Biblical care matters because people matter. But in an education system where human thinking is central, comfort and care are basically forms of cheerleading, in order to get a person past something difficult so he or she can achieve dreams and goals. There can be no greater purpose than those because God is irrelevant; there is no higher purpose in a worldview absent of God. The beauty of Christian education is that not only is God relevant but He is also, more importantly, the center of all that is taught, experienced, and desired. He Himself is truth and all that is learned flows from Him and gives glory back to Him.
So, when care happens in a Christian education setting, its purpose is keeping the faith, fighting the good fight, shining the light, winning the battle, and, really, gazing at eternity. Biblical care is about today and the end of time. It is about each other and all others in Christ. It is about absolute truth and genuine faith in the One who knit us in our mother’s womb. Those involved in Christian education get to experience the care of God because God has been not only welcomed but is the guide of all that happens, even the care itself.
What is the “norm” at school?
In an educational system grounded in “human-first” thinking—the norm in public education—school is all about personal achievement and betterment of society as currently defined by culture. Certainly, this achievement and betterment is helpful and noble but such care is limited in its purpose and power. What exactly does that mean? Care provided outside of a Christian approach can soothe and provide temporary relief, and sometimes do that quite well. However, biblical care seeks what’s in the best interest in the short-term and the “eternal-term” of the individual under care. In an educational philosophy where God is irrelevant, spiritual care can’t be a priority (or even possible), even if there might be some level of care for a person’s emotions.
Unfortunately, the culture of school can become filled with lethargic students and cynical staff when the experience becomes more about survival and less about caring for each other. God created humans to care for each other. A significant part of obedience to Christ is helping other believers carry the heavy loads of life’s circumstances (Gal 6:2). God designed relationships, such as those in marriage, family, and church membership, to provide that care. The kind of care for which God designed us can also be experienced in school—one that is a Christ-centered, biblically-saturated educational setting. Christian education and the Christ-centered care it can provide has transformative power because its foundation is in the God who cares and causes His people to genuinely care for each other in the name of Christ. There are several questions that can be reasonably asked in order to clarify what biblical care in Christian education entails.
What is biblical care?
Biblical care is comforting others with the same kind of comfort God has comforted us with in the past (2 Cor 1:4). This is the kind of care possible for those invested and participating in Christian education. The starting point is the Creator of the universe and the care possible is eternal, heart-changing, and authentic. Biblical care means living out the “one another’s” of Scripture. It is being shoulder-to-shoulder and heart-to-heart, going to battle together and fighting for minds and souls. Biblical care is sacrificial and others-focused. It is non-manipulative, thinking of others as more important. It is compassionate and kind, never losing sight of the need everyone has for grace and mercy. Biblical care is given in an effort to be like Jesus to those loved by Jesus.
How can biblical care be lived out in an education setting?
I have been in education for 14 years, most of which in a Christian school. I have numerous stories of witnessing the power of biblical care. Let me share one particular example. The passing of a young person certainly grabs your attention and tests your priorities. As a teacher, I witnessed the journey of terminal illness and ultimate passing of a student at a Christian school. It was heart-breaking and difficult to say the least. Students and staff prayed and sought to encourage the family and each other. The school community grieved with the family. However, in the midst of all of it, there was hope, genuine confidence in God’s control. It was a spiritual “gut punch” but also clearly displayed God’s faithfulness in the darkest of times.
If life throws its nastiest curveball at a student you love, will he or she be in a place where biblical care is possible? When a person is a part of Christian education and life’s waves of trials become the teacher, biblical care tutors hearts to seek Christ’s kingdom as first priority (Matt 6:33) and to remember God will complete the work of faith He begins in a person’s heart (Phil 1:6). In Christian education, the goal isn’t just getting students to the finish line of graduation. Rather, it’s purpose is to help students get to the finish line of life—whenever that may be—with faithfulness, perseverance, and eternal hope deeply rooted in their hearts.
What should I do next?
Ask yourself if you desire biblical care to be part of the educational experience of a loved one. If so, why? If not, why not? Most would likely affirm a desire to experience it but then be tempted to provide excuses of where else they could get sufficient care or why it isn’t all that important. The bottom line is that education immersed in God Himself at its core affords care opportunities that are transformative and protective of what is most valuable—the souls of people and the glory of God. Other educational philosophies can’t offer that because the system itself doesn’t believe such values even exist, let alone are important.
If you are already a part of Christian education, renew your vision of how God cares for you; ask God to show you how you can care for someone else. If you are on the outside of Christian education and looking in, consider whether it is time to invest in academics from an eternal perspective. Remember that Christian education has transformative power because God is its foundation. Who cares? God does! He cares for you and education centered on Him does too!