Monday, October 02, 2006

My Opinion

First of all...I'm about as surprised as I can be about the influx of comments on this particular topic, especially from people that I had no idea were readers. However, there are still some regular readers that haven't commented and I am very interested in hearing your opinions. (You know who you are.) Please don't refrain from comment because you feel this is now too hostile an environment.

I already knew that people feel strongly whether to homeschool or not and that was reiterated time and time again. People always feel strongly where their children are concerned and I am no exception. But I do not completely agree with any of you. And by "you", I even mean my own husband. It's no big leap to say that my opinion has changed recently and changed very drastically. To be completely honest, I know I would have never come to this conclusion if we hadn't moved here.

Believers are called to be a light to the world and bring people to the Lord. I firmly believe that this directive from Christ applies to children that are saved as well. How are we going to make a difference for Jesus if everywhere we go is bright and we are constantly surrounded by other Believers? Wives that stay home and homeschool their children aren't getting much time to spread the Word. We are surrounded by our children demanding our attention, surrounded by other Believers when we go to our homeschooling co-ops and our church groups and our Mom's Night Out organized by other Believers. A child can share the joy of knowing Jesus, too. Thank the Lord that Jesus didn't just socialize with his disciples and call it a day. Thank God that He saw fit to talk to the woman at the well and hang out with the lepers and the sinners, as well as other Believers. We are called to be Christ-like and there is nothing more Christ-like than loving other people, the unsaved and the saved, even when it's messy for us. That's what draws people to Christ. Being different. People can get condemnation and finger-pointing in the world. Christians are to be different.

Don't get me wrong. There was a time (about 10 days ago) when I was very pro-homeschooling. I thought that I needed to be the primary influence in their life because I thought that I could successfully protect them from every evil. If God can protect us and keep us safe in every other situation, then why can't we entrust our children to Him as well? I think if we address the idea of a heart change and not robotic obedience because of fear of punishment, our children will thrive and be a light, no matter where they go to school.

But my husband disagrees wtih me...greatly. You might even call it vehemently. It's not that it's a major issue right now (although it certainly feels like it) since our oldest daughter is just barely 2 years old. I can see one of two things happening here. Either we get on the same page and come to a decision, or this becomes a lesson in submission for me. I'm praying that we get on the same page because those submission lessons are never fun.

21 comments:

Lindsay said...

Wow! Georgia, I appreciate hearing your comments so much. This is something that I continually struggle with, and I do not know how to come to terms with it. I truly have been seeking the Lord about this very issue.

So, it looks like, if you homeschool, there are certain things that you need to be warned of - basically, don't become a hermit or forget our evangelistic responsibilities. If you send your children to public schoo, there are certain things that you need to be warned of.

So, wherever God leads us, we should all be supporting each other and equipping each other to handle these attacks and responbilities.

becki said...

I totally agree with you Georgia! Our children and ourselves need to be lights wherever we are. I hope that whatever answer God gives you will bring peace to your family.

I don't feel anyone was arguing NOT to homeschool in your comments. I think most Christians will support whatever decision God leads your family to make.

Anonymous said...

Don't be deceived. Just because your "light" world appears bright it may not be, and most times, really isn't. In Scripture, there is a significant preparation time prior to ministering and being among the unbelievers. Jesus spent 30 years with family preparing for his 3 year ministry. Thirty years of prep time for the one who came here specifically to save us. What other ministry has ever been so important? Was Jesus eight or 11 when he was with the woman at the well? Moses spent 40 years in the desert before leading the people out of Egypt. John the Baptist spent 30 years preparing for a 6 month ministry, and there have been none greater, born among men, than him. Paul spent years in the Arabian desert preparing for his ministry. Take your questions to all the scriptures, not just the ones that fit your own desires. I know it is hard and makes you feel useless to be at home all day long among those who can't even make a complete sentence but it is still our calling as mothers. I hate that you are struggling with this because I know that you were called to homeschool. I was there to watch you go through the anquish of opposing your families and their criticism. It was not my wish to drag you into homeschooling, and I don't feel that I did. My family ministered to yours by sharing with you what God had showed us through the years.

Anonymous said...

