A teacher stands at the head of a classroom. A preacher stands at the head of a chapel. They became teachers for the purpose of helping to guide kids and souls on their journey to the next place. As a homeschool teacher to 3 boys, I can testify that whether I like it or not, the learning is not in my control. I can not make my children learn something just because I teach it to them.
We memorize all the time. We memorize sayings and rhymes that help us in our Christian walk and also in our homeschool. But to really know something, we have to have an understanding, that it’s real. And why it is the way it is.
With the Lord, I spent many many hours reading books about the Bible, attending classes about books in the Bible, and reading the Bible, as if it were a collection of stories I needed to know well for a test. Then one day I had a teacher completely open up my eyes to Who the Bible was pointing to, the Christ. The beginning, middle, and end all point to Christ. And learning Christ in an organic setting helped me to get it, in my soul. I no longer had to know things because Christ was formed in me and He is also my future as I wait expectantly for the day I see the tangible Christ. Now when I read my Bible all I see is Christ. Christ is joy, Christ is hope, He is the fulfillment of the Word.
So as I look back at what I’ve “taught” the children so far, I have decided that there will be no more frustration on my part if they do not memorize a fact or the name of a word. My son knows the antonym of many words, he knows the synonym of many words. He knows the diagramming(my spell-check doesn’t even recognize the word diagramming, by the way) of a sentence. Yet when I ask him to write a list of synonyms for words on the page, or I ask him to diagram a sentence, he gets confused and asks what they are again. I remind him and he says, “oh good, that’s easy.” So, he knows the substance of what he’s to do, but He doesn’t know the technical name. He has an understanding of these concepts, but he has not memorized their names. Oh, how he would fail miserably on a school test, but he understands the material. To be frank, I needed to be reminded the names of certain concepts before we began and I LOVE to write. Goes to show that while good to know, not necessary to memorize.
Teaching is about a relationship between the teacher and the student. I think it’s much more important to observe the result from the student’s point of view; from the learning rather than the teaching. When describing a student’s newest achievement, tying shoe laces for example, it is more accurate to say that “she learned to tie her shoes”, rather than “I taught her to tie her shoes”. I many have shown her various ways, but it was she that picked it up and really learned to make it work.
Have you ever heard someone say that their child forgot so much of what they learned during summer break? I’ve said it myself. The thing is, if my kids had truly learned the subject, it is not something they forget.
When Chris and me moved from our organic church in Gainesville we were so afraid of losing the Christ that we had learned. The thing is, we didn’t learn Him. Our eyes had been opened and He had been revealed to us. There’s no going back from that. We didn’t learn about Him, we met the real person. We can’t un-meet Him. He’s living inside of us, hence the Holy Spirit, and constantly showing me where my identity lies. He reveals when I am looking and meditating on my flesh rather than on Him and He shows me when I am walking in the flesh, rather than walking in the Spirit. It’s so beautiful.
The proof that all of it was real… the church without a pastor, the meetings centered around Christ, Christ as our Head, and community life similar to what the early Christians had experienced… is that none of it was learned. It was all experienced and my DNA has been changed. I was not taught Him from a person or a Bible. Those were the times I learned about Him. I will say that one particular teacher was able to get through in areas that no one else had and I learned some of the more practical things of Christ.
I am grateful for the Christ that has allowed me to see Him, hear Him, and know Him by faith, and by His blood. I am thankful that when we truly learn something or someone, it won’t be forgotten over the summer. I am thankful for the journey, for He has shown Himself real through it all. Have a wonderful week!