#3: The education of children and youth must have as its primary goal the salvation of and discipleship of the next generation.
- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen"
- That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Philip May in his book "Which Way to Educate" compares today's educator to the field general who has become so involved in the details and strategies of the immediate battle that he has lost sight of the overall strategy of the war or has actually forgotten why it is being fought. Christian parents must never forget that the only goal with true meaning for why we educate our children is for them to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
If our children become national merit scholars and do not know Christ, what have we achieved of lasting value? Christ told His disciples that He wanted them to make disciples and this happened when a person received a new identity in Christ and was empowered into a lifelong relationship with Christ characterized by love, trust and obedience.
As we assume our responsibilities to diligently teach our children God's ways and we do this all day long, we must always strive to see them follow Christ in all they do. In fact, we can know that we have been successful in this task when we see our children and our grandchildren teach their children to know God and keep His commandments.
Christians must develop a single-minded focus for the purpose behind the education of their children. This purpose is to see their children become mature followers of Christ. As we ask ourselves certain questions, we can evaluate how well we are doing in practicing this principle.
- Am I consistently sharing the gospel with my children?
- Am I a mature disciple of Christ where my life is characterized by love, trust and obedience to Him?
- Do all the educational efforts that I provide my child, both at and away from home, point my child to Christ and help him follow Christ? (You must keep in mind that this must be applied to all a child does, i.e., music, movies, recreation, schooling, etc.).
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