Raising a child to achieve their maximum potential ranks high on the parental checklist. However, this shouldn’t just revolve around career and money but should also reflect on them as a person from a moral standpoint.
A Christian education presents parents with an effective method of developing their children. With the Bible usually as its foundation, Christian schooling not only imbues you with moral responsibility and a code to live your life, but it acts as a gateway to a broader community of lifelong support.
What Defines a Christian Education
Christian education can be administered in three distinct ways: formal, semi-formal, or home-based.
A formal Christian education is usually conducted through an established Christian school approved by the department of education, the sort of school that every child from kindergarten to grade twelve will attend as part of their general schooling.
Although overseen by local school districts and state education departments, these schools, like the Christian Academy at this site, have been established and are run by a Christian church, be that Catholic, other denominational, and now, becoming more frequently popular, non-denominational churches.
The education follows the government and state curriculums but with an emphasis placed on Christian values and will usually include extended religious education subjects as well as having prayers and Christian services as part of the school day and week.
Semi-Formal Christian Education
If you are unfortunate enough not to live close enough to the school catchment area for your church’s denomination, or you wish to extend your children’s Christian education further. In these circumstances, you may be inclined to use semi-formal or home-based education.
The church you attend will generally control the nature of semi-formal schooling. Many churches, particularly non-denominational churches, have strong education programs that are offered before and after Sunday services at the specific church and are not subject to education board or state oversight.
Here the emphasis is solely on the Christian aspect of education and for denominational churches based on the teaching and structure of the church, and for non-denominational churches on bible studies and what it can tell us in how to lead our lives.
Home-Based Christian Education
Beyond formal and semi-formal, many families carry out a home-based study. Home Christian schooling can be complimentary or stand-alone to both of the others.
The reasons for having a home-based Christian education can be many. From taking and expanding what has been previously taught to wanting to shape their Christian education and teach it in a very specific way. You may also live in an isolated environment that provides little other option if you want to instill Christian values into your children.
What Does a Cristian Education Provide
At the heart of a Christian education is what it provides to the child. In a world where God is fast evaporating from many people’s lives, a void is often left. The decision to abandon God is generally made on an adult level leaving children in a family potentially rudderless.
There can be more to Christian schooling than just about immersing yourself in religion. It is not just about learning about and helping your children get closer to the Lord. The main driving force behind your desire for your children to have a formal Christian education can be subsidiary.
There are significant derivative benefits such as ethos, personal discipline, and family that arise from undergoing a Christian education. These character development tools can act as building blocks for your child’s future life, providing motivations grounded by a moral compass.
What Is Ethos
Ethos is an ancient Greek word that translates as ‘character.’ The word itself is used in modern parlance to apply to a mode of thought through which we live our lives.
If you stand back and just for a moment take the religious element away from Christianity, what you are left with is a structure by which a life is lived. By then adding back the religion, this structure is provided context, and this context includes a set of moral parameters through which we can judge our and other people’s actions.
The best place to introduce an ethos is through the education process. In an educational environment, the imbued Christian and moral framework is shared with everyone. A sense of community becomes central to the process as all students are invested with the same principles.
Why is a Christian Ethos Better?
It is true that without religion you can still have and be taught ethos and have it ingrained in a school setting. The problem is that the parameters of this form of ethos have no foundations and are, in effect, built on sand. As modern society stands testament to, this form of ethos doesn’t take much to disintegrate as they fail or fall foul of life’s traps.
A Christian ethos tends not to unravel in the same manner. It has solid support blocks underpinning it, providing an independent moral compass, with the ability to call on a higher authority to pass judgment on your actions. Standing against a God-given moral code is harder than one from man.
Creating a Disciplined individual
With ethos comes better self-discipline. A set of rules and a moral code creates a far more disciplined person and society as a whole.
Rules learned from a young age provide mental checks. They allow you to navigate temptations and help you make better choices as you have moral guidelines to reflect upon.
Of course, a Christian education will not make you perfect. However, for most people, even if you go on to break these rules, there is a certain amount of cognitive conflict experienced and almost certainly a portion of guilt.
Moving away from your Christian code with your actions doesn’t mean a permanent break and can even be part of the learning process. The weight of guilt can be far heavier when you know you have let both yourself and your community down.
A Sense of Family
Outside of your nuclear family, a Christian education fully incorporates you into the much wider Christian community. The education process molds you through the church and the shared ethos that is taught into a family of people with a common purpose.
You learn to live and love as this family, and with that comes a sense of belonging and commitment to each other, so as one falls, there is someone else to pick him up and help and support them. Your actions have community implications as well as for yourself.
A child can benefit significantly from a Christian education. It provides one of the most critical linkages in the chain that will ultimately connect that child to God, helping them establish a personal relationship with the Lord that will last their lifetime.
With this relationship, some rules and boundaries create an ethos within that child, providing them with a moral framework to navigate life and ensure their connection with the Lord stays strong. The philosophy, though, is shared and provides the bonds through which family and community emerge.
This community provides a strong base from which loyalty is engendered. These motivations help create a commitment to support each other, even those who fail for the good of everyone, motivations that ultimately spill across into life as a whole.
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