There is indeed a need for balance in our busy lives, but there is an importance to the ingredients that fill our family's time and devotion. This leads us to examine our lives and the things that vie for our attention to decide what is most important or beneficial. In light of these attempts to prioritize our schedules, here are 3 key ingredients proven to result in a ‘Big Win’ for our family’s future - what I call the church, home, and school Trifecta.
Here in North County San Diego, one of our timeless attractions is the beautiful Del Mar Racetrack. For those of you who enjoy the races, I am sure you know what it means to hit the Trifecta, one of the jackpots of betting at the track. For those who do not, a Trifecta is a wager on the horses that will place 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in specific order. If the selected thoroughbreds finish in the ordered place of the bet, the bettor wins, and wins big! (Please don’t send emails about the evils of gambling, I’m just using the illustration to make a point!)
When it comes to parenting our kids, there is a way to win the Trifecta as well, when home, church, and school all work together with the same values and goals.
Christian schools have been a part of North America since the early 1600s, basically as soon as Europeans immigrated to the continent. For over 300 years it was assumed that schools were rooted in the Christian faith, but things changed dramatically in the 20th-century as secular dogma began to infiltrate school curriculum. After World War II, as public schools became more secular (prayer and Bibles were removed, for example), Christian schools grew at an exponential rate. Many recognized the growing need for private or church-sponsored schools to fill a gap in the spiritual and moral development of students. However, the opinions of moms and dads vary greatly regarding the importance of a Christian school in the lives of their kids.
Most Christian families agree that children thrive in homes with strong marriages and peaceful home life. More so when that is coupled with consistent church attendance and participation with a community of like-minded believers. Where the discussion can get a bit tense is to add in the final component of the value of Christian school. The influence of a school and its teachers cannot be overestimated. Simply do the math. A child who spends two hours per week involved in their church, at 52 weeks per year over 13 years (Kindergarten-12th grade) equals 1,352 hours at church.
But consider this. Students spend 15,000 hours at school during those same years. Students spend 10 times more hours in school than church! Who has more impact on that kid’s life? Their youth pastors or their teachers? And think about how difficult it is for parents of kids who sit in classrooms that teach lessons contrary to the family’s beliefs: there is no God, the Bible is a fairy tale, their lives are no more valuable than a whale or a spotted owl, and they should start having sex whenever it feels right.
There are tangible results to this reality that have been validated in the “Cardus Education Survey,” which is the largest study ever done in this subject area. According to the summary results, 50% of high school graduates who participate in church regularly, but attend a public school, will keep their faith. While on the other hand, 92.5% of high school graduates who attend church regularly, but are enrolled in a Protestant Christian school from Kindergarten through 12th grade, keep their faith. Wow! 92.5% versus 50%
In order for our kids to be developed into all who God created them to be, our families must be strong, our churches must be strong, AND Christian schools must be strong. That is truly the best Trifecta that does not just pay out a temporal win but results in a jackpot for our children that benefits your family for generations to come, and even into all eternity.