I’m an educator. I believe in it. I have a Master’s Degree in Education and just lack my dissertation to have an earned PhD. My wife and kids all have college degrees. I was principal of 3 Christian schools, consulted with 2 others, was a School Board President, Interim Director of an overseas school and have experience teaching in public schools. I even believe the Bible teaches the importance of education. But despite all that I have to say, success in school is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I say this because I’ve seen some parents so focused on good grades that they shred their child’s spirit when the child doesn’t meet performance expectations. Additionally, I have seen parents so concerned about their kids earning their degree from the “right” college that they stand by and idly watch – sometimes even continuing to fund – while the child’s spiritual life goes down the toilet.
Yes, we should encourage our children to do their best. Yes, we should make sure they know education is important, attendance is important, homework is important and yes, even grades are important. But they are not as important as character, spiritual sensitivity, obedience to the Lord and living a life of integrity before God and man.
If you are funding college and you see your child cooling spiritually, not engaging actively in a local church or veering from standards you hold to, jerk the subsidies. You may not be able to force them to return home but you sure don’t have to be a willing party to their destruction by funding the prodigal living in the pig pen.
The GPA we should be most concerned about is their God Pleasing Ambition rather than their Grade Point Average.
What good is it if they graduate summa cum laude from the most prestigious college in the land, get an impressive job paying a huge salary but then use all that education, talent and resource just to serve themselves? Such a person would be better off to have remained poor, dumb and ignorant because God says to whom much is given much will be required. Better that they serve in some menial position, always having to watch their pennies but be a man or woman who does their work unto the Lord, takes their family to church, loves their spouse, raises godly kids, serves God, serves His people and has eternal priorities right than be a highly “successful” pagan spiritually.
The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
(PS – I can’t find the verse that says we owe our kids a college education or that they are mature enough at 18 to leave home to get one. But if you do want to fund it, consider this: I know an extremely wealthy man that required all his kids to successfully complete two years at the local junior college while living at home before he would allow them to go off to the prestigious state college. Money was not the issue. He wanted them to prove they had the maturity it takes to live away from home before he was going to fund it.)