I've been thinking about the statement that I heard most often as we began homeschooling a year ago. "Ali, you are giving up your life!"
Oh how I agreed with that statement. I felt that all my dreams and desires were being cast aside for the greater good. Or at least what I hoped would be the greater good. My dream of sending the kids off to school and then sitting in a sunny spot with a cup of coffee and my Bible in a quiet room was no longer something that would happen. I would never have a wonderfully clean house and time for friends to come over for a visit during the day.
Instead, my priorities and dreams have had to shift. But I don't consider this a bad thing.
Voddie Baucham's book, Family Driven Faith, has this wonderful quote: "Time is precious, and you only get one chance to raise your children. They are only young once, and they are only in your home for a short while. Once they are born the clock starts ticking, and there is nothing you can do to stop it or slow it down. Your only hope is to make the most of the time you have." I have to agree with Voddie. I can already see how quickly my children are growing up and how ridiculously fast the hours, days, months and years rush by.
So, as a parent, what is to be our priority? Here's what the Bible says in Deutoronomy 6:4-9 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
This comes just after the 10 commandments are given. So, we are to be teaching our children about the Lord and how to love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That sounds like a full time job to me!
Now, I'm not trying to advocate for homeschooling. I think each family has to decide what is best for their children and for their family. However, this should have serious application for our family life in general and our home life specifically. What are you doing to teach these things to your children? Beyond sending them to church or AWANA? Did you know that the majority of kids brought up in the church will leave it by the time they are teens?! That means that the Church itself is not the answer. You, parent, are the one who must teach and train your children!
So, as I consider my life and look at my priorities, I must continually be asking myself if what I am doing lines up with this mandate from Deuteronomy 6. And if it doesn't, perhaps my priorities and dreams are not the best they could be. We'll all have time once our kids leave the nest. Right now, we have a short time to mold and train our children. And so I ask myself, "How can I best do this?" For me, the asnwer comes in homeschooling, family devotions, relinquishing activities that are just schedule fillers, realizing my potential as a mother by teaching my children what is most important. These are all really hard decisions to make. But will they pay off? You betcha! For there is truly no greater privilege than raising children who love the Lord. What changes do you need to make?