|On the go... to get some education. :D|
I have been busy getting back here in Russia. Yes, I'm back. So... Zdrasti!
There was a time when I believed that to give my children the best education, I had to home school them. And I did. But our circumstances threw my best intentions helter-skelter. That was when I asked, "Lord, what do you want to do for my children?" I know my plans and my intentions for my children are good, but I have come to realize that God's plans for them are the best. To harshly impose what I want may bring out good outcomes, but then, there won't be enough space for the Holy Spirit to move in their lives that the best of what God has for them may never happen.
So, when it comes to education, I believe that God has a million ways of teaching my children, just as He does with each one of us. My husband and I, though, has been given the biggest responsibility of being their teacher. There are plenty of life lessons that are to be first taught at home and may be reinforced at school, like kindness, temperance, generosity, responsibility, commitment, respect, patience, bravery, determination, humility, taking care of their bodies and the environment, and loving God and their fellow men.
Nobody would know, even our own children, if we have taught them or just simply let the television do its thing. But God knows. So it is that we have to do everything in our home with integrity and grace.
After us, come their teachers, mentors, and the whole society. They, too, play a part in our children's education. An African proverb goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." And in our post-modern world, it would take the whole world to raise one, considering we have the world right in our fingertips just by a click of a mouse. My children have been raised in multiple cultures and they are learning multiple languages, and I have found that many children are growing up in the same way nowadays. Their village is the whole global world. They flit from one environment to another. It doesn't take long to do that with our planes and fast modes of transportation these days.
The Master Teacher's Required TextbooksFar too often, we get dismayed when we look around us and see the moral disintegration of society, but I believe that whatever may be the environment of the child, God has given mankind what is needed to rise above it. That is, if we take time to study the textbooks He has supplied us.
A former professor of mine in graduate school broke down how Jesus grew "in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52), even without going through formal education under the tutelage of the rabbis during His time. Yet, He developed physically (in stature), mentally (in wisdom), socially (in favor with men) and spiritually (in favor with God). How? My professor pointed out that in the book Education by Ellen G. White, she further expanded this. Here are Jesus' textbooks, which should be also be for everyone who are willing to learn and grow.
First, we have the Scriptures, His Word. Then we have nature, which speaks of God's unfathomable wisdom and love, and for which He has allowed us to probe so that we may increase in learning and understanding. Then we have our daily tasks and duties, in other words, useful work; which help us develop physically and teach us great lessons in life. Our experiences and special circumstances also teach us many valuable lessons of trusting God, doing His will, and increasing in faith and understanding.
What Education Is Not
If education is simply to train people to be able to get a job or work, then we are no better than the beasts of the field, or a well-trained dog. Education should not only be a means for us to earn a living, but a way for us to live, really live, as human beings made by an intelligent God for a special purpose.
Education is also not meant to make people just mere copies of another, but it should teach us to think on our our own, using the mind and intellect that our Maker has bestowed on us. It should help us make better choices, making each of us better persons and citizens not only of this world but of God's kingdom.
1st of September
So it is with excitement that on my first day back, I got to witness how education is very important in Russia. It is very important, that they have a special day just meant to celebrate and emphasize its significance. September 1st is dubbed the Day of Knowledge. The event is also for the purpose of opening the new school year. Most especially, first graders were welcomed and given their first taste of what school will be like.
My eldest is going to be in the first grade of primary school. And thus that, on this Day of Knowledge, we were highly involved. My son was dressed up formally, looking every inch a gentleman in his grey suit, complete with a bowtie. This suit would be his uniform everyday. The school was decorated with flowers and balloons. Boys and girls, in the same age as my son, were looking smart and neat in their formal suits or dresses, with girls having big white bows or flowers on their hair. The ceremony consisted of speeches and some welcoming ritual for the first graders, with instructions from policemen and community workers, presents from the outgoing 11th graders, and a special time for each student to fly their own balloon.
My son chose a green balloon and was so excited to see it fly so fast. That balloon is not only full of helium air but all the expectations and hopes that his parents have for him. I expect him to be the best of himself as God has made him, not a copy of me, nor of his dad, nor any of his teachers, classmates or friends.
I pray that he will make the right choices, that he will choose to allow His Ultimate Parent to have His way in him. He has instructed, "Get wisdom, get understanding, do not forget my words or turn away from them" (Proverbs 4:5).
May my son get to know the Master Teacher so well that he will trust Him with every little bit of adventure that may come his way, and learn lessons from them and grow. May he get to love Him that he will obey Him and follow His leading, no matter what. "Though it cost all you have, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7).
May he learn to wait on Him that he may soar like an eagle, having the wisdom and power of his Creator. "The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper" (Proverbs 19:8).
And may his knowledge and understanding will be a force for good, a start of God's kingdom building in him. For knowledge, without understanding, is dangerous. But "knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).
May he get understanding. May we all do.
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