Ordering Our Loves

There are many benefits to private Christian education, and one of them is a safe environment for our children to grow in their faith and their Christian character.  Our passion is not just to see our kids obey rules, but to love and do what is right.  One of the goals of classical education is to rightly order our loves.  C.S. Lewis writes, “St Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind of degree of love which is appropriate to it. Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought.”[1] We always pursue what we love and when we love that which is good we cause earth to reflect heaven.  Hebrews speaks about Jesus: “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companion.” (Hebrews 1:9, ESV).  A life that loves what is good is also filled with joy.  Our passion is to raise our children to love what is good, but we also acknowledge that this is not natural, it is the result of God’s grace and a biblical education.

There is something incredible and wonderful about every child.  They are all cute and lovable.  They are also descendants of Adam, who introduced sin into the human race, and are not perfect either.  In Christian circles, there is often a high expectation that we should be loving and virtuous, and that is as it should be.  That is certainly the goal we should all be striving for, yet what truly creates a Christian community is not the lack of sin, but what we do when people do sin.  We must have rules in place to protect our children, but we also need to pray and seek God’s grace to change hearts to love and do what is good. They need to be inspired to love and follow Jesus.  One way a classical Christian education does this through a curriculum that works a Christian worldview into every subject with the purpose of giving students a vision of who Jesus is and what it looks like to be loving and virtuous.  Yet that is not enough, because we also want them to become genuinely good and loving, and that ultimately comes through God’s grace.  That is why discipleship and the great commission are the foundation of Fortis Academy’s mission.  We hope that all of our students will become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.

While our curriculum and studies are aimed to help our children know and love what is good, true and beautiful, at the heart of Fortis Academy is a genuine longing that each of our children would develop a personal relationship with and commitment to Jesus Christ.  We believe that the greatest chance for this to happen is for us to model such a life before our children.  One of my professors said that it was his mission in life to infect people with the love of Jesus.  That is what we need to do by modeling a love for Christ and for all that is good, true and beautiful.  When we consider how much our children our worth and how important their relationship with Christ is, we have to conclude that the heart of a Christian community that can succeed with such a vision is through the grace of God.  May the Lord touch our hearts and help us to touch the hearts of our children so that their loves may be rightly ordered, and that their first love is Jesus Christ.

[1] Lewis, C. S.. The Abolition of Man (Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis) (p. 17). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.