Homeschooling and Other Foolish Parental Notions

What Do You Think? Wednesday

I never thought the challenges would come like this: mostly from family and friends who don’t understand my evolution and want me to be the woman they knew me to be. I was fierce and fought battles that I now know were not my own; I took on assignments and roles and a demeanor that God never meant for me. These shaped my strong black woman mantle that I later laid at God’s feet to pick up the charge He had for me. Marry who I say marry; vote for who I say vote for; parent the way I say parent. Follow me the way I say follow me. But my loved ones’ responses to my choices should not be a shock to me. Jesus’ family didn’t believe He was the Messiah and folks in His hometown dishonored Him (Mark 6:1-4). So if that happened to Jesus, surely I should expect the same to happen to me. And if my loved ones challenge (persecute in some cases) me, even if the Bible didn’t say so I should expect the world to do the same (John 15:20). My job is to shrug off the criticism, respond if I’m led and do so in the manner Jesus would have me to. This is not always easy. I’m clear about my ministry calling, to the world and to my family, and this clarity gives me the direction I need to accomplish my calling. Trying to explain, defend even, my choices beyond what God tells me to, takes time and energy away from fulfilling my calling and can lead me back to my strong black woman fierce talking ways. I must remember that the only one who needs to understand what God has called me to do is me.

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:11-16).

Though these verses compare the spirit of the world to God’s Spirit, which all believers in Christ have, the spirit of the world can apply to believers who the Spirit hasn’t spoken to about our calling. Their response to us may be just like someone who doesn’t understand something spiritual; they may follow the ways of the world and may use the mind of the world when challenging us. So we must know what God is saying to us. We must ask, believe and walk out what He says (James 1:5-8). All this pondering came about today as I reflected on a challenge from my mom to participate in a sorority event, a friend questioning the depth of one of my analyses and a New York Times editorial on homeschooling, which is how my husband and I educate our children. Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum and his wife’s decision to home educate their children was the author’s launching pad; the story was bigger than home schooling, though, and challenged the effects of parents’ choices to in any way isolate their children. Another Times article outright said home schooling “is shortsighted and cruel” and “misguided foolishness,” comparing it to “home dentistry.”

In this world, you have to know who God has called you to be and what He has called you to do. If not, you will doubt what you heard and be a double-minded woman, unstable in ALL your ways (James 1:6-8). We are called to stability and can stay focused with God’s help (2 Timothy 1:7; John 15:4-7).

For those of you who have learned to shrug off comments and respond to others according to the Spirit, how did you come to that point? You can read the New York Times articles here and here and, please, tell me what you think. Also, check out my best friend Carla Yarbrough’s blog post Purpose and Persecution and Kim Cash Tate’s posts Strategic Plan and D6 Parenting and chime in on those too!

  • My3kids98

    These two articles on homeschooling don’t surprise me. Satan
    is not happy about the fact that most homeschoolers are Christians.  As a result of our children being given a
    strong foundation in Christ Jesus that Satan is not able to crack with the
    influence of the world through the regular school system, our children are
    walking in godly purpose, building the kingdom of God and showing Satan for whom
    he really is.  So of course Satan is
    resulting to circulating the lie that homeschooling is harmful and cruel to
    children. It yet another way for him try and capture the minds of our children
    before they become adults and do some real damage to him and his plan.

  • Marla Dean

    As the friend who questioned the depthed of your analysis, let me be clear it has nothing to do with the evolution of your life. It had everything to do with oversimplification. One can always shield oneself from all critique, legitimate and non, with two basic comebacks.
    1. People have an issue with my life’s evolution.
    2. The perceived attack is because the other person is not spiritually evolved as my spiritually development.

    The fact is that Christians agree with as much as they agree and the all cite the Bible as their foundational text. So a good way to shut down an exchange of ideas is to rely on the claim I feast on meat while others sip milk, in other words others’ ideas lack spiritual maturity. If that is the case, don’t have a blog. The purpose of a blog is an exchange of ideas, instead just have an Amen corner.
    As far as homeschooling, I think that is a personal decision. I do find it troubling when people who earn a living through public education, have issues with public education. This was the reason my mother never trusted DPS, too many of her teacher friends were sending their kids to private school.

  • In no way was I saying your present critique had anything to do with you not understanding my evolution. You of course are entitled to critique my arguments as you see fit. My response to your response or anyone’s is not to shut down your position; if that were the case I would have comments closed on my blog. Also if I wanted an amen corner I wouldn’t approve any opposing comments; they would go straight into the trash. My point with the 1 Corinthians passage wasn’t to say that believers that don’t agree with me are less spiritually developed. It was only to say what I thought I clearly stated, which was that even believers in Christ may not understand where you’re coming from if they haven’t gotten clarity from God about the intricacies of your calling.

  • Thanks for chiming in, Carla.