As homeschool parents, God has given us a special job to do—to give our children a thoroughly Christian education. I know from experience that making education Christian can become superficial. But the good thing is that the Bible’s story of creation, fall, and redemption can transform our teaching.
Let’s take some time to meditate on the first part of that story, the creation account. There is so much relevant truth in the first two chapters of Genesis. But our focus today will be on how this account changes our Christian homeschooling. So while the record of the first five days of creation tells us a great deal about God and His Word’s power and faithfulness, we’re going to move quickly to the sixth day and the creation of man.
The Image of God in Man
Understanding the image of God in man is critical to our children’s education. They must know that they are special because they bear the image of God. Even after the fall we continue to bear His image (Genesis 9:6).
As a mirror reflects the image of its subject, so we finite beings can reflect God’s infinite glory in our lives. We might have been cracked by the fall, but we still reflect God’s attributes—though imperfectly.
This view of our humanity should alter the way we look at the academic subjects we’re teaching in our homeschools. For example:
- In science, humans are not a part of the kingdom Animalia. In fact, we rule over the animals.
- In history, all people groups are made in God’s image. That should shape the way we view institutions such as slavery.
- In writing, human communication is significant because communicating with another image-bearer always reflects on God the Master Communicator.
The Creation Blessing
In Genesis 1:28, God blessed humans by calling us to fill the earth and to rule over it. God restated this blessing after the Flood (Genesis 9:1-7). This makes sense for God’s image-bearers. We should multiply so that we can reflect His glory all over His creation.
And as God’s special creation, we should have dominion. Dominion came before the fall, so we don’t need to associate it with cruelty. Rather, exercising dominion over God’s creation means wisely making the earth useful for people to live in.
The two aspects of this double blessing (filling and ruling over the earth) are inseparable. We cannot care for our growing families without pressing God’s creation towards its most useful state.
This blessing is so important in educating our children. How can we care for our families without mastering math? How can we interact with our neighbors without mastering language arts? When our children realize that all the effort they put into mastering science and math or studying literature and history is to fulfill God’s place for them in life, it won’t be a bore; it will be the blessing God intended it to be. That also means that we as parents need to show them the usefulness of this education with real-life learning.
Learning has meaning when we know who we are and why we’re here. God gave us a precious answer to these questions when He said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26).
The sad fact is that humans sinned. Even though we still possess the image of God and we’re still blessed to fill and rule the earth, things in this world are broken. The fall also changes the way we teach our children. But that’s for another post.
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