Most of us think of education as a rather neutral, benign thing that we offer our children as they grow. However, the Bible paints a much different picture for parents when it warns that “When a student is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.” (Luke chapter 6) Join me and my dear friend, Steve Lambert for an insightful discussion that will point parents back to the truth about education.
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing:
- Romans 5:1-2
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Steve Lambert has worn many hats in his 68 years: Pastor, author, speaker, stockbroker and more. Together, he and his wife Jane Claire Lambert created and publish “Five in a Row” homeschool curriculum which has been a homeschool mainstay for nearly 25 years. They began homeschooling their children in 1981 and today their seven grandchildren are being homeschooled as well and range in age from 18 months to 18 years.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St John, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me today in my little corner of the Internet. Today is Friday, May 17th. And as always, I like to have people on my show on Friday who will encourage you in your walk with the Lord and bring it down to where we can really understand it and parse it out. Today is no different. My friend Steve Lambert is on the show with me today and we’re going to be talking about the power of education.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
All right, so today is Friday. I can’t even believe it. Episode number 767. We are just cruising our way through the month of May. Wanted to let you guys know where I’m going to be because I’ve got a lot of you asking. I’ve got about a week and a half off right now, and then I will be in Columbus for the Teach Them Diligently Convention. And actually, my friend Steve—who you’ll hear from in a minute—he’s going to be there with me. Teach Them Diligently is a wonderful opportunity for you to come, bring your family, get encouraged, meet some of these people that you might hear on the radio or otherwise who really have come there to encourage you and answer your questions and pray with you. So come on out. I’ll be there the 30th through June 1st—so May 30th through the 1st of June.
Also right, about that time. It’s a great time for you to jump into the new Bible study at MomStrong International.com. So right now we’re finishing up our study on the tongue, Deep Waters. And we’ve been talking about the power of our words. Really, what it means to honor the Lord with the things that we say, with the things that we write. And really this idea of our ambassadorship, we represent a kingdom, right? We represent the Kingdom of the Lord. And so for the month of June, we’re going to take it a step farther and we’re going to start studying the fruit of the Spirit. So this is the fruit of the Spirit, which should be evidenced in all of our lives. Won’t be perfectly done right?—but God wants us to walk in right relationship with Him. So now’s a great time to join us—MomStrongInternational.com.
Speaking of MomStrong International—if you’re not doing the Scripture Writing Challenge with me, I’m going to encourage you to do that. I’ve been doing it for many years here at the podcast and over at my blog and today’s verse is found in Romans 5:1-2. I will read it to you. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. I love that passage because it reminds me that my hope is in the Lord and my boasting should also be in Him. I think as homeschoolers, and even sometimes as parents—we can, especially if things are going well, if they’re not going well, then forget about it—but when it is going well, we tend to want to boast about how we found this amazing curriculum or because somebody us this amazing parenting tool. But really the Bible saying we shouldn’t boast in anything but the hope that we have in the glory of God.
That’s one of the things I love about my friend Steve Lambert. Steve and I have been friends for many years now. We have a long and, and funny history really. And sometimes we like to tell the story of how our families met. But one of the things I love about him is he’s raised children and is now watching his daughters shepherding their children. And his hope and his boasting is always in God and what God has done in his life. So I’m going to be talking to Steve today about education and how we can put our hope in the Lord even in education. So, Steve, my friend, welcome to the podcast.
[Steve] Thank you Heidi, great to be with you today.
[Heidi] It’s so nice to have you here. And, you and I have been, you know, batting around this idea of education. And what it means and why it’s important for many years. And when people ask you this out on the road—and your teaching, right? You’re teaching on this subject at Teach Them Diligently this season, right?
[Steve] Right, yeah. One of the workshops I’ve been doing is about teaching in the 21st century, and how that looks different than any time in the past, and how the culture is changing around us, and how that ought to be influencing the way we’re teaching.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. And Education, and particularly we see this in homeschool circles, but, it’s become more and more important to talk about it wherever our kids are in school. But education is not neutral, right? There is always an eternal purpose behind the education of our children and the education of the next generation. When you talk about this, what’s the thing that you like to hit the most? Like when, when you, when parents come to listen to this particular talk that you give, what’s like the top three things that you really want them to walk away with?
