How often I have heard it said and argued, in regards to Christian education and /or in discussions concerning raising children . . . .
“You are sheltering your children from the real world
which one day, down the road, they will have to face.”
Parents contemplating enrolling their children into our Christian school expressed how they had heard that argument made by parents who chose a state education. Parents who sought a moral atmosphere, wholesome activities, and desired a circle of Christian friends for their children, were faced with the charge of “over protecting your children” — “You can’t raise your children in a Christian hot-house.”
Even potential (and employed) youth pastors argued for greater “Christian liberty” regarding exposure to this world’s culture. Some oscillated as to what they should encourage-discourage in regards to music, reading materials, television, friendships, dating, school activities-proms, schools, et al. — I imagine today we could add “social media.”
However, when it comes to passing down a love to our children — be it secular or sacred — that we want to prevent the possibility of them never finding the joy in it. Let me illustrate that by using what many fathers enjoy and want their children to enjoy. I could easily do the same with mothers. . If you as a father love and enjoy a sport (i.e. baseball), a hobby (i.e. woodworking), or an activity (i.e. water or snow skiing/or snowboarding), if you don’t make the first experiences pleasant, your love may never become their love.
If their first experiences are filled with difficulties, criticism, impatience, and/or failure, such will become a road-block to further engagement. If you look forward to the day that your children will step onto the beautifully powered ski slope, excited about their first experience of making their way down the “kid-friendly trail” (The Magic Carpet – Chipmunk Corner) you may find yourself alongside them, doing all you can to make it a pleasant experience. Why? Because you want them to love and enjoy what you have come to love and enjoy.
The various snow-ladened-trials can be a punishing place for first-time and/or young “attemptees.” Newcomers can easily become discouraged by skis that won’t cooperate, stopping maneuvers that seem ineffective, and speeds contribute to a pounding. Their first attempts can give them the feeling that they never will get the hang of this and never enjoy this. The cold snow can even give them such a beating that they never really want to go for another weekend winter trip.
Be it snow skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, or surfing — their experiences matter and those who want their children to love and enjoy what they love and enjoy will take the necessary steps to make sure that the “first trip down the kiddy trail” is smooth — at least as smooth as it can be — especially for those who are less adept or “athletic.”
One day our children will have to learn how to maneuver in this world as a believer. They will have to get on top of that trail on their own, without us alongside, and on far more challenging trails than “Chipmunk Corner.” The world — the society and culture — will be far different from the days we first went down the kid’s trail. The temperature will be far colder, and the snow will not be powered. This world can be a demanding, tough, and dangerous “hill” to navigate.
- There will be children who struggle because they are not at all naturally athletic.
- A number of children will find it a very unpleasant experience — as have many adults. 
- Some children will be expected to pick it up like dad has/had, but can’t — as quickly — or won’t.
- Still. others will rank themselves as dabblers, realizing that they are far from competent.
- Many will go with those who suggest a day on the slopes, but primarily as observers who take on the appearance of fellow lovers and enjoyers.
If their attempts are repeatedly difficult and clumsy — or even distasteful — they may never come to love and enjoy what dad has come to love and enjoy.
- Yes, some will master it quickly and come to love and enjoy it as much as dad.
and yes . . .
- Many may join those who suggest a day on the slopes, but they travel primarily as observers who take on the appearance of fellow lovers and enjoyers.
Some parents are oblivious to the unpleasant experiences that young children face in state education. While the trails might not be “Black Diamond” (although some might quickly debate that these days), they are far from “Chipmunk Corner.” The youngest of children may face an educational pounding during those 30 or more hours a week.
A Christian education in the elementary years of life may provide the time, growth, and experiences needed before those demanding teenage years of parenting. As a parent, not to speak of being a parent today, I might want to buffer my children from some of the terrible educational trails that the world is offering to the newest and youngest of skiers to attempt.
When it comes to your most precious possession,
There is an alternative to state education!
1. Not sure why. It works well with young and tender plants!
2. My wife has always enjoyed sewing. One of our daughters-in-law has a real passion for cooking. I think I can safely say that both would hope that their love of sewing or cooking would be had by their children and grandchildren. However, if a child’s first attempts at either, prove to be difficult, embarrassing, or filled with disappointment, or if their early attempts are discouraged by others’ words and responses, those hope will be smothered.
3. To expect that our young children will do better than we did (or do) when it comes to standing for the faith, defending our beliefs-practices, or sharing our faith, in the state schools (no less today’s public schools), is thoughtless. Some parents are expecting their children to face what they themselves struggled at to this day.