What is the purpose of education? Have you ever really thought about it before? I haven’t until we started homeschooling and Bry and I began asking ourselves why do we want to personally educate our children.
There are many answers out there today. Ask around and you may hear as many opinions as there are people. The purpose of education simply to know a lot of things and feel really smart! To pass tests so you can make it out of school and spend your time doing what you really want. To gain knowledge is another favorite. Another very common thought going around today – for “career readiness” i.e. to get you ready for a job.
But what if education is about something deeper? Maybe the purpose of education is not simply about about the facts we learn but about shaping our character as we learn more about God. Maybe education isn’t about simply gaining knowledge but actually gaining wisdom. And according to the Bible wisdom begins with fearing the Lord.
Did you know what the Rabbis considered the highest form of worship? The study of Scripture in order to be changed. Not singing, praying, sacrificing, fasting… but study. Have you ever thought about the fact that you are worshiping God as you meditate on Scripture and commit it to memory. You are worshiping God as you attend Sunday school or Bible study. You are worshiping God as you spend time in His Word getting to know Him and therefore, becoming more like Him.
The Jewish people have long recognized that students become like their teachers, therefore education has always been highly valued. A good teacher will pull his or her students up, shaping their characters in huge ways. A bad teacher can do the exact opposite. During the days of Jesus and even somewhat today in Israel, disciples would leave home and live with their Rabbis (teachers) to watch how they lived every moment of the day bc they realized learning wasn’t just about gaining the knowledge this person had but watching how this person lived and applied that knowledge to his or her daily life.
There are so many applications for us!
As parents – we are suppose to be discipling our children – whether they learn grammar, math, and science with us or with someone else – we are to be helping shape their characters as they watch us and see how we live. Parenting isn’t about training my kids simply to live today but helping to prepare them for tomorrow.
As believers – who are we letting teach us? What mentors do we have in our own lives if any? What people are we emulating or wanting to learn from? Are they godly teachers that will help us grow in wisdom or are they simply “great at sports” but their character leaves a lot to be desired. Remember a student becomes like his or her teacher. Who’s teaching you?
And as disciples of Jesus… are you living like your Rabbi? Are you learning to walk as He walked? Are you hearing His words, seeing how He loved and served, how He always told the truth, and how He prayed? Do you know His Scriptures and are you memorizing His teachings?
Are you using education simply to gain knowledge or are you letting it shape your character?