When a parents' intentions are right, and they have the money to dedicate to it, then I think it is a great opportunity for a child to strive for excellence.
But for us, we have come to a crossroads.
9 years and 4 kids later, we had to re-evaluate that decision and it came down to this:
- Are we being wise with God's money...is Private school a necessity or a luxury? Luxury
- And, are our intentions for Christian education Godly or not? Hmmmm....
First, I always said it wasn't, but I think I did consider private school as a necessity for our boys(and girl :) ) to be sheltered from the world. Jesus doesn't want us to be apart from the world, he wants us to use the fallen world to glorify Him. I am not saying that my children should be witnesses to the fallen world...they are too young and that's a lot of pressure for an 8 or 6 year old. But what I do think, is they need to step out of the shelter to learn HOW to make wise choices, to understand the difference between a Believer's choice and a non-Believer's decision. Giving them the opportunity to love the non-believer is such a great thing, it's Christ's great commandment...and to be honest, I don't know if they know anyone who doesn't believe right now.
This will take ALOT of faith in God's protection of our boys' hearts, but knowing that, makes it all the more necessary.
Also, being actively involved in a public school as a parent, gives me the great opportunity to not just point fingers as an outsider, but to show Christ's love and make differences as well.
Second, and most important in our decision, is that we were using private school as a crutch in our parenting. It was easy to be relaxed about their Biblical knowledge and Christian influence at home since we knew they were getting it five days a week at school. You know how public schools sometimes have to take up the parenting role for kids...well, we were letting the private school take up the Spiritual role model for our kids...and this is NOT biblical at all. In the end, all the knowledge and Bible verses that have been taught to my children, will only matter if there is a heart change.
And no school, teacher, or Bible lesson can guarantee that, only God. And He entrusted the shaping of that heart to us, as parents alone.
We are responsible for our children's spiritual well-being, and although we have not completely let go of that responsibility with private school, we have caressed the edge of making it a lower priority on our part.
So, at first this decision spurred from a money-consciousness, but then, as we hashed it out, I realized all the good that can come out of this. Our pastor at church keeps talking about being uncomfortable...God wants us to be uncomfortable to do great things for Him...if we were comfortable in all we do, then we run the risk of a mediocre walk with Him, and missed opportunities to reach out in Christ's love. If anything is uncomfortable for this mama, it's changing to public school...but I can see how God's glory can come from this change, and I think I'm ready to give God the reigns on this one.