4 Things You Can’t Afford to Miss
By Kevin Swanson
How do I fit everything into my schedule?
This is one of the biggest challenges Christian homeschooling parents face. Fitting in parenting, academics, work, family, church, etc. into one person’s schedule, and doing them all well, is not easy (some would ask if it’s even possible).
In a nutshell though, here is the answer to the question:
You don’t fit everything into your schedule. You can’t. It ís not possible. God has only given us 24 hours in a day, so that means we have to make choices on how we spend time.
So here’s the more important question to be asking:
Am I spending time where it REALLY counts when it comes to the education and discipleship of my children?
A tragic thought
As a parent, what if one day you woke up to realize that all the time and effort you had put into the education of your children was focused on the wrong things? And now your kids are grown up, aren’t ready to engage in real life, and aren’t heading towards an eternity with Jesus Christ in Heaven?
It gets worse…this is actually happening for many Christian parents. The Barna Group reports that 95% of teens from American, Christian homes abandon a biblical worldview.1 Considering that America is labeled as a Christian nation, this is quite an alarming statistic. Are your kids going to be ready to persevere in the faith? What can you do as a parent to help them?
If you’re getting disturbed…good! Now is when we get to the good part.
Preparing our kids for life and eternity is more than we can accomplish as parents. It ís a miracle. It ís an act of God. The first step to seeing your kids become a counter-statistic is to cry out to God to do what He ís so good at…working miracles.
But God has also called you as a parent to be purposeful in the education of your children. That means we need to ask, “How can I get on board with what He is doing and make sure that I’m focusing on what’s truly the most important every day?”
Below I’ve outlined four “pillars” of a Christian education, based on the Word of God, that I believe are keys to successful kids. If these pillars aren’t in place, the whole thing comes down.
(If you’d like a way to get a fast refresher of these four pillars every day and stay on track with what ís most important, download this 1-page, PDF summary,. perfect for posting on your fridge.)
Pillar #1 – Family Discipleship
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
Fathers and mothers are responsible for raising their children in the atmosphere of the Lord’s nurture (Deuteronomy 6:7, Ephesians 6:4). Fathers and mothers should teach God’s words in the context of daily life. God calls fathers as leaders of their homes, to be involved in this discipleship at key, strategic points.
Family discipleship must involve the consistent and diligent teaching of God’s recommended curriculum: the Bible. Teaching your children the Psalms, Proverbs, and Gospels is essential and basic to a Christian education.
Fathers and mothers must keep a careful eye on their children’s spiritual condition, faith, and character.
Pillar #2 – Biblical Worldview
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
What will it look like to teach your children with a biblical worldview? First, Jesus Christ must be preeminent in history, literature, and science (Colossians 1:18). Christ’s kingdom and His church must become more important in the student’s mind than the work of men’s hands in building their own kingdoms.
Secondly, the most essential building block of knowledge (above and beyond every other component) is the fear of God (Proverbs 1:7). The materialism and anti-supernaturalism assumed in modern evolutionary science cannot be tolerated by any Christian family.
Thirdly, our children must be prepared with strong biblical foundations and a robust apologetics methodology (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
Pillar #3 – Best Teachers, Best Books
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)
Our students will become like their teachers (Luke 6:40). Therefore, we should always prefer faithful Christian teachers and their writings over non-Christian teachers and their writings. The great Christian writings are the compendium of the pastors and teachers God has given the church over 2000 years (Ephesians 4:11). These are the teachers that God has given us.
Abiding and enduring books are a thousand times worth reading over the books that come and go through the centuries. The pagan teachers and writers have become one of the most influential tools of the devil to cause Christian students to stumble. It is wise to set your children at the feet of the best teachers by reading the greatest Christian books.
Pillar #4 – Worship and Life Application
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” (James 1:22-24)
Without life application, knowledge is fleeting and becomes an exercise in pride and self-deception. Discipleship and mentorship must include life application.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and real reverence will result in worship. Our children must be trained to praise and worship God in the chemistry laboratory. Worship is the great purpose and end of all of life for the Christian.
Post these pillars on your refrigerator
Here is a downloadable summary version of these 4 pillars that you can print off and post on your fridge so you can review these on a daily basis. Click here to download.
The bottom line.
At then end of the day, the key to godly family discipleship and education is heeding Jesus instructions and promise in Matthew 7:
Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
e the Bible in every area of your family life.
Kevin Swanson speaks across the nation about homeschooling. Homeschooled himself in the 1960’s-70’s, he and his wife Brenda now homeschool their five children. Kevin has 43 years of experience in the homeschooling movement and serves as the Director of Generations– a ministry he founded to strengthen homeschool families. He also serves as Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado.