What would you have said? How can Christians be Lights when they go to public schools?

I may be opening a huge can of worms – but I thought it would be good to see if you have some other ideas and/or insight into what I’ve shared below.

I received this comment on the post, If You Plan On Handing Out Candy This Halloween, BE the Light of Jesus (also, basically the same post as this year’s Light-Up Halloween & BE the Light of Jesus). As I was praying through and typing my response to this sweet mom, I felt the Lord lead me to bump Friday’s blog post and post my response instead. I’d love to hear from you. What would you have said?

 

Thank you so much for these great ideas, however my daughter goes to public school Pre-k. Would you be able to give me any ideas for the light of Christ to Shine. Thank you, be blessed!!!

 

This Light-Loving mom seems to be under the impression that she can’t use the ideas in the Light-Up Halloween posts at her daughter’s school because her daughter attends a public school. Many people think this way. Below is how the Lord led me to reply (of course, I’ve edited it a bit since then).

 

Thanks for your comment. I am so glad that you want the Light of Christ to shine through your daughter in her public school. And the good news is that you can use any of these candy ideas and she can hand them out. Legally. Anything handed out from a student – not from the school, but from a student – is fair game and completely legal. SO… let your daughter choose a candy, attach a saying and verse or verse reference to it, and encourage her to shine for Jesus as she shares her treats.

You can also give little treats and small happies that include an encouraging word of Scripture to the teachers and office staff.

Though the ACLU and other anti-Christian organizations have used fear, misinformation, and intimidation to make Christians families think that they have no way to express their Christian voices, in reality, the public schools can not legally stop your daughter from giving out candy with sayings about God and Jesus on them. They may try – and they may make your daughter put her candy away for the remainder of the day, and tell you that there needs to be separation of church and state… but they are either well-meaning and misinformed, or they are hoping to scare you into backing down and keeping quiet.

Here’s the reality: If the school allows treats to be shared, and if your treat is within the parameters of the school’s guidelines, then it can be shared, whether or not it has a Bible verse on it. IF the school has a guideline that prohibits scripture verses or words about God/Jesus to be used by students, then please contact the Alliance Defending Freedom immediately. This violates the Constitution.

The first amendment to the Constitution gives all citizens the right to free speech. Just as there will be those students who (because of their 1st Amendment rights) will hand out Halloween treats with witches and ghosts on them, there can also be students who (because of their 1st Amendment rights) can hand out treats with Bible verses attached.

Christians do not have to “hide their lights” while in the midst of the public school system. In fact, that is exactly opposite of what Jesus said that we are to do. We are supposed to let our lights shine… to live and act and react and speak in such a way that others will see our “good works” (the kindness we give, the encouraging words we say and write, the support of the school that we give, the faithfulness with which we keep our words and live our lives) and that will cause them to glorify our Father who is in Heaven.

If your daughter so desires, she is free to carry her Bible to school with her to read anytime she has un-guided reading time.

You are free {and I would encourage you to do so} to send her teachers notes telling them that you are praying for them. Volunteer at the school and always season your words with Grace. Smile. Lend a helping hand. Be a hard worker. And when asked about the joy within you, answer and tell about the hope that you have through Jesus Christ.

When you learn of a need, if it is within your power to fill it, then do what you can, and do it in the Name of Jesus. When a friend or acquaintance shares a burden with you… wherever you are…whether you are in the aisle of a grocery store or the hallway of a school… offer to say a quick prayer at that very moment. If time doesn’t allow, at least promise to pray for her/him, then follow up with the person at a later date.

It’s the little things that we do ~ the little acts of kindness that open the door for the Light of Jesus to shine through us. But being good and kind isn’t always enough. People need to know the SOURCE of the kindness… and they will only know that if you tell them.

I guarantee you this: If you ask the Lord what YOU and YOUR FAMILY can do to Shine for Jesus in your public school, as well as in other ares of your lives, He will make it known to you. James 1:5 promises!

And if, by some chance, a teacher or administrator tries to stop your daughter from shining the Light of Jesus, I have experience with an excellent Christian legal team whose primary purpose is to defend Christians doing exactly that. (The Alliance Defending Freedom. AllianceDefendingFreedom.org) Our family has been through this before. 😉 You can read about it here and here.

Thanks for this question. As I am typing this reply, I sense the Lord leading me to use this as my Friday’s blog post. Hope you don’t mind. I’ll withhold your name.

Many blessings of the Lord upon you and your daughter. I will pray for you both as you seek to shine the Light of the Savior into the world in which He has placed you. 🙂

 

So tell me… what would you have said? How are YOU being a LIGHT of Jesus to the world in which you dwell?

“Here’s another way to put it:

You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.

God is not a secret to be kept.

We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.

If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?

I’m putting you on a light stand.

Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!

Keep open house;

be generous with your lives.

By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16, The Message

Shine on, Beautiful Lights, shine on~ 🙂

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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. Just a few short years ago I would have been that mother, thinking our rights ended at the government’s doors. I am grateful that not only reading of your experience but many others, we’ve affirmed that our first amendment right to freedom of religion includes the schoolhouse.

    I cannot say I have had legal experience, but I can point to others who have and in each case those who were denied their rights have won them back. It does take strength of faith to pursue our rights. We need to understand why these organizations need our contributions in order to help – none of us can fight a legal battle on our own because of the monetary cost. We can, however, fight based on our founding father’s establishing a constitution that protects us. We need to use it, support it and fight for it in order to keep it. Living our faith puts it into practice.

    Thank you for sharing this mother’s question – and your experienced answer. May it be a light throughout the year. Of course, I may borrow the subject for a blog, too!!!

    • You’ve brought up an excellent point… These organizations who help Christians defend their freedoms do need our support – through our prayers & financial donations. We didn’t have to pay a penny for our defense. If we had have, it would have taken everything we owned to fight in that battle. But because of the generous-hearted giving of others, even a few dollars at a time, we were able to fight that battle without the added stress of the thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees.

      Thanks for your response. And please do share it with whomever you feel led. God’s blessings to you, Grammy. 🙂

      Jennifer

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