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Here’s a challenging email from last week.
“I am a homeschool mother. I agree that homeschooling is a wonderful option for some parents. I also agree it's the parents’ responsibility before the Lord to train and teach their children about Him. But, I disagree with you that homeschooling is the only way to train them. I have witnessed many godly parents whose children are in other educational arenas. I sense from your article sarcasm and a lofty attitude. We limit God when we think He can only work in a homeschool family and accomplish His will only in certain circumstances.
Dear Mrs. X,
Thanks for this chance to address your concerns. First, "sarcasm and a lofty attitude." Admittedly that stung a bit, but if I have a spiritual gift it’s prophecy. And, since I believe the West is in grave moral decline, I can’t help but share, as best and as often as I can, the proposition that only profound repentance and a return to 100%, across-the-board, John 14:15 type obedience will stay His holy hand of judgment. My conviction that teaching the spiritual and academics at home as being the only biblical option, and an urgent one at that, was acquired only after a lot of consultation with minds better, by far, than mine.
I’m disappointed you enthusiastically HS your own kids; say (correctly) that parents are the ones responsible for training, but then also say that HSing is only for “some parents.” Since academics must be integrated with the spiritual, this seems to be another sad repetition of the modern Church’s distressing claim: “HSing is not for everybody.” This error is most often promoted by timid pastors and donation-dependent national ministries such as Focus on the Family. Of course a working, single mom – if that’s who you’re thinking of – will certainly have a tough time swinging it, but even then there are options that can and should be encouraged – by you. I’m thinking especially of her church.
Beyond this, who are the others you believe may not be up to the task since “it’s only for some parents?” No high school degree? Too blue collar? Too many unorganized, lazy moms or potential child abusers out there? But such fears are often just needless over-speculation. In fact, I feel that most “only-for-some” beliefs arise, thanks mainly to the brainwashing brought to bear by disobedient Christian leaders. Their mantras, just as with the tactics of the liberal media, can take an unrighteous toll on the best of us.
Regrettably, pro-obedience suggestions are a tough sell in this age of easy believism and of “it's all about me and my personal happiness." But neither the O.T. prophets, Paul, James, nor most of the rest of them including, often, Christ himself, were famed for diplomacy. A house on fire, given the immediate need for urgent warning or even that the occupants be dragged forcibly from peril, is not a crisis point at which I want to be consulting Miss Manners or Dale Carnegie on the "most sensitive" way of making sure the feathers of the otherwise doomed aren't unduly ruffled. Forty years in the Sinai vs. a potential express journey of only 11 days is a vivid example of how God responds to disobedience. In more recent times, between the 3rd and 15th centuries, even His Church suffered 1200 years of wanderings prior to the Reformers determining that their own Sinai (Papal-Roman) experience had gone on long enough. Still, I hear your warning, Mrs. X. Even if prophecy is a gift, it gives me no right to indulge my fallen sinner's propensity for sarcasm or loftiness if, in fact, you are correct. I'll be on guard.
Second, you suggested that "other educational arenas" (other than homeschooling) may be perfectly acceptable to God in the special case of "godly parents." I'll have to lump public and private schools together here since you didn't specify. Either way, hundreds of experts agree that the only Bible option for youth training is one that demands home discipling. Opposed are those (especially your average, timid pastor) deathly afraid of rocking the infamous boat of "public (or private) school as handy baby sitter for a mom now 'liberated’ and able to do her own thing through the day." Being snookered by feminism has corrupted not just Christian moms, but a lot of 21st century dads as well. Even so, no one, in spite of the public schools having undeservedly attained "flag, hot dogs and apple pie" status, has yet to make a case for biblical validity of a parent ceding their children over to outside classrooms operated by a non-parent. Home’s the only place aside from a few rare exceptions.
It’s true, however, that there are occasions when using an outside professional may make sense for a specific vocation- or education-related instance for subjects such as chemistry, metal shop, Latin, etc. This isn’t any different, technically, than the case of a musically gifted child who shows early potential for an instrument. Mom or dad won't be giving the lessons. They'll hire a pro. But, beyond these special instances, the rest of the academic, and especially the spiritual, won't be turned over to others. During the key wisdom and knowledge acquiring decade from 5 to 15 years, all education must take place via a biblical worldview oriented, integrated, (the academic and the spiritual being taught simultaneously) approach within a united home as unto God. (I Cor. 10:31.)
Next week, the matter of being a “godly parent” within the challenge of youth discipling.