July 4 is a day that represents independence and freedom. But what does it mean to be free? Does it mean that we can do whatever we want and not expect consequences for our choices? Most people would agree that this is not an adequate definition of freedom. Freedom can actually be a huge burden. If I walk into a candy store and I am given the freedom to walk out with whatever I want, I am burdened with making a choice. That choice can lead me into gluttony or I can make a responsible choice and practice self-control.
In our country, we as believers currently have freedoms that are not available in other parts of the world, freedoms that I fear we too often take for granted or don’t take seriously. We have the freedom to attend church on Sundays and worship in the church of our choosing, and there a many choices. Or, we have the freedom to stay home on Sunday mornings and not attend church at all. Educationally, we can send our children to the public schools, to charter schools, to college preparatory schools, or to private Christian schools, or we can choose to homeschool our children. These choices in education bring with them a huge responsibility for us as parents. So, how do we make a choice that is so important? First and foremost as believers, we need to seek wisdom from God’s Word. One verse that has challenged me as a parent and as a teacher is Luke 6:40 where Jesus says, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” As a parent, I need to consider who I want my child to become like when choosing where to send her for her education. As a teacher, I need to realize the burden of having my students become like me and strive to consistently be a godly model who points them to Christ.
Americans enjoy many freedoms. We can use our freedom wisely or foolishly. We can include God in our lives and choices or we can take our pick of alternative secular philosophies and norms. We can also choose which schools shape the thinking and values of the next generation. With freedom comes responsibility for our choices, so choose wisely.