18 and 14

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 18th Anniversary and I celebrated my 14th Mother’s Day!    My husband came home Friday with flowers and informed me that he was taking me out. We had a wonderful evening together.  We spent Saturday together as a family and then spent yesterday with our church family.  We had a blessed service.  Yesterday afternoon we spent the day with some friends -another pastor and his family.  They, too, live far away from their family.  We enjoyed a good meal, visited, and let the children swim.  (The only downfall was that I could not spend the day with my mother and family in Arkansas.  But she was in my thoughts and prayers all day long.)

It seems only appropriate to celebrate our Anniversary and Mother’s day together.  Without 18 wonderful years of marriage, I couldn’t enjoy the 14 blessed years of motherhood.  The high calling of being a wife and mother surpasses all others.  There is no nobler task than to strive to be a godly wife and helpmeet to my husband.  And there is no higher commission than that of bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.   My husband is my champion and he makes being a wife and mother a complete joy.  He only expects from me what my Lord expects from me.  “…to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed,” Titus 2:4-5.   

 Thank you, my love, for 18 years.  We have experienced many mountain tops and have grown closer to the Lord and each other through many valleys.  I love you more today than ever before.

 To my three blessings, you each bring joy to my life.  I love you all dearly!

Times Alive! Multiplication Software Review

You know a product is successful when your 2nd grader asks, on a Saturday evening, to play the “Multiplication Game”. This is the experience we had with our newest math review. I received the Times Alive download from City Creek Press.   

I was excited about the product because my daughter needed a little boost in remembering her multiplication facts. Frankly, I get bored doing flash cards and she gets bored writing the facts out. We were anxious to try a different approach.

Times Alive uses stories, movies, songs, and animated pictures to teach children the 0 to 9 multiplication facts. It is silly, colorful, and fun! My daughter enjoyed it and asked several times to play it (instead of doing her math assignments). I always tell my children that their education is not about completing an assignment or staying on schedule. It is about learning. So, I let her. I can honestly say that it has helped.

What I did not expect was my 2nd grader to enjoy it so much. I have only taught a few of the multiplication facts to him this year. But he picked right up on it and can remember as much (if not more) than his sister. Both of the children will continue to use this software throughout the rest of the year.

If you have a child who needs a creative way to learn their multiplication facts, this is the program for you! You can purchase it as an instant download for $44.95 or on CD for $48.95. The program can be used with all your children which makes it an affordable solution!

To see a YouTube Video Sample, click here.

To find out what others are saying about Times Alive click here.

 Disclaimer: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received the Times Alive Download in exchange for an honest product review. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Tempus Fugit

I have never met a person who at the end of their life said, “I sure wish I had not wasted my life by spending so much time with my family.”  Sadly, when I speak with people the antithesis is always voiced.  With regret in their voices I hear phrases like,

  • “I’ve spent my entire life focusing on my work.  Now that work is gone so is my family.” 
  • “I’ve neglected my wife and children all these years.”
  • “We never did make time for that family vacation.”
  • “I was always too busy to tell my parents just how much I loved them, now it’s too late.”
  • “Life was hectic.  I never took the time to stop and talk with my children.  Now they won’t talk to me.”

Tempus Fugit.  In Latin it means, time flies.  Oh, how true it is.  Just yesterday I was holding my beloved’s hand and saying, “I do and I will till death do us part.”  Now, nearly 18 years and three children later I ask myself, where has the time gone? It seems as though just yesterday I was holding my first born in my arms, singing sweet songs, and rocking him to sleep.  Now, 14 years later and towering at 6 feet tall, he could rock me.  Where did the time go?  Just yesterday I was opening that first box of homeschool books as we began our journey to home educate our children.  Now, the path is well worn and I’m looking back over years of discipleship with my children.  There are just a few years left.  Again, where has the time gone?  And I know in my heart that years from now I will be looking back at even this season in my life and asking the all too familiar question of where did the time go?

The Lord answers our question.  In Psalms we are told why time files so quickly.  “My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass,” Psalm 102:11.  Life is short.  Therefore, I should be as the Psalmist and “remember how short my time is,”(Psalm 89:47).  In the book of James we are reminded again just how short life is.  “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away, (James 4:14).

