Building up believers and the New Testament church

Education of Children

Training Versus Education

There is no question that God has given parents: the responsibility of training children. It is not the responsibility either of the government or of the church. Only parents have the place in the life of a child to train as God intended. But some go farther, to make education the same as training. If we will consider this matter carefully, I believe we can see these are not one and the same. To make them the same can lead us down a wrong road, and put burdens on some parents that they are not able to bear.

Training is a matter of building character and guiding the overall growth and maturity of a child. This includes such items as diligence, faithfulness, submissiveness, honesty, patience, good manners, good work habits, orderliness, kindness, gentleness, thankfulness, generosity, neatness and loyalty. All of these traits and more can be taught whether or not a child ever learns how to read and write, or do any mathematics. Indeed, there are many in other cultures who do not have the need or the opportunity to become educated as we know education; yet they are trained by their parents, learn a skill that enables them to earn a living (such as fishing), and conduct themselves honorably in their own place. Education or lack of education does not make them a better-trained person.

Education, on the other hand, has to do with learning specific skills. It may be in the common areas of reading, writing, and arithmetic, or it may include other skills normally taught in the classroom that are necessary to function in the jobs that are available in a highly technical society. Some children learn these skills more easily than others. Then there are other skills which are best taught by working with mature craftsmen who possess a skill and are willing to teach others on the job.

Our culture has glorified education to the point of being a god or an idol, making it the answer to everything. It does not take much discernment, though, to see that education does not deal with the heart of man and is not the cure-all to man's evils.