Looking at Titus 2: 9 & 10:
Titus chapter 2 can be read with Christian education in mind because even though Paul wrote it to Titus to help him pastor a church, there is relevance to those that are involved in administration or teaching at Christian schools, or home schools. We recently looked at what qualities teachers should have, now we will look at what qualities students should have. Of course, students don’t just automatically have these qualities, they have to be taught to them. So if you are involved in any facet of Christian education, the following information will be of great value:
(Titus 2: 9Teach bondservants to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.)
- To be bondservants. A “bondservant” is a person that has chosen to willingly serve a master. Some bondservants served their master without pay, but relied completely that the master they served would take care of their needs. It is a term that means true and whole hearted devotion to serving. They love to serve. Paul opened many of his letters saying he was a bondservant of Jesus Christ. In this Titus passage, it refers to those serving the church, and can also be taken to refer to employees, and to students.
The application here is twofold:
First, a sound Christian school should teach and require that students are to simply respect, and be wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus Christ.
Second, that a sound Christian school should teach and require students to respect, and be wholeheartedly devoted to their teachers, coaches, and others in authority at the school. Remember those that are in authority, such as teachers and administrators, are placed there by God’s will, and students should understand that biblical principle. When students learn to respect the authority God has placed there, they will willingly be devoted to them and to obey them as well
- To be subject (obedient) to. Obedience to teachers and administrators is a requirement of students in a sound Christian school. This is a requirement that needs to be taught to students that they can take through life. Obedience to authority, including parents, supervisors, police, and government officials, is a requirement of a Christian and is part of a Christian witness, no matter the circumstances. (unless the Believer is required to disobey God.) It also means to respect them, and to honor them.
- In everything you do. As mentioned above, students need these qualities for life. A sound Christian school understands we train for life, as well as for “the next test.” This also means in all of their daily life, not just in front of a teacher or someone in authority. (when home, when with friends, when alone) My Dad used to tell me, “your true character shows up when no one is looking”. I think that also includes thoughts. Students’ thoughts should not differ from their actions in front of someone in authority. Students should endeavor to control their thoughts and their imagination. Most sins start in a person’s imagination. Teach them to say no to certain thoughts. (Phil. 4:8 is helpful to do that: “Whatever is pure, lovely, of good report. . .think on these things”.)
- To try to please them. Students should give their best efforts to please their school teachers and administrators. This goes hand in hand with obedience.
- To not talk back. This also goes hand in hand with obedience, and being well pleasing. Talking back insinuates defiance, disobedience, lack of respect, lack of trust, disloyalty, selfishness or pride, and poor character. It also includes complaining, grumbling, or murmuring, which God hates (remember the Israelites in the wilderness?) All of which are not becoming of a believing Christian, and damages their gospel witness. Teachers and administrators that tolerate students’ talking back are fostering those sinful traits in the student, and encouraging that student down a path of their own destruction, and is detrimental to furthering the gospel of Christ.
- To not steal. Some versions of the Bible say “pilfering”, some say “embezzling”. Stealing from your employer includes outright theft, working less than you are paid to work (less than 60 minutes for an hour of pay), and giving less than 100% of your effort. Stealing for students, means to not cheat, because cheating is stealing, and stealing is a sin. Additionally, as Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:15, students should give all of their efforts to school work, and studying: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This means students should give 100% of their efforts in school, less than that is stealing. Similarly, doing “just enough to get by” is not being diligent, not trying to be approved to God, and is also considered stealing.
- To show they can be fully trusted. To show fidelity. To show full loyalty. To have full devotion. Being trusted is a wonderful trait of a believing Christian. Sound Christian schools should teach students to be honorable, and trustworthy, and students should endeavor to attain trustworthiness.
- To make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. The lives of students attending a Sound Christian school will make people want the Gospel of Christ! I love the way the King James Version says this: “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our savior in all things.” The qualities of a sound Christian school (sound doctrine – God’s Truth – salvation for sinners) should adorn the students like beautiful attractive attire, or like the beauty and attractiveness of a flower.
Teachable spirit. One more quality that students at a sound Christian school should have is “a teachable spirit”. Jesus mentions in Matthew 18:4 that we are all to have a humble and teachable spirit as children do. Children should love to learn, even when they are a teenager, and portray that they think they know everything, they still love to learn. Develop a healthy love for the Word of God in your students, so that they love to learn how the Bible relates to all of the subjects they are taught.
Teachers and administrators, if you picture each of your students in your mind, can you say that each one is adorned with the doctrine of God? If not, then there may be a lack of quality in the soundness of your Christian school. May I ask that you teachers, administrators, and board members take that thought, relate it to when students receive their graduation diploma, and adopt a famous advertising slogan from Zenith: “Quality goes in before the name goes on.”
Comment Question: Do you find that students love to learn?
Copyright 2012 Kevin Brownlee