Most things in life are not about achieving absolutes but rather about managing risk. Homeschooling does not protect a child absolutely, nor guarantee any sort of outcome. Public school or private school have different risk profiles, but neither guarantee a bad outcome either.

I choose to drive a car with a 5-star safety rating because it better manages risk, even though the outcome of any given accident is in God's hands. I am not more trusting in God if I choose to drive a 2-star vehicle.

The real question is A) whether you believe homeschooling better manages the risks the culture presents to your children and B) whether the reduction in risk is worth the additional time investment required to homeschool. It's really a boring decision akin to buying life insurance (an investment in risk management) in my opinion, one that folks on both sides of the argument to to over-emotionalize and over-spiritualize.

Tom

without excuse said...

Tom, it is an obediance issue. God is not a CEO and the bible is not a company profile. SAT scores are not the be all end all of life. It boils down to obeying the word of God above all other, seemingly more rational and cultural biases.
Aaron

Lindsay said...

Tom, I appreciate your common-sense responses in the middle of all of this. I think there is a spiritual issue, but it does us good to be reminded that we can tend to get so emotionally involved that we begin to lose focus.

I think the biggest mistake we make many times is that we start debating in, as you said, absolute terms - certain that, what we feel God is leading us to do, He's also leading everyone else in the world to do. Same God, same path for everyone, right?

I don't think so - not all of His disciples went to the same places, lived the same kinds of lifestyles. I mean, how would John have felt, he wasn't even martyred. I guess he wasn't a good Christian, right?

My point is, everyone's coming at this with a different believe and perspective. I think that's God. He's made us all differently and living in different circumstances. He thrives on making miracles out of our everyday lives - wherever He has chosen to put us, and, often, even when we're in a different place than where He wants us.

That's my $.02.

Anonymous said...

Aaron,

It seems as if your position is that, in order to be obedient to God, parents must not only homeschool, but homeschool for God's reasons. Both of which are simply your opinion of Scripture.

Focusing on practical benefits that most of us can agree on helps remove the subjectivity- and can help people who are less strident in their views think about this issue without feeling attacked or condemned. I find most curious your contention that rationality, our Western culture and the Bible are somehow at odds. All truth is God's truth.

Tom

Pretty in Pink said...

Dear Anonymous,

By your logic, no one would be equipped to be a light to any unbeliever anywhere without full preparation. How can this be?

God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. From Moses right on down the line...

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (New International Reader's Version)


26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. He chose what is not considered to be important to do away with what is considered to be important. 29 So no one can brag to God.

30 Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God's wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31 It is written, "The one who brags should brag about what the Lord has done."—(Jeremiah 9:24)

Matthew 5:14-15 (New Living Translation)

14You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. 15Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.

Georgia, I will pray for you and Brian as you guys seek God and His will for your family. No one here can tell you what you should do, but everyone here should support you as you seek God for His desire for your family.

Love you girl!

Pretty in Pink said...

Quote (Tom)

It seems as if your position is that, in order to be obedient to God, parents must not only homeschool, but homeschool for God's reasons. Both of which are simply your opinion of Scripture.

You said that so much better and so much more concisely than I could have. I agree with you completely.

Anonymous said...

In terms of being prepared before being a light to unbelievers.....I think that in this context the issue is children. When surrounded by temptation and peer pressure children do not have the ability to "be the light to unbelievers". They are not spiritually mature enough to stand firm. Jesus was the only one who could resist temptation from the devil, and he did so with scripture. As adults we sometimes do not have the ability to stand firm, speak out etc. so we shouldn't be gullible enough to think that if we give our children exposure to church on Sunday/Wednesday and throw in some Awana verses that it is enough to make them "bulletproof" from the evils of the world. I wasn't the original anonymous poster so I don't know if this is what they meant or not but it is my .02
Cathy

Anonymous said...

