Let’s Have the College Conversation

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Yesterday, in Country Mouse, City Mouse, I addressed whether or not ’tis more godly to live in the country than to live in the city, and I argued that the option MOST pleasing to God is a combination of the two. Obviously it’s The Burbs. Where I live. Because, of course, I always do what is most pleasing to God, and I think you ought to do the same.

Today I’d like to talk about college even though I’ve addressed it HERE and HERE. Please. If you haven’t read those articles, do it. Just so you know where I’m really coming from. I don’t want to get hate mail from any of you (although it always makes excellent fodder for future blog posts.)

Now, down to business. It was one of the comments on Monday that has become the inspiration for this article. Here is a bit of what the commenter said (emphasis is mine):

It seems to me that Scripture is on the side of those who are not sending their children to colleges where they “will become like their teacher” and “walk with the ungodly” where “bad company will corrupt good morals.” I don’t believe those unnamed leaders in this post are advocating Christians being uneducated or a return to monasticism. On the contrary, those I know of who are suggesting that many Christians should not be going to college are also strongly in favor of Christians being much better educated than those in the world. It is not necessary to go to college in order to get a superior education. I think Christians should refuse to send their children, and their money, to secular universities and colleges.

Quick Little Side Note: If the commenter is reading this, I’m not writing this post to pick on you, and I also realize based on later comments that we’re all probably on a very similar page, so please don’t take this personally. Your comment above simply represents the real thinking of hundreds of people who believe what you are arguing – and it is the argument that I am addressing in this article. If I could have you over for coffee, I would in a heartbeat, and I know I’d love you to pieces because you are passionate and visionary and not afraid to say what you think. You keep being all those things, OK? You are my sister in Christ. So I beg of you, brace yourself now and be strong while I try to demolish your argument. I repeat, your argument (one little piece of it, anyway). Not you.

While I have encouraged and supported the opening of minds to see that there are other viable options besides college (see article links above), and while some of our own children may choose not to go to college, depending on God’s leading in their lives, I want to go on record as saying:

I do NOT agree that “Scripture is on the side of those who are not sending their children to colleges.” 

If you are scratching your head thinking, “So – do you believe, then, that Scripture is on the OTHER side? You know, the one where people DO send their children to colleges?” The answer is, no, I don’t agree with that either.

I would argue that Scripture is not taking a side on this issue; therefore, neither should I. So let’s break this down.

Argument One

Scripture (and I’m assuming GOD) is on the side of those who do NOT send their children to secular universities and such. Can we assume that the opposite of this is true? That Scripture is NOT on the side of those who DO send their children to secular universities?

Argument Two

Scripture (and GOD) do not take sides either way. I would like to use the following verse as my standing place as far as whose side God is on:

‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him…” 2 Chronicles 16:9

So He is on the side of the blameless. Whose that? Scripture tells us:

“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4

So I take that to mean that God is on the side of those who belong to Him through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Those are the blameless ones. Not because they don’t sin or make bad choices, obviously.

Do we always know who those folks are? No, we don’t. Jesus told a parable about weeds and wheat in Matthew chapter 13, and He said the disciples were to let them grow together. They were not to try to pull the weeds – or they might accidentally pull some wheat out too. The pulling had to wait for GOD’s judgement. He pulls the weeds at the end of the age. In the meantime, we go to churches with weeds. We may even be a weed.

So God is on the side of His people. His children. The future “Kings and Queens of Narnia.”

So what about the verses the commenter used. I’ll give you the references so you can look them up in their context (and their entirety.)

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” I Corinthians 15:33.

Here Paul is quoting a Greek guy named Menander. So actually God didn’t say that. Menander did. Or wait – maybe Menander was just speaking a Truth. You’ve heard that “all Truth is God’s Truth” right? Yeah. That.

 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40

Jesus is actually telling his disciples that they will never be above HIM. The most they can hope for is to be LIKE HIM. (Read more commentary on this HERE.) So the verse, in context, is not saying that you will become like whoever teaches you. Thank goodness. Or I’d be an atheist several times over based on the fact that I had several outspoken atheist teachers in high school. (We had some rollicking good times together when I turned in papers and such, let me tell you.)

In fact, if that was a universal truth, we’d all be in really big trouble. Some Christians grew up with rotten, abusive parents who taught them all kinds of nasty things. Some Christians have to work with and under people of all persuasions. Are we all hopelessly relegated to lives of sin and degradation?

No. Jesus Christ is our Teacher. Not a university prof. The Bible is replete with examples of God-fearing men and women living right in the thick of paganism and the worst imaginable sins. They were “separate” in their character, in their relationship with Christ, in their focus and purpose in life, and in their thinking.

In addition to Clepping out of two years of college, our oldest son spent two years in a secular technical college when he was 16-18. He loved the Lord before those years in college, and he is still walking with Him now that those years are behind him. He belongs to Christ. Young people who “fall away” when they graduate and go off to college don’t do it because the professors and peers lured them away from their first Love. They do it because their first love was something other than God in the first place. The college environment only exposed something that was already there.

As an aside, I hope to talk at length about Christian education vs. Humanist education at some point in the future. I think a distinction should be made between the education a parent selects for his impressionable child and an education a young adult selects for himself. Once your child is grown up – he needs to fly without you – and the direction he flies will be dictated to him by his G/god. That God may be the True God or a god of his making, but it will not likely have much to do with you at that point. The moral of the story is – lay the groundwork while they are young, and pray your guts out every single day.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” Psalm 1:1

This poetry beautifully communicates the universal Truth that we would do well not to counsel with wicked, stand with sinners, and sit with scoffers. It’s not saying that we can’t ever stand next to a sinner or sit next to a scoffer. It’s poetry. It’s imagery and metaphor. It’s saying we’ll be blessed if we don’t take the counsel of the wicked (wicked counsel) and participate in sin and scoffing along with sinners and scoffers.

Again, there are so many stories in the Bible of God-fearing men and women who were in close proximity to the wicked sinners and scoffers. Esther and Abigail were even married to some real humdingers. Were they not blessed? Well, actually, they probably had pretty sad lives, but the point is, that God used them where He put them, and while He did see fit to kill Abigail’s husband, Esther probably had to live with her pagan man in a pagan court for many years after she saved her people.

Am I making the argument that we should all encourage all our kids to go to secular universities? No. I am merely saying that if some of our kids do go there, and God wants them to go there because they are going to be a doctor or lawyer or politician or engineer, or some other profession that requires a degree, then let’s not make careless blanket statements that both Scripture and God are against them. Because it just isn’t true.

That’s all.

Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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28 thoughts on “Let’s Have the College Conversation

  1. AMEN. Each person has a purpose to be part of the body. That whole body has the command to go make disciples and baptize – to complete the great commission. We can’t do that if Christians are not out in the world. When we are out there we need to be ok with ‘being different’ but knowing that if our lives reflect Christ – we are walking the path. We can’t look like the world per se, but we can love the world by knowing that if someone is not a Christian, we should be heart broken. This is a great post…. very thought provoking and well thought out. It definitely provides both sides of the case in a really good way.

  2. So true!

    And, as parents of children in college and university, we need to be involved in a supporting way. Especially, we need to pray for them, their new friends, and their profs.

    College can be a cesspool, but so can any other part of life. College can also have pockets of godliness, and we need to encourage and pray for those individuals and organizations as they strive to be a light in a difficult environment.

    • Yes. Our oldest son actually met some Christian students at his school, and they worked on a major documentary project together for almost two years and had a blast. It was such a fabulous growing experience. No regrets here – and all praise to God.

  3. While I don’t agree with all the conclusions made by either the commenter nor the article, I love the spirit in which they all were made. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” It is beautiful to see people striving to live how God wants them to live.

    • Yes, the discussion was spirited on Monday and Tuesday, and some hard things were said, but I agree, I think it was all done with respect to one another. Some ladies even made concessions and backed down. I thought that was pretty amazing. I’ve read some really horrible comments on other blogs – and even once in a great while on this blog. But, for the most part, the readers here are very mature and thoughtful women, and I love it when they jump in and participate – even if they disagree. I pray for a continued spirit of grace and peace here. Because I hope to address more conundrums in the near future. ;)

  4. As a homeschooling mom of 6, 3 of my daughters have gone to secular college, and I agree with you whole-heartedly. I keep thinking of the many examples of Godly young men that the Lord used mightily that were forced to go through secular schooling, Daniel and his friends, Moses, and Joseph, also. They fulfilled the Lord’s purposes. God’s grace was upon them and He kept them. I know that I sometimes think that I am keeping my children and that just isn’t true. The Lord is the one keeping me and He is also keeping my children. I just have the privilege of “praying my guts out” for them. :) Thank you for an excellent article.

