Yes, we are homeschooling. I wish I could muster up some excitement about this new adventure we’re on, but I’m not in that place, yet. I have faith God will get me there because He has called our family to do this, but it will be a process…
We attended a “home school meeting” a few nights ago and I walked away feeling uncomfortable. I couldn’t put my finger on the problem I was having. The people in attendance were normal, every day people, but something was bugging me. Charlie suggested we go for a walk so I could vent and clear my head. I confessed to him that I was having trouble fully committing to homeschooling. It wasn’t that I didn’t see God’s calling or understand how wonderful the opportunity could be. The real issue was that an impression had been made on my heart and mind about the kind of people who home school. (Now, hang in here with me! Please don’t be offended if you are a home schooler or were home schooled. I’m just telling you what my impression has been…not what God’s Truth is…we’ll get to that later.) We have had some limited access and exposure to home school families and, although they always share their love of the Lord and commitment to His Word, I’m always left feeling weird. I couldn’t put my finger on it until the other day. “Rebellion” was the word the Lord gave to me. Here’s what I mean…
When the Lord began to show us that He wants us to home school our daughters, He began by showing us in the Word all that we are responsible for as parents.
“Train a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
He then began to burden our hearts for our girls in a very new way. We began seeing so much ministerial potential in our daughters…potential spiritual gifts and opportunities to minister to others. We both were very excited about the chance to give our girls an environment in which they could openly and vigorously explore God’s calling and gifting in their lives. I was (and still am, truth be told) nervous about the practical application of actually teaching the girls, but it ultimately came down to the choice of obedience. Would we trust where God was leading and believe this was the very best plan for all of us, or would we turn away and choose a more comfortable but disobedient path? We chose to obey. The Lord never led us to think of public schools as evil or bad. He never allowed us to put our girls on an intellectual pedestal and exalt their intelligence. If anything, He made us so aware of our dependence on Him and His grace. We would need that grace to accomplish His will.
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The Lord has allowed us to see so much open rebellion in other Christian homeschooling families. What I mean by that is a subtle undertone of superiority…an “us” vs. “them,” if you will. So many times, when we hear other families talk about their decision to home school, their answers are openly hostile and demeaning of others. There is a sinful pride in their attitude. Of course, you must believe that the choice to home school is the very best choice for you and your children. But, it is not the very best choice for every family. In fact, many Christian families are called to attend public school to be salt and light to lost and dying families. Some homeschooling families also seem to worship their children’s intelligence. They give their child’s intellect the highest place of honor and respect, ultimately teaching their child that a gift given by God has become the object of adoration instead of the Gift-Giver. This is all rebellion. Subtle, but still rebellion.
“Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, offspring of deceit?” Isaiah 57:4
It’s hard for me to write about this because I know it may offend others, even others I care for deeply. But, for me, the root issue is God’s character. He is love, so He is patient, kind, joyful, peaceful, good, faithful, gentle, and full of control. Anything He calls us to do, He wants done in a manner that reflects His character. If we are truly His disciples, then we walk after Him and His Word and His ways. We don’t demean or devalue others simply because they are led to make other choices. We don’t worship anything or anyone else, especially our own children. (Encourage and cheer-lead them, yes… worship them, no.) We aren’t prideful of our position, privileges, responsibilities, or opportunities.
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians Chapter 13 (emphasis mine)
I know there are families out there who are homeschooling the right way and with the right hearts, but there are families who are not and they are placing themselves in opposition with other parts of the Body of Christ. Jesus says that the world will know us by our love for one another…by the way we are patient and kind, joyful and peaceful, faithful and gentle, full of goodness and self-control.
I guess I’m posting this as a reminder to myself and my husband to keep our pride in check, to resist any rebellious thoughts or attitudes we might have. I want to remember what God is showing us now, as we begin this adventure with Him and with our children. I want to be accountable to Him and others for my choice to obey.
Thank You, Lord, for Your love which always brings me back to You. Thank You for Your character. Help me to teach my children Your ways, Your Word, YOU! I know it is only by Your grace that I will be able to accomplish Your will. Grant me Your grace unending…In Jesus’ Name, Amen.