On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, I sat at my kindergartner’s Thanksgiving school assembly. Before I knew it, tears rolled down my face as I watched my daughter recite Psalm 136. It wasn’t that I was utterly amazed at her ability, especially since we had never practiced it at home; instead it was the joy exuding from her as she recited. She was experiencing the academic pride of mastering a difficult feat while simultaneously beginning to grasp and love God’s Word. This was my moment of confirmation that my choice for her education was right.
Where to educate your child is rightly one of the most difficult decisions parents make. I know many people who choose Christian school to avoid the concerning aspects of public school. In the days of Common Core curriculum and co-ed bathroom requirements, Christian school is a refuge.
At least in Christian school, no one tells your child they cannot select Jesus as their hero in their homework assignment. But my husband and I didn’t select Christian school just to avoid bad exposure. Instead, my husband and I chose Christian school for the good exposure they would get, to things not of this world.
From Monday to Friday, I have 27 waking hours with my school-aged children. Twenty-seven hours to obey Deuteronomy 6:6-9, to talk about God’s Word when I sit, lie down, and walk so my children receive it. While that seems like a lot, my children’s school gets 33 hours to make an impression. Thirty-three hours to instill things that are harmful, neutral or better yet, are consistent with our efforts to teach God’s Word at home.
While public schools sometimes have godly teachers and thus my child may be educated without harmful secular influences, we had to be honest about a teacher’s legal ability to pass on his or her faith to children in their care. At best, the experience might have been neutral with respect to the impression it left on my children. We chose a school embracing a biblical worldview because we want our children to receive the essential Gospel elements at every possible moment. We want their playground disputes with friends solved using the principles of forgiveness and grace found in God’s Word. We want teachers to help my children find who their Creator designed them to be, rather than helping them achieve secular notions of what is best. We want to partner with teachers to train our children to work through difficult situations by examining God’s Word.
She was experiencing the academic pride of mastering a difficult feat while simultaneously beginning to grasp and love God’s Word.
I also desired a biblical worldview education because of what it meant to me. My parents sacrificed tremendously to put my sister and me in Christian school. At the time, I didn’t understand that choice involved giving up vacations and eating out. The reality is that some families can’t afford a non-public education despite making those sacrifices. But as an adult, I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t received that God-centered education. It was in my 6th grade class- room when I first heard the faintest call on my life to defend unborn life from abortion. It was in that school that my passion for government developed. And it was that school’s athletics that exposed me to godly leadership—something I now try to model with my employees. I lead a pro-life public policy organization that makes a real impact on human life because my school created opportunities for me to hear the Holy Spirit and respond.
Jesus didn’t say “Let the little children come unto me” as a comment in that moment. He said it because God created little children to have a tremendous capacity to learn and walk by total faith. My two-year-old, Emma Grace, has such passion in life. Every aspect of the mundane day brings her overwhelming joy. If you heard her laugh, you’d be enamored. However, Emma Grace does have some difficulty articulating words. Though she speaks and sings non-stop, you may not understand everything. But, her passion is not lacking! At dinner, my husband asks who will say the bless- ing. Emma Grace is the first to raise her hand and says, “Me pray.” So we all bow our heads and listen intently to capture her words before the emphatic AMEN! When she says her bedtime prayers, I think to myself that her prayers must be the sweetest sound to Jesus’ ear. Her innocence, passion, and joy are no match for her speech impediment. When she prays, I am convicted to do everything possible to ensure she keeps praying that way—that Jesus never stops hearing her sweet sound. If a biblical worldview education can partner with me in that mission, no amount of sacrifice is too much. I follow that prayer with the prayer that I might always be able to afford this partnership.
Victoria Cobb is President of The Family Foundation of Virginia, the Commonwealth’s largest and oldest pro-family organization. She has a Bachelor Degree from the University of Richmond with majors in Political Science and Leadership Studies. Victoria, her husband Matt, her daughter Elizabeth Reagan, son Timothy Michael, and daughter Emma Grace reside in Richmond.
This article originally appeared in The RENEWANATION Review, Volume 6 Issue 1. If you would like to become a member and receive a print edition of the magazine, please click here. If you would like to learn about other ways you can get involved, please click here.