When we think of education, many of us often think of it in the traditional sense: an 8:15 – 15:15 routine with a group of other students pouring over books and taking tests; a mother/father making it their personal responsibility to learn together with their brood (homeschooling); several years at a college campus; online night school. Whatever comes to mind, the important thing to understand is that education is not confined to a book, classroom, or time period of life.

Education is lifelong – from the moment you are born until you take your last breath. Education is a baby realising that when they cry, mother comes and comforts. Education is a toddler figuring out that if they whine long enough they will get their way. Education is a teen understanding that the Golden Rule in part means that what goes around, comes around.

Education for all of us is the cause and effects of life – the risks you take as you win some and lose some. It’s the responses to actions that vary depending on personalities, stages of life, gender, and circumstances. It’s watching others before and behind you walk a path and see how it works out for them. Education is seeing God at work in the nitty gritty trenches of life and knowing that He is our protection, provision, and power, and walking securely in that knowledge.

The Bible makes a distinction between learning and understanding.

“A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none.” – Proverbs 14:6

2 Timothy 3:7 also talks about those who are “always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” In these passages as well as others, we see that knowledge is the lecture, but understanding is the ‘big test.’

My grandfather was a prime example of true education. A man of few words, but much wisdom, he loved people to life by humbly serving them through his impeccable character, honest living, and simple lifestyle. His hands and knees were calloused with hard work and endless prayers. The example of his lifestyle left an amazing impact on his eight sons and two daughters. Together with their children and grandchildren, they number well over one-hundred. Of his one-hundred plus descendants, every one of them have embraced the faith of their heritage, passing it on to their children and grandchildren. They have gone on to be pastors, missionaries, lay workers, engineers, doctors, scientists, teachers, and writers, singers, and respectable citizens of society.

This is an example of how they were not only taught, but they caught the vision of his mission in life. He understood that ‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain,’ and to that end faithfully dedicated his personal and public life. What a difference we can make as we also aspire to live our lives in a manner that passes that legacy on to our children, grandchildren and circle of influence!

This is the true education.

By Jeanetta DeBoef Anderson, teacher from LOWA, USA