When my children were younger, I would teach them during science about the three stages of water – liquid, solid, and gas.  We would put a cup of water in the freezer so it could freeze then we would put a cup of water on the stove to watch it evaporate.  As we watched the steam rise one reoccurring thought was that it vanishes so quickly.  And while that is true, when steam (vapour) is channeled properly it can be put to great work.  Consider the steam engine.    Steam engines were the first widespread engine type to be used.  They were the foundation of the industrial revolution.  They powered all early locomotives, steam boats, and factories.  Even today we see that steam is one of the most widely used commodities for conveying heat energy.  Because water is plentiful and inexpensive, steam is efficient and economic to generate. 

Now consider this.  Our lives are but a vapor.  They appear for a little while and then vanish away.  Therefore, our lives can be wasted and allowed to drift aimlessly like a vapor in the air until they are gone or, if allowed to, they can be channeled properly by the Holy Spirit and accomplish great things for God while here on earth.  

So, in reply to tempus fugit I will say to the Lord as the Psalmist did to, “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” Psalm 90:12.  In answer to the question of where time has gone, I will say that it’s gone to afternoons of walking hand in hand with my husband.  It’s gone to playing a board game with my children.  It’s gone to holding my children on my lap and reading story after story.  It’s gone to baking cookies with my daughter to take to a lonely widow.  It’s gone to hours and hours of teaching my children math, science, and history.  It’s gone to daily Bible instruction as we all learn together the ways of God more perfectly.  It’s gone to smiling, laughing, and giggling with my family.  It’s gone to singing old hymns around the piano.  And so much more.

But, time has also been given to days of sadness, frustration, anger, and worry.  Time has gone to fighting and an unforgiving heart.  Time has been wasted on frivolous actions that will never matter in eternity.  Time has been given over to selfishness more times than I care to count.  Time has been wasted.  Life is short and we cannot afford to waste our life.  Lord, help me to invest my life in those things that are eternal, like my relationship with You and with others.  Help me to apply my heart to wisdom and teach me to number my days.

Teaching the Word of God

Nothing is more calming to my soul than picking up God’s Word and reading from the Psalms.  Perhaps it is because there is such transparency with the Psalmists.  As we read, we get a glimpse of heartache, troubles, sorrows, fear, worry and doubt.  But, in contrast we also see complete faith, hope, love, joy, and delight.  My heart is pointed to my Creator, Rock, Salvation, Strong Tower, Deliverer, Refuge, Preserver, Shield and Strength every time I read the Word of God.  My mind is transformed by the power of His Words, and I am strengthened through them.

I believe that giving my children a love for the Word of God is one of the most wonderful gifts I could ever give them.  We encourage Bible memorization within the family, their father and I read the Bible to them and we persuade each of them to read on their own as well.  Dana is currently teaching Bible Catechisms each morning after breakfast to the children. 

We use the Bible in all of their studies.  It is the most precious book we have.  It is the inerrant (incapable of mistakes), inspired (God breathed), all sufficient (completely adequate), Word of God.  In other words, the Bible is all we need and we cannot know it or study it enough.

Recently I was given a pre-inductive study of the Psalms, Young Hearts Longing For God, from Soli Deo Gloria Resources.  It is a 30 lesson workbook geared for children in 4th through 8th grade.  Each lesson takes the student through one Psalm per week.  It encourages daily reading of the Psalm creating repetition (which helps in memorization).  The student is given questions to answer as well as thoughts and prompts for journal writing.  The workbook is $16.00 or you can download immediately an ebook for $14.50 from their website.  (When you go to the site be sure and check out the free resources available.)

Abigail, my 6th grade daughter has been going through the study and has enjoyed it very much.  The only fault I found was that it was only available in NIV.  Since we are a KJV only family I had to print off the psalms myself in King James.  This was not too much of a problem in that I simply put the KJV pages in her notebook.

Soli Deo Gloria (Latin for To God Alone the Glory) has many resources and their goal is to assist the parents in teaching for God’s glory alone.  Below is an excerpt from their website.

 Why do we educate our children?

  • If we educate our children so that they will be intelligent and successful – we may be seeking THEIR glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they will impress our family, friends and neighbors – we may be seeing OUR OWN glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they can pour forth facts and figures accurately – we may be seeking the glory of KNOWLEDGE (and knowledge puffs up).
  • But if we educate our children so that they have a big view of God, are aware of their individuals giftings and seek to use them for the advancement of God’s Kingdom around the world and in eternity – then we are seeking GOD’S glory.

