Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All This for the King

Homeschooling our children is a huge sacrifice of our time.  We have given up our daily freedoms in order to train and teach our children the things of the Lord.  Not many women would choose this path because of its’ difficulties, whether it be teaching our children subjects that are hard for us comprehend, let alone teach, or perhaps it’s spending 24/7 with children that are hard to handle, not to mention going against what society and sometimes well-meaning, Christian family and friends have to say about our chosen path of education.  We are investing in the lives of our children as we spend day in a day out teaching them and training them.  It can be a very lonely and difficult journey.  So, I ask you, is it worth it?
I challenge you this coming year to think of homeschooling your children in a different light.  Think of it as home-discipleship, not just education.  Ask yourself if you are preparing your children for a career or a ‘calling’, because there is a difference.  Having our children work in a high-powered or affluent career position serves our pride and ego because we were the ones who raised them and then later on in life the ‘career’ will serve our child’s ego and pocketbook; whereas a ‘calling’ serves the Lord regardless of the paycheck and recognition.  It’s that simple.
Let me share with you a true story of God’s hand upon one of His children and what He did through a willing and obedient heart, no matter the person’s intellect and education.
Her name is Gladys Aylward.  You may or may not have heard of her, nevertheless, it is an inspiring and comforting story for any homeschooling mom and therefore, it’s worth repeating.
Gladys was born in 1902, she was a housemaid from England and she had amazing faith in God and a determination to serve Him as she was certain that God had called her to China as a missionary.  While she was still a teenager she read a magazine article about China and the people there who had never heard the gospel.  The thought that millions of people had not heard God’s word affected Gladys so profoundly that she was determined to head to China to be a missionary.
What I found to be very inspiring in Gladys’ testimony, and what I want you to remember about this amazing woman of faith is this, (since you will be teaching your children), Gladys went to missionary school so she could receive a formal education, but at age 27, she was kicked out of the program because she failed Bible class!  Yes, you read that correctly.  I hope that statement gives you hope knowing that if God is calling your children into a certain direction He will provide what they will need to know. The missionary school director said Gladys was not quick-minded, nor qualified to go to China to be a missionary, plus she did not have any special skills.  She wasn’t a nurse or teacher, she was just Gladys Aylward, born to simple parents, her father was a postman and her mother was a housewife in a small, suburb of London.  Gladys went on to China regardless of what the school director had to say about her and her abilities because she knew what God had impressed upon her heart.  She made such a huge impact upon the people of China and many souls were won as a result of her obedience to God, in fact, she became so well known in China, that the people of the U.S. found out about her and they made a movie about her life.  God does not call the qualified, He equips the called!  That’s what He did with Gladys and that is what He will do with your children as well, as long as they have a desire to serve their King.
Will your children learn to walk by faith and not by sight as Gladys did?  Imagine if she had listened to the school director instead of the Lord.  I am sure that would be easy to do, seeing how he was qualified, after all, he had a degree, so according to the “world”, he must have been right about Gladys.  “Beware, lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world; and not according to Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8)  But God does not need a degree to train our children and ultimately use them for His glory.  What God wants is for us to have a desire to be like His Son and for us to train up our children to be like Him as well.
Don’t lose sight of the goal.  If the goal is the career, then you better make sure you hit those books and make sure those tests are in the high percentiles!  If the goal is to prepare your children for a ‘calling’, ask yourself “what does that look like?”  “How should I prepare them for a long life service to the King”?  Here are a few practical examples:
1. Work on their character!
  • For the younger kids, first and most important, make sure they obey you.  If you are always redirecting them and bribing them with something, you will have a hard time teaching them things that will require hard work and determination on their part.  Plus, you will not know if they are struggling in a certain area or if they are being rebellious; there is a difference between the two and as their teacher, you will need to know the difference.
  • Instill in them a desire to serve others and not to always be serving themselves and their own selfish desires.
2. Be on the lookout for what might be some of their spiritual gifts.
  • Encourage them to use their gifts and find opportunities for them to serve the Lord.  This will require you to go out of your way; and by the way, spending the time in this area is far more important than driving them to an extra-curricular activity once a month for pure enjoyment.  Yes, you can do both, but be mindful of teaching them to serve the Lord because it is not a natural thing for them, (or us)!
3. Teach them the Word of God.
4. Most importantly, live out the Word of God for them so they can see your faith in the one true God.
If you have children in the high school years, and you know what your child’s gifts are, they may need to have a degree to fulfill God’s calling on their life.  If God wants them to pursue law, politics, become a doctor, etc., then you will see that interest in your child and surely he will be on a path where he will have to hit the books, but it is for the Lord’s glory and purpose, not for your child’s own selfish ambition or your pride; remember the difference.
The days are coming when homeschooling your children will become more difficult than you had planned, the days when you feel you are not capable of teaching them, the days when you think they would be better off at public/private school, the days when the Enemy is screaming in your ear that you can’t do this and you ask yourself,  “Is it worth it?”  Absolutely, because you are doing ALL THIS FOR THE KING!  You are preparing your children to serve Him all the days of their lives.  Don’t be consumed with the world’s philosophy of education, God’s ways are always better than man’s ways.  “What does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 10:12)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4:6,7 (NLT)

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