Thursday, October 6, 2022

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This Little Light

Anyone else struggle with the decision of where to send your children to school? When I was a kid there were two options. Public school or home school. My dad wouldn’t allow my mom to home school so that left public school. Decision made.

These days, especially in the bigger towns and cities, there is an abundance of choices for schools. Private schools, non-traditional schools, charter schools, religious schools, and a wide range of home school curriculums and communities. So, naturally, I began my career as a mom with the fear of “what if” when choosing where our oldest would go.

First we tried a charter school 20 minutes from our home. Unfortunately, it was not a great experience. We liked that the students were required to wear uniforms, however, the staff and level of education wasn’t what we expected. After a tumultuous year and private school still out of reach we opted for our local public school.

I was terrified and afraid of what my child would or wouldn’t learn. I felt all the things I wanted to shield her from she would now be exposed to. I wanted to keep her innocence and I felt public school was like throwing her into a cultural dungeon that might rip that away and make her question her faith.

But, then God put something on my heart…

We are the light.

Do you remember the song, “This little light of mine”? In verse two, it asks about hiding God’s light…

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

If someone were to ask me if I was going to hide the light of Christ my initial response would be, “Of course not! I’m gonna let it shine!” But in reality I have been selfishly preserving…hiding…isolating and protecting the light that is not only inside me but inside my children.

Is that what most Christians do with their faith? Attempting to keep the darkness at bay and the light of Jesus safe as if it is up to us to keep it lit?

“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

Unfortunately, what many Christians have done is pull away from the darkness and built a barrier around themselves and their children in fear of what might pose a threat to those they love.

I am guilty of this as well. If I had the option of a private school for my children to attend that’s where they would be. But because we have chosen to stay in public school my heart has changed.

I believe some of the reason schools have become so rough is because we have pulled out of them. In fear, we have retreated against the fight of evil in this world. We are trying to avoid the impact the culture we live in might have on our children by leaving others in the dark. We should allow ourselves and our children to permeate the public school system in the hope of making it better. We need to bring God back into our learning institutions and be the light in the darkness.

Think about how great our schools could be if we quit hiding our light from the world. If we quit isolating ourselves because of fear and actually allowed our families to illuminate this place with Christ’s love. What an incredible difference it would make!

God instructs us to go and spread the good news. He wants us to be a blessing to others, and not just other Christians. He wants us to bless all people, so that He may be glorified.

Each family must decide what is right for them and their kids when it comes to education. If private school or home school is the option that meets your families needs, that is wonderful and I fully support your choice. But I do believe we should never base our decisions out of fear. Which is exactly what I was attempting to do with sending my child somewhere other than a public school. It had nothing to do with the school itself other than being a part of the state’s decision on what was taught in the schools. If I’m honest, it was even about the types of kids who would be in their classes. We should not hide the light within us because when we do we aren’t trusting in the One who set us ablaze in the first place.

Trust God’s plan. Trust your parenting. Go and bring light into these schools, into these classrooms, into the lives of others. The darkness is swallowing up our nation, and we are partially to blame. I am partially to blame…

But, not anymore. Please don’t be like the man in the parable found in Matthew 25:15-30. Don’t take the gold (light) you’ve been given and bury it in the ground to protect it until your Master (Christ) comes back. Be like the other servants who received their bags of gold and invested them to make more. They are the ones who are the good and faithful. Hiding our light is a disgrace. It’s not what we are called to do.

Invest your light in others. Share it. You never know what kind of difference you or your child can make in the lives of others, especially their teachers.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…”



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