Recently I was asked by a school teacher about what motivated my husband and I to pursue homeschooling our children. I mentioned that the first reason was the call from God to be the teachers of our own children. Deuteronomy 4, verses 5-10 says:
“Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
We are to disciple our children. The Bible has spoken it so. When people ask my family if we’ve prayed about it, I tell them that there is no need to pray about what God has commanded. It is the same as saying I don’t need to pray about whether or not I should steal. The Bible has spoken about that clearly and if I needed to pray about it, that would be preposterous, right?
Discipling our own children is part of the great commission. When parents disciple their own children, it is with purpose, it is to understand the character of God, to discern and to know how to please Him in all that we do. Our life is to glorify God and thus, our entire self is to have a kingdom purpose. This is what it means to live for Him.
Homeschooling is also a great way to stay with our children and to educate them in a trade or skill that will be enhanced with their God given talents. Only by seeing closely what the gifting is of our children, will we be able as parents to lead them in the way they should go in order to cultivate the kingdom purpose behind what they will do with those talents. And what a wonderful way to fulfill His purpose, to plant our home in a family economy, to be intentional about creating generations with vision for our families.
Case in point: just the other day I heard a bible study on the topic of generations and the vision God had for men of God to teach the sons of his sons. Abraham was a first generation. He left the Chaldeans and was committed to building the altar to the Lord. He left all his wealth and packed up and went to serve the Lord. However, his son Isaac was a compromiser. He was a well digger and sought his own needs first. He looked for the benefits to himself with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude. Finally, the third generation was Jacob. He did not have a great testimony for he was a trickster.
I really love God’s word that speaks truth even in this age. Although these three generations lived long ago, we can learn a lot from them. I am challenged and affirmed to continue to pursue the command to teach our children as we lie down, as we walk, as we sit in our house.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
Homeschooling exemplifies the discipleship vision that God has for families to follow. The home and the school therein is a picture of God’s word written upon the posts of our house and on our gates.
“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.” Psalm 78: 1-11
As I read this Psalm, I see it as a warning. I don’t want my children to forget the teachings of the Lord that they learned at home. It would grieve my soul and burden me immensely if they were to sell themselves to the world for a cheap imitation of Christianity. It would pain me so to see them sit in rebellion and to pitter-patter in shallow character. God warns us to consider seriously the effects of our sin and disobedience and warns us of his judgment for generations to come.
“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.” Exodus 34: 5-9
God makes the point to Moses about how abundant His mercy is. He has enough mercy for all of Israel. But He will judge the unrepentant sinner that passes on his non- moral disobedient lifestyle to his children. As He promises keeping mercy for thousands, but not always pardoning the guilty. (Exodus 34:7). We see the same in Nahum 1 verse 3: ”The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked.”
God is merciful but He is also just and fair and must punish sin. His promise to the nation of Israel is that if one passes their sin down from each generation, training their children in idolatry and disobedience, God will not let His mercy continue and will bring punishment.
I don’t believe it will be the easiest thing I will ever do, homeschooling. I know it will bring with it troubles and trials. But knowing that God is in the center of it all brings me more comfort than doubt. I am not competent, I am not a professional but God commanded us to teach our children His law and to disciple our children. We must not let the Spirit of the Age be our guide, but rather use His word to be our example. This journey to homes chool starts with conviction and the desire to please God. He will take weaknesses we hold and carry us forth.
When I got married I knew nothing of being a wife. I had some life skills, some conviction to do certain things, and I had God more than anything. It is the same as mothering, and discipling our children. If we want our children to draw closer to each other and to God, we must draw closer to them for that short time that they are ours before they are launched out of our quiver.