                                            

I must say that is a wonderful reason to educate our children!   Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. (Psa 57:11)

To learn what others are saying about Young Hearts Longing for God click here.

 

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received Young Hearts Longing for God free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Let’s Play!

Having imaginative children, I often get a glimpse into the life of cowboys lassoing wild pinto stallions.  I get to witness brave knights saving princesses from evil men.  On some days my children travel back into the times before Noah and walk with dinosaurs.  Other days they are zoo keepers tending to animals or missionaries in Africa fighting terrifying lions.  It is good for children to play.  It is good for children to be creative.  I often tell my children to “stop watching everyone live life on the television – go out, get up, dream about life, and live your own.”

Not only is it good to encourage your children to play but it’s also good to give them resources.  When our family got a box of Schleich animal figures to review for The Old Schoolhouse we were thrilled!  It was mostly because we were familiar with Schleich figurines.  My boys love to play with their knights and horses.  When we go into a toy store they always make a stop at the Schleich display.

Here is Andrew playing with his new Schleich figurines: Przewalskis Horse, SwabianHall Piglet Eating, Donkey, Dartmoor Pony, Asian Elephant Calf, Okapi, Gnu, and Gnu Calf.

Friedrich Schleich founded Schleich GmbH  in 1935.  They are the leading manufacturer of animal figurines and imaginative playworlds.  The figures are very realistic, definitely a true reflection of nature.  They are simply on a smaller scale.  One thing that I love about the toys is that they are simple and very durable.  They will not tear up.  They do not need instructions.  They do not need batteries.  They spark creativity.  And they will last for years.  My children love them.  Therefore, this mom loves them!

Schleich has over 500 items available.  Visit their site to see the collection.  And go here to see what others are saying.

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received the above animal figures free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

How to Enjoy Life (and have a clean kitchen!)

Each week the children rotate chores between lunch duty/dinner duty/kid’s bathroom. This is Andrew’s week to clean the kitchen after lunch. He is required to put everything up, load the dishwasher, and wipe the counters. Since he is only 7 I usually do the sweeping and mopping. However, since starting school this week I’ve been a little behind. So, I thought I would have Andrew do the mopping for me. His little mind is rather creative so why not turn the chore of mopping into a slip-n-slide?

What was I thinking….right?

So there I was, reviewing latitude and longitude with Abigail and I look into the kitchen to see Andrew in his swimsuit “cleaning the floor.”

This is where every mother stands at the crossroad of two decisions. I could reprimand him for acting out, stress out from the extra water and soap on the floor, and take over the job adding to my already full load. Or…….. I could smile, grab the camera, remind him to wipe up the water when he’s through, and remember what blessings children are.

I choose the latter.

By the way, the floor and Andrew ended up rather clean. Talk about multitasking!

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Our First Day of “school”

Day one is over. School is officially in session. That means in our home that pencils and minds alike are sharp and ready to be used. The computers and text books are out. Our goals are listed along with a long list of books to read this year. With day one behind us I’m looking forward to a great year with my children.

Actually, to tell the truth, we’ve “done school” all summer. What I mean is that part of my goal in teaching my children at home is that I create in them a love for learning along with a mindset that we always pursue knowledge. I don’t want my children to think that “school” takes place from 8 to 3 or from Monday to Friday or from August to May or from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The word school really is unsuitable. I prefer education. I want my children to learn every day. I want those who love them best to be their teachers. I want the world to be their schoolroom. I want life to be their homework. I want the Bible to be the preeminent textbook. I want their classmates to be from babies to adults. I don’t want to fill their minds with useless information. I want to create in them a desire to learn all they can for God’s glory. I want them to excel in reading classics, to chase after truth in science, to discover the world through history (His – God’s Story), to read and follow after great men and women. I want them to use their writing skills to change the world. I think Williams Butler Yeats said it best when he said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” That is what I want to do – light a fire that burns their entire life. My prayer is that their education never ceases but that they continue throughout all their lives on this pursuit of truth and knowledge.

Lofty goal?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!

Any other “MEAN” parents out there?

Every year about this time I go through the same dialogue with my children. It usually goes something like this…

Sorry, you can’t watch that video today. You know the rule. Once school starts back up we turn the TV off completely during the week.

But mom, we don’t watch that much TV. We don’t even have cable or local channels. Everyone else watches much more than we do.

