An article came into my inbox the other day that was describing the difficult government regulations that homeschooling families in France are facing under the leadership of Emmanuel Macron. Yes, that may seem irrelevant… most of us are not living in France. But something I found most concerning in the article was the mention of the possibility that such regulations may one day trickle over to America from Europe. Christian homeschool parents need to be awake and alert these days so that we are not caught off guard with oppressive restrictions that threaten to take away our God-given freedom to educate the children that He Himself has given us.
In the 22nd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was once asked a question about whether or not it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. No doubt you remember the narrative. Jesus requested the men who asked the question to show Him a piece of money in the currency of the day, and identify the face that was minted on the front of it. Of course, they replied that it was Caesar’s face on the coin. It had the Roman emperor’s image on it; and therefore, since it was stamped with his image, it clearly belonged to him and the government that he represented and supervised.
Jesus’ answer to this question – like so many of His other answers to life’s problems – was short, simple, and to the point. It left the people asking it speechless. “Render therefore to Caesar,” He said, “the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Money is minted by Caesar (the government). It is made “in Caesar’s image,” so to speak; and so it is only right that we use Caesar’s money to pay Caesar’s taxes.
But have you ever given deeper thought to the second part of Jesus’ answer? Although money is printed or stamped with the face of a government leader or some other symbol that represents the government, there is only one entity in the whole Bible that is spoken of as being made “in the image of God” – and that is Mankind himself. The first chapter of Genesis tells us that the Lord created human beings in the very image and likeness of His own self. It is true that we do not bear that image of God perfectly anymore because of our sin; nevertheless, the fact remains that human beings still bear a resemblance or a likeness to their Maker – and consequently, when a child is born to a father and mother, that miniature little human being is likewise made “in the image of God.”
Don’t Render to Caesar the Things that are Not Caesar’s!
All this to say, our children were never given to Emmanuel Macron or the Department of Education or any other government organization to raise and teach. They are made in the likeness of God, and they bear His image – just as a coin or dollar bill bears the image of the government that mints it or prints it. The Lord has entrusted parents, not the government, to educate and raise those children that He has loaned to them, and to raise them in such a way that – with His blessing – He will receive a good return on His investment (so to speak).
Yes, God has established lawful government for a purpose; and as long as it stays within the realms of that Divinely appointed purpose, all is well. But the upbringing of children was never within the scope of the God-given responsibilities of the government. It was never originally within their realm, and it never should be.
I love this quote from a great Christian leader of the nineteenth century named Robert Lewis Dabney. He says, “It is the teaching of the Bible and of sound political ethics that the education of children belongs to the sphere of the family and is the duty of the parents. The theory that children of the commonwealth are the charge of the commonwealth is a pagan one derived from heathen Sparta and Plato’s heathen republic.”
Give Caesar his due, and give God what is rightfully His! Your children don’t belong to the government. They were never given to them, and they were never meant to be part of their responsibility. To be downright honest, they don’t belong to parents either; they belong to God Himself. However, He has entrusted them to the care of their father and mother to be raised for His glory.
May the Lord give more and more parents grace to realize the blessed privilege that He has given them in the opportunity to teach, train, and raise their sons and daughters in their own homes – where education is a way of life modeled after Deuteronomy 6:6-7, and is so much more than mere academics mingled with a whole lot of indoctrination. And may the Lord help us to take a stand against any organization or entity that threatens to rob us of this privilege!
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Kara Gebhardt | Lightstock.com