Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making the Commitment to Home School

Before I began the journey of homeschooling, I read many books and spoke with home school mothers. During this decision process, I prayed much for direction and talked extensively to Ken. He was very supportive and encouraged me to start. I knew I had a deep desire to educate my children. I thought about all the benefits: a strong Christian education and a close relationship with my children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.)

I kept looking at my insufficiencies, my weaknesses, and shortcomings, if I just focused a couple of minutes on these things, I immediately gave myself a winning argument to not home educate. I feared inflicting my character flaws on them. (Romans 8:1-2, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.)

Until one evening when my thoughts weren’t even on home school, the Lord showed me II Corinthians 12:9, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then Paul said, “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I realized that I was to look to Him for strength and guidance. It is when I am weak that He can be strong. I knew then He was going to change me as a result of my obedience to Him. In Gregg Harris’ book, The Christian Home School, he states, “Don’t doubt in the darker moments what God has shown you in the light.”

After I had the Scriptures to back up my plan, I still continued to think about how I would have to give up a career outside the home, less time for my personal endeavors, less money which means less things, more time at home, and more cleaning and cooking. I thought about all these things and I prayerfully submitted these to God. You may think that I was having second thoughts, or doubting, but it is actually biblical to do that. (Luke 14:28, Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’) Gregg Harris writes, “It is a foolish person who starts something and then discovers halfway through that he can’t, or won’t, pay the price to finish.” Count the cost first, and then leave them at the alter for God to supply your needs.

Your story may be similar to mine, or it may be quite different. If, and when you doubt your decision, ask your spouse and another home school mother to pray with and intercede for you. Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The Holy Scripture IS sufficient to meet your needs, II Tim 3:16-17. You can also read books or listen to CDs on home schooling. There are so many great resources out there. They are a great encouragement and very often will alleviate many questions and stress.

Pertaining to reading the Word of God, I used to have certain scripture to help me pray through those times where I wonder if I was going to be able to home school! (Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight; Luke 9:23-24 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.)

I no longer doubt my decision, but I now have Scripture to encourage me to not lose sight of the goal, and these Scriptures are my promises from God. (Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus; Philippians 3:13-14 Brother, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus; Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.)

Before you begin your home school year, may you find time to write out Scripture to memorize so that you will have His Word to encourage and change you and your family. May you and your children have a faithful and spiritually growing school year!

(I wrote this for a local homeschool group in August 2006. I am fully confident of the decision Ken and I made to home school is God's mandate. I am still finding the Scripture references above to be fully applicable to all of life.)

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