I have spent the better part of my life raising kids, first my own, and then assisting thousands of parents in raising theirs over the last 30 years in various Christian schools. My husband, Pastor Rob, and I have three beautiful sons of our own: Robbie (31), Mikie (30), and Thomas (28). Five years ago we acquired a wonderful daughter-in-law, Alessandra Myers, who has since blessed us with two gorgeous grand babies – Rebecca, age 2, and Benjamin who is almost six months old. My greatest pride and joy in this life is my family. I have always known that when all is said and done at the end of one’s life, those who will be by your bedside in your old age will be your family. Perhaps this is why I have deliberately invested the better part of my life in my family, and perhaps because the Bible tells us to be intentional in how we raise up our children as well. Proverbs 6:22 states:
“Train (raise) up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This is not only the motto of our school, but also the motto for my family. This short proverb by King Solomon (known as the wisest man on earth) shares with us God’s heart in how to raise our kids. Within this nugget of wisdom, there are four major truths that tell us the “how” and “why” we are to raise our children according to God’s principles.
1) “Train” – this word comes from the word “discipline” or “disciple”. In other words, parents are to be very intentional in what and how they disciple their children. Parents are not to set out to punish their children into doing what they expect, but to train them in love. “Fathers, do not exasperate (provoke) your children unto anger, but rather raise them up in the love and admonition of our Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) Parents are to raise their children in love according to “the way they should go.”
2) “A Child” – This word translated literally means “infant.” Parents are expected to begin training their children from infancy. Today, we know that from birth – seven years of life are truly the formative years. The initial spiritual impression and emotional attachment that takes place in the life of a child during these years stays with the child for the duration of his/her lifetime. God reminds of this truth when Moses speaks to the people of Israel in Deut. 6: 5-7:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Teach them to your children when you sit at home, when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Dr. Estelle Myers
Thank you for considering Miami Baptist Church and School at West Kendall to meet the educational needs of your children. As you consider the cost of a private Christian school, the question comes to mind, “What are the real benefits for my child?”
In Christian school education, we see the training process as a three-legged chair or stool. Each leg of the stool represents the childhood learning environments of home, school, and church. These have always been recognized as the primary molders and shapers of the child’s education and character development. The analogy is made that if one leg is missing, the stool will fall. The scripture states in Ecclesiastes 4:12:
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.”
Considering the total number of hours that a child spends at school (6-8 per day) in comparison to church (3-10 per week) or awake at home (4-6 per day), the school becomes a major and active participant in how the character of your child is impacted daily. It is not logical to conclude that we, as parents, will influence our children more, over the years, if we spend less time with them than others who are highly influential in their lives. This is not a matter to be taken lightly, especially since research supports the fact that the moral character and basic belief system of the child is established within the first seven years of life. It is during these formative years that that we should be extremely cautious of the role models we set forth in our children’s lives.
You are to be commended for considering Christian education and not taking chances with your child’s development. Christian school enrollment has increased over the years for the following reasons: quality academics, safe physical environment, Bible centered curriculum, and the teaching of high moral standards. Dr. James Carper, Professor of American Education History at the University of South Carolina, said, “Education by its very nature is a value-laden enterprise. It will either implicitly or explicitly express some world view.” The school’s philosophy of education is what parents should be most concerned with. At MBS our philosophy is found in Proverbs 22:6:
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
What price can you put on the success of your child’s positive and healthy development, with the result being a caring and productive member in our society? The price of your child’s education will literally reap eternal benefits for both of you, unlike that car payment which eventually results in rust! As a wise man once said, “If you think education is costly, try ignorance!” Please stop by my office if you have any questions; my door is always open.
May God bless you and your family,
Dr. Estelle C. Myers