As a Christian homeschooling mom, one query I often get is why I do not allow my children to go to school as their mission field. Their reasoning is typically that the children in public schools may never have been introduced to the love of Christ, and my children just might be the ones to do that.
I’ll admit that this certainly seems like a pretty sound reason to consider sending my kids to school, and there are many who do so, but these three reasons have kept me convinced that keeping them home is the best thing for our family.
Why I Don’t Send My Kids to School as Missionaries
1. I’m fairly certain that Jesus’s apostles would never have considered sending their children to the pagan temples.
I know that many people aren’t willing to admit this, but our schools do embrace pagan philosophies. At the very least, however, I would hope that we could all at least agree that public education no longer stands for biblical principles. If our children are going to be given the opportunity to grow in their faith, the best place for this to happen would be in either Christian schools or in a homeschool environment where they will learn the values that are true to the Christian upbringing.
2. Children need to be given the time to develop into mature Christians before being confronted daily by situations opposed to their beliefs.
I think we all know that kids are prone to falling for peer pressure. You may not believe that your child would, but there’s no way to know for sure. As an adult, I know that I often feel intimidated when I am faced with an environment in which practically everyone opposes everything I stand for. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes downright scary. Imagine, then how a child feels under the same circumstances.
In 1 Corinthians 3:2, Paul exhorts the Corinthian church with this verse: “I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready.” Remember that Paul was addressing adults here! I think it’s safe to assume that most young believers are still “drinking milk” and may not be strong enough in their faith to stand up against the inconsistencies they are being taught and personally witnessing in the public school setting.
3. Children in school are exposed to, let’s face it, secular humanist teaching for six hours a day, five days a week, 36 weeks a year.
Consider this quote from Charles F. Potter, author of Humanism, A New Religion, and a humanist himself:
“Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”
If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I don’t know what will. And, yes, you could argue the point that this was written in 1930, but think about the state of our schools. Consider the sorts of teachings that are being promoted. To this day, the educational system is doing everything it can to stomp out any sort of Judeo-Christian ethics it has left. I am not willing to allow my children to spend more time learning about things contrary to our beliefs, then they do learning about the most sacred source of wisdom there is, the Bible.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
That verse says it all for me.
So while I’m certainly not against my children witnessing to those who haven’t been exposed to the love of Jesus, there are so many other places this can happen without ever entering the school setting.
- athletic programs
- extracurricular activities
- the playground
- neighborhood children
There are, of course, also other areas this can happen, but I want to point out the one crucial thing all of these situations have in common: The possibility of parental guidance. This isn’t possible at school. Ever.
And lest you think I’ve completely ruled out the possibility of spreading the gospel at school, you’re wrong. This can happen through programs like the Good News Club and even through teachers or other school employees who are believers. And although they may not be able to be upfront about this, they can imitate Christ through their actions.
When my kids were still in school, two of their teachers were such wonderful, loving ladies that I used to call them the “light” of the school. At the time, I was not yet a Bible-believing Christian, and yet I could sense that there was something different about them. Imagine my surprise a few years later after I was saved and decided to try a new church when I found these two ladies there in the parking lot. Everything clicked for me, and I realized that the reason they were different was because I saw Christ in them.
This is how we can fulfill the Great Commission in our schools. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be up to our children.
It’s a risk I’m not willing to take.