Christian Kids In Public Schools
I love this time of year. Giant pencils hanging from the ceiling at Target, directing me toward the school supplies. Tax-free shopping for new shoes and skinny jeans, for my pride and joys. The anticipation of getting back into a routine.
On Thursday, my firstborn will have his first day of first grade. This time last year I was gearing up to send my little guy to kindergarten at—dun, dun dun—public school! I was kind of a wreck.
I grew up in public school. A big, 6-A public school. I was a Union Redskin from kindergarten until graduation day. I loved it and I turned out okay, right? So why was the thought of sending my son to public school so hard to wrap my mind around.
Maybe it’s because in 1990, when I started kindergarten, things were different. There were no 5-year-olds with their own iPads. Christmas break was called Christmas break instead of “winter” break. I could walk to school with my older brother and play in the front yard when I got home, even though my mom wasn’t home from work yet. School shootings were unheard of. No one knew what the Internet was and my teachers just stuck to the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic. There was no need to discuss same-sex marriage and gender-identity curriculum didn’t exist yet.
Don’t get me wrong, I was exposed to all kinds of things in public school, but times have really changed over the last 25 years and there’s no denying that Jesus isn’t welcome at public schools anymore. So how could I send my little boy into a place where Jesus wasn’t welcome? Well, I had no choice. Christian school, where we lived, was too expensive, and I didn’t feel like I was called to home school.
I really needed peace about this, so I brought it to the Lord, and He delivered.
In the second chapter of Exodus you can read about the birth of one of the greatest heroes in the Bible, Moses—and his amazing momma, Jochebed.
A few verses before we read about Moses being born, we read about Pharaoh ordering every newborn boy be thrown into the Nile River. Pharaoh was inexplicably evil, willing to murder precious baby boys so that the Israelites would not grow to outnumber his people.
Can you imagine the horror Jochebed felt when she delivered Moses and her midwife whispered in her ear, “It’s a boy.” You know for nine months as she carried him she hoped and prayed that she would have a girl, for a girl she could keep. But God gave her a son, now what was she going to do with him?
The Bible said she saw Moses was special. She could see God’s hand on this baby boy’s life, so she kept him hidden for three months. I have three children and let me tell you it would be very, very difficult to keep an infant hidden for three months. I’m guessing she never let him “cry it out” to get him sleep-trained. She probably couldn’t let him cry at all. She was probably with him every waking minute, and I’m sure her bond with him grew stronger each passing day, but the time had come when she realized she couldn’t hide him any longer. She made a basket for him, lined it with his favorite blankie, put him in it, and left the basket near the river in some tall grass. She had to be terrified, right? Wrong!
Hebrews 11:23 (NKJV) By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
This verse tells us she was not afraid. Moses’ parents hid him not out of fear but out of faith! When Jochebed left her baby in the basket that day, she was showing God she trusted Him to take care of her son. She stepped out in faith and God followed with favor. God not only took care of her son, but He made a way for Jochebed to continue to mother her beautiful baby boy.
As a Christian mom sending my child to public school, I felt a little like I was putting him in a basket in the Nile River. I had to choose: fear or faith?
After reading about Jochebed, it was easy to choose faith.
Jochebed sent Moses into a land where God was not welcome and just think about how mightily the Lord used him! God had a plan for Moses; He has one for my kids, and your kids, too!
When I dropped my son off last year, I didn’t shed a tear. I wasn’t sad or fearful, but full of faith. I believed that like Psalm 127 says, he is an arrow, an arrow we had spent the last five years sharpening, an arrow that would go out and fulfill His purpose. I believed that the Holy Spirit would guide him and lead him when choosing friends. I believed that he would be a light and a leader. I believed he would have favor with his teachers. I believed God would protect him physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and that no evil could befall him or come near him. I believed that God would use him mightily! Glory to God, he had a great school year! As we gear up for first grade, I am believing the same things.
Jochebed, a wife and a mother to three children, made a decision to have faith instead of fear, and her faith changed the course of history. Whatever your plan is for school this year—home school, Christian, private, or public—don’t be afraid. Launch your kids into their best year yet, full of faith in our great God!
In 1989, five boys, ages 14 to 16, were arrested for causing trouble in New York’s Central Park. While they were being held for questioning, a 28-year-old woman was found in the same park, critically beaten and sexually assaulted. The detectives asked the young boys if they had anything to do with it, they all said no. After hours of interrogation, the boys were professionally coerced into admitting they were the ones responsible for the awful crime against the innocent jogger, even though they were not. The detectives had them convinced that if they would just make up a statement, they could go home. And they wanted to go home, so they confessed.
