Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reflections on Christian Education...

I'm a very reflective person.  Too often, I remember the past...both good and bad.  I tend to "live in the past," to my detriment.  But, some of this reflection has been very healthy and that's what this post will address in a sense.  
I'm a believer in Christian Education.  I am a product of it.  In an older post which you can read here.., I reflected on my idyllic childhood.  A large part of my childhood was the Christian school I went to for 13 years.  I am so grateful that my parents sacrificed so that my two brothers and I could attend there.  

What did that mean?  Well, it meant that we had one nicer car and one beater. This was the norm for a long time.  It meant that for a long time we lived in a house with one bathroom.  It meant that we didn't go out to eat a lot.  It meant that my mother stayed home and made a lot of old fashioned, home cooked food.  It meant that my dad grew a very large garden in our backyard.  From that garden came tons of wonderful produce which helped to feed us.  (We had to help with the putting up of some of this stuff.  I have snapped/cut many green beans for canning.  I have helped my mom cook and strain tomato juice.) It meant that I wore a lot of homemade clothes.  It meant that in old age, my parents would have LESS than they would have had otherwise.  In fact, not too long ago, my dad stated that they were still affected by their sacrifice. However, they have no regrets. 

They don't regret having a beater for a second car.  They don't regret that my mom did not have a career, but stayed home to take care of the house.  They don't regret that their children were spared many temptations available to them had they attended public schools.  They have one main goal in this life.  Their goal has been and continues to be that they and their family would live in such a way as to spend eternity with Christ.  One of those family members is already there.  Did we have less, materially than many?  Sure.  But, we always had plenty of healthy food.  We did not go naked.  We had a simple house to live in.

So many young families are not willing to live this way now.  They must have the latest iphone, ipads, Apple Computers, regular Branson vacations, two late model cars, expensive clothes, big houses.  But, when life is over, will those things matter?  No.  None of that will matter.  And, now that my brother Michael has crossed over to the next world, those things clearly mattered not one bit.  But, the Christian education he had, which helped to mold him and give him a desire to seek Christ early DOES matter!  It contributed to Michael's destination for all eternity.  

Christian schools sometimes operate on a shoestring.  It takes a LOT of money to operate one.  If more families would commit their resources to support a local Christian school, and to put their children there, paying tuition, teachers could be paid better.  Facilities could be better.  What sometimes happens is that teachers are paid poverty wages.  They believe so strongly in what they are doing, they continue, year after year.  They may struggle to pay their bills.  They may work 1-2 other jobs to make ends meet.  If they are married, this means more time away from their family.  Many people have no idea the salaries of Christian school teachers.  Maybe everyone SHOULD know.

Christian families are forced to pay "twice" for education.  They pay for the public education through their property taxes.  Then, they pay, sometimes several thousand dollars per year, per student, to attend the Christian school.  We need to prayerfully consider seeking to influence the legislation in our states to create some sort of school choice.  Perhaps a tax credit.  Or a voucher system.  Either option has it's pros and cons.  

The biggest thing is..parents have to BELIEVE that Christian education is important.  Then, be willing to do what my parents did...sacrifice earthly and material possessions in order to make it happen.  I know that when my parents cross into eternity someday, they will not mourn the material things they missed.  Instead, they will rejoice that they obeyed the call of Christ on their livest to sacrifice for the Christian education of their children.  

Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!  


Chris said...

I agree with you, Sharmen. We're home schooling our children, but some of the same arguments hold true for our situation.

Miss Music said...

Thanks, Chris! I'm so glad you are!!!