As a dad, I’ve appreciated Karin’s posts on family devotions. Family worship offers me the opportunity to disciple my children with intentionality. As I gather my three daughters daily to read God’s Word, I’m trying to obey the command in Deuteronomy 6:7 to “teach them diligently.” So it’s encouraging to hear about others practicing family worship and to learn that they’re experiencing (and overcoming) the same difficulties.
Of course, our obligation to diligently teach our families to love God isn’t fulfilled in a routine Bible time. We’re supposed to teach God’s Word when we’re sitting, when we’re walking, when we’re lying down, and when we’re waking up. It’s an all-day, every-day commitment.
For my girls, a large part of their daily life is education, so it’s important to me that their education is contributing to their discipleship. In fact, since education is worship, I want to give my daughters a biblical worldview education.
Education Is Worship
It’s easy to look at teaching kids how to subtract or read as “neutral.” After all, 2 + 2 = 4 whether you’re a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist. But education is far too foundational an undertaking to occur without a purpose. From age five to eighteen, my girls will spend over fourteen thousand hours learning math, science, history, and language arts. All of that effort has to be for a purpose, or it’s a waste of time. Even children know that education needs a purpose. While answering their twenty-three math problems, they will ask the critical question: “Why do I have to learn this?”
In his book The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School, Neil Postman observed that education is worship when he said, “For school to make sense, the young, their parents, and their teachers must have a god to serve, or even better, several gods.” He argues that American public schools are dedicated to serving, among others, the god of consumerism. Worshipers of consumerism learn so that they can get jobs and buy the best cars, houses, and vacations. If Postman, who was a secular humanist, sees the religious nature of education, we Christian dads need to think through the worship implications of the education choices we make for our children.
The Purpose of Education
After my wife and I got engaged, we would take long walks where we’d discuss how we planned to run our household. Since both of us received a biblical worldview education, we wanted this same education for our children. It was and still is important to us that we teach our children to glorify God and love their neighbor as themselves through math, science, history, and language arts. My daughters need to know that math isn’t the key to financial security and prosperity; it’s a tool God gives us to obey His commands. That context is crucial for using education to serve God instead of the god of consumerism. If I am going to obey Deuteronomy 6:7, I have to diligently teach my daughters that the purpose of their education is serving God.
Before I was born, my dad determined that his children would be homeschooled so that they could receive a biblical worldview education. I owe so much to my dad for that gift. Now as a dad, I want to teach my daughters that worshiping God isn’t limited to Sunday church services. We serve God through the right kind of education; therefore, my wife and I are committed to providing our daughters with a biblical worldview education.