Our children’s school experiences play a significant role in their lives, impacting their character, intellect, and social growth. The sheer number of hours spent in the learning environment – whether home, public, or private school – is enormous, from 6-9 hours per day or more. That’s why the people tasked with influencing the intellect and personal destinies of children must take it seriously and offer exceptional care.
I reflected on this recently with a degree of sadness because there were times in my children’s school careers that I felt administrators, coaches or teachers lacked wisdom in their dealings with my kids. All parents feel this, for sure! Whether it’s a teacher with a bad attitude, school policy poorly enforced, or an inexperienced coach, there’s no way we can protect our children from negative experiences in a school setting. Home schooling parents make mistakes in the educational process too. We’re all human. Let’s accept that.
And let’s accept that in spite of what seems like a disaster or an injustice in our children’s school lives, God is in control. If a son is dismissed from prep school; if a daughter “doesn’t see enough playing time”; if neither of them is accepted into the college of their dreams or ours, who’s “fault” is it? Since when does any school truly determine the doors of life that are opened to children? We can’t forget God’s providence and we must trust him when things don’t play out for our children the way we hoped they would.
I do believe, however, that Christian parents and educators can maximize our God-given abilities to nurture children well in spite of inevitable tensions and disappointments. I’m sure many teachers, administrators, and coaches will say, “I just need parents to stay out of the way so I can do my job.” Likewise, many parents will say, “Nobody knows my child like I do. I will not allow anyone to hurt my child’s future.” Both of these positions are understandable, but they are also unrealistic. Our children belong to God and we adults have to work together to shape them for his glory.
This video demonstrates exactly how it can work. I am absolutely blown away by the beautiful commitment of these two individuals in the shaping of a large vessel. They had to face each other and touch each other. They had to work closely, methodically, rhythmically. They had to love on the clay and get dirty, adding water and applying pressure. They had to respect the skill each brought to the potter’s wheel.
And so must we.
In order to shape vessels fit for the Master’s use, parents and school personnel must work together in humility and mutual respect. Let’s do this for the good of the children… and for the glory of God.