Standing before a group of women I explained to them that I was honored to be asked to speak about three of my favorite topics – the Scriptures, marriage, and homeschooling. It was at a local homeschool group meeting a few days ago. The topic of the meeting
was Nurturing your Marriage through the Homeschooling Years. My prayer was that God would bring in those who needed to be there and I believe He did. The dynamics of the group was amazing. We had young mothers just starting their homeschooling journey, mothers who had been down the path for a while, and veteran homeschooling mothers. One lady, with 14 children, came who has been married for 41 years. When I told her that she should have been the one speaking her humble reply was, “I always need to be reminded of these things.”
Homeschooling mothers are the busiest women I know. We have several full-time jobs. While it is not intentional, it is
easy to place our marriage at the bottom of the priority list. But it is dangerous to place your marriage there. The daunting statistics of the
divorce rate are well known. In fact, the numbers show that the statistics are the same in Christian and non-Christian homes. Certainly, Christian people are not immune to trials and troubles in their marriage. I would venture to say that because you are a believer that you are even under a more severe attack on your marriage. Now add the fact that you choose to disciple your children at home and you have painted a bulls-eye for the enemy on your house. First Corinthians 10:12 tells us, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Here
is our warning.
Expectations are high in the homeschooling movement. And too often we place them upon ourselves. The myths are that we are superwomen who can have it all and do it all. Our homes should look like something in the magazines, beautiful and never messy. Our children are geniuses and they never struggle with learning. We are not superwomen, our homes are sometimes messy, and our children will struggle on days. These are all myths and we must be realistic with ourselves. We cannot do it all and we should not even try. We must have priorities. What are your priorities? Is it teaching the children? Is it running a home business? It is maintaining the perfect home? Is it ministry? Or, is it your marriage? Life is busy and homeschooling takes a lot of time and energy but God has given us clear priorities as women. The home should not be “child-centered” even during the busy homeschooling years. Because the truth is that it will be very difficult to have a successful homeschooling
journey without a successful marriage. Heidi St. John in her book, The Busy Homeschooling Mother’s Guide to Romance says it like this, “You should not sacrifice your marriage on the altar of home education.”
Doing too much will cause us to do none of it well. Jim Collens in his book, Good to Great says that “Good is the enemy of great.” He goes on to say, “Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” I love this quote. Think about this for a
moment. So many times in my life I do the good things but I’m missing out on the great things. This is also true in our marriages. We can have “good” marriages (by the world’s standards) but as Christians I believe our standard is a little higher. Ephesians 5 tells us that the Christian
husband and wife is a picture to the world of Christ and His bride. When we portray this image in a bad light we are portraying Christ and His bride in a bad light. Therefore, a priority Christians should have is to work on having great marriages for the world to see.
I believe there are three keys to nurturing your marriage. The first is to recognize your biblical role as wife. The second is to have clear priorities. And the third is practical application of these truths. Ask the Lord to give you a desire to nuture your marriage. Over the next few days I will address each of these keys.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish,” Ephesians 5:23-27.