On this trip through the alphabet with our friends, I've chosen to try to always focus on the blessings that can be found through home education. Often, these are specifically tied to working and homeschooling because let's face it - this life can be tough, and Mamas who have to work need all the encouragement they can get!
In God's ideal plan, we would all still be living in the Garden of Eden, but because of sin, we are not. In many Christians' minds, there is this never-to-be-crossed line that says wives must always stay at home, and the husband must earn enough to provide all that the family needs ... recently I've found some not-very-loving posts around the internet that state if the wife is working outside of the home that she is a Feminist and not very Godly. I am not a Feminist, far, far from it! God created us as husbands and wives to be different, and yet equal in His sight, as dearly-loved children. Let's not get caught up in the bad habit of saying what God told you to do in your family must be done in every other family for them to be Godly. This is along the lines of what Christ reprimanded the Jewish leaders of His day for because they were telling other people how to interpret God's Word, instead of letting God speak to each person's heart. Today as Believers, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit - please let the Spirit, and God's Holy Word, be what guides your choices, and not the opinions of other people!
I want today's post to lovingly remind us all that we DO NOT live in an ideal world, that our world is full of sin, and sometimes, even when they want to stay home, God calls some wives to work outside of the home. So if you've had the misfortune to be looked down upon because of your work, or have seen any of those posts roaming the web that make you feel like you are lacking as a family because God has provided for your family through Mom's job alongside Dad's job, let me remind you that we serve a Loving Father that wants our lives to give Him glory and lead us to be more Christ-like.
Now that I've gotten that out, let's move on to the letter for this week: L
L is for Love.
Maybe you're old enough to remember DC Talk and their song Luv Is A Verb.
While we often think of love as an emotion, in reality, love is an action - a verb - a choice that we make. Love is Christ choosing to come to this earth to free us from our bondage to sin and death. Love is us choosing to do good to and for others, even when we are tired, they are grumpy, or it would be more convenient to do something else.
The opportunity to love our children has come up so many times during this homeschooling journey. I use the term homeschooling because it is broadly known, but I want to tell you why I often (mostly) use the words Home Education instead. We are not trying to re-create a school setting here in our family, we are working to educate our daughters in whatever way God leads us to best fit their learning styles, our family life, and our budget.
We love (emotion) to take field trips. Life is a field trip and is best lived through experiences, not through textbooks. Yes, we still use a few textbooks, but our primary goal is to prepare our girls for life, not a job as a research librarian, or an index compiler. Whenever feasible, and affordable, we have chosen to offer them hands-on activities or experiences to take what they are learning and make it personal and real. This takes a story and makes it their story. Like history? So do we. Our daughters have lived out history through their positions as youth volunteers at a local living history museum. We also try to fit in visits to state and national historic sites whenever we travel. We go to historic reenactments often, and we also are involved in making today's history by being involved and knowing what is happening in our local and state government. Kurt and I have often chosen to love (verb) our girls by giving up what other parents do for fun and instead take those funds and invest them in an experience for the girls. It is no longer a sacrifice when you see the joy on their faces!
Time is short, our oldest has already graduated High School. The other only has a couple more years at most. We choose to love (verb) them, and do good to and for them, even when they are not being very lovable. Parenting requires patience, and correction. When they steer off of course, or forget to do their chores, there are consequences. Just as God guides us back to where we need to be with Him, we need as parents to lovingly guide our children back to where they need to be.
Working and homeschooling has challenges, but it also has great rewards. We have learned not to take anything for granted. We have learned to appreciate the time we have together. We have learned how to choose to love (verb) those around us and help them do the things they love (emotion) to do!
We have learned that life is short, it is best lived for God, and with God as your guide. When one of us forgets to love, God has taught us how to forgive.
Choose today to love your children, to make your actions speak of God, His redeeming grace, and his unfailing Love.
Come back next week and I'll tell you about one of my favorite ways to show love to our girls!
In the meantime, click over and read some other L posts!