Who does your child trust? Children educated in the public school system spend most of their days and nights at home with parents, but 8 hours a day they are with their teachers. Your child’s teacher or teachers hold a lot of authority over him or her. Do you trust your child’s teacher? Do you even know your child’s teacher? How old is she? Is he married with or without children? What does she do in her spare time? Does he have similar views to your family on things that matter most? If not, does your child know that and how does he or she justify the differences?
Growing up, I did not know that I was being indoctrinated with worldly ideas and philosophies. I simply believed whatever my teachers told me. It was not until I started taking my faith seriously in college, and specifically my junior year off college at at Christian University, that I realized that some things I had assumed to be true about the universe, people, and my education were actually false when measured by the standard of the Bible. I didn’t talk to my parents about the faulty lessons I was learning, because, again, I didn’t know I was learning theories rather than facts or assumptions rather than realities. My teachers meant well. My parents trusted them (and in many cases were friends with them), but we did not, as far as I can remember, discuss what I now call “filtering.”
When I was a youth pastor, I presented the idea to my students that not all things that call themselves Christian or are placed in a Christian bookstore are right. The students freaked out a bit. The idea that something they automatically trusted because of its name or location was being called into question and it made them very nervous. That was exactly my goal. I wanted them to filter what was entering their brains like a spaghetti strainer strains the water and preserves the noodles.
Our children need to be taught that they must filter EVERYTHING they hear, read, see, and experience with the standard of Scripture. Just because it’s called Christian doesn’t mean it’s good. Just because it’s taught by their teachers doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy or reality. I think most parents fail to train their children about filtering because they were never taught how to do it themselves. Here’s what it takes:
-Learn the standard of measurement you are using, the Bible. Get to know it so well that when a counterfeit comes before you, you know it’s not the real thing and your red flashing lights start going off. Then call it what it is and deal with it together with your children.
-Teach your children the standard of measurement! Use it to discuss practical things with your children like friendship, how to be a leader, the importance of apologizing and forgiving, and how to honor your authorities while still filtering everything they say.
-Ask your children what they are learning about in school. Teach your children to ask “why.” Ask them questions like, “Why do you think people believe that?” “What does the Bible say about that?” (Then look up the answers together.)
-If your children can’t or won’t tell you what is being taught, get into their classrooms or at the very least talk to their teachers on a regular basis. Their teachers are paid to teach your children how to read, do math, and about social studies, but it is YOUR job to educate and train them how to process the information they are taught. Your children’s public school teachers are not going to paint the backdrop of faith for your children, that is your job.
You can do it and it is so worth it when you do. You will be training thinking and filtering adults instead of “yes men” and “blind faith” following women. There’s nothing more powerful than a Spirit filled, educated, thinking Christian… start watering and nourishing some!