It All Boils Down to Love & Relationships

The quality of homeschooling is very much affected by the quality of your relationships in the home. When my husband and I have tension in our marriage or our emotional tanks are not full, these things have a negative effect on my interactions with the kids. If Edric and I let conflicts remain unresolved, I actually have NO desire to homeschool the kids. I am too preoccupied nursing my own wounds and frustrations and I want to be alone. “What can I do with and for the kids today?” is a question I don’t want to put any energy into answering.

God convicted me one morning when I woke up feeling exactly like that. Edric and I had dealt with an issue the night before and it left me feeling very down.  When he left for work the next day he said, “I love you” and hugged me, but I didn’t feel like hugging him back. He said, “Do you love me?” I said, “Yes,” but I did not look at him in the eye. And he said, “Why aren’t you looking into my eyes when you say it?” So I said, “I love you” and looked into his eyes but my heart wasn’t right. Even though we both apologized to each other, I wondered why I was holding on to the hurt. So I did the first thing I didn’t feel like doing. I read my Bible, spent time with the Lord, and prayed about it!

When my relationships are not okay, I am often sure of one thing.  The main problem is my relationship with God. Something needs fixing.

As I thought through my emotions, God convicted me. He said, “You need to take a good look at yourself, especially your feelings, attitude and expectations and process them. You have four kids who need you, a husband whom you are going to spend at least 30 more years loving, and if you keep up your ‘poor me’, self-centered perspective, you are going to have a miserable marriage and family.”  Well, that didn’t make me feel better at first, but it all made sense.

The reason why I was upset was because I wanted Edric to love me, appreciate me, relate to me on my terms and I refused to accept anything less. My happiness was dependent on the way he treated me. This perspective was making me nit-pick, react, and disrespect him. I was keeping a list of wrongs and offenses that bubbled over every time I felt Edric did something I didn’t like. And don’t get me wrong, my husband is a very loving person, but we are also binary opposites in many ways. (He also prays for the many ways that I need to change!) These differences have caused tension in our marriage and since we are nearly 10 year married, we have our fair share of war scars.

The Bible says that “love covers a multitude of sins.” Joy (me) on the other hand, looks at every sin! God reminded me that a good marriage is based on unconditional commitment to an imperfect spouse that often requires sacrifice.

As I wrote my prayer down in my journal, my last sentences read, “I am tired of temporary fixes. Lord, please fix me, my heart. Remove the anger and silent bitterness that I am harbouring…I give everything to you…Please help me to stop judging him, comparing him to others, and wanting to change him. He is your project, not mine. Help me to be a better, sweeter, more loving, more forgiving , more patient wife. I cannot do this without you.” After I put my pen down, I cried. I cried because I don’t want to spend the next 50 years holding on to hurt and allowing it to ruin my relationship with Edric.

The truth is that I want to love him passionately and enjoy him, but I knew that if I kept on reacting to him then I would be a catalyst to stir our relationship in the wrong direction. At the end of the day, I knew that my reactions were not so much about what was wrong with Edric but what was wrong with me inside.

When I got the chance to speak to Edric, I sincerely apologized and told him my realizations. I could hear the joy in his voice as we genuinely communicated our feelings and processed them together from a spiritual perspective and set things right.

What do relationships have to do with homeschooling? Everything. If we are shackled down by hurt, bitterness, or anger we are not free to love. And if we are not free to love the people around us, especially our family, then we cannot be effective teachers to our children either. We may be able to teach some things, but we will not be able to teach what really counts. This is not my idea. It’s in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13 (paraphrased) says, if I am a gifted speaker, but if I don’t have love, I am just an ugly sound. If I have supreme knowledge and understanding, and I am so full of faith I can move mountains, but if I do not have love, I am nothing.

The best teachers are not those who know everything, but those who love best. It’s not the number of degrees you have but the degrees between your relationships that matter.

Here is the standard all great teachers should aspire for:

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8 Love never fails…

 

Comments

  1. So very true, Joy. I feel the same way– that when something is hurting me, or bothering me, I find it so hard to deal with my son and be happy around him. It’s also harder when I find myself harboring resentment at his dad (who is an absent father), I become so moody. Thank you for sharing this, it made me realize a few things too. That I also need to continually SURRENDER my hurts to the Lord and to just hold on to Him. Thanks, Joy for your beautiful heart and honesty! Youre one of the moms in CCF I really look up to especially when raising kids. I admire the joy you radiate and the love you show your kids and hubby.. imagine I only have one son, and i find it so handful.. yet you have 4! Wow. So blessed by you, Joy 🙂 Hope to see you around soon and get to talk to ya sometime! 🙂

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks Alexa, you are so encouraging. We are all human and prone to hurt but what counts is how we process it and deal with it. I’m sure God will help you. Your heart is in the right place. I’m blessed by you, too!
      About the number of kids…I think it almost gets easier with more because they entertain each other 😉

  2. Jenny Medina says:

    Joy, i will print your quote and laminate it and put it where i will spend alot of time teaching my kids, so when i feel judged and uncertain how to react to criticism to homeschooling, i will just read this out loud:)
    =The best teachers are not those who know everything, but those who love best. It’s not the number of degrees you have but the degrees between your relationships that matter.=
    thank you Joy!

  3. thanks for sharing and inspiring us …GOD bless :))

  4. Hi Joy

    My daughter is studying under your home school project. I have always admired you and Cedric. You look to me as the perfect couple that I sometimes envy and become jealous of. But reading your blog makes me realize that you are so “real”. You also encounter some problem that ordinary couple go through. You particularly mention being bitter about not being love on your own terms and making it hard for the children because of it. I actually feel the same way and just hearing smeone talk about how I feel and confirm what God has been telling me all along makes me feel that I am not alone. Thank you Joy. Btw I just watched your life testimony on 700 Club. I was speechless with the kind of faith and strength that you and your family have displayed in the midst of adversity. Evil was not magnified but we saw His love and faithfulness in your story. Next time I see you please allow me to hug you.

    Love and light,

    Shey

  5. Hi Mam Joy,

    I watched your testimony and life story in 700club asia last holy week. I am so blessed and really amazed how our God restore and redeem you from that truly bad guys.
    I would like to thank you for sharing your story with us. Since then i am fond of reading your blog and was so excited to recieve it in my mail box.
    I am single at 34, and i am praying too to have a Godly husband, i love your blog about triumvirate in marriage, though i am still single its a good way of learning and getting wisdom from you.
    Hope one day i meet you personally.. Thank you so much mam joy! You are an inspiration.

  6. gwen del rosario says:

    i cried buckets over this post. so true.

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