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Knowing God

The Goal of

Education

by

Earl & Diane Rodd





For many families who educate their children at home the choice of curriculum may be the devil's advocate. The wrong curriculum can waste time, effort, and energy; it can be the cause of frustration, continual conflict, and frayed nerves; it can deceptively lull our families into the enemy's greatest deception - to have our main priority focused in the wrong place. Man complicates; God simplifies. The purpose of this essay is to help families evaluate curriculum and subject areas by one main criteria: Is it God-centered or man-centered?







Knowing God


The Goal of Education




Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

1st Printed - July 1990

5th edition - July 1997

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.



FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.




Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.



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Knowing God


The Goal of Education

For many families who educate their children at home the choice of curriculum may be the devil's advocate. The wrong curriculum can waste time, effort, and energy; it can be the cause of frustration, continual conflict, and frayed nerves; it can deceptively lull our families into the enemy's greatest deception - to have our main priority focused in the wrong place. Man complicates; God simplifies. The purpose of this essay is to help families evaluate curriculum and subject areas by one main criteria: Is it God-centered or man-centered?

Many of us are using only Christian curriculum and this question may seem irrelevant, but we have discovered that even Christian curriculum can be more man-centered than God-centered.

Many history books, Bible courses, social studies courses, readers, science textbooks, etc. focus most of their content on man's activities, man's achievements and man's aspirations. Studies of men and their accomplishments may be worthwhile, but they should not supersede or preclude the study of God.

John 17 :3 states this fact very clearly and simply. Jesus said,

John 17:3
3. "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

God said it to Jeremiah,

Jeremiah 9:23
23. Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24. but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the Lord.

Micah records a similar exhortation

Micah 6:8
8. He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

We have noticed that most curriculum, even Christian, places more emphasis (time, energy, etc.) on men than God. God, His character, His will, His ways, His methods, His Heart, His personality, etc. should be the first priority of home educated children once they are able to read the Bible for themselves.

If the study of God is not the first priority and foundation in our homes, then all other subject matter, time, effort, study, energy, etc. is placed upon another foundation. When that foundation is man, we have a very shaky foundation. A home educator may be building upon a foundation of church doctrine, study of Biblical characters, Biblical events, history of nations, geography of nations, creation of the world, biology, economics, math, algebra, etc. and using Christian curriculum in all subjects. However, a careful examination needs to be made of all curriculum to see if it is truly God-centered or man-centered. Hebrews 12 :27 warns us about shaky foundations. It says,

Hebrews 12:27
27. , "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

As parents who are seeking a godly education for our children in our homes, we must continually be diligent to see that our foundations are correct. If not, our effort, time and energy may be in vain. David warns us

Psalms 11:3
3. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"

He goes on in this Psalm to give us a perfect example of showing us what God is like:

Psalms 11:4
4. The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
5. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.
6. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.
7. For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

Have we taught our children that God's eyes watch the activities of men to test them to see if they are wicked or righteous? Do our children know God has a soul that hates one who does violence? Do our children know they can hope to see God's face if they are upright?

From just this one Psalm we can see that we may have allowed the writers of Christian curriculum to incompletely and thus incorrectly present God to our children. We strongly urge that all home educators consistently and diligently throw out doctrines (curriculum) of men that may make the word of God to no effect.

We pray that families evaluate and utilize their curriculum and educational methods in their homeschool (all of life) as God intended it - that we may know Him. Paul put it this way,

Philippians 3:7
7. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,
9. and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,
10. that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11. in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12. Not that I have already obtained {it}, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of {it} yet; but one thing {I do}: forgetting what {lies} behind and reaching forward to what {lies} ahead,
14. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 78 and Acts 13 :16-41 are excellent examples of how to view history with God as the main character rather than man. As you read the Bible together and/or evaluate your curriculum, you may want to use forms like the one found in the middle of this booklet to record what your family is learning about God.

The form can be easily removed to make copies. Use copies of the form to discover the character of God revealed in the Old Testament (Jer 9 :23-24). Use others for the character of God revealed in the New Testament (John 17 :3). Your family may want to add other categories to this form. Just keep in mind that "Man complicates; God simplifies." The main purpose of this essay is to help families discover Biblical methods of education for the children they are nurturing in the home. We have learned that if it is Biblical, it is fairly simple to put into practice.

Similar forms can be used for history, social studies, current events, creation, mathematics, biology, chemistry, etc. This Biblical method of education doesn't have to always be written down (Deut 6 :4-9). The purpose is to focus our attention on what God has done and is doing and away from what man has done and is doing. The form is to help parents to know how to ask the right questions to release our families into the revelation of God by the Holy Spirit.

Our prayer is that this method will help families release what God has written on our hearts. May God's method of education be a reality in your home. Read the following as a promise rather than as a command. Believe He wants to do it in us and will do it through us.

Deuteronomy 6:5
5. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
6. "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
7. and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

For further study into God's priority that individual people and nations know Him, read Exodus and Ezekiel and underline how many times your family can find God saying He has moved or will move in the affairs of men for one reason - "that you may know that I am the LORD." Exodus mentions this truth at least 14 times. Ezekiel mentions it at least 75 times! In the New Testament, the book of John mentions it at least 11 times. I John 6 times. I Samuel, I Kings, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Micah, Zechariah, Malachi, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Titus, Hebrews, all mention the importance of "Knowing God," In Acts, when the apostles report on their journeys, they report what God has done, not what they have done.

Jesus tells us something very important about the written word and knowing God. John 5 :39,40 says

John 5:39
39. "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me;
40. and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.

In Biblical home education, knowing God is more important than knowing facts about Him. It is possible to know many facts about the president or the queen and not know them personally. God wants to know us as a husband knows a wife. He wants our children to have that same kind of relationship.

Even though I Corinthians 13 :9,12 tells us that "Knowing God" is only a partial knowledge in this life, our curriculum must still spend more time and energy on Him rather than "worldly pursuits." If our educational priorities are faulty and worldly, our children will not be prepared for the future on this earth, if the Lord should tarry. Knowing God is profitable for this life and for eternity.

Daniel put it this way,

Daniel 11:32
32. "And by smooth {words} he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.

It is only those who know God who will be able to display strength and take action in the days that are ahead. As we seek to educate ourselves and our children for success in this life and in the age to come, we must be sure that "knowing God" is our first priority. This will manifest itself in the time and energy we devote to Him and His ways in our homeschools.

The following scripture from Jeremiah is a special promise to Israel confirmed by the New Covenant. Jeremiah 31 :33,34 says

Jeremiah 31:33
33. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34. "And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

Hebrews 8 :6-13 interprets it for us. It says,

Hebrews 8:6
6. But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
7. For if that first {covenant} had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
8. For finding fault with them, He says, "Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9. Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
11. "And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them.
12. "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more."
13. When He said, "A new {covenant}," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

If we believe these words of Hebrews to be true, our home education curriculum and methods should reflect our belief. We must work with God and not against Him. We should be doing everything possible to assure ourselves and our children that "Knowing God" is our only desire.

We trust that this search for ways of incorporating this Biblical method will bless you as much as we have been blessed in discovering God's Biblical methods of education.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd