There is a misconception that God is somehow not allowed to enter public schools. In reality, your kids usually have much more latitude than we tend to think. Often, the cases you hear about in the news are isolated, have special circumstances or are later overturned.
Your children can share their faith in ways subtle enough that even the fussiest school districts would allow them. Here are some of our favorites:
- Offering to pray for their friends when they have needs. Maybe your family can keep a school prayer journal at home. Record the prayer requests of your kids, their friends and others associated with their school. Your kids can let their friends know they are praying for them as a way of offering emotional support.
- Being a godly friend. Godly friends don’t talk about their friends behind their backs when they are annoyed with them. They don’t lie to their friends or say ugly things to them. They are excited for their friends when good things happen to them and sad with their friends when they are sad. Really good, godly friends are sometimes hard to find in public school – your kids can be those friends.
- Being kind to everyone. It’s amazing how many parents condone teasing and other ugliness as part of the “growing up” process. It doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be for Christian kids. Encourage your kids to encourage all of those around them. Help them think of truthful, positive things to say to those kids on the fringes who may hear nothing positive at school – ever. Teach them to be the one who helps those who drop their books or listens to those who need someone to listen. Your kids can’t solve all of the problems in their school and they shouldn’t try to in most cases. They can, however, be consistently kind to everyone they encounter at school.
- Opening their friend groups a bit. Kids will naturally group because of shared interests or classes. When it becomes dangerous is when they refuse to be kind to those outside of their friend group or refuse to let them sit at the same table for lunch. Your kids don’t have to be best friends with everyone at school, but they shouldn’t make others feel openly rejected.
- Thanking teachers after every class. This is really a habit an extracurricular group taught our daughter and I love it! At the end of every class the teacher thanked the students as a group and every student individually thanked the teacher before they left the room. Challenge your kids to see if they can get their entire class or school doing it before the end of the school year!
- Mentioning God, church or things in the Bible in papers they write for school. This battle has been fought and won many times. Certain teachers may give your kids lower grades when they do, but that’s about the worst thing they can do. In younger grades, they tend to be more lenient and students often read their papers to fellow students as part of the assignment. Check your child’s school rules, if you are concerned. Honestly though, many children who grow up in godly homes, naturally write these types of papers whether their parents encourage them or not. If they do it naturally, it’s a good sign they are understanding being a Christian is a part of who they are – not just another activity.
- Share godly wisdom when appropriate. Some schools are a little more strict in this area. Your child doesn’t need to necessarily whip out a Bible and quote a verse. They can however, easily share with their friends, “something they read in the Bible” that helps them in similar situations.
- Invite friends to church with them. Once again, there can be some constraints on how this is done. They can’t stop your kids though, from asking their friends who come over to your house to attend church or a church event with them.
Don’t let secularists discourage your kids from bringing their faith to school with them. Encourage them to be godly in every aspect of their life – starting at school.