“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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.”
School is back in session. It’s a time when knowledge is begun to be given to our young people, knowledge concerning skills which they will need in order to live as adults in this world.
So while education and its value and the acquiring of it is on our minds, it might be good of us to reflect not only on the value of the secular education we receive, but also on the value, quantity and quality of the spiritual education we receive. Take a moment to think about how much Bible knowledge you possess. Is it quite a lot? If the statistics are any guide, probably not.
According to the Barna Group, less than half of all adults can name the four gospel books in the New Testament. (That would be Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: the inspired biographies of Jesus’ life and ministry here on earth.) This same source reports that many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the apostles by name. (If I had to guess, I’d say they would say Peter and Paul. Some might even say that Mary is an apostle due hearing about the band.) 60% of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments given to Moses. 82% believe the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse. (It isn’t.) A majority of audlts think the Bible teaches that the most important purpose in life is taking care of one’s family. (The Bible actually teaches that our purpose in life is to fear God and keep His commandments. See Ecclesiastes 12:13.) At least 12% of adults actually believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. (I guess I’m glad that percentage is low, but shouldn’t that number be zero?) Over 50% of graduating high school seniors believe Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. (They were actually neighboring cities destroyed by God with fire.) Sadly, a considerable amount of responders to one poll believe the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
Parents, you recognize the value of your children’s secular education. That’s why you choose to educate them through public, private or home schools. Do you also recognize the value of them and yourself receiving a spiritual education.
In the Old Testament, God through Moses commanded Israelite parents to talk about the Bible every day, morning and night (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). He told us through the Psalmist that the righteous man’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and on that law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Through Hosea, He said that His people were destroyed by “lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). In the New Testament, Christians are told to “long for the pure milk of the Word” in the same manner a newborn baby longs for milk; by doing so we “grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). God also rebuked Christians who were no longer new converts and yet still knew nothing but the elementary principles of Christianity, if that (Hebrews 5:12-6:1).
If your child goes to school for seven hours five days a week, 10 months out of the year, for 12 years, they will have received around 16,800 hours of education in secular matters which will help them get ahead in this world. Yet, they will then leave this world. Will they be prepared for the next? If the spiritual education you give them consists of only 1-2 hours a week at church, if that, then after 12 years they will have received only around 1, 248 hours of spiritual education at your hands before they leave the nest. Statistically, many children these days leave the church and never return once they leave the home. There’s a reason for that, parents.
Bring your children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, parents. Sit down together as a family every single day and learn from God’s Word together.