Christian Education Beyond Devotions and Bible Class

This article was written as a 1998 Scholarship essay.

If our Christian education is not Scripturally based in every aspect, would we want this kind of education for our covenant children? Isn’t it true that Christian education is preparation for life for the covenant child? What, then, must be my duty as a future teacher in the Christian classroom?

It must be my primary duty and responsibility to instruct covenant children about God and His Word, not just in Bible class or through devotions, but in every subject that I teach my students. I must incorporate the infallible and inspired Word of God into every subject that I teach these children. Second, I must teach these children to be lights in the world and to live the antithetical life Christ instructs me of this in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” And finally, it is only by the grace of God that I am able to teach these children. It is only through Christ that I am able to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6.

What will my students see in geography, in science, in history, in mathematics,… in each and every subject? They will discover that God is in every course they take. How? That is where I, as a teacher, will incorporate those parallels and truths.

I will first consider geography. In geography, they will learn about the numerous and unique cultures in which God has placed His people. The Lord has His people in every nation, tongue, and tribe. In the Heidelberg Catechism, Question & Answer 54,1 am reminded of this very truth. “What believest thou concerning the ‘holy catholic church’ of Christ? That the Son of God… gathers, defends, and preserves to himself by his Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, a church chosen to everlasting life…” Even though distance may keep us apart, God’s Word and Spirit keeps us close and united.

Concerning science, will they be ready to give an answer to those who insist in evolution and the “Big Bang Theory”? Scripture warns us in I John 3:7, “Little children, let no man deceive you.”

It is very important that our covenant children are taught that God created this world and that I teach them about His creation. The Psalmist speaks of this in the 24th chapter, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Also, in the Belgic Confession, Article II, I read of two means by which God is made known unto us. “We know him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book,… and secondly,… by his holy and divine Word.” I will show to them that science displays the glory of God through the magnificent creation.

I have just shown that God is in geography and in science. Is He in the study of history? “History is sooo boring! Why do we have to learn this? This all happened so long ago. Who cares?” As Christian teachers and students, we care!! History shows God’s revelation through time. God has been, is, and will forever be with His people until the end of this world. “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” Matthew 28:20. Until that time of Christ’s second coming, I must equip my students with the armor of God. They will study numerous battles throughout the course of history but they must realize that they are also called to fight in this world as well. They face the greatest battle!! Will they be ready?

Finally, I will look at the study of mathematics. In mathematics, God’s ever present order is revealed. There is order and precision in the numbers that God created. Mathemati, cs is evident in the days of creation, the length of each day, the rising and setting of the sun. During the time of the flood, God’s servant Noah built the ark using measurements given to him by God. “The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits,” Genesis 6:15. Although we use different means to measure, the principle of mathematics is still the same. Mathematics is an orderly subject.

Now that I have shown that God’s Word is found in geography, science and all the rest, I must teach my students to use this knowledge and authority. They must learn to apply their education to their everyday lives. As a teacher, it will be my calling to build a foundation for my students to stand on.

What should this foundation consist of? It must contain the infallible Word of God as their Guide so that they learn what is right and what is wrong in God’s eyes. They must follow the antithesis found only in the Word of God. We read of this in II Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” We are to keep ourselves separate from the world. I must instruct my students that we are only pilgrims passing through to our eternal home. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord… and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you,” II Corinthians 6:17,18.

God instructs His people to be lights in the world. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid,” Matthew 5:14. I must teach my students this truth. They must learn to shine their lights brightly in the world but also in the classroom. As Christians, we are to demonstrate that we belong to Christ and to show this in our thoughts, words and actions. I must instruct my students to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit,” Galatians 5:25.

Not only should my students display the love of Christ in the classroom but they should also see it in me! That is my responsibility and calling as an upcoming Christian school teacher! On my own, I cannot do this! It’s only through Christ that I will be given the strength to perform this awesome task! Scripture reminds me of this in Philippians 4:13, where I read, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” My Lord is the only one who can help me carry out my calling. I should always be mindful of this as I continue my education so that I do not become discouraged. I must go to Him in prayer for all my needs; “…by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God,” Philippians 4:6b. The Heidelberg Catechism, Questions and Answers 116 & 117, remind me that prayer is necessary for Christians. Why? “Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us:” and also, “that we are fully persuaded that he, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer, as he has promised us in his word.” May I continue to remember this each and every day! All things are possible with Christ who is always with me!

“If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.” Psalm 132:12. ❖