Sorry children, we don’t live our lives in comparison to others.

But what’s wrong with watching a good wholesome movie every now and then?

Nothing is wrong with it. But I don’t want you children to spend your life watching other people live fake lives. You have a life to live. Now go do it! Be creative. Learn a new skill. Read a book. Make a difference to someone around you. Explore the world. Work with your hands. Write a letter. Play a game. Change the world.

I believe that they understand my heart on this issue. Maybe they are just use to this answer or perhaps they realize that their father and I are resolved. But the truth is, there is just too much living to do for us to waste it in front of the TV.

Living with regrets

 

It was Martin Luther that said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen.” While “changing the world” is too lofty of a goal to attain, I do desire to make a difference in the lives of those who have ears to hear. My prayer is that in picking up my pen, or grabbing my computer in this case, my story will be received with open hearts. More than that, I pray that lives will be altered and that God will get glory through it all. When my husband and I were first married he asked me one simple question, “What do you want to do?” I responded that I wanted to be able to stay home and raise our children. He told me that he would do everything in his power to make that come true. From the time our first born was just a few months old I have been able to stay home. This journey of being a stay-at-home mother has taken us from owning and selling our own embroidery business to homeschooling our three children. This choice we made has been one that we have never regretted. It has been such a blessing to our family and one that I believe is God’s will for every mother with small children. I realize that my children will not stay young forever and I am so thankful that I have a husband who not only understands this but leads as he should. He takes on the full responsibility of providing for his family as God intended. While this is one decision we will never regret there have been many decisions made that we do sorrowfully lament over.

The first regret was having the mind-set that debt is acceptable for a believer. I grew up in church. My husband did not. But God saved him at 19 years old and from the beginning of our marriage we attended church faithfully. We read our Bible. We prayed together. We taught Sunday school. It was what we did. But deep down, we did not believe that the Holy Inspired Scriptures were all-sufficient. For if we had believed that glorious truth we would have lived our lives very differently. The Bible has given us every godly principle to live by. And the Bible is clear. To be in debt is to place yourself in bondage. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Pro 22:7) God does not intend for His children to be enslaved by this world. Which is why Paul wrote in Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another”. Because of our worldly thinking we made decision after decision that put us in debt. Large mortgages, car payments, student loans and consumer debt have all brought about unnecessary burdens. Society will tell you that debt is perfectly acceptable but God’s ways are always contrary to this world. It was the fallacy of our thinking on debt that led to the second and even greater regret we are now living with.

 This regret was based on our view of having children. A few months before our third child was born my husband surrendered into ministry. He knew that going into full-time ministry would bring many changes into our lives. He was thirty years old and would be attending Bible College full-time. He also knew that being in ministry that there was a good chance we would lose our insurance. So, after the birth of our third child we made the decision to stop God’s blessings upon our lives. While debt is a curse we ignorantly embraced, having more children from the Lord was a blessing we refused. “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it..….. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” (Psa 127:1-5a) We had decided that we would not let the Lord build our house. By our decision we said to God, “We’ve had enough of your blessings so we are going to take it into our own hands to reject Your rewards.” Why is it that Christian believers can be so blind to the Truths in Scripture that they will cling to that which God hates – materialism and debt, and despise the richest blessings that He can give – children?

If someone asked me if I would take a million dollars for one of my three children I would laugh them to scorn. Most mothers would probably do the same. But give a woman in today’s society the choice between a million dollars or another child and I would submit that most would say that they would take the money. I know this because I, like many others, believed that we just didn’t have the money for more children. Isn’t it sad that we have allowed the love of money and material blessings to rob from us the blessings that God has intended for our lives? The sad thing is that we did not give this life changing decision that much thought. We certainly did not pray about it. We had three children, therefore; it was the next logical thing to do. We did seek some counsel but instead of being pointed to God’s Word and His plan for Christian families we were given personal advice. In spite of that we do not cast blame. The decision was ours to make. We had God’s Word. And, even though it took a few years to realize it, God placed other resources in our path prior to this mistake. For example, a friend had given me a book called, A Mom Just Like You, by homeschooling mother of ten, Vicki Farris. In this book she describes the blessings of motherhood from God. I, sadly, did not fully recognize it. Not only did we have God’s Holy Word to guide us and not only did He place other resources of truth in our path but God had already given us three children as a witness of this truth. Each of our precious children is a living testimony of God’s goodness in our lives.

