With eyes wide open and gasps the women say almost in unison,
“Oh I can NEVER do that…you must be a very patient and organized person…”
The temptation to broaden my shoulders and receive the compliment subsides with the realization of the opportunity to share the truth of my weaknesses and Christ’s power. These women were referring to my conviction to homeschool.
I have fought the desire to write about homeschooling because I see how this subject can divide and stir others to conviction, and some to condemnation if they don’t remember they are in Christ.
Let me begin by saying as Christians we are on our own personal journey with Jesus, and that’s what distinguishes Christianity from any other ‘religion’. Ours is not a legalistic following of rules but rather a grace-filled living relationship with God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Daily we have access to the Wonderful Counselor. Only God knows our heart and yieldedness to Him, and only He knows the plans He has for us and our family so it’s best to get our convictions from His Holy Spirit and not other people. I write to encourage and share God’s story, our testimony…
I first felt a conviction to stay home with my children five years ago when God’s Word was illuminated in my heart as I read:
At the time we lived a double-minded life, building façades and chasing mirages, seeking the things of the world and the things of God at the same time. I was more committed to life in the corporate secular world than the seeking a relationship with God.
When I read the verse ‘teach these to your children‘ I contended with God ‘reminding’ Him of my insecurities as a mother, let alone one that can teach them things about God. At the time we had a Jesus loving Nanny for the children and she was teaching them to love God and love others, I felt it was sufficient to delegate this responsibility.
Eventually we partly yielded as a family and downsized to one income and a smaller home. At the time my children were 2 and 4 and I had NEVER stayed home with them longer than the 4-6 weeks of maternity leave when they were born. This was a huge adjustment for us to say the least. After a few weeks alone with my children I had repented of all the ‘gossip’ and defiling words I said about all of ‘those stay at home moms’ and I was looking forward for the big yellow bus to come and take my son to kindergarten when the conviction came yet again…this time I was reading John 17:6-7. For context, this is Jesus praying to the Father about the disciples He was given. I dared to ask that day,
“LORD who do you give me to manifest Your name?”
He answered, and I cried. He already gave me two–my children. I immediately wrote their names in my Bible praying someday their names will be in His book.
Since it was Eve that was deceived by the serpent in the garden I went to my husband and asked him to pray about ‘something’ I felt God calling us to do.
“What is it?” He asked bluntly.
I held my breath cringed and clenched my teeth and barely managed to say, “homeschool our children…”
Without hesitation or surprise my husband said, “I have already been praying for three months and I’ve already researched curriculum.”
So began our ‘homeschooling’ adventure.
Let me be painfully transparent: This ‘adventure’ is HARD for me.
I am not naturally patient or kind. I do get jealous when I see other kids (especially younger) more advanced than my children, and yet I do brag to make myself feel better when my kids can do something no one else can. I can be arrogant, and act unbecomingly. I have sought my own agenda many times, and I’ve been easily provoked to anger or giving up, and I have kept many records of my children’s wrongs. Yes, this ‘adventure’ has been a refining crucible daily revealing my need for my Savior Jesus Christ.
I remember one ‘spicy’ day when I was a ball on the floor weeping and asking God, “Why? Why am I doing this?” His gentle peace washed over me and I heard Him speak to my heart,
“until Christ is formed in you…”
I look up in the Bible and see Galatians 4:19:
“My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you--”
Context: This is Paul writing to the Galatians but this was a reminder to me. At first I thought, “Yes, of course, until Christ is formed in my children…” but God said,
“My daughter, until Christ is formed in you, for that is my will and purpose.” That’s when I heard,
“It’s not about education, but sanctification.”
We no longer call it home-education’ we call it ‘home-sanctification.’ God is the Principal, the Teacher, the Head-Master and we are all His students. This has helped me renew my mind and gain an understanding of the purpose of our lessons:
We learn our ABC’s to learn to read
We learn to read so we can learn to Read the Bible, God’s Holy Word
We learn to Write to capture and record stones of memorial of God’s faithfulness
We learn Grammar to communicate the Gospel to others
We learn Math to be good stewards of time, talent, money and resources
We learn History to learn about the faithfulness of God and consequences of sin
We learn Biology to learn about God’s creation
We learn Geography to pray for the lost to be found and strength for the missionaries
That’s it. These are the basics of what we are learning in our household–we can’t handle extracurricular studies outside of these subjects right now. I’m learning to be OK with that and not strive to drag my children where I want them to be or where I see other kids. I’m learning to be like Jesus and to meet them where they are at.
I’m learning to yield myself to His Spirit so He can lead and guide us into all Truth daily. I’m learning the greatest ‘lesson planning’ is done on our knees after confession, repentance, cleansing and revival in our hearts. I’m learning that when I boast and share my weaknesses with my children and others, the power of Christ is manifested in me and God is glorified.
Our family’s vision is Jesus Christ. Our most important desire for our children is that they know and love God with all their hearts soul, mind, and strength and love their neighbors as themselves.
This is my holy conviction written on a stone of remembrance for those days when I will forget why I am doing this….for sanctification, not education: May Christ be formed in me…
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23