[Steve] Well, you know, when we began homeschooling, gosh, what’s it been? 1981—however long ago that was, 38 years ago, I guess it would have been. As I began to pray about it, I felt like the Lord said, Steve, you and your wife are accountable for how you raise your children for the things that they’re taught. And I thought, man, if I’m, if I’m going to be accountable for that, I’d be a part of the process and not delegate all of that responsibility to other people. And, you know, as a footnote, it wasn’t until several years later, I felt like he spoke to me and he said, your kids are accountable for how they turn out. So, not every great parent turns out great kids and not every terrible parent turns out terrible kids. But you can tilt the odds drastically in your favor if you’re a participant in the process because your kids are going to be discipled.
It’s just a question of who’s going to disciple them and towards what end and what goal. And so with that in mind, I think it’s important for parents, whether you’re homeschooling or not, to be aware of what your kids are being taught, to be aware of who’s teaching your kids and the agenda behind that curriculum that’s been chosen by your public or private school—or the curriculum that you’ve chosen for your homeschool. Because, in the 21st century, things are different. We’ve never seen like what’s happening in our culture today. Education has been taken over, largely with an agenda—it disciples your children not towards righteousness, not towards godliness, not towards heavenly things, but towards an entirely contradictory worldview, that’s probably at odds with everything that you believe is a parent. And so if you’re just naively allowing that to take place without any active participation on your part, woe be unto you because your children are on a battleground and there’s a war being fought over your children, and your children’s children every single day.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I read an article over at Life Site News a couple of days ago, May 13th. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. But, it’s garnering quite a bit of attention because they so boldly said what is behind the LGBTQ agenda? And I’ve heard people say to me, Oh, there is no agenda. They’re not trying to indoctrinate your kids. But that’s actually not true. And they started off the article by saying what is behind the LGBTQ agenda. The goal of these enforcers is to forcibly normalize their lifestyle in the minds of the 97% of the population that does not identify with their lifestyle. And this is why we’re bombarded with the lifestyle. It’s been inserted into everything. You and I were just talking about this the other day, that Converse has now launched a new line of shoes that celebrates the lifestyle.
And they’re using this kid, this little kid named Desmond, as their sort of poster child. And I thought, man, we’re encouraging our children to live in a lie rather than embrace who they really are. And this is what is happening in our schools. And someone said to me, uh, it’s because you’re looking at people who are in rebellion against God, but in particular the God of Christianity. Have you noticed the same things, the sort of slant toward not, we’re not talking about just nebulous god, not the god of Islam, right? The war right now is against the god of Christianity. What say you, my friend?
[Steve] That’s exactly right. Even bigger, I think that the LGBTQ agenda, is just an antichrist agenda. And that’s kind of what you’re referring to. I mean, the agenda is to, undermine anything or anyone that would suggest that we’re not, that is human beings, are not the ultimate power. That there is any higher power than us. That the Bible could possibly be truth. That Scripture is, in fact, the indelible Word of God. So the goal is to undermine that into elevating man to the highest position. I mean, it’s no different than the story of the rebellion in heaven, found back in the very beginning of Genesis. That Lucifer who had sat in the very presence of God, beheld His glory, managed somehow to persuade a third of all the angels—that this story to be about me, this ought to be about you. This shouldn’t be about God. He shouldn’t be the center of our story. And in the midst of that, somehow, you know, it’s almost incomprehensible.
It’s no wonder that men and women today are being persuaded by that same agenda, coming from that same source—when a third of all the angels who had stood in God’s very presence, were persuaded by the enemy that, you know, that God’s not the final authority and that we should determine our own fate and our own future. And that agenda has grown to the point today where it’s being mobilized and organized by social media, by education, by universities, colleges, high schools, grade schools, preschools, by the media—the mainstream media. We’re being bombarded with all of modern 21st century technology. But towards that very same ancient goal of Lucifer, that is to say—you deserve a bigger part in this thing, mankind should be the center of the story and not the eternal Creator God.
[Heidi] Yeah, and he’s always been, he’s in the business of stealing identities and certainly that’s what’s happening now in the culture and education plays a huge part of that. One of the things I love about you and your message to parents is it really is a message of freedom. And I heard you say it a few minutes ago—just talking about parents, you know, remember that ultimately your kids, one of these days, your kids are going to make a choice but, and we’re not responsible for the choice they make. What we are responsible for is to steward a message of God’s faithfulness and his love and mercy in their lives. And one of the ways we help steward that is through education. It’s through education. And so if a parent comes to you and they say, oh Steve, you know, who cares? It’s just school. You know, it’s just reading, writing, and arithmetic. What is your encouragement? What’s your exhortation to the parent who doesn’t understand the value and the importance of education wherever their kids are being educated?
