Monday, April 20, 2009

Homeschooling ... Why? The Salt & Light Argument

"We can't be salt and light when we are standing in salt and surrounded by light. I hope my kids learn to stand up for themselves and be different, just as I did. And I also turned out OK... no, not just OK, but blessed! It takes all kinds and all situations. Thank the dear Lord for that."
-comment from my post Homeschooling ... Why?

In reference to the scripture:

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16

This passage is such a wonderful reminder for believers to be different and make a difference in the name of Christ! I know I am given countless opportunities to "let my light shine" and give glory to God. But we must keep in mind that Jesus was giving instruction to His disciples (those who He had both called & equipped) and was not giving instruction to parents on how to instruct their children.

Before I share my thoughts today, let me direct you to a post I wrote several years ago at the beginning of Hannah's 6th grade year. I think it will reveal a very different perspective of my convictions at that time.

In all honesty, it is hard to not argue with myself at this point ;) What I know is that God completely purposed the time that my children spent in public school and I have no fear or remorse about that decision. Because of the blessing homeschooling has been to our family I cannot help but be a bit sad about the time that I missed with my girls when they were younger but it has made me all the more grateful for now.

One of the things I said in that post was, "Lord, if it be your will then please use this child and her love for you ..." and "When confronted with worldly issues and situations that are so completely outside of your plan may she be an example of a holy choice ..."

That was my earnest plea.

But. God made a solid revelation in our life during that year and made it clear that it was absolutely outside of His will for our children to remain in public school. For the reasons I have stated in previous posts about our first mandate to teach the word of God and provide biblical training throughout their day, it was also made clear that our children were not yet missionaries.

One of the conversations I distinctly remember having with Hannah was about "minding her business". There were situations that would arise in middle school that did not directly concern her and so her father and I were quick to remind her that if it did not involve her then she needed to stay silent and bring her concerns to us.

Because that is what scripture says, right? "Thou shall shut your mouth when you see injustice and you shall turn your head when you hear blasphemous talk".

Well, not exactly ;) But we had a child here that we needed to keep safe. That last thing we wanted was for her to stick her nose into a situation where the Lord's name was being used in vain or where a child was being picked on. I mean for goodness sakes that would make her a target! Basically when confronted with "worldly issues" we were asking her to go the way of the world in an effort to keep her out of harm's way.

Another example of how a child may be unready for the work of "difference-maker" is the one that Carolyn Mahaney uses in her book, GirlTalk. She shared about a time in their life when their daughter Kristin entered private school after several years of being homeschooled. The agreement was that she would be a "difference-maker". Here is a passage from the book:

"Outwardly she was a "good" kid, even an exemplary one. She wasn't deceptive or openly rebellious. She worked hard at school and didn't hang out with the wrong crowd. She did all the "right" things. Yet she remained silent when she should have graciously confronted the ungodliness of her classmates. She was tolerant of sin in her own life and the lives of others. We didn't observe a passion for god. She also failed to show consistent love for home and family, one of the foremost characteristics of biblical womanhood. Though subtle, these were serious concerns."

The Mahaney's made the decision to bring their daughter home and "lead, train, and discipline for the purpose of holiness." That may not be the necessary action for all children but we feel like it is the best place for our children in this season of their life.

My point? It can be a difficult thing to establish whether or not a child is ready for the work of missions, especially in the extremely hostile conditions of a public school. The bottom line is I (her mother) cannot call Hannah (or any of my children) into the mission field. That is a call from God and Him alone.

Until that day I will spend our days equipping and training ... anticipating their readiness and looking for the fruit that will confirm. The reality is, I could spend this time equipping and training and seeking obedience and find the fruit to be absent.

While I grieve this thought, I also recognize that obedience before the Lord is what I am seeking.

My Obedience.

God alone will do the work in their hearts, bringing about fruit, guiding them in obedience, and preparing them to share the gospel and give glory to Him!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes and amen sister girl! I'm so thankful for your guidance and encouragement in my walk and life Kim. You are my hero and mentor on so many levels sweet friend! God has so blessed me with the truth he has revealed to you and allowed to spill over into my pitiful little life!

Thank you for being a beacon and letting God use you to shine His truth to me and so many others!

It hasn't been easy to become a single momma and still homeschool, but oh so worth it. My obedience to my Lord is going to produce fruit 3 fold and I'm thankful that He is my guide and provider as I continue this amazing journey of homeschooling my three kids.

I love you dearly Kim,