One Parent (Me) … for Choice in Education

Today, it’s personal.
My blog, that is.

I’m grieved and soul sick. If you prefer not to know my personal feelings on the subject of schooling children, you may want to stop reading now. My opinion is a strong one and I’m passionate about it.
My opinion:  There is not only ONE right way!
Even as I type, I’m praying that I’ll be true to my own sermons about choosing our words carefully that we put out there in the blogosphere … that my words will be encouraging and not critical. I desire to post truth, in love, and not bring even more strife and division to the body of Jesus Christ with my words (Eph 4:29, 1 Thess 5:11, Rom 14:19).
I heard an illustration years ago that ended with the phrase “sometimes you just can’t sit there anymore.” So I’ve prayed, I’ve read/studied, I’ve listened to lots of women, I’ve prayed more… and I can’t just sit here anymore. I’m taking my cue today from one of the verses I referred to in the previous paragraph. I’m especially thinking of the phrase “according to the need of the moment.”

As I read post after post, comment after comment by Christian moms, my heart breaks at what we are (most likely unintentionally) doing to one another. I think about all the women in my small groups through the years of ministry. So many from different backgrounds, cultures, life journeys … all seeking to know God better and to live for Him. They want to know how to “do it right” – the Christian life, I mean. Motherhood.
And yet, without meaning to, we can subtly define (without clear scripture to sustain our arguments) for others what “real Christian parents” should always look like. We fill in the blank with our opinion like this:
“If you really care about your kids and want them to grow up loving God and not rebelling against His teachings, you will ____________.” And then we offer our solution, whether it be homeschool or Christian school (and, on rare occasion, public school)… and we offer lots of articles and quotes by well-meaning Christian leaders who have our view.

My problem with this is that it is not unifying in the church of Jesus. It’s dividing. And the reason it’s dividing us is because, as we school our children, we have decided that the way others choose to do it (if differently) is wrong. We wait for them to fail to prove our point. We have examples to back up our views, and strong opinions, and soap boxes.
After years of leading small groups of women, I grieve at how we put unnecessary pressure on each other to conform to standards that are set by humans and not God. As Beth Moore reminded me yesterday in our small group study: “If God said it, He’s serious about it.” Amen, I say. BUT … if He didn’t say it, we are to pray, get advice, and seek His guidance on what to do and how to do it. And we are to let others do the same, without judging their choice, since we can’t know for sure what is the best way. (James 4, 1 Cor 2, Rom 14)

We have had the privilege of schooling our children in every way – homeschool, Christian school and public school. Each way has had advantages and disadvantages for us and our kids. As of now, we are thankful for each of these ways of educating our kids and have seen great things in each of these avenues of learning.

In my post today, I really only have one goal that is two-fold. To share my thoughts, from my heart, so that someone may be encouraged in their choice and not feel that they are a bad parent if they have chosen a certain form of education for their kids, and (2) that we would see the importance of encouraging each other in whatever choice we have made as Christian parents, sincerely seeking to obey the LORD for our families’ sake. Since the Bible just isn’t clear on this one, we don’t want to make this a dividing issues among us as believers. Let’s celebrate the opportunities our children have to learn, and let’s pray for God to use us and them in whatever way He so chooses as they grow up –  in wisdom and favor with God and man.

And mostly, let’s encourage each other … all the more as we see THAT DAY approach — the day our LORD will return and all that will matter is that we love Him with our heart, soul and mind. That’s what we really want most for ourselves and our families!

3 thoughts on “One Parent (Me) … for Choice in Education

  1. Susan Howerton April 17, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    I could have written this myself, Melodye, just not as beautifully, not even close. Wow! Thank you!!!

    Like

  2. Beth Webb April 19, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks for always sharing the truth with grace! It is way more about the motives of your heart & the intentionality with which you are raising your children than the particular method you choose. I have seen families make all of the above choices & still continually point their children to Jesus!!!!

    Like

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