The point of saturating chidlren in the word of God and cultivating a curiosity about God in every subject of study is to prepare encultured Christians who shape culture faithfully, from the basis of the Scriptures, with Wisdom and true understanding.
Don’t let your kids get up from the school table and go on auto-pilot. The ditches are utter renunciation of the world or wholesale whoredom with it.
God doesn’t want ghettos and he doesn’t want communities that are undistinguishable from the world. God wants children, standing on the firm foundation of His word, wisely shaping culture – their work, the arts, the media, sports, politics, medicine, etc with wisdom and devotion to Him.
Sit down with your children and teach them at a young age how to engage culture. Watch their favorite program. My little pony, for example. Ask them – what kind of God rules this world? Is there sin? How is sin atoned for? Is individual or community more important? What is the show about?
Read them Pooh Bear and ask what kind of God does Pooh believe in?
Read them fairy tales so that they learn how to identify the dragon, the maiden and the knight. Read them the scriptures so that they can tell the difference between the Herod and the Hezekiah on the local ballot. Teach them the scripture so they know that sometimes the judges release Barabbas instead of Jesus.
Do this young and do this often. When they are older, when you are relishing your pagan roots, listening to a song in the car with more than questionable lyrics, the engaging child will ask you to turn it because its not honoring God. That is a sign that you are on the right track. The child who thanks you for his spanking is a child who loves the standard and isn’t merely conforming to it.
Your children are going to need to know the types and themes of the Bible because they are the types and themes of human history. How do I know that a whole city can be transformed by the mere preaching of the word? I’ve read Jonah. How do I know how to work faithfully for God in the secular courts of a pagan political system? I know Joseph and Daniel.
Why do I honor the king? Because when I was a child I was spanked.
It doesn’t matter if your kids have a top notch education, if they reject the LORD or if they are incapable of determining whether Jacob or Esau is the villain, they will go into the world and won’t be able to fight it and they won’t be able to resist it.
And if you can’t teach them these things because you don’t know them yourself then its time to go to back to school.
The Christian Faith necessitates being a life long learner.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
There is not dichotomy between head knowledge and heart knowledge. You can’t make educational decisions apart from moral ones.
Raising your children in the Paideia of the LORD is preparing them to go out into the world and shape it with Christ honoring faith. If you aren’t doing that then start there.
Fight the culture with the weapons of our warfare. What are they? Google it. Read a book. Take a walk and learn about the world in which you live in that is unceasingly communicating Christ to you.
Then you will be able to engage and fight against the culture, gratefully obeying God. Then you will be equipped to prepare your children.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
Education in the Christian sense, the Paideia, is not limited to school in your youth. There is a battle for your mind and through your mind, your affections.
Fathers are responsible for the paideia of their children. Husbands are responsible for the paideia of their wives and every person is responsible for the paideia of themselves. Passive parents raise passive people who are apathetic and undiscerning in spiritual matters. Ill-equipped to take on unbelief in themselves and in the broader culture.
Unengaged Christians are unbelieving christians. We aren’t tempted to renounce the world, we are all tempted to get in bed with the world. And the offspring of that bed is devouring sin.
Curiosity about God’s world and the renewal of our hearts, minds and souls – in the image of God- is the motivation for education and cultural engagement. The world lies open to us. Every subject lies open.
There is no neutrality. Knowledge and wisdom begin with the fear of the LORD and we all need a great deal more fear in our lives.
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).