Educating The Will
The first attribute we discussed in this series was purposeful. We all know that God is purposeful in all that He does.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
If God acts according to His will, then by virtue of being image bearers of God, we also act according to our will. The issue with us is that while God’s will is perfect, our will is distorted and sinful. God’s will is also limitless, while ours is finite. However, that does not change the fact that we have free will.
We make choices and judgements according to our purposes, acting freely within the boundaries of our created nature. So, what does all this mean regarding education? It means that if we are going to educate a student’s behavior, we must educate students in a manner that recognizes their free will.
If our goal is to teach our children to love God and live according to God’s will, we must approach education in a manner that is different from the world. The world tends to approach the student as a passive learner. A teacher presents information deemed to be true, and the student accepts that knowledge. This does not recognize the created nature of free will that we all have.
This manner of education will not do anything to inspire the student to truly live the Christian life; rather, it only allows the student to regurgitate what the Christian life is. Teaching is not just telling children what to believe. Children have free will, and they will always have free will. As teachers, it is our job to point that will to God.
This is where it gets tricky for parents/educators. The free will we all have comes from where the Heart is.
“As a Man thinks in his heart; so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
We must approach the student as if they are a free agent. We must teach the student that we, in our current fallen state, are not free. Rather, when we submit ourselves to God, we are truly free. Only when we submit ourselves to God’s will are we free to live as God created us to live.