A Parent’s Love and a Child’s Education
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
Today I want to leave you with just a simple thought to consider:
If we love our children, we train our children.
As a parent (or pastor), our hearts desire the very best for the little ones under our care. We hope to see our boys and girls transform into the men and women God has purposed for them to become. We yearn for their safety. We pray for their prosperity. We ask God to expand their horizons and catch hold of divine visions.
Yet parents know that these can become lost, if not forfeited, if our children walk in destructive ways and upon paths not paved for them. We understand that if our children would experience the fullness and abundance of life then they must walk in obedience to the statues of the Lord. The Lord, in his great love and grace, has shown us the way to walk. He has given us his Word not only written upon parchment but incarnated in his Son Jesus Christ. Because He loves us he instructs us. And because we love our children the Lord urges us to instruct them.
I am convinced that a parent’s love and a child’s education go hand in hand, and I want to suggest that a parent’s love for his or her child can best express itself through instruction in at least three places.
First, and most importantly, a mother and father’s love for their child is best expressed through instruction in the home. “The Shema” in the Bible (Deut. 6:4-9) reveals that God always purposed for children to receive principle instruction in the Faith from their parents. When we read, “My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother (Prov. 6:20), we can see that the Proverbs imply this fact time and time again. Parents, surround your children with loving instruction in the ways of the Lord. Fill their ears with songs of praise and scripture reading. If you desire their good for both now and days to come, you must take this responsibility upon yourself.
Second, a father and mother’s love for their child is best expressed through instruction in church. Sunday school, Bible studies, and children and youth programs invigorate the health and vitality of children at church. Spiritual instruction and spiritual experiences will help fortify the statues of the Lord in the minds and hearts of our children. Dad and mom, find a church in which pastors embrace the role of Christian education in the church and have the strength and courage to consistently take your children to church, even when at times against their will.
Lastly, a mother and father’s love for their child is best expressed through instruction in school. Whether your child attends a private or public school, we have a duty to engage in our child’s education and make sure they receive proper instruction. We should know who they hang around with, their teachers’ names, the classes they’re taking, and their proficiencies and deficiencies. We must ensure that the quality of education that our children receive is strong and rigorous, that the quality of instruction is not lower than that of a nearby school, and the track they are on prepares them for college or a promising career after graduation.
Because we love our children and desire God’s best for their lives, let us not neglect their training. Rather, as those entrusted with our children’s well-being, let us take it upon ourselves to place value on the quality of the spiritual and educational instruction they receive at home, at church, and at school.
Forward and higher in Christ,
Rev. Girien R. Salazar
Executive Director, FE Coalition