So far in this blog series, we have discussed what education is exactly and what makes an education fitting. In this third and final post in this series, I am going to be speaking to us as parents. I’ve been looking forward to this post, because this is where my passions lie – I love to encourage people and help them move forward. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my experience and heart and watching a burden lift from the stooped shoulders of a young mom, who reminds me so much of myself in the early days of this journey.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not yet, but this journey we have chosen to traverse with our families is not an easy one. It is one that can be full of joy and great reward, but those do not come without great sacrifice and a lot of hard work.
In this article, I am going to be speaking with you about responsibility. I want this to be encouraging and enlightening, so if there is anything that you need to take care of in order to be able to focus and soak in the words I have for you, please go and take care of it now. I’ll be right here when you get back. 🙂
I know from experience just how easy it is for us as homeschooling parents to HEAP on the weight of what we feel is our responsibility. Pretty soon it’s all we can do to drag ourselves through the day – each step pushing us through the sticky dining room floor.
If you are at all like me, you have wondered what exactly it means to take the yoke of Jesus – I mean, I’m all for having a “light burden” and an “easy yoke,” but quite honestly, my shoulders were already full with what I had been told was my responsibility.
Lift your heads, mommas, lay down your burden, and come rest at our Savior’s feet, because…
Most of what we tell ourselves is our responsibility ISN’T. Plain and simple.
Those closest to me know that I am, by nature, a burden bearer. I am intuitive, sensitive, protective, and extremely invested in the lives of my husband and children. It’s been a long road and one that I’m still walking, learning about letting God be God. As I have grown in my relationship with Him, I have learned to trust Him more and more.
He is teaching me that these areas are my responsibility:
- Take care of my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my children, and my own physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
- Be in tune with what God wants me to teach these children – they are His before they are mine, and He has the plan for their lives.
- Bend my own knee, lay down my own pride/agenda, and open my hands to God’s will and work in myself and in my family members.
- Facilitate in the learning process of my children, training them to love Jesus, encouraging them to own their education and stretch their abilities.
Here are just a few lessons that I am learning along the way. Maybe one or two of them will resonate with you!
- My children learn more from watching me than they will ever learn from any curriculum.
- God doesn’t expect me to be a perfect parent, but He does expect me to live surrendered to His work in my life. This is the most effective way of showing my kids how great and merciful their Heavenly Father is.
- I need to strategically pray for my kids. Not just a generic “cover it all!” type of prayer, but an actual battle plan.
- I have to fight the urge to bubble wrap. Protection is good. Hiding is bad.
- I need to remember that education is a journey and not one that we are going to complete in the 18 years that we have our kids under our roof. God promises to complete the work in their lives.
- I am not God. I cannot change anyone’s heart.
Did you notice that all of the responsibilities listed above have to do with ME being yielded to God’s plan not mine – not controlling, but training, coaching, guiding, facilitating, and encouraging?
This is the number one lesson I learned (am stilling learning!) through this whole process:
I have found that the responsibilities that He has given me come with matching strength to carry them. The burdens that I pile on myself do not.
God’s plan for my kids is founded in pure love and His desire for a relationship with them.
Next, let’s peer into their (our children’s) responsibilities.
I learned early on in our homeschool journey that I couldn’t learn for my kids. I could lesson plan and buy wonderful materials, but if one of my children decided that they were going to rebellious and not internalize or take personally any of the lessons, I could not make them learn. I also learned that I could control their behavior, but God is the only one Who could change their heart. That’s where the lesson in learning to pray came in.
Our children need to know that their education is to help them, not just make us happy so we will leave them alone. They need to grow in their own faith, because they are going to have to choose whom they will serve.
Most of us are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, but verses 12 and 13 are the key to verse 11. Go back up and read them slowly. Do you see it? God does have a plan, but unless our children learn to seek Him wholeheartedly, they aren’t going to discover what that plan is!
Our children have to learn to train their ear to hear the voice of truth, take every thought captive, and know how to go to God for the plan for their lives. This is their most important responsibility.
Now, before I wrap up this article, I want to touch on what is God’s responsibility in this whole educational process.
I love that I can always depend on God to be…
- the true teacher
- the only One who can truly save our children
- and the only One who knows exactly what each of us needs.
So, a fitting education is one that serves, fits, and prepares the student, it is an education that is based on giving our families a solid Biblical worldview, and it is an education that involves each of us taking on our rightful responsibilities.
I want to leave you with one final thought.
In ancient days, the setting of this verse, arrows were carefully crafted by the warrior. They used only the best and strongest materials and they meticulously whittled each arrow to be perfectly balanced and the arrowhead razor-sharp.
This scripture speaks to both generations: the parents, depicted here as the warrior, and the children, depicted as the arrows.
This is the perfect picture of what a fitting education is – the forming of the arrows.
If this series has been encouraging to you, and you would like to pass it forward, please share it from the home page.
God bless you, my friend!