by Chuck Leslie | November 6, 2019

It’s been 40 years now, but I still clearly remember that day mom and dad called us kids to the living room for a “family meeting.” A 7th-grader at the time, this formal gathering was out-of-the-ordinary for our fun-loving family. Did someone die? No. But, while we didn’t believe it at the time, the announcement my parents made radically changed our family’s life – for the better.

At that time, my brother, sister, and I were starting to head down a path that was in direct opposition to the Christian values our parents were trying to instill in us. The school we attended was drug-infested, attitudes about sex were loose, and none of us were applying ourselves academically. We grew up in the church but were all turning against our faith and making poor choices.

It was an announcement mom and dad made. It wasn’t a discussion; it wasn’t open for debate; the kids were not consulted for input. Mom and Dad decided to be parents and made a decision, even though they knew it would be unpopular. We were told that the following year, we would be leaving our current school to attend the Christian school across town.

We threatened to call social services…

While we went kicking and screaming, within just a few months, the new school environment radically changed us all. Scripture tells us that God’s Word doesn’t return void. Each day and in every class the teachers prayed, they encouraged, they read and taught the Bible, they showed love. They spoke and lived out the word of God. I recommitted my life to Christ in Mr. McKay’s Bible class. As a result, I cleaned up my act, stopped cussing, starting taking school seriously, and decided to go on a short-term mission trip. I was radically changed.

My experience in junior high school and high school was so life-giving that I decided to pursue a career in Christian academics. Now, having worked 25+ years in Christian schools, I believe—more than ever—that Christ-centered education has profound, lifelong benefits for children. Christian schools, like the Rock Academy, give students an academic and spiritual foundation that will serve them for life. I’m so thankful that my parents decided to send me to a Christian school. It was a heroic act, and it has yielded so much fruit in my life and that of my siblings.

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