschooling is hard, time consuming, often frustrating. It is little wonder that so many Christians choose to send their kids on the bus for eight hours a day, but is that really what God would have us do?

Having said all of that, there is a danger among homeschoolers to look down our noses at those who send their kids to public school. Our reaction should be one of loving admonition, support, prayer and education. We are not "more Christian" because we home school, and our words to those who don't homeschool should be tempered with love and grace.


Anonymous said...

Having little experience with this myself, would you say that most parents just do not want to deal with the hassle? Or do they have legitimate reasons not to send them to Christian schools or homeschool?

Arthur Sido said...

The number one reason parents who choose not to homeschool or Christian school is that they want their children to be salt and light to the world, little missionaries who have to learn to stand for their faith. I think that is a dodge, the reality is that homeschooling is VERY hard, time consuming and in most places not socially acceptable. But we are called upon as Christians to do what is God honoring, not what is easy or expedient. Sending our kids to a place where, implicitly or explicitly, God is denied for 40 hours a week is not responsible Christian parenting.