Steven Wales
2 min readJan 18, 2021

I often asked myself why I had children in private school. It was an extravagant luxury — something others could afford, but not me. I had spent years teaching in public schools — were they so bad? Everyone I know attended public schools.

Yet each time I questioned the decision, God gave me peace. On what basis? The challenging academics? A Biblical approach to biology or history or government classes? The added feature of Bible classes every year? No. While I was happy with those points, the verse that came to mind every time I prayed about it was I Corinthians 15:33:

Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”

Of course, private school students insist their schools are filled with “bad company,” with kids using drugs in the parking lot, with teen couples sleeping together, faculty scandals — there are plenty of stories, and I don’t question them. But the percentage of students involved in such things is often smaller at private schools — and the percentage of students trying to make good choices is often larger in private schools. In short, I was willing to pay for private school in hopes my kids would be surrounded by better influences.

Walk with the wise and you will become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20. “The righteous choose friends carefully” Prov. 12:26.

Jim Rohn is credited with the line “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are your five? If you put those five in the blender, what will come out? Even more insightful may be this line: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Wow. Read that three times:

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

Remember: You have choices. Choose the BEST friends you can. And when they fail, choose NOT to be influenced by them! You always have choices.


Steven Wales

Lawyer and professor of business law and of petroleum land management. Former high school English teacher. I live with my wife and kids on a small farm.