Christian Parent, Christian School: A Potentially Powerful Partnership
Peruse the handbook of almost any Christian school, and you will most likely encounter the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). It is usually found in the school’s purpose, vision, or philosophy statement. In other words, it is the underlying principle for the school’s existence. This should be a comfort and inspiration to the Christian parent whose mission in parenting is the same!
In Scripture, parents are ordained as the God-given authority over children; the church is the God-given authority over believers. With these two entities working together, they can delegate authority to a school that will continue to carry out the same mission in training children as Scripture dictates. Put these three together (the home, the church, and the school) and you will find that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). If a child is being taught the same truth from the three primary institutions that dominate his or her life, a firm foundation is laid that cannot easily be shaken.
So, what should a partnership between a Christian school and Christian parents look like in order to complete this “cord of three strands”? First, there must be a common and agreed-upon belief system and purpose. You cannot have a true partnership without this. Be sure you understand the school’s statement of faith and are committed to the same basic scriptural principles for training children. If you are in agreement, then . . .
The school should
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Part of our philosophy at Eagle Heights Christian school is that rules without a relationship can end up causing a rebellious attitude. The answer is not to have a Laissez-faire type system, but to have rules coupled with strong relationship-based discipleship. We strive to build relationships with our students and not just force a set of rules on them. Especially as students move into the junior high and high school years, we want to help them understand the biblical principles behind the rules. We want them to understand the reason for the rule and answer the questions they may have regarding our standards of conduct. When they fail, and most will at some time, we want to lovingly help restore them. Discipleship demands time and Christian love. We hire faculty and staff who are committed to the discipleship-relationship building process, not those who are just there to enforce the rules.
We believe the same is true in our homes. We want to partner with you to make that happen in your family.
Loving relationships are the glue that hold families together too and help smooth over the arguments, struggles and growing pains that every family faces during those growing up years. The principles of the Bible apply at home just as they do in relationships at work, school and church. Principles of love in 1 Cor. 13 such as thinking no evil, assuming the best, not holding grudges etc. need to be adhered to. There are many other relationship principles as well such as the principles of reconciliation found in Matthew 5 and other places. We can study principles such as "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath..." (Eph. 4:26) and so many more that can and should be found. These biblical principles apply at home and at school.
Take time to build relationships. Find common ground and utilize it. Go out for coffee or shakes (food is almost always common ground) watch sports together, learn to play a video game. Perhaps you hunt or fish, sew or bake, whatever you can find to engage in with the goal of building the relationship, do it!
Don't only spend time when there is an issue. Make "deposits" in their lives as often as you can by spending that time with them, saying "I love you" or sending them a text from across the room letting them know you're proud of them. These deposits allow you to make "withdrawals" and yet not damage the relationship when there are disagreements or discipline issues.
If rules and regulations are enforced in a student's life at home or at school without an on-going love infused relationship, rebellion will almost always be the result.
We want to partner with parents in helping young people grow up in a loving atmosphere of structured, discipleship infused relationships.
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