Another Generation After Them
- Thursday, January 15, 2009
God gave the Israelites distinct instructions to teach their children about Him. To what extent they may or may not have done this, we don’t know. Perhaps they were so occupied in taming the new land that they simply neglected the responsibility altogether. We don’t really know what happened. All we know is that another generation came after them “which knew not the Lord.” The results were tragic and devastating.
Let’s bring all of this a little closer to home. Could the same thing happen in our own day, to our own children? Absolutely. We have been observing for years the effects of secular education on Christian families, and the results are shattering. Up to 85% of children from Christian homes who attend public schools end up leaving church by the time they graduate from high school.1 That bears a striking similarity to the generation in Judges “which knew not the Lord.”
But what about those of us who have committed ourselves to Christian home education? Could the same thing happen to our families? Yes, although preliminary research suggests that the success rate of homeschooling parents in passing their faith on to their children is actually higher than the failure rate found in public schools.2 In other words, according to the statistics at least, Christian homeschooling parents are doing a great job of passing their faith on to their children. (Just as a side note, however, we should never become complacent, nor should we judge our success simply by our children’s good manners, excellent character, and frequent church attendance. None of that truly equates with successfully passing our faith on to the next generation. Only if and when our children begin their own personal walks with Jesus has our faith truly been passed on.)
Let’s take this thought a step further. If public schools (and yes, sadly, even many Christian schools) are failing us in transmitting our faith to the next generation, and if Christian home education is enjoying a phenomenally high success rate, then it should be our goal to not only pass our faith on to our children, but also a vision for Christian home education. In other words, if we want our grandchildren to have a much greater probability of accepting Christ as their Savior and having their fruitfulness as Christians unhindered by the secular indoctrination of worldly education, then we would do well to make sure our children have caught the vision for Christian homeschooling.
At present, research suggests that approximately 80% of homeschool graduates intend to teach their own children at home.3 At first, that doesn’t sound too bad. But let’s make that a little more personal. If 80% intend to homeschool, that means 20% don’t. The implication? Statistically, one out of five of your grandchildren are at high risk of being enrolled in some form of education that you have deemed unsuitable for your own children. One out of five of your grandchildren are at risk of sitting in a classroom under the tutelage of unknown teachers, rather than under the loving discipleship of their own parents. One out of five of your grandchildren are at high risk of being placed in an educational system that, in comparison to homeschooling, is failing abominably in passing on our Christian faith. One out of five of your grandchildren are at risk of being placed in a school system that has an 85% success rate at destroying our children’s faith.
For the sake of the coming generations, I think we need to do better at passing on the vision of Christian home education.
If we diligently homeschool our own children and see them mature and grow in their own personal relationships with God, but we fail to pass on to them the vision of Christian home education, we’ve only won a single-generation victory. The work of one generation can be wiped out in the next. On the other hand, if we pass on to our children a vision for Christian home education, the victory can be passed from one generation to the next in an unbroken chain.
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