God is the creator of all things. Therefore, it only makes sense to be in accord with His design for effectiveness in life and maximum happiness. It is necessary to establish some guiding principles to accurately evaluate our educational program.
Biblical Principles of Education
1. Education is a path encouraged by God. God created and designed our minds that a child who grows to maturity should broaden in knowledge, wisdom, and skills (Proverbs 1:1-5). God desires that childish reasoning, speaking, and thinking should be put away with when we mature (I Cor. 13:11).
2. Education is not a recurring process; it must be sought and obtained. Our brains are made to obtain new information until the day we die. God commands us to look for wisdom and understanding. If we seek it, He will give it to us (Proverbs 2:3-6).
3. Education should give us a greater knowledge of God. Paul counted all things, as well as his prestigious education, as loss compared with knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8-10). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of true knowledge (Prov. 1:7). A study of natural phenomena and scientific laws should give us a better knowledge and appreciation for who God is (Psalm 19:1-4, Romans 1:20). Salvation and a right relationship with God require knowledge of God and his Word (Romans 10:14).
4. Education should help us live in agreement with God’s will. God desires that our minds not be squashed into the mold of the world, but be transformed according to His principles so that we can carry out His will in our bodies (Romans 12:1-2).
5. The world’s educational system has different intentions than God’s purposes for mankind. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and desires to deceive people. False teachers rise up to deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting by hindering godly teaching (Romans 16:17-18). There is information available in the world that God does not want His people to have (Romans 16:19). The wisdom of the world seems very arrogant or disdainful and exalts itself against God (II Cor. 10:5), but the foolishness of God is in reality wiser than men (I Cor. 1:25).
6. We are held responsible, by God, for what we take into our minds through our senses (Matthew 5:29, Luke 11:34-36). We are to be wise about what is worthy and innocent about what is immoral (Romans 16:19).
7. An effective education will lead to the greatest satisfaction in life. True wisdom and understanding shall bring blessings, honor, long life, pleasantness, and peace to who find it (Prov. 3:13-18).
8. God is not as concerned with knowledge as with discernment and obedience. Knowledge by itself leads to pride, which is opposed by God (I Cor. 8:1; I Peter 5:5). Proper education goes beyond facts in the mind (Matthew 7:24-28). God’s wisdom is a precious gift distributed to those who have been obedient to prior knowledge (Mark 4:24-25). Discernment occurs through obedient use of knowledge (Hebrews 5:14).
9. The goal of education is the ability to detect falsehood and to gain true knowledge. God’s truth is available to all people (Romans 1:19-20). However, God’s wisdom is discerned only by believers (I Cor. 2:14). All truth is God’s truth. Everything must be measured by Scripture, not by the belief of man (Romans 3:3-4). The truths of God are not subject to the opinions of man (I Cor. 3:18-20). God desires that we would be able to discern the things that are excellent (Phil. 1:9-10).
10. The environment is important to the success of the learning process. The student should not enter the path of the wicked or continue in the way of evil men when seeking an education (Prov. 4:14). The environment would be characterized by kindness and truth and not be a stumbling block (Prov. 3:3; Rom. 14:13). The learning environment should encourage the student’s faith instead than major on myths and speculations (I Tim. 1:4; Titus 3:9).
11. Learning is hard work. Faith, Diligence, and virtuous character are prerequisites to a good education (II Peter 1:5). The student must have a strong desire for his own education (Prov. 17:16).
12. Ultimately the parents are held responsible for the training of their children before God. Some guidance can be delegated to others (Gal. 4:1-2), but the father is held accountable for the training of his children (Eph. 6:4).
13. The main focus of education must be preparation for service to God and not on making money. We are not to be worried about what we shall eat or drink. This would include being concerned about getting a certain type of education that would allow us to eat or drink in a certain fashion (Matt. 6:31). If we concentrate on seeking to advance God’s kingdom, he will supply what we need (Matt. 6:33). But we are not to be hasty and idle. We must be prepared to work in order to eat (II Thess. 3:10). The Apostle Paul served as our example (II Thess. 3:7). Along with his liberal arts education, he had learned a skilled trade (Acts 22:3). The trade enabled him to make a living, while the liberal arts education enabled him to minister to a wide variety of people with a broad range of needs (I Cor. 9:22).
14. Children should be educated in unity with their God-given nature. God knows our structure (Psalm 103:14). He ordained all of our days before we were conceived (Psalm 139:16). He sets us apart for certain mission from before birth (Gal. 1:15). God has foreordained the good works he wants us to do (Eph. 2:10). God’s education will prepare us for every good work (II Tim. 3:16-17).