Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Don't See! Don't Touch!

We develop a very narrow definition of what we call "likeminded" people, based on the outworkings of our values and opinions. Now we are on a path to exclusivity when we will no longer associate with those who will be with us in eternity. Is it possible we have lost sight of fellowship based on love and devotion to Jesus, and have substituted personal standards and a narrow view of Christian liberty?

There are several serious consequences of raising children in a home marked by pride and judgment. Children may grow up also judging others. Or, they may hide their real values, acting as though they embrace our values, when, in fact, they are simply seeking to avoid discipline and lectures at home. Or, they may see the shallowness of our legalistic faith that consists primarily of "avoid this, wear that, attend this," and not be attracted to it in the least.

I am convinced that the most contagious parenting is living a heartfelt faith before your children. Fruitful interaction is not about what you do to your young people, but who you are with them. It's about having a real faith in God, and expressing it in a real relationship with a real person--not about methods and self-working principles. God intends that the side-effect of loving Jesus and enjoying the grace of the gospel will be that all people--including our children--will be touched by the Savior in us. I pray in Jesus' name that as you read these words you will experience the grace of God in a fresh and new way. ~ Reb Bradley

These are just a few paragraphs pulled from a really good article, Homeschool Blindspots by Reb Bradley. A friend of mine posted it on her facebook page.

As a Homeschool Mom this is stuff I need to hear. You see we didn't choose to homeschool our children so that we could put them in a bubble. We chose to homeschool for several reasons but complete life sterility and quarantine was not one of them.

We homeschool to teach them from a Biblical worldview. In this teaching we discuss other worldviews and weigh them against what the Word of God says. We want to open our children's minds to life outside themselves, not close them up in their own artificially formed reality. We don't run from the tough issues and from the many different beliefs and cultures around us and in our world. We try to talk about them in an informative non-judgmental way.

(Of course this is something that I have learned as I have grown in my walk with the Lord. I tell people now that I was one of those borderline obnoxious believers when I first surrendered my life to Christ. If you didn't look like you felt like I felt then I felt you weren't saved and it was my dire responsibility to tell you how I felt about how you needed to really get to know Jesus because by my evaluation of you, you obviously did not... I am thankful that God placed me amongst those who were willing to tolerate me, be patient with me, and love me though my growing pains and who continue to love me... because I certainly am not fully mature yet)   

I have learned in my growth that this walk with Christ is more about what we do, not what we do not. Usually if we are just focused on the "do" of loving God with our whole heart and getting to know Him, then the "do not's" take care of themselves. It's kind of like when you fall head over heels in love with that "one"... everyone else just ain't all that important anymore. They have lost their ability to impress you, because you have found "the one" and your focus is getting to know them more and spending every possible spare moment with them. You don't have to walk around and place do not see and do not touch signs on everybody else in order to stay away from them... you just simply don't even think about them in that way anymore because your heart and eyes are captivated by "the one".

So I decided that my job as a homeschool mom was just to glorify God in all that we do. To magnify the glory of His majesty and praise Him in all things.

I also learned that it was to be honest with my kids. It meant to be real with them. It meant when I knew I had been short tempered, easily frustrated, and flat-out wrong in my behaviour toward them or another I was to confess it and ask their forgiveness and maybe even ask them to pray with me. I want them to see how God works in His amazing grace.

We also did not choose to homeschool in order to segregate our children to only people who look like us and believe like us. Due to the lack of diversity where we live our children would be more segregated and closed minded from being in public school. We enjoy the opportunity that homeschool gives us to expose our children to different cultures and to show them the beauty in each individual, in every nation, tribe, and tongue. We want our girls to know that mankind is not the enemy, they are they the mission. God's desire is for all mankind to come to Him and be saved.

We also did not choose homeschool in order to protect our children from different denominational beliefs in the body of Christ. We have chosen to expose them to these differences and point out to them the foundational principles that we all hold alike and are teaching them to hold to these and those that do not hold to the foundation of Christ are not Christian at all.

  "Therefore I make known to you
that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says,
“Jesus is accursed”;
and no one can say,
“Jesus is Lord,”
except by the Holy Spirit."  
1 Corinthians 12:3

I write so that you will know
how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God,
which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and support of the truth. 
By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
   He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:15-16

Our church is an elder governed Southern Baptist church, but my girls have family and very good friends whose church is Catholic, or Church of Christ, or Assembly of God, or Methodist. Our girls have attended these churches with their friends and family and we have discussed the differences and we always come back to the foundation and this is where we stand and this is where we love. 

We also chose to homeschool so that we would actually see our children. My husband works 12 hour swingshifts. He was up and gone to work before the girls even were out of bed and then he got home in just enough time for a late supper and to send them off to bed. If you add church attendance and ministry and any sports or extra curricular activity in there... well we just had no family time at all. We have a very short time with our children... we homeschool so that we can take advantage of it.

We vacation when it's convenient for our family... not when the school board says we can. If my child is sick I can care for them and I don't have to pay a co-pay for a doctor's excuse so that I won't be turned over to a truancy officer. I suppose these are some of the "rebellious reasons" for our choice... but we just had a hard time swallowing being told what we "had to do" concerning our children. It was like we dropped them off at the door and then all of a sudden we became accountable to the teachers and school instead of the teachers and school being accountable to us. Yeh... we didn't like that too much. 

The very last thing we want to do as parents is teach artificial life... I don't want my girls to follow me. I want them to follow Christ. I don't want them to pursue a tradition. I want them to pursue Truth. I want them to ask questions and seek answers. Because guess what I am still learning life and love myself. I am still growing in grace and knowledge of the truth of God. I just might teach them something wrong. I just might learn something new and have truth revealed to me and need to change in order to line up with Truth... my girls need to know that's what real learning is.

We homeschool so that our girls won't be shoved into a mold, so that they might learn that they are the clay in the hands of the Master Potter and they must allow themselves to remain soft and pliable and workable in His hands... and no one else's.

So as a believer, as a homeschool mom, I desire to protect my girls. I desire to set standards that are expected to be kept, to discipline them according to the Word and I must be careful to not run around with my constant, "don't see! don't touch!" which I have learned always comes from the root of fear that they will live the same regrets that I do... or be hurt in a way that I was... or even worse than I was.

I have to remember that I cannot control them... I am to lead them in the way of godliness pointing them always to Christ and His Word and then I must trust God to carry the one's that He formed within my womb. He loves them even more than I do or am even capable of loving them in this flesh... that in itself never ceases to amaze me.

If you have died with Christ
to the elementary principles of the world,
why, as if you were living in the world,
do you submit yourself to decrees,
such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 
(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 
These are matters which have,
to be sure,
 the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion
and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body,
but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
Colossians 2:20-23


  1. Wow thanks for sharing your heart! So true! I appreciate your openness. I love how you said you don't want your girls to follow you but to follow Jesus. That is so encouraging to me. Such a great reminder to be pointing our kids straight to Him and nowhere else. Have a great week =)

  2. I am my own constant reminder that I want my girls to follow Christ and not me... But I have to also remember that they are looking to me to point them to Him...