In regards to Tom's quote (see above) ..Yes we feel in order to be obedient to God we must homeschool. While we feel everyone should homeschool, we have never insulted anyone who doesn't (see earlier post about encouraging and sharing resources with anyone interested). Keep in mind that anytime the Bible is being referenced some personal feelings/ideas will be presented (this includes preaching from the pulpit) as I believe God reveals things to us depending on where we are in life and on our spiritual walk. I believe that God has clearly shown our family things in scripture that have shaped our decision to leave the modern church, homeschool etc. Do we think we are morally superior, absolutely not. As far as God calling believers to different ministries, I agree with that - with the understanding that our first ministry as wives/mothers is to our husbands/children. That is very hard for me to accomplish if I am working out of the home and serving in various positions in the church. For me, homeschooling as many kiddos as God sees fit to bless us with and being a helpmeet to my husband (without excuse) is my only ministry. I think sometimes we feel like we have to be so involved in various (good) things so that we are viewed as good Christians (and not hermits) that we forget that it is okay to just be a keeper at home. Cathy

Pretty in Pink said...

quote:

While we feel everyone should homeschool, we have never insulted anyone who doesn't (see earlier post about encouraging and sharing resources with anyone interested). Keep in mind that anytime the Bible is being referenced some personal feelings/ideas will be presented (this includes preaching from the pulpit) as I believe God reveals things to us depending on where we are in life and on our spiritual walk.

See, I think this comment in itself could be insulting in that it seems to indicate that if someone does not feel led to homeschool that they are just "not there yet." Or that they are not spiritually sound enough or strong enough in their walk for God to have revealed this to them yet.

I hope you can see where I'm coming from. The fact that you say you think everyone should homeschool tells me that you feel your way (as revealed to you by God) is the only way. And this is just not true. I have no doubt that God has guided your family to the beauty and blessing of homeschooling.

But God will call other families in other ways. Neither you (nor I) are in a position to dispute that. It's not our place to say that everyone should homeschool anymore than it is our place to say that everyone should wear a dress to church on Sunday. I think this is where we get into very murky legalistic waters — and we have to be careful.

Legalism is a biting, stinging, hurtful weapon — and the devil will get his foothold in whatever way he can. Often the legalistic are the last to know.

I'm not suggesting that anyone here is legalistic, but I will say that many of the things I've read here have sounded like a man-made rule book — and is that not legalism by its very definition.

Look, I'm not trying to point any fingers. I've got my own issues that God is working with me on, and I always appreciate when people help me see where I've maybe missed the mark a little bit in my zeal to get where I'm going.

I plan to homeschool. I can't imagine anything changing my mind EXCEPT that I would never want to be associated with a group of people who condemn others for doing things differently than they do. And I feel that's what is happening here. I hope I'm wrong in that interpretation.

But seriously...go back and read your words. Do you really honestly think that those words would win anyone over to homeschooling? They are so imflammatory in places that it's unnerving.

I hope no one takes this as a personal insult. Because I don't even know who I'm writing to, but I can tell you that I'm only saying it because it's in my heart. I don't judge you or condemn you for your choices — but I do want to draw attention to some of your means of presentation and that they can be detrimental and hurtful.

That's all. I need to go to sleep.

So whoever you are...and maybe I know you, I'm not sure...it's wonderful that you've found the blessing of homeschooling and making your life a biblical model. this is my desire as well, and I hope despite our differences of opinions here that we can all count on each other for support in whatever ways God is leading us.

Thanks for listening. It's late, and I'm tired, and I have no idea if anything I just said made sense. But God love you anyway. :)

without excuse said...

Tom - yes, God is at odds with Western culture. Although God owes no one an apology, I heard a wonderful saying recently - If God approves of American values, then he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

I do feel that scripture dictates to homeschool, and to homeschool for the right reasons. If you are a mother or father, the bible clearly delineates roles and responsibilities. There are different roles of parents, the Church, and government. We have confused them to the point where parents are abdicating, goverments control all, and the "c"hurch is ineffectual.

If we adopt, people say good, God says good. If we adopt so that our 17 year old Korean daughter can work in a brothel to bring in money, people say bad, God says bad.

If I go to church, people say good, God says good. If I go to church to meet 'chicks', people say bad, God says bad.

The motives behind a life change are significant. I will allow that doing good things for bad, or not the best reasons is better than not doing them at all, in most cases, because it allows for positive change. But from what I have seen and read, to 'constantine' homeschooling will be the future papacy of it. to make it trendy and novel will bring it down, adulterate it, etc. I still think it is God's will for everyone to do it, that IS my interpretation, and others, and I stand by it.

Our kids are our mission field and until we conquer that one, others need to be put aside.

