Truth and Our Children
For the past century, since the period of the enlightenment, the world has drifted away from Truth in the public sphere. By “Truth” I mean absolute truth. Biblical truth. (That’s the only truth there is.) Lately, it seems that this drift has accelerated. At the same time, that absence has left a vacuum. As it turns out, people cannot live in a world where there is no absolute truth. And so we are seeing alternative “truths” take residence. These alternative worldviews, built on falsehoods, are being treated as absolutes and if you don’t agree with them, then you are viewed as morally wrong. While this feels new to many of us it isn’t new to history. Jesus illustrated it well:
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”Matthew 12:43–45
Just as people cannot live in a vacuum of spiritual influence, society can’t live in a vacuum of truth. The trouble is, these “truths” that our culture embraces are hostile to The Truth and if we are not diligent, our children will build lives on a false foundation.
Perhaps now, more than ever, is the time to see the church invest in home-schooling and parent-driven coops and Christian schools for the next generation. This has always been God’s calling. The family is the institution God designed to pass on our faith and establish a foundation of truth for our children’s lives. We are reminded and committed to that, as God’s family, each time we baptize a child in the faith. Because God’s promises flow through the family, it is our responsibility to raise them to live in the midst of these great promises. As the Psalmist writes,
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.Psalm 78:4
And as God instructs Moses,
these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:6–9
This is not to say that government schools are all bad or that you cannot find faithful Jesus-following teachers in government schools. You can and we need more of them. But government schools do not share the Biblical goal of raising the next generation to be faithful citizens of the Kingdom of God. They seek to raise “good citizens,” which is a citizen faithful to the government and its agenda.
So what can you do? If you have children, you can commit yourself to praying for wisdom with regard to how to train them in the way they should go. If you don’t have children in school then encourage and pray for those who do. Perhaps you can get involved as a mentor in the Public School system or offer help to parents with school-aged children. Or, if you are so led, you can encourage your elected leaders to work towards legislation that facilitates parental involvement and responsibility in education.
The culture our children face is vastly different from the one I faced as a child; and that change continues. Rhonda and I can see a big difference in the culture even in the years between our oldest and youngest child’s time in school. So let’s pray and get involved. And be confident in the work that you do to pass on your faith. God has ordained you to be the means of Kingdom growth. Let us not grow discouraged as we watch our children wrestle with Truth, as hard as it is. God is at work through you. The Kingdom of God is at hand with the coming of Jesus.
For the Kingdom,