Lifelong learners

The Standard September 8, 2022

The final year of high school for the Class of 2023 is underway while the Class of 2035 has embarked upon the fun and adventure of kindergarten. Most local preschools started this week just after Labor Day. Lunchables, crayons, notebooks and folders have been on sale for over a month. Some parents almost cry at the prospect of summer coming to a close and their children going off to school, while others feel like jumping for joy. Churches are kicking off new Sunday School classes and other Christian Education programs.

Undoubtedly, instilling a lifelong love of learning should be a top goal for all of us. This passion might take years to kick into gear, even well after the school years.

The first and arguably most influential classroom is the home. As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles our role in teaching children is of immeasurable importance and presents an enormous responsibility. What we model makes more of an impression than the words we say. The Scriptural foundation we lay provides a framework for everything else our children will learn.

“For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:10-11)

“Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.” “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations.” “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  (Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 5-6a; 9)

“These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-7)

Finally, Jesus explained in the Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

As adults, our role is as a perpetual student who passes along the truth God has given. Let us pray that the current school year will be one of remarkable learning and growth for all students- young and old.

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