Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It Was God All Along

Sometimes as homeschool moms, we tend to get a little…well, bigheaded. After all, it is a major undertaking to assume responsibility for the entirety of your children’s education, and when those children turn out well, we feel justified in taking at least some of the credit. It’s human nature, right?

But how much of how our children turn out really has anything to do with us at all? Oh, surely, they’re better off for having been at home. That one-on-one time and individually tailored curriculum surely worked wonders. But did it really have anything to do with us?

As Christian homeschoolers, our first priority must always be to follow God’s leading. First we follow His leading in choosing to educate our children at home. Then we follow His leading in what to teach, how to teach it, which books to use. How is it, then, that we can so easily forget just who is in charge here?

This point was brought home to me in a very personal way this past year. I have realized that I have it easy.

I realized the same point in regards to marriage a few years back. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage. We never fight. No, seriously. On the rare occasion that we even disagree on something, we always come to a happy compromise one way or the other. For awhile, I got the big-head syndrome, thinking that if I could do it, why couldn’t everyone else?

Then it hit me: I had nothing to do with it. It was God all along. You see, I have never had to deal with a troublesome husband. I have a husband who has always listened to me, cared about my opinion, and trusted me. I have a husband who has always valued the work I do as a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler. I have a husband who has always gone out of his way to be thoughtful, considerate, and helpful.

So, you see, I have a great husband and we have a great marriage, but it’s not because of any great and wonderful things that I have done. It’s because God was gracious enough to bless me with a great guy to begin with.

The same thing applies to my children. This year I have realized that what works for my kids doesn’t work for everyone else’s kids. This probably seems like a no-brainer, but hear me out. You see, I’ve never really had trouble teaching my kids. They’ve always been up for pretty much any challenge. They’ve always caught on to things pretty quickly and never once complained about homeschooling or wanted to go to public school. They’ve always been good listeners, good at processing what they hear into learning. They learned to do everything early, from walking and talking, to reading and writing, to memorization and algebra.

I thought for such a long time that this was all my doing. They were raised in an environment as conducive to learning as it can get. They were read to every day of their lives (still are read to on most days). I played with them, sang songs with them, taught them everything I could think to teach them, then sat back and pronounced my work as good.

But it wasn’t really me at all. Sure, God used me to teach those kids, to bring them up in such a way that learning would come easily and enjoyably to them, but it really wasn’t me at all. God put those thoughts into my head, God gave me the desire to be with my children, to raise and train and teach them.

God was gracious enough to give me that wisdom years ago when my first child was very small, so that all along these children He has blessed me with have been raised the way He wants them to be.

I have watched mothers and kids alike struggling, struggling with learning, struggling with each other, struggling with their own feelings, fears, and frustrations. It’s so easy to sit back and think, “Well, if they had just done things the way we do, they wouldn’t be in this mess.” But, oh God, help me if I ever think that any right thing I’ve ever done was of my own wisdom or strength.

I have it easy. I am blessed. I have children who constantly amaze me with the way their minds work. I have a life with no complaints, but I had nothing to do with it. Or at least anything I had to do with it came not from my own power but from God’s gracious provision.

Everything in my life that is good is a direct result of God’s leading. It really has been God all along.

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