God has been convicting me of something lately. More and more. I have been praying and trying my best to listen to this conviction…and now to repent. Change. Go in the right direction. His direction. His leading. His Word – the Bible.
Rooted by the River.
Yes, that’s it. We desire and pray for our children to have deep, blossoming faith in their Creator. Yet how easily distracted are we? Very! This is the time of year many homeschool families begin to buy next year’s curriculum. The beautiful, glossy catalogs come through our homes. We go to homeschool conventions, curriculum fairs, and scour Facebook groups for good prices on new-to-us curriculum. It is exciting and fun! Most homeschool families enjoy making plans for the upcoming year.
There is a great deal of pressure to make the “right” choices for our children and our families.
Charter or Umbrella or Independent?
Public School at Home, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling, Unit Study Based, or Eclectic Approach?
All-in-One boxed curriculum, or Mix-and-Match your own?
Violin, soccer, 4-H, Scouts, Latin, AWANA, or…all of them? None of them?
So many wonderful, beautiful choices in this day and age of homeschooling. So many…distractions.
Why do we homeschool?
That has changed for us over the few short years we have been at it. Or rather, the true purpose has come to the forefront and become more solidified.
Discipleship. That is why we homeschool. Not for superior education or a greater amount and quality of family time (although those are all true), but discipleship. Our greatest call and goal and prayer and desire for our children is that they will be disciples of Christ who are firmly rooted by the river, engulfed in His love, seeking His face, resting in His holiness, glorifying and worshiping Him.
So how do we actually do that? How exactly do we disciple our children to be students and followers of Christ?
I believe the answer is simple. We are to be disciples ourselves.
How do we do that? How do we grow in Christ? How do we become more like Him?
We study the Bible. We pray. Alone. Together with our families. We talk about how Scripture applies to our lives. We talk about our thoughts and wants and emotions and check them all against the Word of God. We examine our good works and then check our hearts against the Word of God. Are we resting in Him? Are we remembering that He alone is our hope for salvation? Are we remembering that all of our good deeds are as filthy rags before Him and His holiness? Left to ourselves, there is no entering Heaven. None. It is His sacrifice alone that pays the price of our entrance. Christ alone covers us.
Yes, we already know this. But have we been distracted from it? Are we more consumed by ensuring Latin and Greek and Piano and Grammar are completed than starting our day in the Bible? Are we pious and proud of our Bible reading sessions? Are we humbled and thankful we have the ENTIRE BIBLE (multiple copies!) in our home? And that God used His chosen and holy men to record His holy Word to us? Are we ready to dig deeper and learn more about Him and His love and provision? Or are we too busy checking the daily Bible reading off on our to-do-list so that we can rush off to AWANA. Are we distracted from God by the good things in our lives? What a well-crafted trick of the Devil that is! To distract us from God with the good things. To tempt us to become so focused on church activities that we aren’t really paying attention to Him and His Word and His leading.
Are we more passionate about homeschooling than we are about the Gospel? Are we greater witnesses about educating our children at home than we are about salvation through Christ? Which subject do we talk about more? Ouch.
We have been reading through the Old Testament most evenings before bedtime with our children, but God has really put it on my heart to do more with our 7 year old since he is the oldest and has a much longer attention span than our toddlers. But how? How do we fit that in? One more thing? We talk about the Bible all throughout our day and almost all of our curriculum is “Christian” with Bible “mixed in”. The Bible cannot be one more thing that we fit in; it can’t be mixed in. The Bible must be our foundation in life and in homeschool.
We have a new plan to try and will adapt as necessary. We will keep our evening Old Testament readings (1 Kings right now) and will do better at reading our morning verse during breakfast (a verse on a small rectangle card pulled from a little plastic loaf of bread – that works for toddler attention spans), but during toddler nap time, we will also be studying the book of Luke and then the book of Acts. A little chunk – a few verses – at a time. Pray, read, discuss, repeat. This isn’t about doing “more” Bible time. We are not trying to clock enough Bible minutes each day, week or month. No – we want to keep the main thing, the main thing. We need to return to Him many times during the day. For our family, more frequent Bible readings should help us to remember that God is first in all things, to better manage our time (ahem, Mommy’s Facebook time), and to avoid being sucked in to 18 different activities and 31 new curriculum programs.
I pray that you are encouraged by this post to follow God’s lead in your life, whatever that may look like.