"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Touchy Subject

Recently, I was talking with a long distance friend and a very touchy subject came up. She told me that her church has a very large population of homeschoolers. Apparently, these moms are vocal towards the families in their church who choose not to homeschool. My friend felt that she and others who have chosen public/private school are being condemned by these women as being lazy or not as spiritual because of their schooling choices. Yikes!! This makes me very sad and a bit angry.

I've thought about this quite a lot over the last couple weeks. Here is what my brain is processing:
In my opinion, the ONLY reason a family should choose homeschooling is out of obedience to God. I truly believe that if we seek God with all our heart and He tells us to homeschool, we should obey. However, I also believe that we can seek God with all our heart and He may tell us to put our kids in public/private school. In that case, we must also obey. Our choice should not be based on whim, approval, feelings, or fear. Our choice can not be based on our own strength. Our choice must be based on seeking the Lord, listening and obeying Him only.

And whatever our choice, I am certain that we should NOT be judging the choices and convictions of our friends and neighbors. "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12  I've been reading in the Bible and I can't find the passage that says, "Thou must homeschool." Or how about the one, "Thou must attend public school." Can you?

I'm not sure how else to describe it, but I think homeschooling is a calling. I think some people are called to be doctors, soldiers, teachers, missionaries, fathers, mothers, etc., etc. I don't think there is any superiority no matter what our calling. Anything God calls us to do is a high calling. I honestly don't understand why God may want some to homeschool and others not to, but I think He does.  We need to be confident in where He is leading us. Not prideful or boastful, but confident in what He is directing us to do. And I don't think we should be worrying about what He is calling others to do. He knows us inside and out and He knows what is best for us. In my case, I think He is calling me to homeschool for now in order to refine me. These last several years have definitely exposed more of my sins and reminded me of my need of Him.

Which brings me to a little tangent... It is not uncommon for someone to remark, "I could never do that" when I tell them that we homeschool. I'm usually speechless, but inside I'm thinking, "I can't either." You see, just because God has called me to homeschool this year doesn't mean that I'm some supernatural creature who is amazingly talented. I am definitely not. Yes, God has given me strengths but I also have great weaknesses. I may be organized, but I'm not very good at being patient. I may like learning, but that doesn't mean that I am an intellectual wizard. I may like what we do some days, but be terribly selfish others and wish I was alone on an island. I have a homeschooling friend who is as different from me as night and day. We have different strengths and different weaknesses and yet God has also called her to homeschool. With His strength she does it well. Anyway, my point is that the only reason we have mild success with homeschooling at our house is by God's grace and mercy. Not because I'm great---I'm a rotten sinner! I believe He will uniquely equip each of us for whatever He has called us to do.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: '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 mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."  Mark 12: 28-31
At the end of the day however we choose to school our children, we need to question our self, "Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Are we loving our neighbor as ourself?"