College: Is It Worth the Risk For Your Young People
By Jesse and Crystal Paine
In society today, very few people give a second thought after graduation to whether or not they will go to college. It is usually just a given. You graduate from high school, you go to college.
Though this may be the widely accepted pathway, is this God’s route for us as Christians? If you were stranded on a desert island and all you had was the word of God to base your decisions upon, would it change some of what you believe and do? How has the world’s methodology influenced your thinking and practice?
In the past few years, we have seen many young people who appeared to be wise beyond their years go away to college and seemingly lose everything their parents taught them. We have seen them turn their back on God and break their parent’s hearts. After witnessing such things, we began really thinking through the whole college experience in light of God’s Word.
College and Young Women (by Crystal)
God created women to be the “help meets” for men (Genesis 2:18). Women are not only created to be the “help meets” for man, they are created to be under the authority of a man (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, 1 Timothy 2:12). Scripture is clear that fathers and husbands are to be the heads of their household (1 Corinthians 11:3) and that wives are to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22).
How does college prepare a young woman for any of those things? Sadly, in most modern colleges, young women are being indoctrinated with humanistic feministic ideologies. Women are encouraged to compete with men and to seek to out do men. This feministic mindset is hard to shake once the college years are over and will most likely affect a woman the rest of her life. If she goes on to have a family, she may struggle with finding fulfillment in being a “just a wife and mother” because the world has told her there is so much more to life.
For young women who go off to college, not only are they often exposed to a great deal of feministic and humanistic propaganda, but they are also placing themselves in a very vulnerable position-away from the God-given protection of their father. I wonder how many instances of rape would not occur were young women living at home instead of hundreds of miles away at a college campus?
Christian parents need to be asking themselves, “Is it worth the risk to send your daughter away unprotected just so that she can get a ‘good education’?”
In cautioning parents concerning the wisdom of sending their daughters to college, I am not advocating that young women stay at home and sit around in pursuit of their own selfish interests. No, a young woman living at home should be doing all she can do to contribute to her family. How does she do that? There are thousands of ways. A few ideas: Learning to garden and preserve food, sewing clothes for herself and her family members, learning to shop frugally at the grocery store, helping her father in his business, developing a marketable skill, teaching music lessons to her younger siblings, researching the best deal for items her family needs to purchase, and so on.
I was blessed to have parents who were not afraid to raise our family differently than the world and to take a stand for truth and righteousness. After I graduated in 2000, my parents and I felt that the Lord was calling down a different path than the traditional college-and-career-then-marriage road so popular today. There were many opportunities for me to minister as an extension of my parents’ ministry while still living at home: I taught violin lessons to children of families from our church (and learned an immense amount about teaching which I am already applying in our home education with our daughter, Kathrynne), did much of the cooking, laundry, and ironing for my family of nine (that’s about the best home economics course you will ever get!), worked as a mother’s helper to many large families (another excellent education in home economics!), helped make and deliver meals for needy families, published a newsletter encouraging young women in Godliness (from which I learned all sorts of skills which I have implemented in our home business today), and so much more.
There were many times, though, when I felt as if I were the only girl not going to college or pursuing a career. It often was a very lonely path. But, looking back, I do not regret this decision at all. There are a multitude of things I could not have done had I devoted four years of my life to college.
College and Young Men (by Jesse)
God created men to be the protectors and providers for their families (1 Timothy 5:8). They are to be the heads of their household (1 Corinthians 11:3). From an early age, boys should be trained in these roles with the goal that they will one day be providing for their own family. Since young men are responsible to provide for their family, they should be equipped to leave home with a marketable skill that will enable them to do just that.
In today’s society, there is a prevailing belief that the only way to get a decent job is by spending at least four years (and oftentimes more) in college studying to obtain a degree which will allow you to get a job. This belief is not entirely unfounded as many jobs do require some sort of formal education. Sadly, a college education has become synonymous with “wisdom,” even though much of what is taught in colleges today is far from what Scripture defines as true wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).
As parents of sons, you need to seek the Lord for what God’s best is. Don’t just settle for the expected route-graduation, college, then career, but check out the options available. Perhaps your son could apprentice, perhaps he could start his own business at an early age, perhaps he could obtain a degree though correspondence studies. Whatever the case, don’t just blindly follow the pack. Fervently and earnestly seek God’s will and God’s way.
If you have sought the Lord and looked into all your options and possibilities and you still feel that going to college is the only option for your son, it is important that both you and he understand the risks involved. College is no cakewalk. If you send your son to college, he needs to know how to think Biblically, recognize and confront humanistic philosophy, and be willing to stand alone.
Since I was young, I have felt God calling me into the legal arena to be an advocate for fellow Christians, to stand for truth against those who would seek to undermine the principles our country was founded upon, and to defend the religious liberties protected by the Constitution. In order for me to be an attorney in our state, I have to have graduated from an accredited law school to even qualify to sit for the bar. In order to go to law school, I had to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
So, I have spent the last almost seven years of my life going to public and private universities all so that I can graduate with a piece of paper which says I have spent “such and such” amount of hours in a classroom being “indoctrinated” by those (for the most part) with completely different worldviews than my own. By the grace of God, I have not succumbed to their indoctrination attempts, but I know that it would be very easy to do so.
Most professors, unfortunately, are full of themselves and only worried about gaining tenurship. In addition, many times, especially in law school, the professors actually tend to hurt the students rather than help their study. For example, you can know the material cold and yet fail the exam because you don’t write what the professor was expecting you to write. So, because you cannot conform your own mind to the professor’s, your future will suffer (i.e., your GPA and thus your job opportunities). I can think of some exceptions, but by and large, this is the norm, from my experience.
Have my undergraduate studies and law school experience prepared me to be a good lawyer? Yes and no. Granted, I have learned something through them, of course, but I truly wish apprenticeship was still the practice of the day. I have learned so much more to help prepare me for being a good attorney through clerking for our state attorney general than anything I have learned in law school.
We want to encourage parents, sons, and daughters to carefully and prayerfully seek the Lord on the issue of higher education. As Scripture says, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Is it worth the risk to seek to gain the knowledge of the world and achieve academic excellence but possibly lose our souls or the souls of our children in the process?