I have a friend that has nine children. She has lived with ridicule and mockery for having such a large family. However, the other day she said to me, “I cannot imagine my life without one of these children.” Each of them is special not only to her and her husband but to God as well. Each of them has a God given purpose for their life. Had they followed the unspoken rules of society and given into worldly pressures then part of their family would be missing.

Families are important to God. When Christian families are strong, churches are strong. When the churches are strong, our nation is strong. Therefore, the enemy attacks the structure of the families. Unwed birthrates are at an all-time high. Abortion is responsible for thousands of murders each year. Divorce rates are over 50%. Consequently, this number would be even higher if it were not for the number of people who now reject the idea of marriage and simply live together. All of these things bring about the destruction of families. The Christian society has accepted the warped view of families for so long that it does not even recognize God’s plan anymore. Why is it that a teenage girl can have a baby or two out of wedlock and no one is saddened by the disgrace? But, take a Christian father and mother, who have many children raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and see how many negative comments they receive. Do you see how far we have come from the Biblical model for families?

I will not stand in judgment of the decisions others may make, for that is between them and God. But, this I will say. A wise man learns from the mistake of others; an ordinary man learns from his own mistakes; and a fool learns from neither. While it is clear I have not always been wise, I have learned from my own mistakes. And if by chance there is a child of God who has considered putting a stop to His blessings, please consider learning from the mistakes we have made.

I guess what saddens me the most in this whole learning journey is the realization that we were just as blind as the rest of the world. And while my husband and I have come to repent of the sin we committed, the consequences are ever before us. Yes, we are very thankful for the children we do have. We thank the Lord daily for His goodness. And we pray that God in His mercy will someday give us more children. Should He bless us again it will be for His glory alone. Should He choose not to, we will be content with the precious blessings we already have. And through it all we will strive to teach others the truth.

Homeschooling – An Offensive Lifestyle!

Take a journey, back in time, to America a few generations. How easy would it be to offend a person thirty, forty, or fifty years ago? The older generation voices of an era when the majority of people would not only be offended to hear a crude word spoken but would not even tolerate it. Not too many years ago people would be offended to see open sin paraded around in public. At one time people would be offended to see children speaking disrespectfully to an elder. Our country and flag was greatly honored and to show disrespect to either was offensive. And the thought of someone openly condemning Christianity in America was unthinkable. The generations of the past were easily offended by insulting behaviors, filthy language, open immortality, anti-patriotism, and a blatant disregard for spiritual matters. Oh, how the times have changed! It seems as though this deliberate decay of our culture is not only tolerated but joyfully embraced. And yet, through the eyes of the world, there are still plenty of offenses which must not be tolerated. Today the offenses come in the form of Christianity, absolute truth, holy living, the name of Jesus Christ, submission to authority, and of course, the Christian homeschool movement.

I remember the first time I realized that there were people who were offended by our family’s lifestyle. It was the summer after our first year of homeschooling. I was sitting with a friend in a ladies Bible study class, who had introduced our family to home education. We were discussing the benefits and joys of the year. I had commented that I was so thankful the Lord opened our eyes to our responsibility as parents to educate our children. During the discussion, others joined in asking questions. After the class was over a lady approached me who had been very offended that we had so openly discussed homeschooling as a valid option for Christian parents. She had been a public school teacher for 20 years and in her own words, “had never seen anything taught to the detriment of Christians in public school.” She was adamant in that public schools were safe and unmistakably the best option for all Christians. Although I was new to homeschooling and could not clearly articulate my position, it had not been that long ago that I was in public schools myself. I distinctively remember all the evil that I was exposed to at an early age from teachers and peers alike, not to mention the anti-God philosophy.

