Thursday, September 16, 2010

Education might be expensive, but...

When you hang one of these in your home, you are putting the world on notice...if you truly mean what it says.

We live by a few simple principles or creeds in the Tony C household. One of the most important of those is the Big Three List of Priority:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Education

Of course, the list could be expanded to...say...10 or more listed priorities, but I've found there's enough conflict created by just these three in the order we’ve placed them. But since this post isn't about household priorities, I'll focus on #3 in the list - education.

Both my wife and I are college graduates and the first in both cases to hold baccalaureates in our extended families. Others have followed, but we were the original trailblazers for education in our families. I give credit in both cases to our parents for motivating and supporting the endeavors. Education was important to both families, and we continue to carry that banner today and maybe even put some added emphasis.

There are, however, two distinct reasons that education is stressed. As far as secular academic education goes, the importance is placed on excellence and the choices in career paths that come with that commitment. I didn’t stop after my baccalaureate and have continued with graduate work with the ultimate goal of a doctorate (you’re an inspiration fellow Kingdom Blogger Joyce). My wife, Candice, also plans to work on a graduate degree in education once the house settles down a bit from baby-dom. Still, it boils down to the more emphasis and dedication being placed on education, the more choices there seems to be when it comes to employment and the types of employment.

Biblical education takes on a completely different impetus. Both Candice and I grew up attending Sunday School. Like our girls are now, we learned a lot of the fundamental stories central to a solid Christian belief system. We both feel, however, that continued biblical learning is essential to a strong, faithful walk with Christ, and we try to emphasis to the teenager now (and her younger sisters later) that reading God’s Word is important…but more important is LEARNING from God’s Word with every opportunity.

Some people have a hard time with the concept of learning something new from reading the same book repeatedly over the course of a lifetime. As a matter of fact, I was once one of those people. I finally came to realize and accept just how vast the knowledge of God truly is and understand that even learning something new every day from His Word over the course of a thousand lifetimes…well…wouldn’t even be a significant start to enlightenment. Sorry my Buddhist friends.

Education counts…secular and biblical.


Joyce said...

AMEN - :-)

Michelle said...

Interesting way you put that..."secular and biblical."

We've come to believe that education should have a biblical emphasis. As Christians it seems we were raised to divide the two and sometimes I believe the secular worldview being taught in schools is streaming into churches and families. we are on our endeavor to teach that God is a part of everything and the reason for everything. We hope to establish our children with a biblical worldview education in science, math, literature, etc. And Bible reading is being emphasized from the earliest age with daily Bible reading, cathechisms, and seriously takes the patience of Job (or a mom) with a toddler...but we're hanging in there most days. :)

Tracy said...

Although I've always emphasized that everyone is different and that we each need to find a career path that is fulfilling, and that for some that does not mean traditional college (where would we be without plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, etc.), all of my sons just have the expectation that they will go to college. Fortunately they also have the expectation that they will work hard and achieve and obtain scholarships.

I was just talking with my husband John about how grateful we are that we both got to grow up in church and Sunday school and all we learned there. How that learning formed a foundation and context for ongoing learning through our lives (the ability to look at the Bible both in details and inspiration for daily living, as well as a big how it all fits together picture). I'm grateful that I've been able to bless my own children in this same way.

I can definitely relate to constantly seeing new things in the Bible each time I read it; no matter how many times I've read it before. I think that's about the Holy Spirit giving us what we need at that specific time from the Word.

David said...

Ah yes - education. Now I am think In need a doctorate. :o)

Well, I was reading about Jesus this weekend. The verse about how He does what He sees the Father doing. It appears that he is also saying, I don't do what the Father is not doing. That has now become my only priority. All those years of college and Bible school, what a waste. :)

Tony C said...

Thanks for the comments. Let me clarify a point...I come from a very blue-collar home and completely have an appreciation for people who choice a technical trade verses going to college. Even with technical trades, ongoing education is critical to staying on top of the game.

My personal household experience today involves college-based education, and I was writing from that perspective. No offense meant to my blue-collar brothers and sisters.

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