“But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (Psalm 81:16).
The context of a verse is essential to our understanding. Through the psalmist, God speaks. God desires the obedience of his children. Israel was not listening and following. Still, God says that through the difficulties that will come because of disobedience (the rock), God will bless them (give them honey).
Biblical honey is simply sweetening. It is the honey from bees. It is the natural sugar produced by the crops of the land like dates and fruits. The ancient people loved to sweeten food just like we do. Sweetness is God’s gift to his people.
I’ll be the first to admit that I eat cake for the frosting. While my wife prefers the creamy kind, I am a fan of the sugary variety, and I like it thick. When I see cake, my mind inquires, “May I have some cake with my frosting, please.” I have even been known to run my finger across the edge of the pan after the cake is gone. Yes, I am a lick-out-the-frosting-bowl-before-it-is-washed kind of guy.
Does the cake matter to me? Sure. Last weekend we celebrated a family birthday. It had been a very busy week, so instead of baking our own, we purchased a cake. It was dry and disappointing. But the frosting was good. It masked some of the deficiencies of the cake.
As much as I prefer the frosting, I do like a good piece of moist, fresh cake. It is just that I make sure that every bite is flavored with some frosting. I cannot enjoy each bite of cake without the taste of frosting.
Christian education is like a frosted cake. Just as cakes come in different flavors, so Christian schools come in different varieties and flavors.
The Christian schools with the worldview perspective of Christian Schools International are like my description of the perfectly frosted cake. The cake is like the curriculum. The frosting is like our biblical worldview. Bites of cake without the taste of frosting are like curriculum without faith. As the frosting flavors every bite of cake and enriches it, so faith enriches every part of the curriculum. The cake and frosting are inseparably connected to give the one who eats it the fullest experience.
There are Christian schools that are like cake with no frosting. The word Christian is etched in the blocks over the entry. The cornerstone of the building may have a historical engraving and a verse from the Bible. The cake might be very good. It might be moist and rich because it is filled with outstanding academics and rigorous standards. But as cake without frosting is incomplete, so is a Christian school that is void of the faith that permeates each bite of the educational experience.
There are Christian schools that are like cakes with frosting on the side. The cake and the frosting are kept as separate as possible. In these schools cake is served. Sometimes it is served with frosting that favors it fully. Sometimes it is served without frosting or with a little frosting on the side, remembered in time for the last few bites. It is as if a little sweet Jesus-stuff is spread as an after-thought.
There are Christian schools that serve only frosting. There is little quality cake. In these Christian schools, it is all about winning souls for eternity. The name school is on the door, but the primary purpose of the school is salvation and not education. Rigorous academics are simply not a priority. The curriculum is masked by a heavy dose of Bible words in textbook and workbooks. The sweet taste of just the frosting is everywhere, but it is difficult to find any cake.
Christian education with a reformed biblical worldview must have all of the ingredients of a well-made cake. The cake must be made with the right mix of flour, eggs, butter, oil, and water so that the ingredients blend well. It must be properly baked at the right temperature and for the right length of time to produce a rich, moist cake. But the cake alone is not enough. The cake is not complete without frosting, and frosting is not complete without cake. The frosting and cake mix with each bite; each flavors the other. Neither is complete by itself, but each becomes complete when it complements the other.
So it is with Christian education, and for the mission, purpose, and goals for the schools of Christian Schools International. The mission and purpose of our schools is to educate with the high academic standards that will equip students for life and service. When it is done right, education is like a well-made cake. Equally important, Christian education is iced with delicious frosting. Faith covers education in our Christian schools. It is not a covering to mask education, but instead a covering that blends the flavor of faith into every bite of the educational experience. When every bite is flavored with faith, there is no separation of cake and frosting. They are one, and they are better together.
Devotionals are written by Jeff Blamer, Vice President of Member Services