That was 8 years ago. While it was the first time that I have viewed such opposition to home education, it certainly was not the last. There once was a lady in our church who showed apparent disdain toward our family. I remember asking my husband one day after services, “What have I done to her? She obviously does not like me. I’ve gone out of the way to be kind and friendly to her and her family.” My husband, who knew how hard I had been trying said, “Sweetheart, it is nothing you have done. Our lifestyle is offensive.” Over the years we have come to realize that the choices we have made regarding our family is contrary to the world. At its foundation we believe that Scripture teaches a very distinct way of living as a child of God. As a woman, I believe that part of my high calling is to be a help meet to my husband (Genesis 2:18), to live in subjection to him (I Peter 3:5), and to be a keeper at home (Titus 2:5). We believe that the husband, as the head of the family, will be responsible to God for the education and upbringing of the children (Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 4:1-7). He is to oversee all their learning about God and His world. And daily, he is to teach God’s Word to his family (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). As his help meet, I play a major role in the daily teaching of our children. At the heart of all we do lies biblical truth. Therefore, we really should not be surprised when the world is offended. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

While we expect this opposition from the world, it is disheartening when it comes from other Christians. One could argue that there are those who simply claim the title yet bear no fruit of righteousness. Many times it is these types of people who are antagonistic to those trying to live their life according to the Bible. However, that is not always the case. Many simply have never been taught the truth. For several generations, our society has believed that families should pursue the American dream at all cost. In this pursuit, the foundation of the biblical family has been cracked. Sadly, many churches have lacked in biblical teaching necessary to rebuild the family. So now, when a family pushes against the flow of society, by holding to their convictions from the Word of God, they often experience a backlash. Perhaps, you have experienced such criticism from family, friends, church members, or even pastors. It seems that a few months cannot pass without hearing a testimony from a family to this extent. They are homeschooling because of biblical conviction and due to the amount of criticism they receive one would think that they have purposely set out to destroy the lives of their children.

  • “You shelter your children too much.”
  • “Your children will rebel.”
  •  “Your children will not know how to deal with the ‘real’ world!”

I, and many others, have heard these comments before. Dear friend, do not let the world dictate to you lies from the enemy. It is a good thing to shelter your children. Gods shelters us and I am so glad He does! When the storms of life come, His children run into His arms of safety. As far as children rebelling, perhaps they will. But I know that children will often do exactly what they are trained to do. Parents have believed the lie that all children will always rebel against the teaching of their parents. When a parent believes this and expects his child to rebel he will not be disappointed. That child will rebel. Parents should be realistic enough to know that children might rebel but should never expect them to rebel. My husband and I will bring our children up in the way they should go and hold on to the promise that they will not depart from it. What about our children knowing how to deal with the “real” world? Let me be very clear. The objective in Christian homeschooling is not teaching children how to “deal with the real world.” I do not want to teach my children how to merely survive this life. As believers in Christ we are called to be overcomers! “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” (1John 5:4). As children of God, not only do we overcome this world but we overcome the wicked one (I John 2:13-14). We overcome his servants (I John 4:4). We overcome sin and death (I Corinthians 15:54-57). And we overcome evil (Romans 12:21). This is what we desire to teach our children. “You are an overcomer!”

Dear homeschooling family, do not be discouraged when you face opposition. Do not be surprised by the world’s criticism. As you probably have learned by now, one does not have to be on the front lines of the homeschool movement to be attacked. You do not have to be publicly declaring the truths found in Scripture from every mountain top to offend the world. All you have to do is live your life quietly and simply in holiness. Raising your family according to God’s standards is enough to have the world hate you. Your very lifestyle is condemning to those around you. Consider the story of Noah. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith,” (Hebrews 11:7). I have heard this story my whole life. I have been taught that Noah, being a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), preached to the world the coming judgment of God. In my mind I always assumed that it was his preaching that condemned the world. But this passage in Hebrews does not tell us that the world was condemned by his preaching, but by his life. Noah moved with fear, prepared an ark to save his family and by that he condemned the world. It was his obedience to God that condemned the wicked.

Now, move forward a few thousand years. Consider a faithful father called of God to lead his family. He reads in the Bible of the coming judgment. He sees the warnings from his Heavenly Father. He is moved with fear and works hard to build an ark of safety for his family. He rejects this world and does that which is necessary to save his house. He toils and labors to teach and train his children the ways of the Lord. And in doing it all, he condemns the world around him.  But unlike Noah, who knew only his family would be saved (Genesis 6:17-18), we are not alone. There are many other families who are striving to follow the Lord. There are many fathers who take their God-given responsibility seriously and seek to save their homes from worldly destruction. There are many mothers who are coming along side and fulfilling their God-given role. There are many children who are being brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There are families who still stand strong. Do not give up. Do not be discouraged. Know that your work will not be in vain! “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain,” (Philippians 2:15-16).

(Clipart courtesy FCIT, http://etc.usf.edu/clipart)