My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9 NLT
Ephesians 5:33 in the KJV calls for wives to reverence their husbands. That is powerful, because the Bible never tells anyone to reverence a priest or a prophet. That word “reverence” for the father tells me, a parent is not only the first teacher but also the first and most important pastor.
I love Christian schools, and have dedicated my time and money to them. I believe in their mission with all my heart. Yet, sometimes when we promote Christian schools, I think we sometimes give credit to the schools that actually belongs to the parents. Of course I understand it is the parents who utilize the school in their home ministry.
I went to Adventist Schools from grades 1 through college. My schools averaged around 100 students a year with different students coming and going throughout my 12 grades. A while back, I went through my year books, and I could count on both hands, and maybe a couple of toes the number of kids who remained in the church after we grew up. Upon further investigation I found, for the most part, the families who remained in the church after growing up, were families that had worship every night in the home. They also encouraged their children to study the Bible for themselves.That is why they are still in the church. Church schools are great, they are wonderful, they are ordained by God, but they are not ordained to take the place of the mother and father and do the work the mother and father are ordained to do. (I understand there are situations, like my late friend Quong, who came to the United States from Vietnam, and was put in an Adventist School, only because it was private. While his parents were athiest, Quong, accepted Jesus, and was forced out of his home at 14 years of age! He slept at the school every night till he found a new family to live with. Thank God for that school!)
A while back I was giving a devotional for chapel at a Christian School. I asked the lower grade students how many of them have family worship at home. Out of about 45 students only 5 hands were raised. I begged the other students to ask their parents to have family worship with them every night, by studying the children’s Sabbath School lessons* and Bible together, and prayer.
The mother and father are more to a child than any priest, pastor, teacher, or even general conference president will ever be. The ordination of mother and father is a much higher ordination than any priest or pastor, and a child should learn to listen to and respect their parent more than they respect any priest, pastor or teacher.
*SSNET has a tab in their menu for lessons for every age group.