    • “God’s grace was upon them and He kept them. I know that I sometimes think that I am keeping my children and that just isn’t true. The Lord is the one keeping me and He is also keeping my children.”

      Amen! And it’s a peaceful place to be – laying that burden to “make it all good” down – and simply resting in Him. After praying for our children each day, we can move forward knowing that we have given them to Him. He is very capable. :)

  5. Great post, Natalie!
    I believe your most important statement was, “a distinction should be made between the education a parent selects for his impressionable child and an education a young adult selects for himself. Once your child is grown up – he needs to fly without you – and the direction he flies will be dictated to him by his G/god.”

    We must trust that God has a plan, use our most discerning judgement, and then move forward on our choices. All the while knowing that God works out all for His glory. Yes, that just might mean looking back with regret for a choice made, but if we could make all decisions perfectly, we wouldn’t need God, would we?

    I must trust that He loves my children even more than I do. And trust God to reveal whether my children’s God is capitalized or not! A simple example of this – years ago we allowed our daughter to attend the secular summer music camp, Interlochen. After much research and preparation, I felt peace about the decision. She was prepared and had worked towards this goal for years. In looking back, I see clearly how God protected her. She was not a Christian then. And I knew it, but are we to wait until our young adults are saved before we let them leave the nest? When do we trust their Father for their well-being?

    I’m well aware that not everyone’s story will turn out so well. But this experience proved life-changing for my daughter. It defined her and revealed the great chasm between the Christian community she was raised in and the ‘world’ she was exposed to at camp. It brought her to her knees! She is now a devoted Christian who seeks God daily.

    At some point, our children, young or adult, will have to be proved. God is the only one Who can do this. We must protect, train, instruct, and draw them to the Father, but it is He who will persevere unto the end.

    BTW – some of you know me, our children have not chosen or needed college – http://www.visionarywomanhood.com/sept-post/. They are independent thinkers who follow God and use their gifts and talents in really productive ways. As they see one another’s success, freedom, and creativity in their careers, they develop more of an apprenticeship mindset about their own future and education. But, if a degree was necessary, they would go that route. The main point is to trust God to use our choices for His glory.

    Blessings on this conversation!

  6. Oh boy, oh boy. A FAIR debate against each other’s arguments. I’m game for that.

    First, I think context is very important. The context of my arguments is that they were directed toward a blog post that posited the idea that those who have decided not to send their children to college could be sheep being led by other sheep who may have been listening to the lies of the enemy. In RESPONSE, I stated that it seems to me that Scripture is on the side of those who are not sending their children to colleges. I explicitly stated, “I’m not saying a person is not a Christian if they go to their local state college. I’m not saying there should be no Christians in the city. I am saying it is scripturally sound to be doing what this blog post argues against. I am also saying–look at the fruit of those who have chosen this way of life versus those who have not.” I did not say that Scripture is AGAINST those who do send their children to college.

    If we look to Scripture to guide us in our lives, we can find a multitude of verses that warn us to guard against being polluted by the world. I can’t think of a more polluted place than the secular college campuses of our day. I think we’re all aware of the hook-up culture, but I wonder if we truly understand how pervasive it is on a college campus. We also know that virtually all secular college professors preach secular humanism, moral relativism, situational ethics, etc. They and their textbooks teach directly contrary to God and His Word. I believe that it is a rare 17 to 20 year old who can spend four years in this environment and come out unscathed. I also believe it is generally not a place for Christians. Those are my beliefs. It doesn’t necessarily follow that I think I’m more spiritual because I hold those beliefs. I don’t believe anyone who allows their child to attend a secular university is being unfaithful or less Christian.

    The Old Testament plays out the same story over and over. God takes care of His people. He tells His people to remain separate, to not marry people outside of the faith, to stay away from other gods. The people don’t listen, they get in trouble, they cry out to God. God hears and answers and tells them the same old thing. The people stay faithful for a time and then…on and on. We are not any better than the Israelites and God never changes. We are wise to take warning. Many of our young people find their future spouses at college. Many of our covenant children turn to other gods in college—the gods of self, wisdom of the world, and secular humanism.

