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Ryan is a member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. A Scholarship Essay

 “…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 their children. that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep 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 steadfast with God” (Psalm 78:5-8).

Continuously throughout the Bible, references are made to the instruction of children. Parents are repeatedly called to teach their children. This contemplation of Asaph (Psalm 78:5-8), which I quoted, is a prime example. In this passage, God calls the fathers (parents) to teach and instruct their children. God even explains Himself in this psalm. His reason for commanding parental instruction is so that the future generations will know His law and that they will trust and confide in Him. They will not stray off the straight and narrow pathway but they will set their hope and trust in Him and Him alone. Similar passages can be multiplied: Exodus 10:2, Deuteronomy 4:9, Isaiah 38:19, Acts 22:3, etc.

Other passages, like Proverbs 22:6, do not explicitly refer to God’s law but still command parental instruction. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We must train our children, so that when they grow up, they will hold on and cleave to what they have been taught. We must catechize them, watch them, and keep them under discipline. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says this instruction is “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.” Along the same lines, I think it is our duty and calling as parents to educate our children in a Christian school.

Obviously, this cannot always be the case. We are not in control of our lives and some circumstances may arise. Often, missionaries deal with this on the mission fields. The missionary and his family are trying to start a church and the only schools around, if any, are the furthest thing away from being called Christian. I understand these circumstances and at times like these, our choices are limited. However, this is not always the case. In fact, most of the time we have a choice as to which Christian school to send our children.

Therefore, if possible, we must educate our children in these Christian schools. Even better, we must educate our children in one of our own Protestant Reformed Christian Schools. When a Protestant Reformed Christian education is made available to us we must, by all means, grasp it and hold fast. This is our duty and responsibility. I say this is our duty and responsibility because there is no reasonable excuse for anybody not to send their children to a PR school if it’s made available.

Now, I would like to address an issue that I think is prevalent in our own schools. I would like to address the issue of vacations. I am referring to Spring Break. From what I understand, parents are excusing their children from school early so that they can start their vacations early. It’s not just a couple hours early, I hear it’s a couple of days early. The schools are half empty the day before Spring Break. Is there something wrong with this picture?

I definitely think so. However, obviously, some parents in our circles do not. Our schools have a whole week recess for Spring Break. Some families, or should I say 70+ students from our very own Covenant Christian High School decided that they needed more than a week for Spring Break. Is leisure and vacation time becoming more important than our own children’s Christian education? The consensus seems to think so.

I think we have to step back for a second and remember how important these Protestant Reformed Christian schools meant to those who started them. Maybe we should even think about how important these schools should mean to us. Are we starting to lose interest in our own schools? Worse yet, are we starting to lose interest in our calling to educate our children in the fear of the Lord and in His commandments. I hope and pray that this is not the case.

On the contrary, our parents should be interested in their children’s education. They should send their children to Christian schools because they want their children to be taught from a Christian perspective. They want their children to be taught the truth. So many misconceptions and even heresies can creep into our children’s minds if they are educated outside of our schools. Therefore, our parents should show their interest and send their children to our Christian schools.

In addition, parents can show their interest by their involvement in the schools. Volunteer to be a room mother. Participate in school activities. Attend choir and band concerts as well as other extracurricular activities. Let your children know that you care and are interested in their school and want to be a part of it. Show your interest to your children by asking them questions. Inquire what happened at school today and what they learned. Help them with their homework and become excited for them to succeed. All of these little things show that you are interested in their education.

Finally, don’t forget to instruct them at home. Make sure they know their catechism and/or memory work. Show them that you are most interested in their achievement in Bible class. Teach them to pray. When they get older, have them open or close in prayer around the family dinner table. Discipline them when they err. Also, show them that you care by setting an example for them to follow.

In conclusion, God commands us to instruct our children in the fear of the Lord. This commandment doesn’t stop at just sending them to a Christian school. This commandment must be heeded in the home as well. As parents, we must continually be involved in our children’s Christian education.

“And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord” (Exodus 10:2).

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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