I was listening to a podcast recently from Homeschooling in Real Life that I found very convicting. It was about a homeschool mom who had fallen into the trap of legalism and what it did to her and her family. I highly recommend listening yourself. Here is one of the thoughts it raised in me and how I found it convicting…
Is homeschooling an idol? An idol is something that replaces God. Something that we put our faith in instead of trusting God alone. I homeschool because of God – how could it become an idol?
We all want our kids to walk with God. For many of us, that’s a big reason why we chose to homeschool to begin with – to remove them from the negative influences of public school until they’re mature enough to handle it, thereby increasing the likelihood of them walking with God.
That’s all true and good. We’re making the best decision we know how and following God’s lead in our lives. However, I think the problem can arise when we start to put our faith in homeschooling to save our kids. If I just homeschool them, they’ll turn out OK and be vibrant Christ followers as adults. I catch myself in this lie regularly!
Homeschooling may prove to be a vital thing in their lives that God uses to lead them to Christ and then grow them into mature Christians. But the point is that Jesus saves our kids. Not us. Not our homeschooling.
Some homeschooling kids turn out great, and some make a mess of their lives. Plenty of kids who grew up in horrible homes and went to public school end up as faithful Christians and plenty of them makes messes of their lives. Homeschooling is a great option, but it’s not a magic answer.
Jesus is the only answer.
I foresee at least two problems (although there are probably more) that could arise from trusting in homeschooling to save our kids. (In addition to the obvious that it’s sin to trust anything over God.)
1. If, at some point, homeschooling becomes not the best learning environment for our kids, for whatever reason, the tendency would be to feel as if we’re ruining our kids, disobeying God, destining them for disaster, etc. Every child is unique and every situation is unique. While I see homeschooling as a great option for all our kids right now, it may not always be. There could be many good reasons why a traditional school environment might be God’s will for a child for a time or permanently. We shouldn’t refuse to pray about that option because we believe that homeschooling is the only way our kids will turn out to be followers of Christ. We must obey God in all things, including our kids’ learning environment. Even if it may mean not homeschooling.
2. If we get too comfortable with the idea that homeschooling will get and keep our kids on the right track, it can be easier to neglect their spiritual formation. “I’m already homeschooling, so it will be OK.” We still need to be diligent to study God’s Word with them and more importantly (conviction here for me) model a Christ centered life to them. Spend time in worship, service, and showing them what it means to daily walk with God. They still need to make a personal decision to accept Jesus as their Savior and follow Him. I find myself busy filling their heads with knowledge about God, but I also need to show them how to follow Him.
Do you ever struggle with making homeschooling into an idol in your life?