    Natalie, I know you just got over-excited when you unearthed that wonderful fact about Paul quoting Menander and wrote something you don’t mean. First Corinthians 15:33 is in the Bible. It was God-breathed and therefore is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    I think you’re right in your interpretation of Luke 6:40. I stand corrected. However, since we’re in the vicinity, and speaking of commentary, if we look at Luke 6:39 we can bolster my argument. Matthew Henry says, “Those who put themselves under the guidance of the ignorant and erroneous, are likely to perish with them; (v. 39.) Can the blind lead the blind? Can the Pharisees who are blinded with pride, prejudice, and bigotry, lead the blind people into the right way? Shall not both fall together into the ditch? How can they expect any other? Those that are led by the common opinion, course, and custom of this world, are themselves blind, and are led by the blind, and will perish with the world that sits in darkness.” Our children are putting themselves under the guidance of their college professors when they decide to go to college. I think today’s college professors are far more virulently atheistic and well-versed in their abilities to trample our children’s Christian philosophy than your high school teachers. It is the rare young person who can stand up to the debate and ridicule of the college professor who is, de facto, in a position of authority and power over him.

    My oldest daughter went to the University of Vermont. She is a wonderful, Christian woman and I couldn’t be more thankful for the young, godly woman she has become. However, I do regret the decision to send her there. I think she’d be the first to say that her experiences there put scars on her soul. She graduated in 1999 and colleges have only gone downhill since. The difference between her going to secular college and your examples of rotten parents, Esther and Abigail is that God put children in their families and He put Esther and Abigail where they were. We’re discussing godly parents (as opposed to God) making the conscious decision to put their children in ungodly institutions.

    I think technical college, especially when the young adult is living at home, can be a very good option for Christian young people. I also agree that if God is our child’s first love, he can’t “fall away” because of his college experiences. Once the Lord’s, always the Lord’s. However, he can be lured into sin. He can have his thought patterns changed. He can become far less useful as a soldier for Christ.

    Young adults do need to make decisions for themselves and they certainly need to have been prepared for that while they are growing up in our homes. However, they are not totally left on their own once they pass a certain age. Parents are to give godly councel for the remainder of their lives and their children are wise to give great weight to that council. It’s exactly at those ages when people typically go to college that they are starting to think for themselves and carve out their own identity. This is not the ideal time to put them under the guidance of authority figures who are against everything we’ve been trying to instill in our children.

    The Bible is clear that we will have to deal with people in the world so, of course, Psalm 1:1 is not suggesting that we can’t stand next to a sinner. It is poetry. It is also God’s truth that we will be blessed if we walk not in the counsel of the wicked. I want my children to be blessed, therefore I think it is best if they do not sit under the counsel of secular college professors and the councel of those secular text books they are meant to be studying and making their own.

    Again, I did not make a “careless blanket statement that both Scripture and God are against [those who go to college].”(BTW That “careless” part sure sounds like a personal dig, there.) Like you stated: “it just isn’t true.” I only said—IN RESPONSE TO MOLLY’S OPPOSITE PROPOSITIONS-that Scripture is on the side of those who choose not to send their children to secular colleges.

    A few Scriptures:

    From John Macarthur at http://apprising.org/2010/09/16/john-macarthur-biblical-warning-about-false-teachers/
    “Christ then said, “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15… False teachers are dangerous because their deception is damning. And it comes from that most damning deceiver of all, Satan, who disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Some false teachers are heretics–those who openly reject the Word of God and teach contrary to it. Others are apostates–those who once followed the faith but have since turned away. Then there are deceivers who pretend to still believe the truth. They want to look like orthodox fundamental evangelical Christians, but they are liars.”

    2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
    King James Version (KJV)
    14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
    7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Proverbs 4:14
    New International Version (NIV)
    14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.

    More poetry that conveys God’s truth:

    Psalm 26
    4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
    Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
    5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
    And will not sit with the wicked. NKJV

    Romans 12:2 (ESV)
    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)
    We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

    1 Timothy 6:20-21 (ESV)
    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
    Grace be with you.

    There ARE many Scriptures that are on the side of those who choose not to send their children to secular colleges and universities. That’s all I was saying and I stand by it. There may, or may not, be Scriptures that are AGAINST those who choose to send their children to secular schools. My husband and I have made our decisions. We have no need or desire to search out Scripture to see whether or not other people who are sending their children to secular colleges are aligned with the Word. That decision is their responsibility.

      • Thanks, Sarah. Looks like you and I are in the vast minority on this blog.

        We were living in San Diego when our daughter decided she wanted to go to school at UVM. None of us had ever even been to that part of the country, but she wanted to experience an entirely new place. Vermont is beautiful and there are some very nice people there. We were only there to move her in and to watch her graduate. We moved onto our sailboat and sailed around the world for 7 years. Talk about “giving up my influence on society.” :) Although I did write a book-Caught by the Lure of the Sea.

