November 24, 2012

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

This verse should be inscribed over the entry to every institution of learning, but sadly, it isn’t. Most schools focus on knowledge, which is distinct from wisdom and understanding. Knowledge isn’t bad, but by itself it has no moral compass, and often can be immensely impractical. This is why home-schooled children often turn out so much better than those sent to public schools. It isn’t that the public schools are necessarily bad, it’s that they aren’t enough to provide a true education, and they have the wrong emphasis. If parents are fully engaged with their children, providing moral and religious example and instruction, then public schools can be very useful, and are certainly convenient. However, for the past several decades at least, parents tend to pack their children off to school and think they have thereby fulfilled all their obligation for the education and training of their children. The results of such irresponsible misunderstanding are plain to see. Home schooling certainly isn’t for every family, but every parent needs to understand that “book learning” is just a fraction of their children’s education. Sadly, many parents don’t have the “fear of the Lord and knowledge of the Holy One” to impart to their children. That is the first step, and everything proceeds from that.

I was not home schooled and neither were my children, but my parents were highly engaged with us children, and I tried to be so with my own children. (We actually tried home schooling for a while with our older daughter soon after we arrived in Omura, but there were numbers of problems.) I currently teach in a couple of private schools, but they are on the college level and so well past the optimal point for starting moral and religious instruction. Even so, I feel I do have a good impact on the students in the direction indicated by this verse. The schools are totally secular, but after 30 years of my teach­ing they seem to grasp that I’m imparting more than the curriculum would indicate, and thankfully, they seem to appreciate it. I have a real desire to get the truth of this verse across to parents, but that task is all the more daunting when the Christian population of Japan is so small. However, I am not to give up, but rather understand that it is in God’s hands, and He can use even me to do His will.

Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You that my daughters turned out as well as they did even though we sent them to boarding school, which is the antithesis of home schooling, for several years. Thank You for the opportunity just yesterday to communicate some of the truth of this passage to some people in a non-religious way, since they were not Christians. Thank You for the opportunity I’ll have today, in performing three weddings, to proclaim the truth of Your love and grace to people who have probably never heard it. I pray that Your words through me would impact each hearer, opening their eyes to see themselves and their need and You and Your supply, so that they may repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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