Grace and Truth

by Pastor Jack Hyles

(Chapter 26 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Grace and Truth)


One of the hardest things I faced when our church entered into the educational field was the matter of sharing the counseling of my young people with so many different people. My teenagers had always felt free to come to my office for counseling. I was their sole source of advice. Then suddenly I realized that they were going to their teachers and their principals and that I no longer would have the control over them that I formerly had. I accepted it as perhaps being one of the small liabilities that go with the many huge assets of having a Christian school. It did, however, make me realize how important it is that principals and teachers be qualified as counselors and be wise as serpents and harmless as doves as they influence the lives of our young people. I jotted down a few bits of advice to present to my teachers. They are listed below.

1. Girls with no chosen field should take courses in either elementary or secondary education. So many girls who want to go to college pursue a course that leads to nothing except four years of education and training. They find themselves with a diploma, yet with no definite preparation for any field. Because of this, I have found it wise to advise all of the young

ladies who have no chosen field such as nursing, missions, etc. to prepare themselves to teach in a Christian school. Even if they never use what they learn, it will be a wonderful "spare tire" for them. For example, if they never marry, they will have a wonderful profession in which they can influence the lives of young people and do a service for God and for others. On the other hand, if they do marry and ever need to supplement their husband's income, they would not need to go into the secular world to be a secretary or a waitress or hold some other secular job. They would rather be able to teach in a Christian school which would enable them to do service to others and to Christ and also to work in a Christian atmosphere.

There are some young ladies who marry whose husbands become ill. In case of such illness the wife has to work. Again, she has the "spare tire" which will enable her to support the family and serve Christ simultaneously.

2. Young people should not marry until they have graduated from college. This will allow the training and preparation for one's life's work to be completed without fear of interruption or cancellation because of pregnancy, finances, etc. Far more young people complete their college training who remain unmarried during the college years than those who marry.

3. Young men who are not sure they should preach would do well to prepare to teach. In Hyles-Anderson College we have many ministerial students. There are always some young men, however, who feel they want to preach but who feel unsure that God wants them to. For some reason they are not sure what they should do. Usually the young men do not know whether they should teach in a Christian school or preach. In such cases I advise them to take secondary education. If, after graduating from college, such a young man feels that he should teach, he is equipped to do so. If he feels that he should preach, he is still able to pursue his ministry, especially if he has chosen electives in Bible and Bible-related courses. On the other hand, if he were to take the pastor's course and find that God wanted him to teach school, he would be unprepared to do so.

4. When a young person wants to marry someone whom the counselor feels is the wrong one, it is not wise to say so. When parents, pastors, educators and other counselors vigorously oppose such marriages, it often drives the couple to a premature wedding. I usually ask for a compromise of setting the date a long way in the future. This will prevent the driving of a wedge between the counselor and the young people and will at the same time give them enough time to discover their mistake, if in fact it is a mistake.

A mother and father came to my office. They were furious because their daughter was marrying a young man whom they thought was not the one for her. They had opposed so vigorously that they had severed themselves from their daughter and their relationship was, to say the least, a strained one. She was bent on marrying the boy and they were just as headstrong in their determination to prevent the marriage. I suggested to them that they change their tactics and accept the young man with the agreement that the wedding would be a year away. This delighted the young lady; yet in a few months she began to realize that the young man was not the one for her, a realization that probably would not have come had the parents continued their verbal warfare against the marriage.

(A more detailed chapter on counseling is found in the author's book, THE HYLES CHURCH MANUAL.)


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