Educating a Nation
Educating a Nation
Education begins at home
Let me tell you about Christine and Captain Theresa......
Christine was so happy she was going to school. Theresa took her to Coronation Primary School to enrol her. Christine’s name wasn’t on the list; she was not accepted. Captain Theresa said to Christine, ‘Don’t give up, we must pray.’ Christine knelt down where she was, under the list, and started praying. The teacher sat on the step and listened to her prayer. When she finished – the teacher said, “Your powerful words of prayer and your faith will bring you back to school on Wednesday.” Where did Christine learn to pray? In her home. Where is she been educated? In her home. The greatest influence in a child’s life is their parents. Your children see you praying, reading you Bible, living like Jesus.
My wife Heather and I and our children Steve and Narelle served for 4 wonderful years as the Headquarters Youth Officers in PNG from 1990 till 1993. We have now been back in PNG for nearly a year. Our children are now adults. Steve is married to Emma and has two children. He is a Children’s Pastor at the Salvation Army North Brisbane Church and a school Chaplain.
Our daughter Narelle is a Salvation Army Officer and is the Divisional Youth Secretary in South Queensland. We are very proud of our family. Steve works had for 4 days a week (and does a lot of extra hours voluntarily). But he spends the rest of his time with his children (they are now 6 and 3 years old), helping with their education and teaching them about God. Steve understands that his children’s lives have more to do with his actions as a parent than any other thing.
He knows that school is important and his son William loves school, but Steve understands that his 3 year old daughter Savannah is in a period of her life where she is learning what it is to be a human being and is learning at an amazing rate all the skills she needs for life. In a few years she will go to school and learn some more things about life that will help make her the person that God wants her to be in this world.
Doctors who study how we develop as people (psychologist) tells us that by the age of 4 we have 50% of our adult intelligence. That is half of our adult intelligence. By the age of 8 that has reached 80% and we develop all our intelligence at the age of 18. I understand that this is true as I have seen how quickly babies grow and learn languages (many languages in PNG), skills and knowledge. Parents are the ‘main teachers of their own children’. You are the best teacher you children will ever have. I want our officers and soldiers and friends to understand this. If you want your children to have a faith that influence the way they live their lives, then in our homes we need to be showing faith through a personal relationship with Jesus.
In fact I want everyone in PNG to understand this. But more than that I want us to help parents, in their role as teachers, to have the resources they need to raise their children so that they will love God and grow as wonderful citizens of PNG.
These thoughts aren’t mine. This is straight from the Bible. Deuteronomy 6 and from verse 5 says, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind/strength....Parents teach it to your children’, This means talk about Jesus in front of your children, dinner time or walking to the garden. Ask God to walk beside you through every conversation with your children. Don’t worry when you make a mistake. With the right combination of love, truth, wisdom and grace, God and you are in this together. Children need to see their parents living Jesus. God has invited you to come along with him on this adventure with your children. The one thing I believe that will change our church and change our nation when our families understand that what we do, what we say and how we act as parents is called education, and what happens at school just adds on to what we teach at home. School and church is important, but not as important as what happens at home.
There is nothing more exciting than experiencing the faith journey with your child. I look forward to sharing a` family’ journey with you.
Major Kevin Unicomb
Secretary for Programme