Gregory Dickow: The 5 Pillars of Biblical Education

Father and son Biblical
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I want to encourage you as a parent to ensure that you are equipped to take a primary role in your child’s education.

Whether they are in public or private school, or whether you home-school them, there are some simple things you can do to make sure they receive God’s best for their life, now and forever.

I have put together five pillars of a Biblical education that you should be sure are instilled in your children. Let me state the obvious—the school your children go to is not responsible for making sure these things are instilled in your kids. As their parent, you are responsible. Proverbs 22:6 says to parents: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he won’t depart.” (I like the BBE Translation: “If a child is trained up in the right way, even when he is old he will not be turned away from it.”)

It’s not that hard. Let me help you …

5 Pillars of Biblical Education

  1. Teach your children the Bible. Read it to them. The power of reading the Bible will be rewarding and profound in your child’s life. Read it to them until they graduate from high school. It will create a bond between them and God—as well as between them and you. Then, talk about it with them. Start out the day, perhaps for just 10 or 15 minutes. You will be amazed at the results. If you are not sure how to start, let me suggest you begin with John, chapter one.

    2. Discover your child's unique individuality. Your child has a treasure inside of him or her. Don’t put your children under pressure to follow your dreams—to be an athlete, or a great musician. Discover your child’s individuality, by observing what they are good at and interested in. This may be art or computers, or science. Perhaps they excel in communicating or in debate (who hasn’t discovered that side of their child?). Explain to them that God created them uniquely and individually, with special gifts. Part of life is discovering those gifts, developing those gifts and then distributing those gifts to serve others, advance God’s kingdom, and provide for your child’s needs as they grow. Once discovered, bring that gift to the forefront so they will be able to develop it and feel a sense of esteem and uniqueness about themselves. Teach them how important it is to not compare themselves to others, because God created them different, so it is incredibly frustrating to try to be like someone when you can’t be. This doesn’t mean you should excuse your children from learning a language, playing an instrument, etc. But expose them to several things, and through the process they will discover something they love. Once they do, teach your child to develop that individuality.

    3. Teach your children principles, not just rules. An example of a “principle” is the law of “seedtime and harvest”. Instead of just saying “no” to everything without an explanation, teach them that whatever they allow into their eyes or ears is a seed. And that seed will produce a harvest. Show them the good seeds they should be planting in their heart and the positive results they can expect from the good seeds. And help them understand the bad seeds (certain television shows, movies, people’s words, ideas, etc.), and the consequences of the harvests that are sure to come. If they say that nobody likes them, teach them to “plant the seed” of friendship toward others, and they will “reap the harvest” of friendship from others.

    4. Establish a Biblical worldview. Everything must be viewed through God’s story, “His-story.” Secular humanism is the belief that the world revolves around man, and man’s discoveries/accomplishments/advancements. But a Biblical worldview is the belief that the world revolves around God, His plan, and His purposes for mankind, and the world. In our Christian Academy, we teach children how to view each subject, whether it is math, science, art or any other, through God’s eyes. We learn math, to discover that God has a solution for every problem that we will ever face. That everything in life “adds up,” if we love God and are called according to his purpose.

    5. Teach your children Christian character. Character is: what we are when no one is looking.It is the habits that are formed through consistent application and the reputation people have come to expect of us, through our true actions. The goal of education is not just knowledge—it is action. Ultimately, our character is how we act on a consistent basis—which is not something we can fake for long. Follow this process: our thoughts determine our actions. Our actions determine our habits. Our habits determine our character. And our character determines our destiny. Start by teaching your children to “think right”. Right “thinking” will eventually lead to right “living”. And that begins with an understanding of God’s Word. This takes us back to the first pillar. Make sure your children are taught the Word of God—at home, at church, and if you can provide it: at the school they attend.

We want our children to live by internal convictions, not just persuasions we convinced them of. By internalizing the truths of God’s Word, by the time they go to college or step into their future, they will have convictions that will serve as pillars in their lives called “character”.

Gregory Dickow is the founder and pastor of Life Changers International Church, one of the largest churches in the Chicagoland area. He also is the host of The Power to Change Today—an international television ministry that reaches a potential audience of more than 900 million households weekly.

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