Saturday, March 19, 2011

salt and light

Those who know us well are sometimes surprised that we have allowed our children to attend public school rather than homeschooling them. While my own schooling has been one factor, another has been our desire to interface with those who do not yet know Jesus.  I had the privilege of a strong Christian education for my entire childhood, but I knew very few unbelievers (I can think of 2 families off hand). We understand the value of Christian education, but we have decided that for now our children can learn math, reading, science and social studies in a public school setting and then process with us any occasion where there is a "rub" between what they are learning in the classroom and what Scripture teaches.  The journey has not been entirely without its challenges, but on the whole our kids have had a good experience. A comment by my professor, Dr. Garth Rosell, in a lecture on early church history captures the heart of why we have chosen this path:

"The early Christians did not compartmentalize life as we so often do, but they lived out their Christian lives in the society as salt and light, and they trusted God that he would preserve them in the midst of the dangers of that larger culture and actually make them agents for the reformation of that culture."

We were reminded of this the other day when Emma reported her conversation with a classmate. "I asked him if he believed in Jesus," she said. "But he said, 'No,' so I told him all about the Bible before school started. Of course I stopped when the announcements started because we're not allowed to talk then. But I finished the story at recess." I asked her what stories she told him (hoping that it wasn't all hellfire and damnation this time). She replied, "Well, most of them really. Like the Lord's Prayer, and the story about the man who got hurt along the road and nobody would help him, and stuff like that." When asked how he responded she said, "He said that he did want to believe in Jesus and that he would talk to his parents about it." Well done, sweet Emma!

We continue to pray for God's protection over our children, and there may come a day when the benefits of public school education no longer outweigh the dangers, but for now we seek to be salt and light.

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