by Mike McHugh
Over two thousand years before the birth of Christ, the word of God came to a man named Noah warning him of impending judgment and directing him to prepare an ark for the saving of his household. The Scriptures teach us that Noah, being warned of things to come, moved with fear and began to do what God had commanded even though the task was enormous and positively embarrassing.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Noah to receive the command to build an ark in the middle of a region where it had never rained? Noah obviously knew that the job of building a huge vessel and filling it with hundreds of animals would be long and tedious. Why then did he obey? The word of God tells us simply that he "feared" the Lord. In other words, Noah was given the grace and vision to see that true safety lies in holding on to the promises of God even when human pride or reason endeavor to shut out the revelation of God.
Unlike many Christian parents today, Noah understood that obedience to God’s Word is nothing less than an act of faith. Biblical faith is evident when individuals open their hearts to hear the word of God and permit their lives to be ordered by it. The great testimony of Noah’s life was that he was a true man of faith---he took God’s commands seriously, and this pattern of obedience influenced his every decision and priority.
As a godly parent, Noah’s first priority was to act in a way that would ensure his family’s safety and spiritual prosperity. In contrast to this godly model stands the attitude of many Christian parents today who, due to misguided financial or social priorities, fail to protect their children from the destructive influences of secular education. How tragic it is to consider how many Christian homes were spoiled during the twentieth century as a result of worldly-wise parents who neglected to take the faithful step of placing their children in the "ark" of a Christ-centered educational program.
It is my conviction that a parent’s love for God can be measured by the extent to which he is willing to conform his own priorities and decisions to the will of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Each parent has the duty, therefore, to echo the words of Christ as he said to the Father, "…not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). In light of the fact that the Word of God speaks so clearly to parents in regard to how children are to be educated, it seems reasonable to assume that when parents refuse to educate their children in a Christian environment, such parents are either not paying attention to God’s Word, or are failing to take God seriously, or both!
In the Bible we read, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:4) This verse is more than a mere suggestion regarding how we are to order our lives. In the words of Paul the Apostle, Jesus Christ is commanding "all men everywhere to repent"(Acts 17:29), to lay down their own humanistic agendas and priorities, and to build their lives upon the whole counsel of God. Little wonder why the Apostle Paul, when speaking of life as a type of warfare, stated, "For though we walk in the flesh: we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"(2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
In applying these scriptural principles to the parenting role, the question that each of us must continually ask is this: Am I seeking to bring every thought captive to the words of Christ that are found in Holy Scripture? If any parent who confesses Christ cannot answer the preceding question with a clear and honest, "Yes!"; then it is time for such a parent to repent. Like Noah of old, Christian parents must receive their marching orders from the mouth of God---not from the minds of fallible men.
May God use His Word to bring about a deeper level of discernment and courage within the lives of Christian parents, so that they might understand that they and their children are living in times that are truly perilous. Too many parents are still prone to believe that the flood tide of secular humanism will not harm their children, or perhaps have even convinced themselves that it is barely raining. Nevertheless, the waves of foolish and unbiblical teaching are continuing to batter their children’s souls on a daily basis in the secular school classroom and the door of opportunity/escape may soon be closed.
It does require wisdom, faith, and courage for parents to trust that the Lord will truly bless those households who are committed to raising their little ones in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Only the grace of God can enable parents to believe that the man is blessed, "who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners."(Psalm 1) When fathers and mothers reject the anti-biblical wisdom of this world which asserts that children can be trained in both biblical and secular terms, then the Christian home will, once again, be equipped to train boys and girls who can walk like faithful Noah. The commitment to place one’s children in a Christian school or to teach them at home may well be difficult, it may even be embarrassing and open one up to ridicule, but it will definitely be an act of faith that will please Almighty God.
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