    • Lona,

      I looked up your book. Wow. I can’t imagine doing anything like that! I’m not that adventurous. ;-)

      Yes, I’d say that VT would be an entirely different place if one came from CA! My family (parents and 4 siblings) and I moved from VT to OH in 2000. We moved to the small town my Mother is from; my Father is from upstate NY. I now live in southern IN with my husband (his hometown) and 3 (will be 4 next June!) children.

      Natalie, I’m glad to hear that Lona and I are not necessarily the minority here! I was starting to get nervous! =) Also, I’m used to being in the minority, so it doesn’t always surprise me. As I mentioned, I grew up in VT. My parents made the brave decision to homeschool their 5 children in the ’90s, when it wasn’t quite mainstream, especially in VT. I remember my Mom trying to explain homeschooling over the phone to her mother! lol

      • I love seeing second generation home educators. I went to college in the 80s and wrote a couple of papers on the fledgling homeschool movement that were met with some criticism from my profs, but the subject fascinated me – and I dreamed of teaching my own kids some day even though very few people were doing it at the time. It’s amazing what has happened in just 30 short years!

    • Amen Lona! I have been researching the state of colleges/universities in America and have been disgusted and dumbfounded time and again. I have read from numerous authors and students that the general public would not believe what actually goes on. One excellent resource is Ben Shapiro’s book, “Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth”.

  7. If you are all so confident in your decisions, then why do you go on and on and on pushing your opinion? If you really WERE comfortable with whatever God has revealed to you, you sincerely wouldn’t care what anyone else did or thought. I really don’t get it. And what in the world are your children doing while you blog these long boring posts about nothing. Good grief.

    • Anyone want to meet one of VW’s Trolls? This particular one comments here periodically as well as on other Christian blogs (yes, bloggers talk about this kind of stuff), and I usually delete their comments. But today I’d like to draw attention to them as an object lesson in Troll Recognition.

      Most Christian bloggers try to be nice to the Trolls and even engage them in conversation. That’s the Christian thing to do, right? We play into their hands when we do this. They know our Christian “rules and regulations.” They get their kicks from making Christian bloggers squirm and wring their hands.

      You see, among other issues, Trolls have Passive Aggressive disorder. This means they express their anger in subtle ways that make them look like the victims and YOU look like the bad guy. The anecdote for passive aggression is a healthy dose of reality, so I’m going to set aside the “rules and regulations for a moment.” If you don’t think you can stomach it, I’ll give you a chance to click away right now. Gone? OK, for the rest of you, here’s “How to Smell a Troll 101″:

      #1 Trolls don’t add anything intelligent to the conversation, because they’re not trying to HAVE a real conversation: “I really don’t get it.” (I’m glad you recognize that, at least.)

      #2 BUT…Trolls also lie: “long boring posts about nothing.”??? (WHAAA???? This post was RIVETING – did you read it? And also shorter than most of my posts, thank you very much.)

      #3 Trolls accuse: “why do you go on and on and on pushing your opinion?” (Awwww shucks, I’m hangin’ my head now – feelin’ bad for how I push all the time. I really need to stop shoving stuff into the minds of all these poor Blog Victims.)

      #4 Trolls almost ALWAYS attempt to throw you off with a guilt trip or two: “what in the world are your children doing?” (Why, since you asked, mine were eating Cheetos, drinking pop, and TPing the dining room. What were YOURS doing while you were doing daily Troll duty?)

      So there you have it. I hope you’ll stay tuned, because I guarantee there will be kick back, and you won’t want to miss it. I’ll bet I can even guess what Charlie Brown is going to say next.

  8. Love Natalie’s response to the Troll comments. :)

    Also, I really do appreciate the gentle debate style happening here. I know that you all don’t agree with each other, but I do think these things are important to sift through and determine how it affects our own individual families. Without the back and forth, would we really be thinking this through, or would we be more settled in what we’ve always thought? Thank you (to all) for keeping it gentle and thank you for using Scripture to back up your beliefs.

  9. Thanks, Lona, for taking the time to comment on this! It is clear that you have searched the scripture and seek to follow the Lord Jesus and not simply a certain group or teaching. This is the key for all of us…to seek and follow HIM however strange it may seem to others. I’ve been encouraged by this post. Though there are disagreements, it is good to encourage/challenge one another with the Word and to encourage one another to seek God for ourselves and our families. For He guides different people in different ways at different times for His own purposes. And even as we make so many mistakes, He is so gracious! If only we could be so gracious with ourselves and one another. :)

  10. Hello Natalie!

    It’s great to see you’re having fun over her eon Visionary Womanhood. I love that you can think for yourself and articulate why you believe what you believe, with scripture to back it up, plus personal real-life examples.

