Tuition Nation

Deuteronomy 11:18
So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of Mine. Tie them
to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach
them to your children (vv.18-19).

According to a study conducted by a local newspaper
in Singapore, 97 out of 100 students polled have
private tutors or receive supplemental training at
academic centers. So common are these practices that
Singapore has been called the “tuition nation.”
Academic education is important, but I wonder, Is
equal—if not greater—attention given to instructing
our children to become men and women of high moral
character? People imbued with a clear purpose and
mission in life?

In Deuteronomy 11, we’re reminded that God is
interested in our children’s education (vv.18-19). He
wants us to teach them His Word, ways, and values. In
Psalm 78:7-8, we’re told the purpose of this instruction.
It’s so that “each generation [will] set its hope anew
on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and
obeying His commands. Then they will not be like their
ancestors—stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing
to give their hearts to God.”

And God is the best teacher with the best lesson plan
for us to follow. First, we teach by example. Parents must
“commit [themselves] wholeheartedly to these words” of
God (Deuteronomy 11:18). He states, “Lay up these words
of Mine in your heart and soul” (ESV). Yes, God’s Word
must personally shape our heart, mind, and will. Second,
the place of education is not in the classroom, but in the situations of life (vv.19-20).
So it’s good for us to ask: Are we seizing opportunities to turn life experiences into
teaching moments? Are we freeing up the quality time that’s required?

Whether you’re a parent or perhaps—like me—you’re an aunt (or uncle) to
some precious children, let’s take their education seriously. We must instruct
them to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [their] God”
(Micah 6:8 NIV).

—Poh Fang Chia

Read Proverbs 4:1 to see a father’s wise instructions to his son.

How are you investing in the moral formation of children in your family?
What other children could you instruct in the wisdom of God’s Word—
perhaps those in your Sunday school or in your neighborhood?