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.
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.
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.
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.
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.