[Steve] I think that, you know, reading, writing, and arithmetic are probably the same from age to age. And those are areas where children can exercise self discipline and the rigorous discipline of simply sitting in memorizing facts and learning skills through repetition. But so much of the rest of our education in the humanities, and literature, and history, and the revisionist histories that were being taught today is changing—literally by the hour. You know, we live in an information rich age in which what we have is knowledge, but no wisdom. Our favorite place to visit in England is Oxford. And at Oxford University you’ll find the Bodleian Library. And the Bodleian Library attempts to catalog each new book published every day, not ebooks, not digital products, but actual bound books. And every single day they receive, on average 5,000 new books that have been written. Information is coming at us.
If you could read a book a day, we’d take you something like 15 years to read today’s new books. And at that point, you’re nearly 2 million books behind just since the day you started. Information is coming at us in a flood. And so it’s no longer possible to teach our kids “everything”. And so parents are like—well, we just need to go through the textbooks and teach our kids the information. No, we live in an information-rich age. And so now the question becomes selectively. We can’t teach them everything. So what’s important to teach them? And yes, they still need to learn how to read. And of course, they need to learn to do math. But beyond that, we can teach them infinitesimal one 1000th of one 10th of 1% of the information out there.
So the question is—what is it that you’re going to teach them? What’s of eternal value? What will change their lives? What we’ll help them stand firm and a culture that’s at war with everything that we hold dear? And the answer is probably not memorizing state capitals, or memorizing the succession of the presidents of the United States. That’s great to know about the presidents. That’s great to know about our states. In fact, you ought to know a lot about your state, but far more importantly, in this day and age, is for children to be taught true history. And by the way—there are no perfect saints in history. There are good guys, there are bad guys. The bad guys had a few good points. The good guys had a few bad points.
But the reality is that we shouldn’t be changing history. It’s time for us to own up to the fact that our kids need to learn what actually happened. The good and the bad. They learn the good and the bad of science. Science has made tremendous breakthroughs through that have helped our lives immensely and it has made some catastrophic discoveries that are destroying life as God intended it to be.
So we live in an information-rich age and so selectivity becomes critical. And so it’s up to parents to begin to decide and sort through the tidal wave of information coming at us and help shape the message that our children are being taught today more than ever before.
[Heidi] Yeah. And you guys, you made the decision like my husband and I did—to homeschool your kids. And there was a time—and Steve, you and I have talked about this over the years, you know, the four of us, as couples as we’ve traveled around the country together—have talked about how the face of education is changing. And 10 years ago I never, I don’t think I would have said—homeschool your kids. Like really, the barn’s on fire. At what point do we say, hey, let the horses out? The barn’s on fire, it’s not working anymore. But more and more recently I have felt like the attacks against children in the public school system—and I realize not every public school but pretty close to it—are teaching children things that are absolutely antithetical to what their parents want them to teach. Has Your view on a education, like the way that we educate children, has it changed over the years or have you felt like—na, it’s pretty much the same thing?
[Steve] No, it’s changed radically. When we began, for the first, gosh, first 20 years, I would say after we began homeschooling, certainly through the 20th century at least—I felt the default position was probably some sort of public education or Christian education. And if the Lord spoke to you and gave you specific direction, then homeschooling would be a great choice. Somewhere, some years ago I felt like that began to shift and now I feel like it’s reversed 180 degrees and the default position is probably either homeschooling or Christian schooling, and only if the Lord speaks to you directly would I even remotely consider public education. It’s interesting because I hear people all the time say, Oh my child’s teachers at Christian and I appreciate that. Oh, you know, the, the principal at our, our school is a Christian. I appreciate that. But in many cases, they don’t have much say.
In fact, in some cases they have zero say in what’s being taught to your children. They may love the Lord, they may have a personal devotional life and believe the Word of God—but they’re being told what to teach and their jobs and their careers are on the line if they don’t follow through. And so, we live in a world where, there, there are outside forces at work. It’s not just, you know, little house on the prairie where, where your teachers, a lovely person in their teaching your, your children and it’s all fun and games. And so we have to make difficult decisions in the 21st century. And the goal for our kids is not to become great academicians. I mean, I’m not against academics and I know that many of our kids will go onto graduate school, PhDs become great educators and own ride and all that sort of thing. And that’s wonderful.
