A Homeschooling Parents' Advantage

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus, the God who commanded these words to his people in the Old Testament is the same God that we worship and serve today. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, this God has become our God. And by faith in him, we become His people.

So these words are his commands for us. And the essence of God's command is this: Since the LORD is our God - and we ought not to have any other gods - and since we belong to him by virtue of saving us and loving us in our Lord Jesus Christ, God wants us to love him wholeheartedly. God wants us to be loyal to him as his own people.

One way of showing our love and loyalty to him is to love the children he has given us. Fellow parents, our children are inheritance from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Our children belong to God first and foremost. He entrusted them to us in order to raise them up and nurture them the way He would nurture them. Children, you belong to God first and foremost.

Do you understand the implication of this truth? God is saying, "You are mine. Your children are mine. I love you and I want you to love me with all your life. Love me by loving the children that I gave you."

And how do we show our love for the children that God has given us to nurture? By teaching them everything that he has commanded us to do. When and where do we teach our children God's commandments? When we sit comfortably in our home. While we walk on the street. While we lie down on our bed. At the dining table. While we drive our car. While shopping or doing our grocery. While on vacation. In the morning or in the evening. At noon time. All day long and all the time.

So godly instruction begins in the home but does not end there. It also flows over into a life under the Lordship of Christ in every aspect and sphere of life. In the home the children are taught the basic principles of how to seek the will of the Lord and how to please him.

Someone rightly said, "History proves when the family is sound, both Church and society flourish. The family is the foundation of human society. Give us thus [faithful Christian] families and the Church [and society] will prosper. Otherwise we will certainly face a dark future."

As homeschoolers, we are on the best position to obey this command of the Lord. We really are. Why? We have our kids with us at home most of the time. We see them always. And that's a wonderful blessing that homeschooling brings us. And we thank the Lord for that!

Do we always have the opportunity to teach them? Opportunity? Yes! But do we always take those opportunities? I doubt it! I always fail with my responsibility to teach them. There are times that Facebook is more appealing to me than teaching or spending time with my children. Now you know that I'm an ordinary parent like you. I have my own weaknesses. We all have and we don't pretend. We learn to admit and confess them.

But the thing is, we don't give up teaching our children in spite of our failures. We also admit our sin and weakness and ask for the Lord's forgiveness. And by the way, since failures and frustrations are pretty much part of our life here on earth, we teach ourselves, and our children as well, to accept them and deal with them in a godly way.

We tell our children that even if they fail once, twice, or many times, they don't give up. Rather, we turn to God again and again through our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who humble themselves before God, no matter how many times they fail or fall, are pardoned and accepted by God because of what Christ has done in our behalf.

Today and tomorrow are opportunities to show our children and our brothers and sisters in Christ the love of God in us. Right here. If we truly love God the way Christ loved us by giving up his life for us, we will also be willing to love others, even to give up our comforts and rights, for our children, for our fellow homeschoolers, for our friends and neighbors, and most of all, for the sake of God's kingdom and for the glory of God.

Remember: the Lord is our God. And we belong to him. Let us give others the opportunity to see our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives today, tomorrow, and the rest of our lives.

(A devotional talk given at the opening of our "Yes! You Can Homeschool" Conference at the NCCC Mall Davao on November 19-20, 2016).

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