Saturday, April 26, 2014

Finishing Well, Part 2

After my last post about where our homeschool motivation comes from, a friend of mine asked me what led me to say what I had.  I had mentioned that I wrote it all down without even editing, and anyone who knows me knows that the likelihood of me not editing something I have written is next to nothing!  I went back to the post after getting up and tending to my children, and when I read what I had written, I couldn't believe my eyes.  I wrote that?  I need to hear those words just as much as anyone who reads them.  I struggle daily with comparison, and people-pleasing, and pride.  Not a fun combination when, as a Christian, I should be striving to please my Lord most of all, but with a humble heart, not just so that I will look good to others.  

I wanted to write out my response to her here, where the likelihood of walking away from my computer and losing everything I had written is much less.

So, sweet friend, here is my response.  :)

1) Those words, most of all, come from being involved in the homeschool community for the past 23 years, and noticing what different families choose to focus their time and attention on, and then paying attention to the results of those choices.  This holds true for any family, whether or not they homeschool, as we are all ultimately responsible for how our children are raised.  The removal of any reverence for God (they didn't remove God; He is still there, whether they acknowledge Him or not) in the public school system of the United States is appalling.  Our country was founded on the belief that there were moral absolutes that were found in the Bible.  These absolutes were assumed, understood by everyone.  There was no need to be redundant and mention that it was God who was being glorified by the people following these moral, biblical laws.  Everyone already knew that.  Today, children in public schools are taught to believe that all law comes from the government, and can be changed on a whim, and that there are no moral truths.  God doesn't even factor into the equation. 

2) My words also come from watching so many sweet homeschool -- and even some public school -- moms and dads struggle under a heavy burden that they have created for themselves based on comparison to others' perceived homeschool successes.  My question has always been, "But in whose eyes are those children successful?  God's eyes, or the world's eyes?"  I admit, I have been guilty many times of judging other families for the way I see them raising their children, or what they are or aren't teaching them.  I'm human too!  I don't have God's vision for every family, and I have had to learn, slowly and over time, that He has different purposes and direction for each family, all for His glory!

By the way, I'm not talking about sinful living, for that IS to be judged, so long as it is one believer to another and not a believer judging an unbeliever, as Paul tells the church in 1 Corinthians 5.  We do need to hold each other accountable.  Someone once suggested to me that I was being prideful in a certain area, and it really caused me to examine my heart, and I could see it in every aspect of my life.  We are all sinners, saved by grace, but sometimes we just need a kick in the pants.  :)

Where was I?  Oh yes...  

Accolades (even from other believers) are empty and unsatisfying in the long run, but the praise of others here on earth really does make us feel good just for today.  Are we giving up the eternal for the temporal when it comes to homeschooling, as we so often do in other areas of life?  Families sacrifice relationships with their children or with their Lord, all in the name of "keeping up with the local homeschool group," or "making sure we're using curriculum that is the best/ most expensive/ least expensive/ well-rounded/ tailored to each of my children's learning styles/ prettiest/ newest and shiniest/ oldest and time-tested/ most thorough/ laid-back/ relevant/ mentally stimulating curriculum out there.  I have been there.  I *am* there.  I'm too concerned with all of those things.

3) What I write comes from my own upbringing.  I was homeschooled by parents who were willing to make choices as they felt led by God, and stick with those choices through constant questioning by family members and friends who felt that my parents were depriving my sister, brother and I of what we "deserved"... the same education as everyone else.  But we are not called to give our children the same education as everyone else.  Ephesians 6:4 tells us, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."  I wasn't always happy about my parents' decisions in regard to how we were raised, at least not while I was young, but I see the wisdom in those choices now.  Do I do some things differently than they did?  You bet!  I have different children than they did.  :)

So those are my main reasons for posting what I did yesterday.  My words come from my heart!  

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