May 22, 2008
Matthew 5:13-16 (ESV) - 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
This is an important passage of Scripture for all Christians. We are called by our Lord and Savior to shine brightly in the midst of a sin-darkened world so that God may be glorified as the world sees Him in us.
But does this apply to our children as well?
My wife and I have chosen to home school our children, because we take seriously the commands of Scripture to “teach our children diligently” to know and love God (Deut 6:6-7, Eph 6:4, etc.) This is a personal decision which my wife and I feel convicted is necessary in our family situation. I would not state that every Christian must home school their children in order to be obedient to God. I have never preached a sermon on the necessity of homeschooling. I have never counseled someone that they must home school or be disobedient to the Word of God. However, my wife and I both are quite convicted that this is the right decision for our children.
It never ceases to amaze me how much flack my wife and I have received from fellow Christians regarding our decision to home school. It is not uncommon at all for my wife and I to have people express strong opposition to our decision to home school our children. One of the arguments I typically hear against homeschooling is Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5 that Christians are to be “salt and light” in the world. After all… how can my children be salt and light in the world if they are not attending public school? (There are several fallacies present in this question. For example, is school the only place where children are “in the world?” Or must I expose my children to a constant barrage of unbiblical teaching grounded in secular humanism taught by intellectually superior adults in order for them to be “salt and light” among their unbelieving friends, etc?)
I recently came across an interesting article by Voddie Baucham addressing this very issue. Dr. Baucham is a brilliant apologist and staunch advocate of homeschooling. Although he states the case for homeschooling in stronger terms than I would, I do believe that he answers well the question of whether or not our children are called by God to be salt and light in the world. You can read the whole article here http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2008/2/14_Salt_and_Light.html .