By Beth Groh
So I’m not the perfect mom when it comes to homework.
Yes, I ask the kids if they have any. Yes, I check to see that a book gets cracked or a pencil moves if needed. And, yes, I remind them that I’m available if they need help (unless it’s math, of course…they’re smart enough to find dad for that assignment).
Do I check their folders every night? Honestly, no… although I know that I should.
I rationalize it because (thank you, Lord) our three children have not really struggled in school. Sure, we’ve had other challenges. But I just checked off my mental Mom-To-Do list that micro-managing homework was not required.
I also stayed quite involved in their education. My husband and I have been intensely active in our church’s private school—supporters from the beginning, with my husband being on the school board since its inception nearly 14 years ago.
We know the staff. We know the mission. We know the blessings. We know the blemishes.
And we know our children each emerged, strengthened in their faith and academic skills along the way.
So I never worried about what was being taught.
But my confidence led me to miss something for years that was right under my nose, tucked away in our children’s backpacks. Our school’s science textbooks—like most—talk about an age of the earth and a “natural” formation process that is contrary to a Biblical worldview of science.
Page 1, chapter 1, sentence 1 of the 5th grade text: ”Earth is 4.6 billion years old.”
Did our teachers counter that view in the classroom? Absolutely.
Did our pastor reinforce a literal six-day creation during religion? Absolutely.
But did a textbook lurk for years espousing an authoritative-looking view of science that runs counter to the Bible? Yes.
Now I’m not calling for all moms to start a massive textbook bonfire to rid ourselves of secular texts. The book itself is not the problem.
Rather, the textbook symbolizes the hostile culture that invades even our very Christian sanctuaries of learning. And we as moms and dads need to stand guard and look for those counter-Christian influences that are vying for our children’s hearts and minds.
Now I see this textbook as a gift.
It was the spark that lit a fire in me to volunteer to be on the curriculum review committee for our school… to launch a “creation crusade” with events throughout the year at our church and school, sharpening our message about the truth of Scripture… and to lobby for more accountability on teaching a Biblical worldview of science in the Christian schools in our particular denomination.
As a mom, I cannot—and should not—shield my children from views contrary to a Biblical worldview. But I should guard their hearts and minds when they’re too young to intellectually sort through those differences. And, as they grow and mature in discernment, I should help arm them to see those differences of worldview for themselves.
I missed an important opportunity for doing that by not checking that backpack and homework folder more closely all these years. And for that I repent and pray God will compensate for my failures.
But I can use this episode as my own “teachable moment” to stand guard … and to not assume that even our churches are immune from letting the hostile anti-Christian culture sneak in and reach for our children.