And so they have to be taught. And, and the argument that, oh well they’re going to be light and salt in the public schools and they’re going to be fighting and little warriors. They are in no way a seven year old, even a 17 year old, honestly, is in no way prepared to become a warrior on the battlefield. Very, very, very few, even teenagers are prepared. And so to throw them out into the middle of a battlefield and, and don’t be mistaken, I mean it is a battlefield. We were born on a battlefield and there’s a war raging around us. And to throw your child onto the battlefield and say—here, go out there and fight the war is this is a fool’s errand. So yeah, my opinion has changed dramatically.
[Heidi] Yeah. And mine has too. And I think because we’re seeing the reality of the, well, the results are playing out now. All you gotta do is look at every college campus in the United States right now and see the results of an education system that has abandoned the moral compass that our nation was founded on. And the Bible teaches us in Luke 6:40 that when a student is fully trained, he’ll be like his teacher. So is it any wonder that these kids out of an education system that teaches them that they’ve evolved from animals, that they can be, you know, 15+ genders at their parents really aren’t the final authority, that we put them through this education system for at least 12 years of their lives and they come out with a worldview, that’s the antithesis of what we hoped for them—and we are responsible. Right? I mean we, we bear the, the responsibility for those decisions. Right?
[Steve] Yeah, that’s, that’s exactly right. And that’s what I felt like, you know, as I said, I felt like the Lord spoke to me, not in an audible voice, but in a clear impression, in 1981 when I was asking him about homeschooling and he said—you’re accountable for how your children are raised and taught. And I thought, you know, that’s, I mean, if I’ve got to sit for the final exam and stand before the King of kings, someday, I ought to at least have my, you know, hand in the pie some, at least to some degree. I mean, I may choose to delegate some of that responsibility to other people, but the excuse, well, I didn’t really have anything to do with their education and so it’s not my fault. I don’t think it’s going to hold water. And so I’m accountable. I need to be a participant in the process, at the very least actively involved in local school politics, choosing a top quality Christian school for my child, or homeschooling—so that I can then at least say I did my part, you know, my, my kid, you know, for their own choices.
But I did the best that I knew how to do because you told me, God, that I was going to stand before you and give an accounting. And you know, some of us hold all of that responsibility and some of us delegate a portion, and I’m not sure that’s quite as critical, is the fact that you’re at least involved in, you know, to whom you’re delegating authority and what they’re goals are in education. So if you found a great Christian school or you’re in a homeschool co op and you know the quality of the people who are teaching classes, the administrators that are running that co op one or two days a week, if your kids are there—I think that’s a whole different proposition than public schools where as I said, I mean you may have a personal relationship. Oh, I’ve known the teacher, we went to high school together, we’re friends, I know her, she’s a Christian. Well, if her hands are tied and she’s being told at risk of losing her job, this is what you will teach or you will be fired, then all bets are off.
[Heidi] Yeah. And that’s exactly what’s happening. I mean that is 100% what’s happening is that even the good teachers, which I thank God for Christian teachers in the public school systems, I hope that there are more and more and more and more of them, but I would advocate for parents—take your kids out and let’s put the good teachers in. But let’s not sacrifice our kids to the public school system so that they can go. I love what you said about salt and light. So true. In the few minutes that we have left, I know there’s going to be people who are listening to this who are going to be bummed out, right? They’re listening to us and they’ve thought, I’m going to put my kid in public school. It doesn’t matter. A couple of things I want to address with you really quickly in the few minutes we have left.
First is, I want to talk to those parents who feel like this is an attack against as parents who feel, you know, kind of like when we did the yoga ball podcast a couple of months ago—I talked about it from a position of hey, this is the biblical reality. And then the next question I want to address is to the parent who’s really falling under conviction right now and they’re going—I need to pull my kids out next year, I can’t, I can’t send them back to the public school system and have my conscience be the clear anymore. But I’m worried, I don’t know if I can do it. I’m afraid. I want to encourage those parents. So let’s tackle those last two issues in the few minutes we have left.
[Steve] Those are great questions, Heidi. And I get that, you know, and I think there are probably also parents out there who, who didn’t make that choice and whose children are now grown and who are having deep regrets about their choices. And you know, you’re not accountable for what you didn’t know then, you’re accountable of for what you do know now and you know. It’s never too late for your kids. I mean the Lord is the Lord, but He’s a god of Miracles. I mean, he’s the one who said Lazarus come forth and dead bones began to walk. And so you continue to pray for your kids. If that season past of education, your adult kids are going the wrong direction—keep praying for him because God’s got a miracle. If your conviction today is about what to do and whether or not you could possibly do it—if God’s calling you to do it, God will make a way for you to do it.
