Sunday, May 2, 2010

If Mary and Martha Were Homeschool Moms

Think about it for a moment. Now according to the Word of God, there was no mention of husbands nor children, so I think it is safe to assume that Mary and Martha were not married and did not have any kids.  So let’s pretend for a moment each were married and they had children they homeschooled. 
            What do you think that would look like?  We know from Scripture that Martha was busy doing and she was so demanding that she even demanded Jesus to do something!  That’s pretty brazen.  “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."  Luke 10:40
            We know that Mary was not busy ‘doing’.  When Jesus showed up at her house, she did not rush around picking things up to make the home look presentable.  She did the exact opposite.  She sat down!  She sat at the feet of Jesus so she could learn from Him and be filled by Him.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet.  Luke 10:39  Doesn’t that sound so refreshing for a moment, to just be still and sit.  “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."  Luke 10:42
            How would Martha look as a homeschool mom?  Think about how she went about her day.  Busy, always doing.  Demanding of others.  Yikes!  That sounds familiar.
Picture Mary as a homeschool mom. Peaceful and calm, patient, loving, refreshed and wise with godly understanding.  She chose “that good part”.  Those words were spoken by Jesus, the King of Kings about Mary. That is the kind of mother I wish to be.  Yet, that is not always how I respond to my children. 
My first thought is to rush through our learning ‘to do’ list so I can check it off and move on to more important things.  I ask myself what are those “more important things” other than teaching my children the Word of God and discipling them.  (Yes, I know I have other responsibilities, but I am not referring to those times.)  I have realized that I have become like Martha as I teach my children, when in my heart I want to be like Mary, peaceful and calm.  I want to slow down and choose “that good part” for my children.  I want to pour things of eternity into their hearts and I want them to be filled with Jesus.  I don’t want to become anxious thinking that I have not done enough for them, that’s probably how Martha would have responded.  “And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.”  Luke 10:41  
May we be like Mary, choosing “that good part” when we teach, disciple and spend time with our children.                                    

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pressing Forward and Forgetting What's Behind

I just love reading through the book of Philippians because I am always so encouraged by what the Apostle Paul writes. The man was so real and straight forward. Not only did Paul have a past, but he also had a bad reputation and I would not be surprised if he felt a little embarrassed by it, seeing how he was known in the land for killing Christians; at least until his life was transformed on the road to Damascus! He, himself went through so many trials and persecutions that I think many believers can easily identify with him as they too face difficult times or circumstances. Yet, in spite of all that Paul had gone through, he always kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of his faith. At this time in your homeschooling year, I hope you too will find encouragement by what he writes in the book of Philippians, chapter 3, verses 12-13, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” As the end of the school year is approaching I am sure you will look back and see your failures or perhaps your childrens' failures and become defeated in your journey; but remember that is something that the Enemy would like you to always feel as you homeschool your children. Yet, that is not what our gracious and loving Father sees in you, His precious daughter. What God sees is a woman who is living a life of self-sacrifice as you spend your days serving your husband, training your children and teaching them the things of the Lord, along with preparing them for a future of service unto the King of Kings. He sees you having the right heart attitude as you spend your days in the mundane, the day in and day out, a thankless job and sometimes what seems like no production of fruit, nor comprehension of the basic concepts that your kids will need in order to get through life. He sees you and He knows your fears and concerns. He knows what you battle through. He knows what you struggle with and what your children struggle with. Be encouraged to know that you are not alone in your thoughts, none of us have attained perfection in our homeschooling. You may look back and see where you should have used a different curriculum, where you could have spent more time on teaching the basics to your children or perhaps where you could have put forth more effort in training your kid’s character. Well, I have a saying, “Should’a, Would’a, Could’a”! God gives everyone a choice in how they are going to handle things. Paul had a choice too, he knew he was not perfect, so instead of lamenting on his failures, he “pressed on”. He did not use an excuse like, “Gee Lord, how can I bring the Gospel message to your people when I am known for killing them? Instead of complaining about his past decisions, he chose to “reach forward to those things which are ahead”. Do I think that Paul had regret from his past decisions? Absolutely, he was, after all, human! Just like you may have some regrets for the decisions you have made this past year, don’t let those things keep you from looking forward to next year. You are building God’s kingdom one day at a day with the little disciples that He has entrusted in your care. You have done your best to be faithful in this journey, something which is not always an easy task! So, have the mindset that Paul had when he penned the following: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14