Monday, September 26, 2011

The Danger of Homeschooling

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Things have been quiet here on the blog over the last month, but they definitely have not been quiet here at my house or in my soul. Let me explain . . .

First, some things you should know about me. I am completely challenged in the area of home organization and house cleaning. Now, don’t get me wrong, my house does not look like an episode of Hoarders, but it will never make the cover of Better Homes and Gardens either. I have always been this way. Just ask my very-gifted-in-the-area of-home-organization mother.

Something else to know about me; I am a complete over-achiever and perfectionist. For example, I had perfect attendance and was on the honor roll for 6 straight years in middle and high school, finally graduating as valedictorian of my senior class.

It is very difficult for this self-professed perfectionist to look around her house and see that it is NOT perfect. I have struggled on a daily basis for most of my adult life with the fact that I just cannot seem to get it together in this area of my life (that fact that I have three children 5 years old and under is not helping the state of things at the moment).

Feelings of guilt and defeat have plagued me on a daily basis, until a few months ago. God did an amazing work in my heart over the summer. He showed me that He accepts me just as I am. He knows I am messy. Heck, He made me that way! And while He expects me to be a good steward of the things He has given me, He gives me grace when I struggle to keep those things in their proper place.

He helped me to see that there are far more important things to focus on in life than the growing pile of laundry in the bedroom corner. There are millions of hurting people around the world that do not know Him. People who need shelter, children who are dying of starvation, Christians who are being persecuted for their faith. In light of that, how can I worry about having the perfectly organized house?

While my focus was inward and on my mess, my soul was restless and guilt ridden. When I turned my focus outward, I found a peace that can only come with being right in the center of God’s will for our life.

But over the last few weeks, that peace has slowly slipped away. You see, I started homeschooling my daughters this year and my focus went from out to in. I started to slip back into old habits of basing my worth on how much I accomplished around the house on a given day. My purpose each day has been to be the best homeschooling mama I can be and to give them the best education that I can give them.

So what is wrong with that, you say? Well, the Lord showed me today that educating my daughters for the sake of them knowing how to read or how to add numbers is not enough. It is not enough that they develop a love for nature or classical music or great artists. The main focus in educating my children must be to train them up to be disciples of Christ who will in turn make other disciples. When I homeschool with this goal in mind, my focus immediately goes from in to out and my soul finds peace again.

And so for me, homeschooling is going to be dangerous. Dangerous because I am going to be so tempted to focus on myself, my life, my mess, my shortcomings. It is going to mean leaning on the Lord daily to give me the strength, not just to educate my children, but to do it with the right heart attitude.

When I am finally gone from this earth and standing before the Lord, I take comfort in the fact that He is not going to hold me accountable for the number of dust bunnies I cleaned from under my bed, but rather the number of lives I helped touch through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How about you? Do you struggle with focusing in instead of out? What helps you keep your focus where God calls it to be?

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