NASHVILLE — Kirk Cameron recently opened up about the importance of parental involvement in education and shared why he believes the biblical transformation of culture begins in the home — not in the government-run public school system.
In a sit-down interview with The Christian Post, the 51-year-old actor and author shared why he and his wife, Chelsea, decided to homeschool their six children.
“[Homeschooling] is this biblical concept that parenting, and particularly the education of children, is a parental responsibility and privilege,” he said. “It's not some job that God gave to civil government to do. And yet for generations, we've handed our children over to the government, essentially giving to Caesar the things that belong to God, and our children, made in the image of God, belong to us.
"And so we know them, we love them. And if we're going to disciple them seven or eight hours a day in some sort of a school institution, it sure as heck better be something that's going to reinforce the things that God wants us to be teaching our kids. And I think that that's best done in a community where moms and dads are running the show and leading the way.”
The “Growing Pains” actor is gearing up for the release of his new documentary, “The Homeschool Awakening,” in which he “dives into the adventures of dynamic American families on a mission to put fun and faith back into learning.” The film will be in theaters this June for two nights only on June 13–14.
“The pandemic made parents grossly aware of what public schools are teaching our kids,” Cameron said in a press release announcing the Fathom Events documentary. “It’s up to us, the parents, to cultivate the hearts, souls and minds of our children, and today’s public-school systems are not working for us, they are actively working against us. Public education has become Public Enemy No. 1.”
When he was first introduced to the concept of homeschooling, Cameron joked that he was under the impression he had to have “14 kids that all played the violin.” Now, decades later, he’s on a mission to debunk common myths about homeschooling and give an honest look at the practice.
Homeschooling “looks different for different people,” Cameron told CP, adding: “Sometimes it's private schools, sometimes it's in-home lessons. Sometimes it's co-ops and networks and conventions and curriculums. Other times, it's reading novels and exploring and pursuing your passions and talents.”
“This homeschool documentary is going to explore all of that, and give people an idea of how to homeschool their kids. Because true biblical transformation of culture has to begin in the home,” he added.
He stressed that investing in children from a young age and teaching them biblical principles is always “worth it,” even if the fruits of that labor aren’t evident until later.
“You begin to see the good and the bad seeds that you've planted when they were young, and whoever educates our children control the future,” he said. “So what I would say is, the future of the Kingdom of God is built and it hinges upon faithful moms and dads believing the promises of God and faithfully training their kids up in the way they should go.”
Though parenthood can be scary and difficult in an increasingly secularized culture, Cameron offered that reminder that God is present in even the hardest moments. He encouraged parents to model biblical Christianity for their children in the way they parent and conduct their lives.
“Don't worry that [your house] is not perfectly kept in and picked up; your house is not supposed to be a museum,” he emphasized. “Your house is more like a workshop, and you're building little humans, and you're shaping their hearts and their souls and their minds. There’s supposed to be sawdust on the floor. It's supposed to be a little messy because you're building something, and it's difficult. And God is there with you, and the Bible is your blueprint.”
“Go for it. Do it with joy, and depend on the grace and the promises of God to help you through, because this whole process is molding and shaping you as a parent as well,” he continued. “God's not done with you yet, either. So lean into it. It's lean into it, joyfully. And trust God, it's all worth it.”
An award-winning actor who has starred in a slew of faith-based films including “Fireproof” and “Left Behind,” Cameron is passionate about using his platform to share his faith and equip the next generation of believers. In November, he debuted his show “Takeaways” on TBN, where he discusses pressing issues facing believers with experts like Dennis Prager, Mike Huckabee, Candace Cameron Bure and others.
Christians, he said, are called to engage with culture and difficult issues. He lamented the tendency of some believers to adopt a form of escapism that says, “The world is bad, it’s run by the devil, I’m not of this world, I just need to make sure I have my relationship right with God, and one day, I'll go to Heaven where everything will be OK.”
“The only problem with that is that I think that it kills the power of the Gospel,” Cameron said, adding that the Gospel is what transforms hearts, marriages, families, communities and entire cultures.
“My goal shouldn't be to get from Earth to Heaven, but to be saved and transformed so that I can bring Heaven to Earth,” he added.
Christians should instead take what God has done in their lives and then seek to transform their worlds, impacting politics, family, faith “and everything else so that God's ways become more manifest in our world, and our kids have more of a future because of it.”
And when culture feels defeating and it seems like “the tyrants are winning and the good guys are losing,” Cameron offered the reminder that throughout history, evil has been defeated and righteousness always prevails.
“Those who are in covenant with God are the ones who change history and bring blessing and protection and prosperity for people and create the best families, the best businesses and the best cultures and nations,” he said.
“When we see things appear to collapse around us, what is likely happening is God is using the enemies of the family of faith and the cultural pressures to bring about His will to purify His bride and accomplish His Kingdom purposes. But we've got to think that way. And we’re taught to in the Bible, and history demonstrates that that is always the way that it works.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org