A Wife, Mother and Homemaker: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Post-Secondary Options (Part 8)

You may remember a story I told earlier about a student who was afraid to share her career ambitions because she thought I would disparage her choice. She wanted to be a wife, mother and home maker!

In a world that is questioning the importance of, or openly attacking the traditional nuclear family, it is not hard to understand how this young lady could have thought that her desire to spend her life in this way would be looked down upon in our modern society.

When children are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they will answer based on the limited knowledge they have and most will be thinking of themselves and the benefits their “career choices” will bring to them.

Prepubescent children are too young to understand the gravity of this question, not having the capacity to understand who God is, what His character is like, what He expects of “grown-ups” and how temporal things may not advance eternal outcomes.

Adults making decisions based on feelings while failing to take God into consideration, also unfortunately, end up thinking and acting like children. Feelings require no knowledge or understanding, so it is much easier to go by feeling than thought. This is something that manipulators clearly understand, but I digress.

What does “God is love” mean? Does it mean that God has a responsibility to love, or is obligated to be consistent in His application of love, perhaps implying that we don’t? How does God’s love manifest itself in our lives?

Sure, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son”, but “greater love has no one than laying down his life for his friends.” Both instruct us in what love is.

Jesus taught us that love was the voluntary giving of oneself. He personally demonstrated His great love by giving us His very life that we might have eternal life through Him. Our faith in His action is best summarized by an often quoted cliché of “love is not love until you give it away,” which brings us back to our original story.

The young lady I mentioned was concerned that her decision of how she was going to spend her life would be scorned by others.

I want to emphasize the fact that she wanted to “spend her life” being a wife, mother and homemaker. What exactly does “spend her or our life,” mean? We may state this, but do we clearly comprehend what we are saying? Let me help with that.

Suppose God gave you forty million dollars, with the stipulation that you spend it any way you want by a specified time. How would you spend it? How much of this money would you spend helping others? How much on yourself?

Considering that the money is actually God’s and knowing that His measure of right doing is in keeping with the fact that He is the personification of Love, how would you accomplish this task?

In a way, God has given you forty million! Consider that there are 60 minutes in every hour, each day has 1440 minutes and each year has nearly 526,000 minutes, 525,960 to be exact. Assuming that you will live until you are 76 years of age (an arbitrary assumption), you have about forty million minutes at your disposal.

How are you going to spend this forty million? Like money, your life is finite. Like money, no matter how you spend your life, you are indeed “spending” it. Like money, you have been given a limited amount that will eventually run out. Like money, you spend it, until it is gone.

Considering these things, how will you spend yours?

Using love as our measure of Godliness, what do you think will bring the greatest fulfillment to your life, spending it on yourself or on others? Would spending it on immediate self-gratification be as fulfilling as investing it towards the future?

Put another way, what do you think you will be able to bring to heaven? Money? Fame? Prestige? Title? How about a life-long career of advancing yourself ahead of others? No! No! No!

The only thing we can possibly bring with us and even then it depends on the decisions of others, are those people we have influenced in some way to accept the way, the truth and the life.

Is there a better way to do that than in serving others? Is there anything more important than doing this within a family?

Our young lady had chosen to give her life away, to spend it as a loving wife, mother and faithful homemaker, rather than by having another career.

Spending one’s life with an eye to eternity as it affects not just ourselves, but generations to come, is to have God’s own heart beating within us.

The very best post-secondary option for any person is to aspire to do what God has created them to do. For young ladies, that likely includes wanting to spend your life being a wife, mother and homemaker. There is no higher calling and there are no academic levels or prerequisite courses required. At least, not yet!

Training For The Race: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Running the Race (Part 2)

The most common issue that arises during the “Running The Race” phase of home education is familiarity. The mother is always with the children and the children start to see her as one of them. Fathers have to be especially diligent in having the children keep a healthy respect for their mother during this time.

Dad also can become a little complacent, since mom is doing such a good job. It is true that if “something isn’t broken it is not wise to fix it,” but it is also true that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The overriding principle at this stage becomes “if momma isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

Dad should take mom out on a date, giving her a chance to bounce some ideas, vent a little and to enjoy some “adult company.” It is probably a good thing to make a habit of this. Mom needs to be encouraged too and there is no one who can do this better than a loving, faithful, caring and responsible husband.

The father HAS to be involved in the training, teaching and discipling of their children, at all times, as this is HIS responsibility and not the mother’s, even though the mother does most of the work involved in the home education.

The mother’s role is simply to be a helpmeet, that is, to help the father meet his goals for the preparation of his children to be good citizens of this world while serving God in every way.

I have found that if the father is not seriously involved in this part of the training, he is largely disqualified from being taken seriously by the children after puberty. Fathers may not be physically there, in the home, on a day to day basis, but their authority, which comes from God should be omnipresent.

I cannot overstate the importance of having the father take and demonstrate responsibility in the education of his children, with mother actively performing the task on his behalf.

It should also be noted that even though academic study is important, it pales in comparison with understanding who God is and how He desires to be part of our lives.

Let’s take a close look at a couple of Bible verses to get a vision of our goal as Christian home educating parents.

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” is the most quoted verse in the home education world. Although we may quote it often, do we truly understand what it means?

It says train, not teach, up a child, not an adult. Training is just that. The repeating and repeating of things to the young, until it is finally absorbed. Training is aimed at the heart, not the head, which is the target for teaching.

Training the heart is what should take place before puberty arrives. There is plenty of time for teaching the head afterwards. If the heart is not trained before puberty, you may end up with an educated person, yet someone without a moral rudder. This is becoming all too common, these days.

It may be instructive at this point to expose the fact that schools constantly talk of teaching, and almost never, if ever, mention training until the post-secondary level. I believe this shows that the status quo education system is either not interested in training children, or fully understand that the heart is what needs to be targeted, secretly perhaps, with the Godless, unbiblical, anti-Christian message it advances under the banner of neutrality. Think about this.

Back to Proverbs 22:6. I interpret the “in the way that he should go” portion as “in keeping with whom I have created.” God has already created the child who does not need to be improved upon. God saw that His creation was not just good, but very good, after he had created man. I believe God sees every child as complete and very good.

It is not our place to create something of our child, but to develop what has already been created. As stated by Abram’s coach in the movie Chariots of Fire, “it is not a good thing to try to put in what God has left out.”

The training of a child is therefore best described as writing the truth in their hearts. This is done constantly not only in word, but also, in deed.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9, also a commonly quoted verse in the home education world, tells us just what should be written in the hearts of children, stating that this is the responsibility of parents, fathers in particular, and that it can only be successful when constantly reinforced in daily living. Sounds like home education to me.

Once the truth has been written in their hearts, even if they deny it, run from it, pretend it doesn’t exist or simply turn their backs on it, it remains etched on the walls of their very being. That is why it states “and when he grows old, he shall not depart from it.”

No matter what, truth written in the heart of a child is there to stay. They may be adults before they return to the fold, so to speak, but it will happen because the truth written in their hearts by loving parents cannot be erased.

Train up a child, in keeping with what God has created, by constantly reiterating, demonstrating, reinforcing and writing the truth on the walls of his heart, before he reaches puberty.

Making this training a part of Running The Race stage of learning will best prepare children for that day when, having gone through puberty, the teaching phase of the home education can proceed in earnest.