Christian Education, Is it an Expense or an Investment?

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6

In these tough economic times, Christian parents find themselves wrestling with the decision to make a choice regarding their children’s education. They recognize the trust that God has placed on them to love and provide for their children. They also understand the heavy responsibility to educate them in an environment that embraces their values as Christians, to provide them with a quality education, and also guarantee that they will be taught of the Lord by loving, dedicated, and qualified teachers. Nevertheless, the question is often asked, “Christian education—is it an expense or an investment?”

What is the difference between the two? An expense is defined as a recurring cost with short-term benefits that are necessary for daily function (e.g. utilities, gas, cell phone). An investment delivers possible future, long-term benefits (e.g. stocks, mutual funds, bonds). In short, an expense is a necessity. An investment is a choice. Our children are gifts from God. They are our greatest treasure. Christian parents should look for an education that focuses on eternity, not just academics, though extremely important. From that perspective, it is clear that Christian education is the only option and, therefore, is a worthwhile investment.

Having put three children through Christian education from elementary to college, I believe it is the best investment any Christian parent can make, and I dare say any parent. At the end of the day, the benefits are incalculable. To name a few:

• The integration of faith and learning

• The development of a personal relationship with God in which they learn to trust Him and know Him as their personal Savior

• The acquisition of the desire to serve God and influence others to do the same

• The knowledge that they are equipped to be servant-leaders

• The security that they have the power to impact and change the world wherever they go, by the grace of God

As Christian parents, we could not think of anything more worthy of investing our resources in than an institution that would join our efforts in implanting the Word of God in the minds and hearts of our children. An investment in Christian education is even more secure than investing in stocks and bonds.

Christian education offers a safe, nurturing environment and certainly an academically sound education. Studies show that children who receive a Christian education perform better than their counterparts. Tools such as critical thinking, values, and principles that are God-centered are acquired and will enable them to achieve their full potential. Every aspect of their education is infused in their daily lessons with biblical and spiritual applications. From this investment students receive a life-changing experience.

With so many uncertainties, much thought must go into the selection of an educational system for our children, whether it is Christian or secular. In Isaiah 54:13, we are told that “all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be their peace.” Can you think of a better mentor for your children than God? Christian education does not stand alone; it is also supported by the home foundation and the church. These three form a strong team for the total development of the student.

The decision to invest in our children so they can be prepared to serve in this world and for greater service in the world to come is invaluable. Pray for heavenly guidance to make a choice for a Christ-centered education. Christian education pays dividends beyond imagination. We simply cannot put a price on eternity. So, to answer the question, categorically, yes, Christian education is an investment.

—Frigga M. Simmons is the director of development at Bermuda Institute