March 28, 2017
Florida Christian School has provided families, in the southwest Miami community, with the option of a Christian education since the late 1960’s, and will celebrate 50 years of serving the Lord, and this community in the 2017-18 school year. For many years a significant number of our high school graduates, have attended FCS since pre-school or kindergarten, and the track record of their success is extremely impressive. For many families, having their students attend FCS is a great sacrifice, but so often parents have shared with me that it has been a great investment in their child’s life and they have no regrets. So why do parents, who could choose to send their children to a free public school, charter school, or state funded program, choose to pay tuition to have their children at FCS? The answers may vary from parent to parent, but there is a common point at which the school’s mission and the parent’s desires meet.
The Bible speaks to parents about the responsibility of raising their children in a way that instills a responsibility to God. I know that the families of Florida Christian School believe that this is one of their great responsibilities they have as parents and I believe it is why a family would sacrifice to pay tuition to have their children in a school which teaches students the truth about God and His Word. They choose to put their money behind their beliefs. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.” When children are young and impressionable, they need Christian parents who are willing to instill into their children the ways of the Lord. They also need Christian parents who will provide as much help and support as possible, especially in the school age years, by making sure that this is how their children are taught in the classroom.
Anyone who has studied the Bible realizes that it is the parents who have been given the greatest part of the responsibility to teach their children the ways of the Lord. In light of the present educational climate, which seeks to influence the minds of children at an earlier age, the question begs to be asked, “When should parents begin teaching their children about their responsibility to God? We know that the Bible instructs children to obey and honor their parents, but notice the responsibility of the parent. Ephesians 6:1-4, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” The last verse talks about parents training and admonishing their children. Most people would agree on what training is, and that children must be trained in everything they do.
Our goal here at FCS is to be a well-rounded school and provide our students with opportunities to grow and be trained in every area oftheir life. But what about admonition. This is the responsibility of the parent as well, and so it is a responsibility which is naturally assumed by the Christian school. The word “admonition” in the Bible means, “putting into the mind that which one is accountable to God for.” The distinction of the Christian school is to put into the mind of students that they are accountable to God in every aspect of their life. It is in this responsibility that the greatest distinction between the Christian school and the public or secular school is portrayed. In fact, in government run or subsidized schools, teachers are not allowed to teach about a student’s Biblical responsibility to God. Ultimately, teaching the “admonition of the Lord” is the reason why a family would choose to sacrifice to pay to keep their children in a Christian school.
Of course we know that there is no magical formula and no guarantees, and that by just sending our children to a Christian school they will make right decisions and focus their priorities on the will of God in their life. But I believe that if when they are young, we don’t actively encourage them in the ways of God and admonish them to obey the principles of God’s Word, we are playing a dangerous game. We cannot expect that later in life our children will make right decisions about their relationship with God. In fact, the statistics suggest just the opposite. It is not an absolute, but chances are our children’s perspective of their responsibility to God will be formed before they leave our school, and will develop their perspective through the people in their lives who influence them the most and spend the most time with them in their school days. Once they walk across that stage and receive their high school diploma, the influence of the parent and of FCS is diminished. Although the result of the years of influence from those school days will continue to impact their lives, the way it influences them will surely change.
The fact is, as parents and Christian educators, we need to take advantage of the opportunity provided by Christian education, to influence children at an early age and throughout all of their school days, in fulfillment of our scriptural responsibility and our scriptural mandate. My prayer is that the pressures of the economy and personal finances will not prevent our families from being able to place their most important treasure into the caring and nurturing environment of Florida Christian School. As a Christian school, our commitment is to emphasize to our students their accountability to God, and help our parents build a solid foundation upon which each student’s life will be based. What could possibly be more important?