When the cases of the five boys went to trial, there was no incriminating evidence against any of them. In fact, all the evidence pointed to the fact that they did not commit this crime. No DNA from any of the boys was found on the victim and they were in another part of the park, causing trouble with a bunch of other kids, when the crime would have happened. But a district attorney had their confessions on tape and because of those confessions (which did not agree with one another) they would each spend the next seven to ten years in prison!
What can we learn from this crazy but true story? Do not confess things that are not true!
We make confessions every day. We confess we are tired. We confess we are stressed. We confess we don’t feel good. We confess we are overweight. We confess we don’t like our jobs. We confess we aren’t good enough. We confess the wrong kind of confessions all of the time, and most of the time, we do it without even realizing it.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
The word confession in this verse is from the Greek word homologia and it’s not referring to someone who just reads confessions or makes mindless parrot-like confessions, it’s referring to someone who has meditated on God’s Word and has it so down in their heart that it fills them with hope and when they open their mouth they can’t help but confess what God says about them. They can’t help it, because they believe it.
When you hear people talk, or see their Facebook posts, about how they are dreading Monday or about how it’s going to be a realllly long week, you can be sure they haven’t taken the time to get in sync with God concerning those things. We know this because we know He isn’t dreading Monday and we know He’s not complaining about the long week. He says, “This is the day I have made, rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
We have to pay attention to our confessions, because they matter. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. When you say things about yourself, your husband, your children, your day, your week or your year, that don’t agree with what God says about them, you are confessing things that are not true! When those boys opened their mouths and confessed to a crime they did not commit, they changed the path of their lives forever.
Don’t let your circumstances coerce you into confessing a lie! Get in the Word and let it sink down into your spirit, so when you open your mouth or update your status, you confess truth, hope, and faith in a faithful God!
When I was in seventh grade, I went on a mission trip to Peru with a group of teenagers from my church. The native language in Peru is Spanish and, “Me no hablo espanol,” so if I wanted to communicate with anyone there who, “No hablan ingles,” I had to have an interpreter.
Interpreter: a person who translates the words that someone is speaking into a different language.
I can still remember our group’s interpreter, Liz. She had wavy, dark hair and wore red lipstick. She not only translated what we were saying to the Peruvians, but she translated what they were saying to us.
If she were ornery she could have really messed with me by misinterpreting some of the things I needed her to translate. I could have asked her to order me a hamburger and French fries and since I don’t recognize very many Spanish words she could have ordered me a plate of fried guinea pig and I wouldn’t have known it until the “delicacy” arrived at the table.
A few weekends ago I was at a women’s conference listening to one of my favorites, Pastor Jimmy Evans, when he said something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I pray as you read this it has that same type of impact on your life.
“Stop letting the devil interpret the people in your life to you.”
Satan is an interpreter. He will take words, thoughts, and actions, and translate them into a different language, his native language.
John 8:44 (NIV) When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I’ve heard many teachings on how the devil will lie to you about yourself. He’s great at making you think you aren’t good enough, smart enough, or spiritual enough. He knows just what thoughts to plant in your head to make you feel inadequate. I’ve learned through the years how to recognize his voice and take those thoughts captive by meditating and declaring what God’s Word says about me.
I don’t let the devil interpret me to me, I am all God says I am, but what about other people in my life: my husband, my kids, my friends, my leaders, my God? When the enemy plants a thought about one of them in my mind, am I as quick to recognize that it’s a lie? Am I as quick to run that thought off by speaking God’s Word and declaring that the person Satan is interpreting to me is all God says THEY are?
Satan cannot be trusted as an interpreter. Eve learned this the hard way. In the third chapter of Genesis she has one conversation with Satan where she allowed him to interpret God to her. She doubted God’s goodness and His motives, all based on lies and misinterpretations from a conniving snake.
Satan loves to tear relationships apart, especially marriages. He is an expert at taking one thing your spouse said or did, or didn’t do, and translating it to you in a way that causes you to take up a great offense with them. Maybe it’s something as small as your husband not taking out the trash when you asked him to. It wasn’t a shot at you or a picture of his lack of love for you, but if given the chance, Satan will interpret that one action into a lie that causes you to resent your husband and then he will continue to build on that.
When you find yourself frustrated with the people in your life, ask yourself why. Is it, perhaps, because you have been letting a liar interpret them to you? Don’t stand for that! Defend your loved ones with the Word of God like you would defend yourself.
I Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.