Appreciating Covenant Education
how much deeper will our faith grow if we commit to viewing our faith as an ongoing educatioN?
BY Meredith myers, PERIMETER SCHOOL Alumna and seventh grade teacher
As a Perimeter School alumna, I have many fond memories of everything from singing hymns in the morning before school to painting sprigs of holly in nature study. For a long time, I never truly realized what a precious gift it was to be given time in the school day devoted to meditating on my Creator.
I had the great privilege of experiencing a Christian education as a student, but, until now, I never understood how truly unique this model of education is. As I return to the school I loved so dearly – this time in the role of teacher – I have been thrilled to explore the “why” behind the hands-on, Creator-centered activities that shaped my mind and heart.
In the first grade, I vividly remember tears overflowing when I could not get my handwritten letter “A” to match perfectly the font of the workbook page I was instructed to copy. And I have never forgotten the truth sweet Mrs. Anderson spoke into my life: “There’s nothing you could ever do to make Jesus love you more, and there’s nothing you could ever do to make Him love you less.” Her words that day, which were repeated often throughout the year, wove the beauty of grace into classroom instruction and have stuck with me always.
"I have never forgotten the truth sweet Mrs. Anderson spoke into my life: 'There’s nothing you could ever do to make Jesus love you more, and there’s nothing you could ever do to make Him love you less.'"
The elementary school at Perimeter instilled a foundation of truth in my life. It equipped me to grow in faith by hiding the promises of the Lord in my heart and by modeling what it means to walk in a relationship with our Savior.
Then, the middle school at Perimeter built upon this foundation by encouraging me to take ownership of my faith.
By the sixth grade, I could recite numerous passages of Scripture, I knew countless hymns and worship songs, and I could narrate a long list of Bible stories in great detail. But, in many ways, this head knowledge had not yet made its way into my heart. I knew unquestionably what my parents believed. I knew unquestionably what my teachers believed. But when I walked through the doors to the middle school hallway, to the “other side” for the first time, I had not yet learned how to believe for myself.
In preparation for returning to Perimeter School, I sifted through all I that I had saved from my time here as a student. In doing so, I discovered a journal from Mr. DeMaris’ sixth grade class, which included the following entry:
“I’ve decided that I want my goal for this year to be growing in my relationship with God. Sometimes I feel like praying and reading my Bible has become a chore. I really want God to help me so that I can be really excited about my faith.”
What a gift to be learning in an environment that encouraged me to examine the attitude of my heart! What a blessing to be encouraged to discover that faith can be more than a routine!
"Education is, first and foremost, a means of gaining a deeper understanding of our Creator. By this definition, education doesn’t stop when we graduate. It is an ongoing labor of love as the grace of our Savior molds our hearts to know Him better."
Reflecting on my own impressionable, middle-schooler heart, and some similar goals expressed by the hearts of my own seventh grade students this year, I am so grateful for a community where we can grow together in the Lord. I am so thankful for a school that gave me the tools to know what faith means and then pushed me to claim that faith as my own.
Perimeter School gave me the incredible blessing of equipping me to take ownership of my faith in a safe, covenant environment. But my education in the Lord was far from over.
This sort of faith-based learning isn’t just for a season, but for a lifetime.
Education is, first and foremost, a means of gaining a deeper understanding of our Creator. By this definition, education doesn’t stop when we graduate. It is an ongoing labor of love as the grace of our Savior molds our hearts to know Him better.
As I worried in my sixth grade journal, it is so easy to grow complacent and settle for a routine mode of Christianity that often feels more like a chore than a gift.
But how much deeper will our faith grow if we commit to viewing our faith as an ongoing education – a beautiful process of knowing our Lord more intimately as He reveals Himself to us, little by little, sharing his vast glory with our needing hearts?
What a gift this covenant education is, as a student and beyond! In this year of joy, may we embrace with a happy heart the blessing of ongoing growth together.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for the Christ-centered education of both our students and our community. May we all continue to discover Him more fully and know Him more deeply.
“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” –Isaiah 64:8