We’ve seen that over and over in our lives, and questions that we had, and fears, and anxieties, and uncertainties. We can now look back on every one of those issues—we can look back and say, you know what, we didn’t have a clue how we were going to go about doing that, but God did. And it was His faithfulness the got us to the end of that line. Because when God calls you to do something, you can count on the fact that he’s going to get you successfully to the end. So finances, yeah, those are tough issues. You know, maybe you didn’t even graduate from high school, maybe you don’t feel equipped. But we live in a world where there are tremendous resources available.
You, yourself, are doing amazing work there in the Pacific Northwest there at the Homeschool Resource Center. There are homeschooled cooperatives, there are online opportunities, there are tutors available. There’s all kinds of resources available to help parents at least get their feet on the ground in that first year or two. And I would also say, you know, we say this is so hard. We can’t do it. We’re not sure. You know, sometimes we overestimate, especially in those early years. I mean, if you were stuck on a desert island with nothing but coconuts and a stick, and sand—could you teach your kids to, to be math? I’m sure you can. You just start coconuts and piles. There’s two in this pile. There’s three in that pile. We put the piles together. There’s five. This isn’t A, you take the stick and you draw two lines and a crossbar in the sand. This is an A, this is a B, you know—it doesn’t take much in the way of money or resources to begin teaching children, especially in those early years. And if you’ve got a library card and the comfortable sofa, you’ve got all the tools you need to provide a great education. Open your Bible, sit down with the Lord, gather your children around you, get your library card— get to the business of teaching your children the things that matter in the world in which we live today.
[Heidi] Well, yes, that’s it. I was just sitting over here looking at Jay across the studio and I’m just like, yeah! We’re high-fiving each other over here. I love what you’re saying. I love the boldness with which you’re saying it and the truth. And I think a lot of people don’t want to say it, right? We don’t want to wade into that deep water and say, this is the hard truth. The truth is the education system in the United States, whether you like this truth or not, this is the truth—the education system in the United States is geared and is actively pushing children away from truth—and not toward it. And if we don’t start talking about that in the culture, if we can’t be bold enough to say this is what’s happening—then we’re being foolish. And we are becoming increasingly pressured to stop speaking truth and instead be forced to embrace a destructive lie.
And one of the things I love about you, my friend, is that you stand strong on the truth of the fact that God is both on our side and in control. And we know because the Bible teaches us that the roots of evil are shallow. And as Christians, we stand on the rock-solid foundation of righteousness and truth. And the other thing I love that you pointed out is—our job is simply to continue spreading the truth and to fight the good fight for what is right. And then to rest in the fact that God has equipped us. If he’s called you to homeschool, then he’s also equipped you to do that. And then we can rest and trust that all is well.
Steve Lambert, my friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. I know you’ve encouraged me today and I didn’t even know I needed it and I feel so much better already.
[Steve] Well, it’s always a joy to talk with you whether it’s in person or on your podcasts. Thanks for the opportunity and the privilege to join you and your listeners today. I just know that God has something special in store for them and those who are willing to follow. And, and you know, we live in a world where speaking the truth is risky business and it’s labeled as hate-speech and none of us—we all want to be polite, we don’t want to offend anybody. I mean, that’s never been in my heart to offend anybody. I want to be polite, but in the end I’m not going to sacrifice my children on the altar of political correctness. There are final ultimate decisions that we cannot allow anyone else to make for us. Thanks for the opportunity to be with you today. God bless.
[Heidi] Yeah, thank you, Steve. I so appreciate you being here. For more information on Steve Lambert, I will link back to his information in the show notes today and also want to let you know that Steve travels frequently with Teach Them Diligently. He will also be in Columbus for the Teach Them Diligently convention. I’ll link back to that in the show notes today as well.
If you’re interested in coming to hear Steve or myself , or many of the other speakers that are there, you can save $12 on your registration by typing the code Heidi12 at the checkout and you’ll 12 bucks on your registration.
Also want to encourage you, if you haven’t joined us at MomStrong International, this is a great time of the month to do it. Head on over to MomStrongInternationa.com. Thanks for listening everybody. We appreciate it and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
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