This photo represents so much for me. It’s not just a first day of school photo. It’s not just a picture of one of my kids getting ready to embark on a new adventure. The image is more than capturing a moment in time we don’t want to forget. This is a depiction of more than all of that combined. The first day of school photo for our oldest is the culmination of many years of praying, pondering, discussing, and receiving wisdom from others.

The first day of school is a time when we as parents invite someone else into the life of our child to have a large influence on them. It’s the day our kids are impacted largely by someone other than their mother or me. For my wife and me, this was a decision we didn’t make lightly. I don’t think any parent makes the decision lightly. Having had differing educational experiences, my wife and I had many conversations over the years concerning the educational journey of our kids. But in making these decisions we recognize there is another major influence we want in our kids’ lives.

“People who attended church as children are also more likely to grow up happy, to be forgiving, to have a sense of mission and purpose and to volunteer.”

Tyler VanderWeele

While many people do not have the luxury of “choosing” which school their kids attends, or what kind of educational experience their children will have, the reality is educational environments impact kids. But there is another environment (or group of people) that has a larger and longer-lasting impact on children than any school. James Emery White explores that idea in his short article “Children, School, & Church“. While I am not arguing for any type of schooling experience, I found the research and findings fascinating.

What about you? If you have kids, what schooling experience did you decide on? Why so? What factors fed into that for you? I’d love to hear your feedback and perspective. With our third child about to have their first day of school later this year, I’m even more sensitive to doing my best as a parent to set all my kids up to live faithful, resilient lives. And as this article gives credence to, there is one group of people I will continue to have as an influence in my kids’ lives.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day – research shows it sets your kids up for a life of happiness, forgiveness, and service. Who doesn’t want that for their kids?

Until Next Time,