Is there anything better than watching a child’s face light up when she suddenly understands a new concept?

My daughter Eden recently learned to snap, and her excitement over this new found ability causes her to share with every person we meet! Even as an adult, it feels great to master something new. My mom, Eden’s grandmother, will complete her EdD soon, and the process of research and study has brought her deep joy. We never outgrow our God-given design, which includes the joy of learning.

I spend my days at the corner of faith and education, both as the leader ofeducation initiatives for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and as mom to two little ones (a kindergartener and a toddler). In both environments, words can be leveraged to allow children to thrive.

As God created the world with words, we being in His image also can create thoughts, feelings, and emotional environments with words. For church leaders and educators, we can employ words to create an environment conducive to learning and thriving and growing spiritually. As parents we can speak words over our children which help them discover God’s love and gifts throughout every day.

In Second Timothy, Paul encouraged the younger man to “study to thyself approved unto God . . . rightly dividing the word of truth.”

We can follow this admonition today by applying our minds to whatever field of study we find ourselves called to and thus in pursuit. Our earthly assignments are connected to an eternal purpose, which gives education even greater value. As we develop our minds and hearts, we are not only empowered to succeed at a career but we are equipped to do so with wisdom to rightly divide the word of truth.

Churches across our country are preaching the Word on a daily basis and urging church members to read and apply God’s Word to life. When God’s word is applied to our view of education and educational issues, we often come to a realization that education equality, for example access to quality education, is an issue that needs the Body of Christ’s attention.

In Luke 10:27, Jesus calls his disciples to “love the Lord with all your … minds,” and He has given us curious, creative minds for His own glory.

I encourage pastors and parents to ensure their students are held to high standards and have access to quality education. It is essential that we can support the educational and spiritual development of the next generation.

The second part of Luke 10:27 states to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Ensuring all the children in our communities have access to quality education is a practical way to demonstrate this love

Thousands of churches will unite this September, as we do every autumn, to highlight the link between faith and education. Education Sunday (September 4, 2016) provides pastors the opportunity to encourage students to love the Lord with their heart, soul, strength and mind. Congregations will seek the Father for wisdom on ways to support all the children in our communities with quality education. I trust He will awaken us to new opportunities for encouraging students, improving education equality and equipping parents to guide their children into academic understanding as well as spiritual wisdom.

Our prayer is that the children within our congregations and communities are encouraged through the words spoken over them during Education Sunday and that they recognize their God-given calling to love the Lord with the totality of their minds. May He raise the standards in each of our lives as we continue to apply our faith in Christ to our view of education and educational issues.

Dr. Andrea Ramirez is Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition – NHCLC.