Should Christians Homeschool?

LydiaWhat is your primary desire for your children?  I think the way you answer this question determines your worldview.

Many people will say they want their child to be happy, or they want them to be successful in life or a number of different variables of this sort.

Then the other worldview is parents that desire their children to be saved.  Perhaps these things are not mutually exclusive.  As a Believer I want my child to experience happiness, but I would rather them experience joy.  I want my child to be successful but what does success really mean?  Does that mean financially or some other manners of what looks like worldly achievement?

Even in the world of Christianity most parents have a very strong desire for this type of thinking.  They want their kids to get good grades so they can go to a good college and get a good job.  But where does this lead them?

Does a good job provide lots of money to spend on things you “need”?  I say that sarcastically.

In Kevin Swanson’s study of Proverbs He says “Over the last one hundred years in this country as well as in Europe, North America, and Asia the birth rate fell by half, while the average square footage of homes doubled in size.  Evidently, the modern world has come to appreciate drywall more than children!”

I’ve been there, I understand that thinking.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your hose and on your gates.

These words which I command you today…  For me this is strikingly clear.  God has spoken and I must consider this a directive from the LORD.  Not a maybe, or if you feel like it, but a clear and concise call to parent with all diligence my children.

It’s pretty easy to go through the rest of this and come to the conclusion that God is telling us is that our children are to spend the majority of their time under our supervision.  I didn’t notice any exemptions, like you don’t need to worry about them when they are at their friend’s house, or when they go to public school.  Doesn’t Proverbs 13:20 warn us about who they should spend their time with?

I realize there is going to be pushback when I make this declaration.  Our worldview is challenged by this statement.  My worldview was challenged by this statement.

God gives us direction for our own good doesn’t He?

Deuteronomy 6:11-14 …–when you have eaten and are full—then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage… 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you…

We are a people on the earth that are full and we live in beautiful houses.  How easy it is to chase after the gods of this world.  We have been indoctrinated to believe that our children’s education must be left to the professionals, when God says “No”; I want you to do that.

Is home-education better by a worldly standard?  Actually it is, How American Homeschoolers measure up, but this should not be the primary reason.  My goal is training my children first and foremost in the “training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).   Teaching them to Fear the Lord and understand His goodness and righteousness in hope that He will grant them repentance.

I must also do this in light of the gospel.  If I don’t train their hearts to understand the gospel I will only train little Pharisees.  Proper education includes a healthy dose of their separation from a Holy God and also the remedy that He came to seek and save them and they must turn from their sin in faith and repentance.

This is the gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ did the work.  He paid the price to reconcile sinful man to a Holy God.  Is Home-education a better option for your child?  I believe it is but not for the reason most people think it is.  It’s better because we have an opportunity to teach them diligently all day long without the destructive influences of a socialist institution that despises God.

May the Lord grant mercy as He shows us His design for education.

Kevin

Child warriors

Prepare-4-Battle-Land-Copy

Throughout history children have been used in warfare, through either direct combat roles or in support roles.  Can you imagine strapping an AK-47 onto your 12 year old and sending them out into the field to fight?  Seems crazy, yet this is not uncommon in parts of the world that are entangled in fighting for freedom, or at least what they view as freedom.

Today I’m asking Believers to do the same thing with their children.  Today I’m asking and telling myself, my children need to be engaged in war.  I don’t own much in the way of firearms.  I have a shotgun that I’ve missed a few pheasants in my day.  In fact I’m not sure I’ve actually killed anything with this shotgun, but my poor shooting is not the point of this article.

Today I hope we’ll consider the purpose of the training and equipping of our children.  Why did you have children?

Psalm 127:3-4 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.

The first thing we see is that children are a reward.  We recently attended a conference and one of the speakers was telling a story of his father and how his father had discussed this with a couple that were committed to not having children.  He said to them if God wants to give you a gift, why would you refuse that?

Most of society views children as a nuisance, not a reward.  Something we are obligated to have.  Two and out is the general rule of thumb, unless you have the same variety twice and then it’s okay to have a third to try for a boy or a girl.

Verse 4 tells us children are arrows in the hand of a warrior.  The first question to ask, are you a warrior?  If you’re not a warrior, there’s no need to have arrows in your hand, they will only hurt you.  Have you ever watched someone untrained try handling a weapon; they look clumsy doing it.  If you are not being trained for battle you have no business training your children, you are incapable of this without being this yourself.  Note: this does not absolve you of your responsibility, and if this is not you then I would encourage you to read my articles on A Sure Guide to Heaven.

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

So what is the battle?

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

This battle, this holy war, is against things seen and unseen.   Our only offensive weapon in this battle is the word of God; verse 17 goes on to say, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

To engage this battle we must be saved and we must be training in the word of God.  This word is sharp and it cuts and it divides.  It discerns the intent of one’s heart (Hebrews 4:12).   Have you experienced this before?

This article draws a clear line in the sand and I’m hopeful exposes our hearts before God.

Are you bumping through life with no clear purpose and no clear vision for your family?  Do you have purpose in your own life?  Please don’t pass over this question today.  Sit and think today about your purpose.

Society is training children very well for the playground of life.  A Believer should be training children for the battleground, to take ground for the Lord Jesus Christ.

What simple, practical steps can you take today if you’ve failed in this endeavor?

Repent.  Gather your family together tonight and confess your lack of vision and leadership and explain to them their new mission.

Create a vision statement.  Write something out on paper.  Have them help and develop a plan.  Have you heard the worn out financial advisor cliché, “nobody plans to fail, they only fail to plan”.

Turn off the television.  The word “amusement” means to NOT THINK!  How can you be engaged in a battle if you turn off your brain?

Have family worship consistently.  Sit around a table and talk with your family.  Have deep and meaningful conversations.  Learn to know your children and your spouse.   We’ve benefited from a study in Proverbs by Kevin Swanson.  Other ideas are going verse by verse through a book of the Bible; we’ve done this with most of Paul’s letters and parts of Matthew.

Today we were discussing Proverbs chapter 11 and with tearful eyes my daughter Grace said, “thank you Dad for reading this with us”.  Praise God for His grace.

Don’t be lazy.  Just do it!

This call is primarily to men.  If you are a man that is concerned about your family and wants them to be warriors for Christ, you must take action.  The world will quickly scoop them up and take their hearts if you don’t.

May the Lord bless you today as you fight for His kingdom!

Kevin