Who Educates Your Child?

Walking in the small cemetery near my hometown in Northern Michigan, checking out my parents’ graves 20 years ago, one gravestone stopped me, pictured above.  It was Mary’s marker.  It was larger than most, desk high, and oddly different: with not only the usual names and dates of life but three actual photos embossed on the front.

Mary was my classmate all through college, with the first nine years in the Ebenezer Christian School with seven other classmates (see left side of marker). On the same Sunday during high school, she and I professed our faith in Christ in our small village church (photo in center). She and her husband raised their children in God’s truth in the three-bedroom home (photo on the right).

There you have it: the three agencies of Christian nurture: home, church, and school.

So who educates your child? Of course, it starts at home with small children imitating their parents’ prayers or curses, hearing Bible stories, or watching ads that etch in children’s minds that the “good life” is far from a God-purposed life.  Churches bring families together to worship God and teach the Bible to our children in classes.  Christian schools–NorthPointe Christian is one of them—fit our children with Bible glasses to see the world clearly with Christ as the King of all of it.

The school year is beginning.  We parents all have made promises to nurture our children in the Lord’s ways by every means we can.  God says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home…” (Deut. 6:6-7).  It’s doubly important nowadays because electronic media is nurturing our kids without fee, often to terrible ends.

The three-picture marker reminds me that the Matz family sacrificed dearly to educate their children in God’s ways at home, church, and Christian school.

It’s hardly an option; it’s fundamental. I left the cemetery, welled up from wisdom, from testimony on a tombstone.