The Biblical Mandate for Christian Education Part 2
by Fred Di Lella

“For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him…And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up…And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up…Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.  I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us: we will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to them their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget his commandments: and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God…His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed…Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it…And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit.  And wherefore one?  That he might seek a godly seed.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” 

Exhortations And Admonitions For Christian Parents 

“I am much afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth.  I advise no one place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.  Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt.”  …Martin Luther

“God does not make known his will to us, that the knowledge of it may perish with us; but that we may be his witnesses to posterity, and that they may deliver the knowledge received through us to their descendants.  Wherefore, it is the duty of parents to apply themselves diligently to the work of communicating what they have learned from the Lord to their children.” …John Calvin 

A great duty enjoined, particularly to those that are the parents and instructors of children, in order to the propagating of wisdom, that it may not die with them: Train up children in that age of vanity, to keep them from the sins and snares of it, in that learning age, to prepare them for what they are designed for.  Catechise them; initiate them; keep them under discipline.  Train them as soldiers, who are taught to handle their arms, keep rank, and observe the word of command.  Train them up, not in the way they would go (the bias of their corrupt hearts would draw them aside), but in the way they should go, the way in which, if you love them, you would have them go.”…Matthew Henry 

A Genuine Christian Education

Before we can ascertain the substance of a genuine Christian education, we must first understand the Biblical mandate and rationale for providing such training for our covenant children.

The Word of God makes it abundantly clear that the Lord is the Creator of all things.  As the Sovereign, omnipotent Maker, He owns all things, including our children.  As our Creator, the Lord is also our King, our God, and our guide even unto death (e.g., Gen.1; 2; Pss.46-48).  As creatures of the Living and True God, our chief end is to glorify and enjoy Him forever.

The only rule the Living and True God has given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him is the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures (e.g., John 17:17; Rom.10:17; 2Tim.3:16, 17).  Therefore, if we truly desire to please our God, Redeemer, and King, we are obligated to know and obey His Word in all areas of our lives, and most definitely in the rearing of our children.

The Scriptures, our rule for glorifying God, also teach that God has blessed us with children and has entrusted them to our nurture and care (e.g., Pss.112; 127; 128; Deut.6:1-9).  In graciously granting us this stewardship, the Lord gave us the tremendous and critical responsibility of training our children in the fear, knowledge, and admonition of Him (e.g., Gen.18:19; Deut.6:1-9; 11:18-20; Psa.78:4; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:1-4).

Since, therefore, God is our Creator, Lord, King, and Guide; since the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever; since the Lord has blessed us with children and commanded us to train them in the fear, knowledge, and admonition of Him; since God Himself is truth (e.g., Numb.23:19; Jerem.10:10; Job 34:10-12; John 14:6; Heb.6:18; 1John 5:20); and since the absolutely true, authoritative, profitable, sufficient Word of God is the only rule “to make us perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work ,” an education centered upon and in submission to God’s Word, a Christ-centered education with the purpose of glorifying God, is unequivocally MANDATORY.

Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.

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