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Monday, July 14, 2008

I recently ran into a sweet, godly homeschooling mother. She hesitantly shared with me that she may not be homeschooling her oldest through high school, but was considering a private school. I could tell she was nervous to tell me that, but I reassured her that I didn't judge her decision; after all, if God guides you to put your child in school - He has a reason for it. This caused her to stop and ponder. She admitted that she wasn't sure if God was guiding her to do it. Her reasons for doing it had more to do with fear, confusion, feelings of inadequacy and relationship concerns.

I encouraged her to wait for the Lord's peace, to seek Him and be led by Him - He may very well guide her to put her child in school. Yet, if it were not God's perfect will - she didn't want to walk that path. Anytime we make decisions based on fear of failure, fear of inadequacy or based on our emotions, rather than a strong peace from God - we may be falling onto a trail that is dark and much more difficult to traverse - and it often leads us where we didn't want to go.

It's hard to find true peace and joy when we are not following the narrow path marked out for our family. That narrow path may include putting your children in school - but it may not. The key is to find out - not by human reason, but through the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Who leads with confidence and peace).

When we experience trials and tribulations in our marriage, we don't consider it a sign that we need to get a divorce. When we experience trials and tribulations in our homeschooling, it's not a sign that we need to put our children in school. It is an opportunity to watch our very big God overcome and give us a victory in all of our seemingly impossible situations. When we enter rocky terrain, it's not time to turn back - it's time to call upon He who will remove the rocks from our path or give us supernatural strength to climb over them.

God is able to overcome all the struggles, trials, temptations and relationship problems we face. Prayer works, especially when it's coupled with faith that God will most certainly come to our rescue and an expectation that He cares and will certainly show up in a powerful way. In the same way we are certain the sun will rise, we should expect God to rescue us from the deep waters that threaten to drown us. That's faith: knowing that God is coming to our aid.

To quit homeschooling because of turbulence is to give up. This gives the enemy a victory - for we have not been given a spirit of fear (that's from the evil one). If he can gain ground in your life by achieving the victory of making you disregard the thing which God has called you to do, he has achieved a victory. It is the enemies plan to continue to gain ground in your family life. We must learn to fight the battle with the weapons God has provided for our warfare - the Word of God, which is all Truth.

I think there is only one valid reason to quit homeschooling. That is: you feel a strong peaceful leading from the Lord that you should not homeschool anymore. You know that you know - not because it seems the only solution to problems. God has a perfect course for your family, and He longs to direct your steps. Maybe you aren't sure why you feel such a peace about it, but you just feel strongly led in that direction. In that case, you would be wrong to homeschool.

In my next post, I will list the many reasons people use to quit homeschooling, and solutions to those reasons.

3 comments:

Rose Davis said...

I am really excited about the upcoming articles on writing. I could use some help as a homeschool mom in that area. Blessings, Rose

Tobias said...

Hi Jeannie, I wonder if you can help me out with something. In this article, you said, "It's hard to find true peace and joy when we are not following the narrow path marked out for our family. That narrow path may include putting your children in school - but it may not. The key is to find out - not by human reason, but through the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Who leads with confidence and peace)," and, "God has a perfect course for your family, and He longs to direct your steps."

Can you please provide some scriptural support for this notion that God has one particular, "perfect" path for an individual or family? And that He will make that perfect will known to believers through a feeling of peace? I don't see it in the scriptures, myself. I have done a brief word study on peace and find several references to a spiritual peace given by God to those who through faith rely upon Him for their needs and safety (Ps 25:13 says "His soul shall dwell at ease", Ps 4:8 says "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety", and Phil 4:6&7 says christians should not worry about their needs because "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" ), but I find nothing supporting this common christian notion that God leads us through life or major life decisions by way of nudgings or even "confidence and peace," as you put it.

Even the scripture you cited, 2Tim 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind," actually seems to oppose your asertion that "the key is find out - not by human reason, but through the leadership of the Holy Spirit." Isn't a sound mind the basis for proper reasoning (based on God's revelaed will within His word)? In fact, I believe Jam 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him," indicates that we are to pray for God to give us wisdom, not peace or leading, does it not?

Please understand that I am not arguing that you gave the homeschooling lady the wrong advice (to persevere). I am just having difficulty with the reasons you gave her. If you know of scriptures that support this standpoint, I would genuinely appreciate hearing them.

Jeannie Fulbright said...

What a great question, Tobias. I can see you are one that truly loves the Word of God and want to stay secure in the Truth. That is wonderful and I encourage you to continue that attitude. I also appreciate the questions, because they are valid and good.

Without writing an exegetical disdertation, let me simply lay out some Scriptures that will help you in your journey - with a tiny bit of commentary.

First, you asked if there is one perfect path. I do not know if there is "ONE" perfect path, but, as my post does say, I do believe God has a perfect path for you to walk. If we choose to turn our ear from the Lord, and walk our own path, then of course, we have not walked His perfect path - but we can always get back on the path God has for us - it won't ever be the same path that we would have walked had we been obedient to begin with because of the nature of choices and time. Here is some Scriptural support for the fact that God has a path upon which He wants to lead us:
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, plans for a hope and a future.
You were created for good works prepared in advance that you should walk in them. – There is a path we are designed to walk.



Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
(Each person is led in the way they should go - hopefully, you have seen this in your own life.)

I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. Psalms 16:7 (I, and many I know, find this to be true.)

Has not this come on you because you have given up the Lord your God, who was your guide by the way? Jer 2:17
(These people chose not to follow the counsel of the Lord.)

will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

There are many others, but these should help you see that God does have a specific path for us, individually, to walk.

You also asked about confidence and peace. God is a God of peace. Throughout Scripture, peace is promised to those who walk in the ways of the Lord. I do hope you have experienced this in your own life. However, here is some Scriptural support for you:

First, let me also point out that the Greek word Elpis – usually translated as “hope” - means a quality of hope that is intertwined with confident expectation. It’s a confidence that what you hope for will occur. The confidence that we have in Christ comes through knowing that He is our guide, and is leading us. It is the confidence we have as we abide in Christ. It’s a confidence that brings a quiet peace to your soul when you have been truly in relationship with Christ. The Scripture says it best:

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17

God does lead us with peace. If we are walking our own path, trusting in our own guidance, we will find a lack of peace to our lives. Most people have experienced this. Yet again, the Scripture says it best:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Jesus came to “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79

Knowing Christ brings peace, but we must continue in that relationship, continue to let Him guide us, counsel us and direct our steps if we hope to stay in that place of peace.

I hope that helps! Good questions! May God continue to bless you on your journey and may you experience the peace of Christ as you walk in the counsel of His will.

Blessings,
Jeannie