I have invested more than thirty years in Christian school education. During that time, my fellow school workers and I have influenced over 3000 children ages 5-13. I am deeply committed to the imprint Christian schools can and do have on the lives of young people (and their entire family!).
I get up every morning focused on how to make our school just a little bit better. Over the years, we have pursued and received all manner of recognition and assessment, including the National Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence. Stoneybrooke is an exemplary school and has been for a long time.
We seek to provide a balanced program that instructs, enriches and inspires students. We have a faculty that is extraordinary and a board that is indeed visionary. We do Christian education right. But it isn’t the answer. (Or at least, it isn’t the whole answer!)
This isn’t a new thought to me, but I was reminded this week of its importance as I reviewed a new book that is coming out soon on parenting. (Harold Sala’s new book Guidelines for Successful Parenting).
Unlike many in this genre, this book placed the focus on good parenting not on the children and techniques to make them grow up “healthy, wealthy and wise.” But rather, it states clearly that “the real problem confronting our children today is our (the parents’) problem. It is us. When we parents have our act together, our kids are more secure. When we parents exhibit discipline in our own lives, our children require less discipline. When we learn how to make peace with the circumstances of our lives, our children learn to cope with the frustrations that surround them. We are their greatest teachers.”
Too often, parents assume that if their child is safely ensconced in a Christian school, enrolled in a strong Sunday school program or youth group, in church regularly and taught to behave in public, he or she will turn out just fine. But the truth is, we desperately need parents to own up to their daily responsibility to raise children under the admonition of the Lord.
Over and over again in the scriptures, parents are told to teach their kids about life, God, truth, values, moral behavior and how to tell right from wrong. Christian schools, Sunday schools, youth groups, Christian camps and Godly clubs all have their place and certainly should aggressively be reiterating all those principles. But the buck stops with mom and dad, not an institution.
Now, I am not proposing that all parents should withdraw their children from Christian schools and sit around the house reading Bible stories. But I am trying to put the spotlight where it belongs-on the critical role of the parents. If you have younger children, maybe today is a great day to pause and give yourself a checkup. How am I doing? Is my life, properly imprinting on the wet cement of my child’s heart? If not, make some plans to change some things…it’s not too late!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel