Obedience vs. Sacrifice
Do you see homeschooling your children as a sacrifice? Are there other things you would rather be doing with your life? Did you give up a job or career that you loved in order to homeschool your children?
If so, you might need to hear a word from the Lord about the way He sees homeschooling our children. Jesus loves homeschool moms and is especially pleased with our desires to teach our children at home. Of course, there are as many reasons that moms choose to homeschool their kids as there are homeschool moms. But there is a common thread in all of our stories. We are keeping our children safe from negative influences and experiences. We are taking responsibility for the training and education of our children. And we are doing what we think is best for them.
So, think about this: You are the mom that God chose for your children. If He gave you the idea and desire to homeschool your children, then He will help you to do it, no matter what your strengths or weaknesses are. You are the best person for the job. You love them more than anybody else could. Many teachers are wonderful, but there’s nothing better than your own mom. Children need their mothers. They need to experience their first milestones with someone who will be there all their lives. They need to know that they are thoroughly and unconditionally loved by the person who gave them life and who will champion them all their life. And you are that person for your children.
All Moms Sacrifice for Their Children
Any sacrifice we make for our children seems small to us moms. We would die for our children. And we will live for them and pour everything we have into them. We will teach, train, discipline, provide, and care for their every need. And what need could be greater than their education? We need to help them develop good character, good habits, skills that will carry them through the rest of their lives, and knowledge of the truth about life and God.
The truth is God uses parenting to shape and mold and refine us. And then when we homeschool, we move into advanced parenting. It’s intense, because we are with our children every hour of every day. We do not send them away for hours at a time and then just get them back for the few hours before bedtime. We deal with their tantrums, their disobedience, their immaturity all day long every day. And then we take on the added responsibility of providing the education they need.
Why Did God Call You to Homeschool?
The supreme truth is that God calls us to teach and train our children at home because it is best for them, and it’s best for us. Homeschooling is a high calling. It may be derided by culture and worldly-minded groups and individuals, but it is holy. Of course, they will not understand the importance and significance of it. God has given us these children to train for Him. He has blessed us with these beautiful souls and given us the honor and privilege of spending every day with them and experiencing their love and devotion as young children. If we do it well and keep their hearts, they will continue to love us and value our presence in their lives when they are older. The bonds will be even stronger than they would have been if we had sent them to someone else for their education.
So what do we do with the feelings of resentment that can arise when we feel taken for granted or taken advantage of? It’s very easy to feel unappreciated. It’s also easy to feel sorry for ourselves. We can start to look outside of our family and the calling that God has called us to for some kind of fulfillment. We want something that will make us feel significant. We miss the admiration and affirmation that we got from co-workers and friends. We miss adult companionship and conversation.
My Search for Significance
I understand completely. I felt the same way for years. I was always trying to impress people with how busy and important I was. I tutored other students, I homeschooled for other people, and I took on jobs that I had no business doing. I needed to be content with being at home with my children and discipling them. I didn’t really understand the value of my job as a mother and as a homeschool mom. I was searching for significance because nobody was telling me that I was doing a good job. I wanted to be graded and rewarded for my efforts, but there was nobody to do it. My kids said sweet things to me, but I discounted them because they didn’t know any better.
My job didn’t feel very impressive. Sometimes it didn’t feel rewarding. I couldn’t see progress in my children’s behavior. I didn’t think I was doing enough, but at the same time, I felt like I couldn’t handle one more thing. I wasn’t sure I was teaching them the right things or covering enough. I think we all go through that. All of our own issues of insecurity and self-doubt are exposed through homeschooling. And that’s not all. Our selfishness, our hardheartedness, our self-pity, our self-centeredness, and our lack of discipline also come out. Sometimes we find a cruel streak in ourselves that we would never have guessed we had.
The Answer to Our Dilemma
It sounds hopeless, doesn’t it? But it’s not. With God all things are possible. And He is there to help us change our hard hearts. He uses our children to do it. As our children push all of our buttons and make us angrier and more frustrated than we have ever been in our lives, what do we do? We run to God and ask for help! We know that we can’t handle these hard things by ourselves. We learn to die to our flesh with His help. We learn to lean into His Spirit. We give up the longings for anything other than His will for our lives. We become willing to sacrifice what He wants us to sacrifice. We obey him out of devotion and trust Him for the outcome. When we sacrifice and obey Him in something we don’t want to do, we master our soul. He calls us to offer up ourselves a living sacrifice.
There is nothing more fulfilling than obeying God and feeling His pleasure. There’s nothing better than knowing that you did the best thing for your children. They may not give you the kudos you crave, but the fruit from the work and love you put into their lives will be worth it all. Your children will probably be with you through everything that life brings. No one else in the world is more likely to go through all of the good times, bad times, and sad times with you.Your children are the ones who will take over for you and take care of you when you get old.
The Rewards of the Sacrifice
The “sacrifice” you make now will pay off in great ways as your life proceeds. That job you left will seem meaningless when you hold your first grandchild and know that he/she will be raised in a godly, stable home because of the good seed you sowed into their mommy or daddy. You will not have the regrets that you would have had if you had missed the moments you spent with your children because you were pursuing your own “dreams”.
As we consider the sacrifices we make for our children, we should consider the blessings, too. I think we will find that the blessings outweigh the sacrifices. And when we feel good about ourselves because of our obedience, we will know that we have chosen the better way. The fruits of our obedience will be obvious to everyone. Our children will shine as bright lights in the world and will fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
If they fall short of these objectives, at least we will know that we taught them truth and principles that should lead to a happy, fulfilling life. We will know that we put up fences and taught them the boundaries of God’s will. What they choose to do with it is up to them. But we will know that we obeyed God, and He is pleased with us.
And that’s what really matters when it comes right down to it. We obey God in all things. No matter how great the cost, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is, we do God’s will. If He calls you to homeschool, no sacrifice is too great. Obedience is better than sacrifice, and in the end, we must do both when we obey the call to homeschool.
1 Samuel 15:22