Will attending Christian school make my children Christians?

While there are no guarantees on this score – God has not promised that everyone who hears the Gospel will embrace it – it is true that faith in Christ “comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Because Christian schools share God’s Word with their students daily, your children will have more opportunities to accept Christ than they would in any other educational setting.

Whether your children come to faith in Christ during their school days or not, one thing is clear. Their time in Christian school will give them a better understanding of the Bible, and should they eventually accept Christ, they will be better able to defend and share their faith with others.

When is the best time to put my children in a Christian school?

Considering the fact that your children can’t get a true perspective on God in a school that excludes Him, there is a better question: “When should they not be in Christian school?” If at all possible, have them taught from a Christian perspective every day of their lives. As Solomon writes, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Now, if you’ve placed your children in a public school, you are not guilty of a sin. And unless God has expressly forbidden it in your case, it isn’t sin at all. The question is not, “Is it lawful?” but “Is it profitable?” Your task as a loving parent will be much easier if your kids are placed in an educational environment that reinforces biblical principles, rather than refutes or ignores them.

Is a Christian school a safe place?

My child’s friends go to public school. What should I do?

If your children have good friends at the state school, it’s only natural that they’ll want to join them. And it’s likely that they’ll fight against the alternative. As a parent, this is a difficult problem to have.

But if you know what the Bible says about training your children, and if you’re familiar with the origin and history of state education, you know the environment there is unhealthy – spiritually, emotionally, relationally and intellectually. It’s unhealthy for your children. It’s unhealthy for your children’s friends. The fact that their parents have chosen to send them there should never deter you from choosing what’s best for your own children.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Or at least it should be. The Bible makes it unmistakably clear, in both the Old and New Testaments, that the primary responsibility for educating children rests with their parents. Make the decision God asks you to make, even if it hurts a little. Your children may fight it now, but they’ll thank you later.

My child wants to play sports, and the local Christian school has a weak athletic program. What should I do?

Let’s clear one troublesome hurdle right from the start. Not once does Scripture even hint that athletic competition is sinful or immoral. In fact, the Bible encourages healthy competition. Unfortunately, too many Christians presume that once the lawfulness of an activity has been established, they are free to pursue it the same way the world does.

Many Christian parents place their children in secular schools solely because of the athletic program. For them, the pursuit of sports has taken precedence over the pursuit of wisdom. This is an anti-biblical mindset. While we sympathize with parents who want their children to have every opportunity to succeed in athletics, the truth of the matter is that they can participate in sports without attending public schools.

Many Christian schools offer sports programs, as do parks and private leagues. And for those of you who have particularly gifted children, it may help you to know that college and professional sports rosters are dotted with graduates of Christian schools. If your kids are good enough, the scouts will find them.

If I put my children in Christian school, will I be sheltering them from the real world?

There is a common misconception that Christian schools shield children from every temptation and sinful exposure. This is not true, nor is it even possible. Christian schools have the same types of kids non-Christian schools have—sinners! Because all children come into this world with a sin nature, they are all prone to selfishness, anger, malicious talk, coveting, and the list goes on. In addition, they are exposed to many of the worldly influences that all children are exposed to in movies, books, television and more.

The difference in the Christian school is that the Christian school brings the Word of God to every situation in the lives of the children. The Christian school is able to apply the Word of God to every instance of sinful thought or action, and by God’s grace, renew the mind of the child. Hence, the goal to produce adults that have been trained unto godly living and thinking in a world full of temptations and their own weaknesses as a fallen human being.

Many of my friends say they want their kids to be salt and light in the public schools. Shouldn’t we do that?

I appreciate their concern. We should be “salt and light” in the world. However, I think a closer look at the passage and the context will help us see who that mission is actually directed to. In the gospels where this is written, salt and light are meant to be Christian influences in a dark and sinful world. It is only logical that in order to be a Christian influence in the culture, you must be a Christian. So, first you must ask yourself if your child is a born again believer.

Second, we must ask, “In what way can my child be salt and light?” — “Is my primary or secondary level child able to have an effect for Christ in the school?” — “Can he effectively explain the gospel?” — “Can he disciple a believer?” — “Can he defend his faith when under attack?” — “Can he withstand the constant bombardment of non-Christian teaching, non-Christian thoughts, and non-Christian acquaintances?”

In the vast majority of cases the answer would be no, and if the answer is no, then your child can’t be “salt and light.” In a rare case the answer may be yes, but you are obviously putting your child at great risk. Sending a child into an environment that is anti-Christian in philosophy is subjecting the mind of your child to daily teaching that is determined to replace God in every subject and every area of life.

How many young Christians can even discern that they are being fed worldly ways of thought? You might ask why the vast majority are not able to be “salt and light?” It is really quite simple—they are just (kids), and kids are not the ones that Jesus told to be salt and light—it is adults. It is the same reason that children do not lead Bible studies, become pastors, or go to foreign countries as missionaries.

They are not mature enough emotionally or spiritually, and for that matter, can’t even provide their own physical needs. They are at a time in their life when their primary function is to be a good student, not someone who teaches or disciples others. They are still being trained for adulthood and are still in the care and direction of their parents.

That goes full circle back to the Christian parents’ responsibility. We are called to protect and nurture our children in the ways of Christ so they can grow up to be world changers for Christ—no longer little saplings, but instead, strong oaks for the Lord!

Why should I send my child to a school that’s nowhere near my house when the public school is right across the street?

If the issue is safety, you’ll find that Christian schools are much less dangerous, no matter how far away they are from home.  [click here for more information about safety] But if it’s simply a matter of location, you might be letting the school’s proximity cloud your judgement.  When it comes to your decision-making priorities, obedience should always precede convenience.

If the state school system is rooted in a humanistic, truth-is-relative philosophy – and whether they openly admit it or not, virtually all of them are – does it really matter how close to home your children are when they hear it?  Across the street or across town, they’re still being taught for six to eight hours a day that God is irrelevant.

I went to public school and I turned out okay. Can’t my children do the same?

The short answer is yes. Just like you did, your (kids) can turn out okay. Maybe even better than okay. But our arrival at a place called “okay” does not necessarily mean that all our choices along the way were the right ones, or that our educational experience was the best one.

The real questions are these: Are you the same person today that you would have been had you attended Christian school? And what about the journey that brought you here? Might it have been a little more joyful, a little less troublesome? Is it possible that God could have used you for His glory even more than He already has?

These are questions only you can answer, and if you haven’t already, why not do it right now?  Give this issue an honest, thoughtful look, and then ask God what His will is regarding your children’s education.

What does God tell us to do with our children?

The first part of this answer has to do with your role as parent. You are the God-appointed leader of your children, so it should come as no surprise that the overwhelming task of raising and educating them is in your hands. The Apostle Paul put it this way:

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

The question is, what are you supposed to teach them? And God has a great deal to say about that. In Deuteronomy 11, for example, He says the education of children is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week process that must take place from birth through maturity.

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds … Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers …” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).

Here we see God instructing His people how to live as they prepare to go into the Promised Land. Critical to the life and health of His people is the teaching of the Word of God by parents on a daily basis in every situation.

Here’s the problem. State schools fail to recognize the relevance of the book upon which you, as a Christian, have based your life. The question is not, “Should I consider Christian education?” but rather, “Why should I consider anything else?”

The education of children and youth must be based on God’s Word as absolute truth.  If the school your children attend adopts any other approach, it is competing directly against your training at home, and ultimately, against the training God wants you to give them.