    I too appreciated your response to the troll comment.

    So far, 4 of our K-12 homeschooled kids (plus 2 of our married-in-kids, both also homeschooled) have gone on to university. So far, 5 have graduated with bachelors degrees and high honors (studying business administration, international development, Christian missions, communications, education, and engineering), 1 graduates from college this spring, 1 daughter-in-law is nearly done, but put everything on hold to have her and my son’s first baby — WooHoo!!!, and 1 only has a couple months left to complete his MBA from Harvard (and still headed STRONGLY to heaven!!!) All of ‘em love the Lord, with all of their heart. Most also graduated debt free (except one, who was debt free a year after graduation by age 20, and one who is currently teaching English in Korea and on-route to be debt free very soon).

    We found college life to totally strengthen our kids in their spiritual walk with the Lord, in leadership, and in their ability to make an influence for the Lord (most of the education was at Christian universities, but also some classes were from secular community colleges and two Ivy league schools, Harvard and Oxford).

    As Christians, if we want to have a part in influencing the culture of the next generation and to for our kids to be a part of leadership and influence for God’s kingdom, higher education is often necessary. It’s not for everyone, but it is for some; and God will give His grace to help our young adults to not only survive, but to thrive for God’s glory.

    • THANK YOU for sharing your own family experience with college, Ann. We need to hear stories like this too. We hear so many horror stories that we assume that will always be the outcome. I think your family has had two critical things going for you:

      1. Your kids were truly saved by the blood of Jesus when they left the nest. In other words, they had their OWN relationship with God apart from their parents.

      2. You and your husband have always had well-bonded relationships with your kids. I’ve seen unbelievers with better outcomes than some believers as far as their children go (salvation aside for just a moment) because their relationships with their kids are so strong and grounded. One of the things that can destroy a relationship with a young adult child is when we control and stifle them. We prevent them from becoming adults because we are afraid to let go and let God take over in their lives.

      Your family continues to be an inspiration to me, and honestly, as I’ve observed and read about the way you do things over the past two years, I’ve been able to tweak some of my own thinking and practice as my own are preparing to fly. Thank you for your example and your willingness to take some time to share your life. HUGS!!!

  11. Natalie, it means a lot to be able to come over to Visionary Womanhood and to know that we can have an open conversation and that our hearts are united as sisters in Jesus, through the saving blood of the Cross. I have enjoyed the mutual foundation that we all have in desiring that heavenly-eternal vantage-point and all really wanting to see things from the truth of God’s biblical foundation.

    You and your friends have shown such love over the past few years and I have grown, and been fine-tuned, encouraged, and sharpened, from the sweet fellowship and examples of your families. I’m looking forward to seeing how this blog grows and develops over the next few years.

    Love you!!! ~Ann

  12. This conversation fascinates me. I went to a Bible college and my husband went to a university. While I had wonderful profs after I completed my certificate program I had great Bible knowledge and a few sweet relationships I had been so separated from the world I didn’t know how to act once back in it. When I entered the workforce I would hide in my car on breaks because I was so overwhelmed. The culture shock left me an ineffective witness for Christ. So much for the evangelism classes that I took.
    My husband attended a university and majored in engineering. We found a wonderful church with which helped further establish us in our faith. We found great friends and mentors and a family there (while he got a great “secular” education.)
    When our children reach college age if appears that God is leading them down a path that will include a secular college/university we hope to be able to help them find a local church that will come alongside them and disciple them. I can’t imagine how it would bless kids if parents took as much care helping them find a church as they do to find a college.

    • Tara, you hit on something that has been so important…helping our children find a church while they are away at school or even afterward. Our oldest daughter graduated from an engineering school in our area, went for an interview in a company in another state and was hired. We had one month with her before she left everything and everyone she knew. It was hard to see her leave. But we knew that the Lord was leading her there. My husband went with her to find an apartment. We then researched churches in her area and we chose one that we thought would be good. We went with her and found that no one even greeted us. We wondered if it would work out and she made the decision to stay for one month. After that month and still no one reaching out to her, she moved onto another church and was welcomed in with open arms. Having a church family is vital.