Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Follow Me and I Will Make You Teachers of Children

As the new school year begins, some of us will face it with fear and trepidation, wondering if the choice we have made to homeschool is what is best for our children or perhaps you know it is best but you still have some concerns as to whether or not you can do this. While others may feel that this year will be the year that they will be better organized and that their children will complete all of the books, projects, and subjects that are set before them. You are convinced that this year will be the year where you will complete the goals that you have established for your family. 
Jesus is the Perfect Teacher.

Then your journey begins.  (gulp)

As the days go by and they turn into weeks and weeks into months, you start to realize that you are getting behind in your schedule or perhaps your children are not learning the way you thought they would and they are not “getting it”. 

Academics aside, perhaps your children are at odds with one another or you stop to ask yourself when will they submit to your authority without the constant consequences that you have put forth in your home. You have now become discouraged in your homeschooling journey.  You second guess your decision to homeschool because you often wonder if your children might be better off being taught by a “more loving teacher” in the public/private school than what they see in you on a daily basis. “Surely in public school they would be learning more than what is being taught in my home,” might be a thought that has crossed your mind a time or two. 

Sometimes we just feel ill-equipped in this journey of homeschooling. 

So, where does the discouraged, mother/teacher turn when this calling becomes so difficult?

We should be turning to the best example ever of the ‘Perfect Teacher’, one that we should emulate on a daily basis. Jesus is the One that we need to rely on to guide us and teach us on how to disciple and educate our children.  “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20 

Peter and Andrew were fishermen; that was their trade and that was what they knew best. But God had a new trade in mind for them and they were obedient and they embraced this new calling. Were they good at this new trade of being “fishers of men”? Probably not. I am sure they started out with little confidence in their own abilities. Who was their teacher? Jesus. Who trained them? Jesus. Did they receive any training for this new trade ahead of time or did they have “on the job training”? We know by reading the scriptures that they received “on the job training”.  

Knowing that Peter and Andrew were ill-equipped to be ”Fishers of Men” (remember, they were fishermen when Jesus met them), sounds very comforting to me when I look at my own situation; areas where I continually fall short in the training and raising of my children. It is nice to know that these two men learned how to disciple others as they went about their life

Remember who taught them, Jesus the perfect Teacher.  The same Teacher that taught Peter and Andrew, can be, and should be, the same Teacher who teaches us to be “Teachers of Children”. I encourage you to sit at Jesus’ feet on a regular, daily basis; think of this time as your Teacher’s In-Service meeting! This is the time that you will learn from the Master Professor. 
  • He knows you better than you know yourself. 
  • He knows what you can and can’t handle. 
  • He also knows your children better than you do for he fashioned them when they were in your womb (or heart). 
  • He knows their learning styles, their strengths and weaknesses. 
  • He also knows what curriculum (if any) would work or would not work best for your children. 

Seek Him and ask Him to direct you on how to handle your current situation. 

Jesus is perfection as we know it.  Look at His results when he taught just two grown men, Peter and Andrew, (and the other disciples of course) on how to disciple others. Look at the impact these men made on the world. Jesus is the Perfect One to run to when you do not know how to go about teaching and discipling your children. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 

He knows all of your needs before you even bring your requests before Him.  We often have a propensity to want to go through life teaching and discipling our children in our own strength and knowledge, which will often lead to frustrations and disappointments. Yet, we know when we fully rely on the Lord, it is a much better place to be in, because His strength is perfect. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 

Allow yourself to be weak and God-sufficient, rather than self-sufficient, because if you are fully dependent upon the Lord, your children will reap the blessings.  They will ultimately be taught by the Master. 

“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13  

Don’t be anxious for this coming school year, you are equipped to do this. God chose you to be, not only the mother of your children, but their teacher too. There is no other person here on earth that is better suited for this job, other than you! Don’t worry, you won’t ruin your kids. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7  

He will equip you to be “Teachers of Children” if you follow Him.

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