Everywhere I turn commercials and advertisements promise a fulfilled life with the purchase of their product. This message follows me to the Brookshires check-out stand, stares at me as I wait in the dentist office, and even sneaks in at Pizza Hut when I need an easy family meal out.
If I shop this weekend at Kohls’s, I’ll find the perfect outfit to wear to next week’s event. If I buy my bedroom furniture from the local outlet, my sex life will heat up. If I use this discount code I could buy my son the newest iPad and will never hear him say that dreaded phrase, “Mommy, I’m bored” again. Retailers think they can solve all my problems.
Homeschooling is no different.
“Buy this curriculum and your daughter’s reading level will surge three grade levels overnight.”
“Buy this math program and never worry about college.”
“Purchase these additional science project materials and you will be the best home-school mom ever!” (OK, maybe my kids say that one)
But then I read 1 Peter 1:13-21:
Therefore, prepare your minds for action: be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Jesus calls me to a new way of thinking. He tells me to set my hope fully on the grace I will receive when Jesus is revealed. Not on the new curriculum. Not on the sparkly outfit. Not on the perfect bookshelves. Not on having all the school supplies. Not on the perfect home-school group. Not on the perfect routine for our day. It says to set my hope on the day I will see Him face to face.
Because unlike what the advertisements promise, if I believe that Jesus died for my sins and accept Him as Lord of my life, I will see Him face to face one day. He will let me in His Kingdom.
I may never have the perfect homeschooling day. But even if I did, it would only be one day. I get to be with Jesus and live perfect days forever.
Wow. That’s not my focus every day. The truth of God’s Word sets a high, straight plumb line that leaves me scrambling to adjust to.
I have to purposefully set my hope there. It won’t go there automatically. Left to myself, I will naturally put my hope in the things I can see and then be frustrated later when I feel empty and worn out.
Setting my hope on Jesus is a choice.
The problem is I live here on Earth, with all the magazines and commercials screaming for me to put my hope in them. So how do I not fall for their schemes?
I must obey what the word of God tells me to do. And before I can do that, I must make time to read what it says. The first thing the verses in 1 Peter tell me to do is prepare my minds for action. I noticed it doesn’t say, Go do P90X for 3 months and then come back. No, it says before I act, I have to prepare my mind.
Romans 12:2 expounds more on this concept, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
What pattern of thinking does the world offer?
In regards to home-schooling, the world tells me I shouldn’t home-school my kids. I’m not qualified. Don’t have enough training. What about socialization? Do I really think I can educate my kids better than the well oil system of public education? Will they get enough?
I’ll be honest. Those are hard, intimidating questions that can make me sink with doubt at times.
But in order to hold on to hope, I have to throw away that pattern of thinking and filter those questions through God’s calling on my life and His Word. I have to renew my mind and replace those doubts with His Truth.
I don’t see anywhere in scripture that tells me specifically where to send my kids to school. I see principles that apply in making this decision but there isn’t a clear, All Christians should put their kids in___school.
So I keep filtering…
How do I plan to teach my kids? What curriculum will I use? Where will we store our things and do our work? How will this affect my other household duties? How will we see friends and interact with people? What community can I be involved in? Is this best for our family? Do I believe God has called me to this?
In my case, yes, I believe God has called me to this. And because He’s called me to this I believe it must be best for us. We don’t always have best days, but this is life. When is it ever best case scenario all the time?! Part of education is learning how to deal with difficult situations that make you uncomfortable.
We are apart of Classical Conversations and use other literature books as our core curriculum at home. My house is what I consider clean maybe once a week, and my husband is OK with that. We see friends once a week at our community day, plus at gymnastics and soccer, church, weekends, and times when people come over for lunch or dinner.
Even after I answer those questions I have to trust God to be enough and empower me with His strength to do this. But now, the once muddied water has been filtered where I can test and approve what God’s will is. And now my mind is ready for action.
So what’s better than good marketing? A hope set on seeing Jesus face to face. It will happen one day, and until then I want to obey what He’s called me to do here on earth. Through it all, my faith and hope are anchored in Him.
If only I would do this every morning!
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This post is apart of a series called 31 stories of hope for every homeschooler. To see the entire series, click HERE.