I shamelessly transcribed a poem from a vision forum CD while driving to the plant tonight. This encapsulates, to some degree, my feelings on this subject. Enjoy (forgive me Doug!)

More noble than the valiant deeds of shining knights of yore,
More powerful that all the plights that make rich men poor,
More kingly than an earthen throne or a lion with his pride,
Is he whose babes sleep well at night, sure daddy will provide.

There is a spirit in this land and Jezebel's her name,
She's calling you to leave your home for power, fun, and fame.
She wants your wife, your children too she'll never compromise,
Until your house is torn it two by listening to her lies.

Tho' hundred, thousand, million men fall prey to her lores,
And wives enmasse leave home in search of more fulfilling chores,
Tho' preachers praise and friends embrace her pagan plan of death,
Stand strong and girt you like a man, every blessed breath.

Stand strong O man of God to meet this noble call,
The battle's not new, you see, its been here since the fall.
Your wife is your helpmeet my friend, and not another man's
So care for her and keep her far from mistress Jezzie's plan.

Protect, provide, and give to her, your undivided life,
This is the dear one of your youth, your precious bride and wife.
And rally to those tiny ones, who trust you for their care,
A life time spent discipling them is a lifetime pure and rare.

For when they put their hand in yours the know a daddy's love,
You're showing them a picture of the Father from above.
So look not to worldly goals or gain, nor for your liberty,
Look only into their sweet eyes to find your ministry.

Devote your heart and sacrifice and make your manly mark,
There's none so great as he who finds his call as partiarch.

Pretty in Pink said...

Key words being: Your interpretation.

I agree with most of what you are saying about the ministries of mothers and fathers to their children.

But your presentation leaves much to be desired. I don't know you, Aaron, and I don't think you know me — so I hope you won't mind my thoughts here. It's just that I see or feel no love, no gentleness, no humility in your posts.

It seems that you are posting because you want to help — and I believe your motives are genuine and sincere. But I just wonder if anyone has been helped by the tone condemnation in these posts.

That probably sounds meaner on "paper" than it's intended...it's not intended to be mean or unkind in the least. But it's my honest feeling on the matter.

Anonymous said...

I do not think you know us, we were beginning to leave the church when you started attending. I think perhaps people are not used to hearing firm explanations/feelings based on scripture. Yes he was being firm (and yes it was out of love). People don't usually like to hear hard-hitting comments, we are so used to topical preaching, God loves you and can make your life better etc. (which before someone blasts me for those comments, Yes God loves all and Yes knowing Him definitely makes your life better - however, we are failing to truly reach people with the full truth. Yes, God loves you but He also judges! God is not always cutesy and nice. Accepting Christ doesn't necessarily mean your life will improve (trials and persecution WILL come). Anyway, I think it boils down to people not agreeing with our opinion. It's just that - OUR opinion. You don't have to like it/agree with it but you can't tell us it's the wrong opinion for US to have. We are not putting others down, we truly want to see people homeschool! We are not willing to water down OUR views on homeschooling (academics, future job prospects etc.) just to get people to "join the ranks of homeschooling" However, there are people who choose to homeschool for those very reasons - is that acceptable....for others - yes! For us...no! In regards to your comment, yes I feel our way is the only way - will I share it with others, yes. If they choose not to accept it will I condemn them, absolutely not. Homeschooling is obviously a passionate topic for a lot of people. We need to keep in perspective that everyone has different views on why it should be done/how they are going to do it/how long they will do it etc. BUT isn't it a wonderful thing that we are all choosing to do it because we love our children?! That commonality unites us! Cathy

Anonymous said...

Aaron,

When I refer to Western culture, I mean essentially the Christian culture of Europe and the United States before World War I (or the War Between the States, or wherever one chooses to draw the demarcation line of when things started getting worse).

I think we would agree on a lot of issues. I'm probably as far right as R.L. Dabney on this particular one.

I can agree in the abstract that, if everyone was as aware of the facts as we are, then it would indeed be a divine imperative to homeschool, but I would say working forward from general Biblical principles of providing for one's family, not the particular verse you cite out of Deutoronomy.

