It’s back to school time and we moms like to chatter about what is “upcoming” for our kids this fall.
Some of you are making plans to homeschool, like we are.
Some of you are sending your kids to private schools.
Some of you are sending your kids to public schools.
I was reading a little bit of the goings on over at Courtney’s blog as she shared her inward struggle with putting her son in public school because her husband thought this was the best idea for their family. I appreciated her honesty and transparency as she tells how she struggled to let her husband lead, and how God changed his heart. It was a great article!
But, in reading some of the comments, I got the feeling that some women actually felt as though home schooling was the only right(godly) way to educate a child. And other women, single women or those who had their kids in public schools were having to defend their choice.
This saddened me, because I wondered if I have ever unintentionally sent the message that home schooling is the only right way to train/educate a child. I wondered if those who couldn’t educate their kids at home ever felt “looked down on” or like they were not considered a good mother. Imagine the unnecessary guilt this type of attitude lays on single or divorced mom who works hard to keep her family afloat, or for a mom who would love to home school but her husband has other ideas.
God is bigger than our educational choices.
I have seen parents raise godly kids who came from home schooled homes, privately schooled homes, and publicly schooled homes.
And I have seen parents raise ungodly kids who came from home schooled homes, privately schooled homes, and publicly schooled homes.
Schooling should be a means to an end, not the end all. The home life and the “spiritual temperature” of the parents heart towards God is the biggest factor in successfully training your child. (Are you cold, lukewarm or hot towards the things of God?)
If you and your husband disagree about how to educate your children and your husband decides that they need to go to public school, you are better off letting your husband lead and submitting to his authority than you are nagging, manipulating and whining to get what you think is the educational ideal.
Of course, let him know how you feel about it, but after that initial conversation, no nagging, pushing, pouting or punishing. We, as wives, have a mandate from God to submit to our husbands, but we have no direct mandate that our kids education must look a certain way.
Our educational choices are an area of liberty.
We should never look down on others because they choose a different educational route than we do. This, of course, would be uncharitable. I have shuddered inside when I have heard women say (in their self-righteous tone of voice) “WE homeschool our children,” or “WE don’t watch this.” or “WE don’t allow that.” The emphasis being on them, of course, like we really care.(If someone really wants to know what you do, they’ll ask, thank you very much.) And when you speak to someone in a condescending tone of voice, you are proud, and your educational choices mean very little, because God opposes the proud.
I have appreciated, and learned from people with perhaps stricter standards than I who are humble. They are not the ones who are “in your face” with what they believe about everything under the sun. They are the ones who you have to ask, and they’ll tell you gently why their family has chosen not to do something or other.
I believe that we can still be enthusiastic about our families choices, as long as we are sensitive and compassionate to the feelings and situations of other people.
A wise woman considers the end result of her words. Are they callous, critical or condescending? Are they ministering grace to the hearer and edifying?
In the body of Christ, we are to build each other up. As women, it is easy to compare ourselves to others and although sometimes that can be helpful, most times it is a set up for discouragement. Let’s be careful not to unnecessarily wound others in areas of liberty.
In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity
Want to read more? I highly recommend:
Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarkson
Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges (excellent chapter on having a Critical Spirit about non essentials)
Humility by Andrew Murray (classic read for any Christian person! I read it once a year.