I should be careful not to make my kids my world. Because the day comes when I’m not their world.
I can’t control my kids’ choices, but I can control my own reactions to them. I can choose to keep my love on. I can keep the connection strong between my children and myself by loving them and showing affection no matter what and listening to them.
Experiencing Father’s Embrace by Jack Frost
and Jack Frost videos on YouTube
Watercolor by Breezy Brookshire @Breezytulip.com
As I look around my world, I see lots of homeschoolers – my Facebook Friends list is filled with homeschoolers! But truthfully, not many of them identify themselves as Charismatic or Spirit-filled.
As I shared in my last post, my mountain is Family. I feel that my assignment is to share with Spirit-filled people – mothers especially – how important it is to make your family your primary ministry. And I consider homeschooling a very important part of intentionally building a strong, close-knit family.
By keeping your children at home you protect them from:
- false teaching that fills public schools
- demonic attacks that occur outside of your home and that you are unaware of unless your child is able to tell you about them
- worldly influence
- negative peer pressure
- scrutiny, criticism, and possession by the school administration
Benefits of homeschooling your children:
You have more time with your children when you have them at home with you every day.
- teach them the ways of the Lord
- train them to have good character
- pray for them whenever they need it
- teach them to pray continually
- teach them to operate in the gifts of the Spirit
- teach them to do everything out of love for others
- build a family culture and identity based on putting Jesus first in your lives
- prophesy over them and help them find God’s will for their lives
- get to know them better as you spend more time with them
- help them discover their passions and interests, gifts and talents as you draw them close to your heart
- moderate the kinds of media they indulge in and the kinds of people they interact with
- they will learn how to relate to those outside of their own peer group
When our family left Ohio, we traveled across the country, looking for a place to stop and settle. It took several months before we finally landed in Kansas City, Missouri. When we were settled in and ready to start school again, I asked each child what they wanted to study. Shawn (my oldest) was about 15 years old and said he wanted to study his Bible. I was, naturally, rather surprised.
I asked him to write about what he was reading and to do some math and some science as well. He agreed. He really majored on Bible study for most of the rest of his homeschooling years. He even studied some Hebrew and Hebrew roots to get a better understanding of the context.
He later read Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio as well as many Christian books by authors like Rick Joyner, Frank Peretti, John Paul Jackson, Kim Clement, James Goll, Derek Prince, and A. W. Tozer.
For read-alouds, we studied the book of Genesis through several fiction and non-fiction books. We also read a lot of George MacDonald books, which are full of biblical, moral and allegorical teachings that do not shy from major issues that are ever-present in the modern world – such as selfishness, greed and pride. We really enjoyed reading and discussing these stories, both while we were reading them and after we finished for the day.
We read a lot of missionary biographies together such as Lillian Trasher and “The Heavenly Man”. We got to read lots of really good books together that portrayed loving families that helped cement the idea that family is important and doing things together makes life better. They set a high standard for us of living together and loving each other, rejoicing with each other and being best friends to each other.
The experience of reading a good story aloud together has been a very bonding exercise for us. We share many memories of characters, events and lines in stories that we really enjoyed, and when someone brings up a memory, it causes a warm feeling in each of our hearts. It gives us a real sense of belonging and having common ground, despite the vast differences in our personalities, dreams, and hobbies.
We spent a lot of time praying together for my husband at work, because his job was very stressful and there was a lot of spiritual warfare happening there. And we have a policy that states if you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. Which is very true, especially when whoever is under stress comes home and darkens the atmosphere of the house with their bad mood.
We watched videos by David Barton about God’s hand in American History and prayed together for our nation. We have prayed together as a family over the years; for provision, healing, friends and loved ones, specific needs and desires of members of our family, and a place to call home.
I have done Bible studies with the children, let them watch lots of Bible videos and videos of good stories based on biblical values and strong moral teaching.
Not to say they’ve never watched, played, or listened to any media other than those with blatant Christian labels. We try to be careful what we allow into our home, but we don’t live in a box. We have fans of Ninja Turtles, Nintendo, and lots of other franchises in our diverse household. The important thing is to stay away from media that glorifies evil or immoral lifestyles.
Idolatry is something every person struggles with. Humans have a need to worship, and we have to give our kids the best chance they have of finding the One Being it’s okay for them to idolize. The best way I know to do that is to provide a living example of the way we trust God and seek His will – for our lives and theirs. Prophetic parenting is needed.
I have been able to spend lots of time with my children, answering their questions, pointing out the wonders of God’s creation and loving and supporting them through everything they have faced.
I want to help homeschoolers do it well so their children become all they’re meant to be. By living a homeschooled life, you can pass on a love for learning that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives, even after they’ve graduated, as well as priorities that many believe in, but few practice. Spiritual life and character are more important than academics. Relationships are more important than getting work done. You’ll likely find, as you’re teaching, that you’re learning right along with your kids.
A blessing crafted by a friend of mine named Amy Hansen:
“May the Spirit-filled families being called into Spirit-led homeschooling and prophetic parenting find the support they need to take brave steps into making their family their ministry and pursuing God’s calling for their family life. Discipling their children. May our children trust and enjoy receiving input from parents about life-altering decisions.”
It’s not easy. I thought it would be. They are growing up. Even though they are still here, they’re not really.
You know the saying “It is what it is”? I don’t like it. But I have found it to be true.
I prefer, “It’s going to get better”, but when it comes to dealing with other people, you never know what’s going to happen.
The problem is you can’t control anybody but yourself.
My older kids went and grew up on me all at the same time.
In a big busy city, no less.
Not what I had planned. At all.
I had to teach them how to drive in the craziest traffic with the craziest drivers I’ve ever encountered. It’s a wonder my hair isn’t gray and my fingernails aren’t bitten down to the nubs.
We are all recovering from stress and trauma caused by moving every year for 4 years.
And they are moving into the phase of life where they are experiencing new feelings, desires and demands.
And I’m not a very important part of their everyday lives anymore.
I don’t like it, but that’s how it is.
I can be in bed all day or gone, and they barely notice.
Wow, what a change!
When they first started driving around all over the place (in this crazy traffic) I worried and prayed for them the whole time they were gone. I have found I can’t live like that. So I learned to trust God to take care of them.
Even through some pretty hairy situations, he has taken care of them. A totaled car, a wrecked car, a sideswiped van, and a few other scrapes and dents have taught me that God will take care of them even when the worst happens.
And then the romantic involvement started.
Why, oh why, oh why?
It hasn’t been pretty.
In a way, these situations have drawn us together closer than we were for a while. Some were pulling away, thinking they didn’t need parental advice or input anymore. The hardest was when our advice was rejected.
But these relationship ups and downs are called dynamics for a reason.
So in a way, my preferred phrase is true. Things do get better. Eventually. If you wait long enough.
Kind of like, if you teach a child the way they should go, when they are old, they will not depart from it.
I have been surprised at some of the doubts, fears, behaviors, thoughts, choices, preferences and beliefs of my older children as they have been entering adulthood. I have loved them and tried to be here for them no matter what.
I have read some good books that have helped me with this. One in particular, “Keep Your Love On”, has been a relationship saver.
But one thing I’m still learning is that they don’t need my approval. They sure don’t need my disapproval.
They just need my love.
And they have it.
I just need to make sure they know it.