The problem is not everyone A) agrees with, B) is aware of, or C) shares the fundamental assumptions that we do. And since we are not Catholics, no one person has any legitimate authority over another to pronouce the other a sinner.

So instead of stating things in the affirmative for others, it is less offensive to state them in the abstract, or as applying to yourself. Even the apostle Paul, someone with infinitely more authority than either of us, often softened his message unless he was dealing with outright heresy (and I don't think that's what you're saying).

You've also got to remember that the Bible is abused as often as it is used correctly. I think a lot of people are defensive in a healthy way whenever someone starts to make arguments from the Bible that are new to them- if it weren't for this defense mechanism, we'd have to give every two-bit cult with a Bible verse a fair hearing.

There's a saying in legal circles when convincing juries- argue the facts first; if the facts are against you, argue the law; if the facts and the law are against you, pound the table. I think the facts are with us on homeschooling, and it's a stronger case with most people than one person's opinion of Scripture.

Tom

Lindsay said...

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

This quote from Paul may be what Tom was talking about. He did speak differently to different people because he truly cared about THAT PERSON - not what their life choices ended up being.

That may sound inflammatory. I understand that, when you love someone, you want the best for them. But it STARTS with the love - it doesn't start with their choices.

Many people say they "don't condemn" someone for the choices that they make. But what does it mean to condemn? Isn't it when you tell someone they are wrong, and that they are out of God's will?

There are so many different issues tied up in this one issue. But the bottom line is love. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples..." if you homeschool?

No, if you love.

Now, loving does mean wanting the best for people - and sometimes it is the best for people to hear something they don't like. But, unfortunately in this situation, I don't think this is the best forum for conveying love and concern. It's hard to deal with people when you can't really tell their emotions, and how they are receiving things.

It's our responsibility, not only to convey "truth", but also to be emotionally involved in how that truth is received. We don't just say it and go on about our business if we truly love. We wouldn't do that to our children. We want to say things in a way that they will understand. I think that's all that Tom is saying - speak their language.

Anyway, I think this is all I'll say on the subject. No one will change anyone else's mind, and anyone who was on the fence is already off the fence and running as fast as they can.

I am praying that the hearts of all of us will be united in our common goal: the welfare of our children, and, on a grander scale, society.

Anonymous said...

So, If we choose Public School we Do Not Love Our Children!!! How dare you Judge ME!

I Love my Children,very much and it angers me to think, that you call yourself a Christian, and you are already Condeming me for choosing Public School.

That's Great if you feel Led to teach your Children at home,and Most of my friends HomeSchool, and they have never ,ever made me feel indifferent about my Choice.

Your Comments about your View is "Everyone HomeSchool", or you are not a Adequite Parent....Stop! right there...You are crossing the line...We should support our Friends,Peers and our Fellow Christians Brothers and Sisters whether they choose to Homeschool or Not.
Obviously,I know where i stand!

Henchatter said...

I would like to Apologize to Cathy and Aaron as well as to Shannon and Jeff to the way I responded.

Yes! I was hurt by what you were saying,but instead of Being Christian like and trying to know your Heart,I responded in a Hurtful way, and I am Truly Sorry!

I just want to feel accepted,for who I am as a Person,Friend,Mother,and Christian Sister, not for choosing to Homeschool or Public School. So, Please I am asking for your Forgiveness....Kari

Pretty in Pink said...

(((((((Kari)))))))
That's me hugging you, sweetheart!

Granny said...

Wow, Georgia, this is he first time I've been to your site and reading through some posts - what a subject.

May I weigh in?

Our girls went to public school until 7th and 5th grades because I worked. Things changed. I began homeschooling because I could. I wanted to homeschool so that I never had to do another science project in my life (and we never did!)

Our decision to homeschool was based on our life at the times we had to decide (there were several of them as time went by) and we saw the needs of each one of our girls. One was homeschooled through graduation -- the other only until 11th grade when we allowed her to attend a private school. Each decision was made with much thought and prayer as to what was best for our girls and their future.

God led us each step of the way. Sometimes He said no to homeschooling and sometimes He said yes. We just said "Okay" and went with our instructions from Him.

We've had a fun life and though the results of education were everything we hoped for our girls, that wasn't the real measure of whether we followed God or not.

I encourage you to know your children - and ask God what He wants for you.