Life (including Homeschooling) Is All About God
The way to prevent that is to show our children with our own life and our own conversation that everything revolves around God and His glory. Remember that we are just one family among many that are trying to serve God around the world. Our children’s lives must be oriented toward this principle of “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God alone be the glory!). That’s important!
As homeschooling parents our lives are exposed to our children. They know a lot about us and they are greatly influenced by our character, habits, decisions, likes and dislikes. On the one hand, this is good because as we live out our faith, as we learn to obey God and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, not only in good times but also in bad times, our children will catch much of what we want them to learn from us, that is, that life, as a battle, must be lived coram Deo (in the face of God), by the grace and power of God, and for the glory of God. Our children must understand that we can’t live life on our own strength but must depend on God all the time. He alone gives us the grace and power to live a God-glorifying life.
Yet on the other hand, this is also scary especially when they see a lot of our hypocrisy and laziness and inconsistencies and anxieties and uncontrolled temper and other bad habits. It’s humiliating to see that as homeschoolers we see a lot of our sinfulness, bad tempers and laziness and lack of zeal in our children.
This is not of course a hopeless situation. We learn a lot from our mistakes and so we try to address the matter by talking to our children, confessing our sins and weaknesses to them and pointing them to the ultimate solution to our sin-problem and our perfect life-example of all, our Lord Jesus Christ.
So our children must learn and see from us – fathers and mothers – that the most important thing in their lives is to do what God wants us to do: to live for His glory and to serve and worship Him with gladness in their hearts. Worship is the most important thing. And the apex of all of that, at least in this life, is public worship – the gathering of God’s people in His presence every Lord’s Day. Corporate worship where God is greatly delighted in meeting with His people, renewing covenant with them and ministering to His saints, is the highest point of all our worship.
So our children must know from our lips, from our prayers and from our life-example so that when they go up to God’s house of worship this is the highlight of the week. This is a grand and glorious time of encounter with the Almighty God. And God is going to be speaking to us. That’s a great thing!
But they must also know that when they do school, every day and every class hour is to be lived to the glory of God. They are to use their mind to the very best of their abilities not just to get good grades to impress father and mother, so they can look through report card and say, “That was great son!”, but more so to use their mind and intellect to the best of their ability because they are to glorify God.
So this is a battle – trying to move our children away from selfishness to God-centeredness. But when we persevere and God, by His grace, comes and works in and through our children then we begin to see the real fruits of homeschooling. They say something like this to us, “Papa (or Mama), is this the right thing for me to do? Will this be pleasing to God? I’m not really sure if this glorifies God.”
When we hear our children say things like this, we could really thank the Lord for His gracious work in our children’s lives. That’s joy in every parent’s heart – when he hears his children say something like, “Papa, I want to live my life for the glory of God!”
Ultimately you and I do not matter that much to it, that we get what we want or we get our way. We all live for the glory of God. We leave fruits behind for God’s glory. And when we remain faithful to that calling we could hear Him say in that great day, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” That’s everything! That’s fulfilling!
(Thanks to all my fellow homeschoolers here and there, as well as to many speakers and authors on family life, marriage, childrearing and homeschooling who have taught me a lot and helped me put this article together.)