30 Nov Grace for the Classical Christian Classroom
I can’t parent well without it, can’t teach effectively without it, and can’t live a truly Christian life without it. What is it? Grace. Grace is the truth that God the Father gave His perfect son, Jesus Christ for me even while I sinned against Him. “…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, ESV).
Grace For All Of Us
Two of the most challenging things in my life are the roles of mother and teacher. At the beginning of each of these adventures, I saw grace as something I had the power to give to these sweet, beautiful, although sinful, young souls. Buying into this idea left me empty, frustrated, and at the end of myself.
“I saw grace as something I had the power to give to these sweet, beautiful, although sinful, young souls. Buying into this idea left me empty, frustrated, and at the end of myself.”
What I had forgotten, and still forget more often than I’d like to admit, is that I am more like these little ones that I mother and teach than unlike them. The grace they so desperately need is the same grace that soothes my spirit by erasing regret, easing guilt, and reminding me that my weakness is where God’s strength shines (2 Cor. 12:9). If I am not accepting and reminding myself of this free gift, then I cannot pass it on to those in my care.
As Paul David Tripp writes in his book, Parenting: “In all those moments when you intervene to protect your children from their foolish choices, the great Father is protecting you from you.”
Grace In The Classroom
Augustine School encourages and supports its teachers in their quests to partner with parents to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6) with a heaping helping of grace. Educators who realize the Lord has radically changed their own sinful hearts can more readily shepherd their students’ wayward hearts with tenderness and empathy. Rather than only speaking the words, they can share Christ in the way they live before their students.
As a parent of four Augustine School students, I have seen each of their teachers tenderly help them through difficult times, caring about the conditions of their hearts more than the wrong behaviors they exhibit. This is a hallmark of Classical Christian Education—forming whole people not only in mind and body, but also in spirit.
I have seen [our teachers] tenderly help them through difficult times, caring about the conditions of their hearts more than the wrong behaviors they exhibit. This is a hallmark of Classical Christian Education—forming whole people not only in mind and body, but also in spirit.
This method of education does not categorize times of correction as somehow derailing the day’s goals. On the contrary, showing children that there is a good, true, and beautiful way to live from a heart that has been transformed by Christ is an essential part of each school day.
Sharing Life Together
So, the time is taken, love is shared, grace is given, and Christ is glorified. All of this can happen because the Lord has seen fit to use a group of redeemed sinners to share life with children, day in and day out. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph.3:20-21).