September / October 1995 The President’s Column – Once again the school bells throughout the land have summoned our children to return to their classrooms to begin another school year.
From the September / October 1995 issue of The Concordia Lutheran
The President’s Column
Once again the school bells throughout the land have summoned our children to return to their classrooms to begin another school year. From what we hear and read, some of our schools have begun to initiate changes – in some instances quite drastic – to bring our educational system back to a realistic program which will enable the student to be more thoroughly equipped to step out into the world academically qualified to assume a responsible position in the business world. This is, of course, long overdue! For too long of a time the basics of education have been relegated to the background in favor of extracurricular activities. Is it any wonder then that we hear reports of high school graduates, for example, not being able to read and write proper English?
Recently I read an article in the Reader’s Digest, July 1995, written by David M. Schwartz and condensed from SMITHSONIAN. Here are a few excerpts:
Jim Trelease has devoted the past 16 years to promoting what he considers the best-kept secret in education today. “Most people don’t believe me when they first hear it,” he says. “They dismiss it for three reasons: One, it’s simple. Two, it’s free. Three, the child enjoys it. So how good can it be?” … Trelease continues to persuade them that no matter how busy they are, the foremost nurturing they can give a child, next to hugging him, is reading aloud to him.
He backs up his pitch with facts. Numerous studies, including recent reports by The Center for the Study of Reading and the National Council of Teachers of English, confirm that reading to children builds vocabulary, stimulates imagination, stretches the attention span, nourishes emotional development, and introduces the textures and nuances of the English language.
The whole article is thought-provoking and should encourage parents to read to their little children. The title of the article is: Most Important Thing You Can Do for Your Child. It may well be that reading to your child is the most important thing you can do for his intellectual development. But parents who truly love their children will read not only the various educational books to them, but they will also read the Bible Stories to their children during these early formative years for their spiritual development. The Lord requires that parents are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Teaching our children to know Jesus as their Savior from sin, death and hell and to listen devoutly to His Word with a believing and humble heart is the most important thing that we can do for our children!
Unfortunately, this is shamefully neglected by ever so many. What good would it do if parents only emphasized the secular education of their children so that they would get good-paying jobs and be able to enjoy the luxuries which money can buy if their spiritual education is shoved to the background as though it were of little importance? The Lord Jesus declares, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36,37). Faith in Jesus and striving to follow His Word is the one thing needful for time and eternity! For “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Only faith in the Savior in whom we have forgiveness of sins can give that peace which passes all understanding. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).
Teaching our children to place Him and His Word first will assure them of God’s blessings, His help and guidance, strength in the day of adversity, help in the time of trouble, and comfort in the hour of death. Now is the time to prepare them for eternity while they are still under our wings as our little sons and daughters!
Oh, blest the parents who give heed
Unto their children’s foremost need
And weary not of care or cost!
May none to them and heav’n be lost!
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor M.L. Natterer, President