Education is all about discipleship

by Heidi St. John

Are you tired? This homeschooling gig is hard! (No one told me that before I decided to do it.) But it matters. What we do every day matters, moms. But why is education such a big deal? There's a short verse in Luke that has implications as to why and how we educate our children. Luke 6:40 says, “A disciple [student] is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (NIV).1 Wow, that’s powerful stuff.

Do you remember when you were in school? Most of us were not homeschooled ourselves. We attended school away from home where we were discipled (that’s right) by our teacher. We don’t often think of education this way, but at the end of the day, education is all about discipleship.

My husband, Jay, and I have been saying this for years as we’ve been speaking around the country. We did not realize the depth of the spiritual battle in the field of education until we got involved in ministering to homeschooling families. I believe it is because education is much more important than we often realize! We are talking about the hearts and minds of the next generation of children. As that Luke passage said, when a child is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.

Now, is this condemning those who’ve chosen not to homeschool? Absolutely not, but it is a reminder that it matters who teaches your children. You see, discipleship is the goal of education. Christian homeschooling should not only be about teaching the ABCs. Yes, academics are an essential component in homeschooling, but the foundation and power of homeschooling is found in the quiet resolve of two parents who are committed to teach their children to be fully devoted, mature followers of Jesus Christ. The neat thing my husband and I realized about homeschooling our children is that the amount of time it gives us to disciple our children is second to none. Homeschooling has given us time with our children that would have otherwise been given to a teacher or a school system.

Understanding this is a crucial component of success in homeschooling. It is the key that unlocks the door to longevity in home education. The truth is that the best schedule and most efficiently run home won’t keep you from burning out if you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So, let me just ask you, busy mom, why are you raising your children? What is your goal for raising children? Most moms I know wouldn’t take on homeschooling in a million years without a driven desire. So, what’s driving you?

The answer to this question is going to define the education journey of your family. And it's what will keep you going in the really hard seasons. Keeping the heart of homeschooling alive with the desire to impart wisdom, not just knowledge, to your children will help keep you going on the days when you wonder what in the world you got yourself into.

Once you truly know what education is about and decide why you are doing what you’re doing, you can begin to make a plan that will help you make the most of the homeschooling years, one moment at a time. And when you're tired and want to throw in the towel, remember that plan and be renewed by it!

The Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love. And the goal of education is discipleship. As we raise our kids, let's remember that passage in Luke, "… when he is fully trained, he will be like his teacher" and let’s disciple them in the love of Christ.

You can do this!

Biographical information

Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you. www.thebusymom.com

Copyright, 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Winter 2015. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.


  1. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.