25 Feb What Does the Bible Say About Education?
Understanding What the Bible Says About Education
We have the great privilege of living in a country and a time where the importance of education is emphasized. Both children and adults have access to countless resources, allowing them to grow in knowledge in virtually any area of interest. Even outside of a traditional setting, education is seemingly unavoidable. But, is education really that important when viewed through the lens of Scripture?
What does the Bible say about education? We find countless examples of education found throughout the Bible. Jesus Himself sat under the teaching and leadership of those older than He as He matured. This is just one, albeit the greatest, example of the importance of education in the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments champion wisdom, knowledge, and education in both a practical and a spiritual sense.
So, how does this translate into our everyday lives? Should we put a greater emphasis on spiritual education or is practical education just as important? Does the Bible support an adult pursuing further education or should that time be spent in other ways?
These are all questions we must ask ourselves as we seek to develop a Biblical view of education. In this post, we will dive into the topic of education as seen in the Bible, learning more about how to practically apply this insight in our everyday lives.
Definition of Education From a Worldly Perspective
Merriam-Webster defines education as “the action or process of educating or of being educated; the knowledge and development resulting from the process of being educated.”
When we think of education from a worldly perspective, we think of formal education. The type of education that children in America are required by law to receive. Most children do not understand the privilege of this opportunity or fully grasp the importance of receiving a practical education in the formal sense of the word.
It is our role to help them understand the implications of crucial life skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic through a Biblical lens. While this will not automatically cure homework woes at the end of a long day, it will begin to form a lens through which our children view education.
Types of Education
There are, of course, several types of education. For this article, we will divide education into two categories: practical and Biblical. Both types of education provide unique benefits that allow us to better serve and glorify God through our daily lives. You can learn more about what the Bible says about education here.
After we establish foundational knowledge of practical skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, we are released into adulthood. At this point, young adults are faced with the decision to pursue a higher level of practical education through a university, trade school, or another type of certification program.
This decision can be complicated by many factors. However, for Christians, many young adults wrestle with the importance of pursuing further practical education. For many professions and careers, additional education is imperative to success in your role. Pursuing further education allows you to perform with greater efficacy and professionalism, serving God in your respective field.
Growing up in a Christian home provides a child with access to Biblical education from a young age. However, even for adults, there are countless opportunities to participate in Biblical education. Seminary may be the first type of Biblical leaning to come to mind. However, this is not the only way to grow in your wisdom and knowledge of God.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 we read, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
As Christians, we should emphasize and prioritize Biblical education into adulthood just as much as we emphasize practical education.
What is the Goal of Education for Christians?
In every area of life, we must strive to ensure that our motives behind our decisions and actions are pure. Although education can be an incredible tool, it can also misdirect us in our pursuit of Christ.
Education Points Us Towards God
One of the primary goals of education for Christians is that our education should point us towards God. God’s fingerprint can be seen in every area of practical knowledge from the complexities of science and biology to the fascinating feats of heroes throughout history. Through growing in practical knowledge, we can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the many miraculous feats God performs daily.
Education Better Equips Us for Our Calling
As Christians, we believe that we each have a unique calling and giftings that will allow us to serve God. Many times, Christians fail to see their career choice as their calling. They believe instead that missionaries and individuals in ministry are the only ones to whom this concept applies.
Whether we fully understand how our education is preparing us for the future or not, we know that the goal of education should be to equip us for our calling. From practical skills such as how to run a home efficiently to complex mathematics that allows an individual to serve as an accountant, education is of the utmost importance.
Each of us is called to manage both our time and resources well. Through education, we can more efficiently accomplish this task for the glory of God.
Education Provides Us With Resources to Use for God’s Glory
Finally, the third goal of education for Christians should be to learn skills that provide us with resources to use for God’s glory. By excelling in our profession or trade, we receive a financial reward. Through these financial resources, we can bring glory to God.
Of course, these are just a few of the goals of education for Christians. Ultimately, in everything we do, we must constantly strive to bring glory and honor to God.
The Importance of Education in The Bible
The Bible provides us with many examples of the importance of both Biblical and practical education.
From the story of Moses, we know that he was educated in practical topics such as science, law, architecture, writing, math, and history, to name a few. Acts 7:22 provides us with greater insight into Moses’ education. In this verse we read, “And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.”
We know that Moses’ education in practical subjects allowed him to more effectively lead the people of Israel, bringing glory to God.
Another great example of education in the Bible is the story of Daniel. Throughout the book of Daniel, we find countless stories of Daniel’s practical education and Spiritual wisdom. Because of this great knowledge and understanding, Daniel was promoted to be in charge of the nation by King Nebuchadnezzar, an honor that would not have been possible without his education.
Through his education and knowledge, Daniel was able to make a massive impact on Babylon, bringing glory to God in this unique position.
These are just two of the countless examples of both practical knowledge and Biblical wisdom found through both the Old and New Testaments. Through the Bible, we see how God carefully equips each individual with the skills and knowledge they need to accomplish their calling for His glory. As Christians, we must strive to view our education today through this same lens.
What the Bible Says About Educating Your Children
As Christian parents, we have the incredible weight and responsibility of providing our children with the education they need in both a practical and Spiritual sense. What type of school will they attend? How are we to best incorporate Biblical lessons into their education?
In Proverbs 22:6 we read, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This verse is often viewed through a strictly Biblical lens. However, I believe that it applies to traditional, practical education as well. There is great debate in the Christian circle regarding public school, private school, or homeschool. However, there is no one ‘right’ answer.
As parents, we must seek to gain insight and wisdom through the Scriptures and Biblical counsel. Our responsibility is to make a decision that will allow our children to excel in both practical knowledge and Biblical wisdom. Regardless of the format in which they receive their education, our ultimate calling is to ensure that they are instructed in the truths found in Scripture.
Prioritizing Education in Our Daily Life
At a certain point in our adult life, we seem to think that we have gained all the education we need. We must continue to prioritize education in our daily life in both a Spiritual and practical sense. By learning more about the Bible, we can more effectively share our faith with those around us. Through continued education in our profession, we can excel in our careers. By learning more about our government, we can continue to promote a nation that provides equality, liberty, and justice for all. Let us all strive to view education as the gift and privilege it truly is!