Imagine for a moment that you are making a quilt. You are collecting scraps of fabric in all different colors; these scraps represent the different areas of our lives. Perhaps they represent; home, work, housekeeping, friendships, hobbies, and so on.
As you lay out all the pieces you see how some pieces work together and others don’t exactly fit the color scheme. You search and search for the right materials but nothing is working. Sadly, many of us are in this exact predicament with an area of our lives.
Our relationship with God should be the thread that runs through every quilt square of our lives. It holds the pieces together but is also such a unique color that it actually makes all the parts work together and creates harmony. Now, and only now, can the quilt be used for its intended purpose.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our children had that thread from the start?
Because of this I know we should not be complacent as homeschoolers/parents/families who just also happen to be Christians. As Christians, we are fulfilling one of our responsibilities in the kingdom, by raising, training and educating our children in God’s Word. We also know we have a jealous God. He wants our time, attention and devotion. He wants to be the center of our lives.
Part of training our children is to encourage the growth of a personal relationship between our children and God. This doesn’t mean that we do not need to teach math or language-not by any means at all. What I am talking about is facilitating a relationship with our Savior and creating a Biblical world-view foundation.
Think about it. When we create a building we first need to create a foundation. The smaller the foundation, the smaller the building. I would struggle to find a parent who would say they are satisfied knowing they provided an environment only capable of producing small foundations.
I believe the greatest way we can facilitate our children’s foundation building is by spending quality time with them. Engage in meaningful discussions, even with very young children. Bring our conversations and questions to their level. Encourage them to think before answering. Play games, read aloud, and do chores together. Earn their trust in the little things and you will see them grow to trust you with the larger things. Let them see that you have struggles too and let them see how you turn to God for the answers because what they see you do will impact them either by how your actions do or do not line up with you words. It isn’t about being “perfect” but about showing them how to lean on the One Who is perfect in all His ways.
Would you like to know what drives me crazy? One of those sites about Christian homeschooling that shows you how perfect it is. I see site after site that shows it’s readers an unrealistic glimpse into the life of a homeschool family.
Let me set the stage:
You have a photo of the children sitting perfectly – (dressed, teeth brushed, reading &/or writing with no sign of fighting or problems) – around the kitchen table. You see the homemade jam in the background. All of mom’s friends have no problems and neither does she. They have apparently all reached a place in their spiritual growth where there is nothing left for God to work out in them.
What they don’t show you is that the photo was staged. The children were most likely told they could play on their Wii if they sat still long enough to take the photo. The phone has been ringing off the hook; mom’s hair is still in rollers; the cat just made the pile of laundry fresh out of the dryer into his litter box and dad will be home any minute because it took 9 hours to get to the point they could take the photo.
I didn’t even get started with the struggles of teaching the children!
I know that this is an exaggeration – well, sort of – and it is very possible to have a productive and very successful homeschool. Really! The point of all this is that too many people only show you the good and never show you the bad.
I have had my share of good and bad days and I am sure there will be more ahead. That is life. If it isn’t a friend or neighbor in need it is the curriculum or behavior/discipline issues or maybe a headache. God never said that we would have it easy. That is why the butterfly’s chrysalis is such an important symbol of our ministry.
In our process of transformation we go through stages that lead us closer and closer to the likeness of Christ. But that chrysalis time is a messy time. It is also a necessary time if we are to transform.
Don’t give up on homeschooling just because right now it feels overwhelming. Take time out with God, let Him refresh you and guide you in homeschooling. Always remember: A bad day homeschooling for God, is always better then a good day when you are not. A perfect day is one where you don’t give up on God!