Four kids later and I still wouldn’t trade all the adventures and misadventures of being a home-based mom for any other job. This is the profession that lets me have front row seats to my children’s magic moments. It may not pay in monetary compensation but I receive priceless thank yous and I love yous. My corporate skills may have withered away but I am getting a whole lot of character and heart training. People may scoff at my life choices because I am just “at home” but at home is where I find the most amazing fulfillment. Dealing with the emotions, temperaments, and personalities of my children makes me feel crazy every now and then, but I have an overriding sense of peace. I may not be able to invest in businesses but I have an investment that pays in eternal dividends. Wife, mom, homemaker, homeschooler…these are my acts of worship and surrender to God.
When I read Romans 11:36 the other morning, it rocked my world. The verse said, “From whom, through whom, and for whom are all things. To him be all the glory forever. Amen.” It tunneled through everything I am doing and made me re-ask the questions…What am I living for, striving for, homeschooling for?
In Tedd Tripp’s book, Shepherding A Child’s Heart, he writes,”We lose our kids because we fail to clearly think about man’s chief end. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever; therefore, your objective in every context must be to set a biblical world-view before your children. From the earliest days, they must be taught that they are creatures made in the image of God–made for God. They must learn that they will only find themselves as they find him. Your child must grow to see that real living is experienced when he stands before God and says, ‘Whom have I in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth I desire besides you’. (Psalm 73:25). If this is what you want for your children, then you must ensure that the content of everyday life fits this objective.” (p.48)
Once you answer the question, “What is the chief end of man?”, it is easier to answer the question, “What should I be doing with my life?” I settled that when I was younger. But now, as a parent, I have the task of orienting my children towards God. It is a responsibility both Edric and I can’t put off. We can get support from Sunday school teachers, loved ones, organizations and institutions. But at the end of the day, we are the irreplaceable minimum, designed by God to have maximum impact in the lives of our children. The unique dynamics of a family make us their primary heart shapers.
As I sorted through old family photos, I couldn’t help but think of how quickly the years have passed. How thankful I am that I can teach my kids at home. I want to maximize this window of opportunity to influence them.
This morning, while my eldest, Elijah, and I did art, we had a conversation about faith. I asked him about what he read in his quiet time and he told me he was reading 1 Corinthians. And then he shared that sometimes he still wonders if he really has faith in Jesus. He wondered if he could really be sure that he had faith. He also said, “I want to have faith in Jesus like you and dad do.” I said, “You know when I was younger, I also struggled with faith, too. I wondered if God really loved me personally. I knew he loved the world, but I wondered if he really loved me.”
“But he sent his son, Jesus, to die for us…” Elijah quickly interjected. (Elijah knows a lot of spiritual truth in the head, but he struggles with personalizing it.)
I replied, “Yes, I know, but still, I wanted to be sure that it was really personal. But God has done so many things to let me know that he is mindful of me. For example, I wanted to give birth in St. Luke’s Global City when I had Tiana and your dad said, ‘No.’ Of course I wanted to submit to him, but I decided to pray, ‘Lord, you know that I would prefer to give birth at St. Luke’s Global City. If possible, please allow that to happen somehow.”
Elijah was intently listening to my story…
“Well, after a while, your dad told me, ‘It doesn’t matter where we give birth because our insurance won’t cover the other hospital either.’ He said, ‘Let’s just give birth at St. Lukes Global.’ I was so happy because it was an answered prayer. And I knew it was something that God did for me. It was personal.” I explained to Elijah that God reveals himself in personal ways and that he is personally involved in our lives.
Elijah went on to ask about why faith seemed so difficult. He wondered why we can’t just see exactly what we believe in. This is when I recited Hebrews 11:1 for him. “For faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
I talked about how faith is something we exercise all the time. Sitting on a chair takes faith. Faith is necessary now, but someday, when we are with the Lord, we will see everything clearly. Like Paul said, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
“Even the apostle Paul didn’t understand everything completely and he was a great man of God.”
My son may not have had all his questions answered right then and there, but I was thankful for the opportunity to interact with him about his convictions and faith concerns. We continued drawing together and I made a mental file of this conversation for future reference. At the very least, I discovered what his internal struggles are.
After this we also talked about how faith and hope are important but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) As Elijah grows into his manhood and as he grows in understanding and wisdom, the more I realize that I NEED to be around. I cannot assume that he will get what it means to love and follow God by osmosis or association. He needs us. All our kids do. They needs us to spiritually nurture them.
Earlier, I mentioned that reading Romans 11:36 helped to renew my homeschooling focal point. I know I write about this often, but it really is the most important thing to understand about parenting. If God, the creator, sustainer, and completer of all things said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and teach your children to do the same,” then homeschooling is the least I can do in response to God.
The verse said, “From whom, through whom, and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.” For a homeschool mom like me this translates to, “Oh Lord, teaching my children to love you and know you is a command FROM you. It is a task that I can do only THROUGH you. And it is something I am doing FOR you. In the end, may you receive ALL THE GLORY. Amen!