Something many of you might not know about me is that our family took a three-year break from traditional institutional church. We did not take a break from loving the Lord. Our journey was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it was during that time we were able to let go of guilt, condemnation, and works-driven faith. In place of the religion, I became a better person who loved the Lord and found my freedom. Once detoxed from unfruitful and unbiblical practices, I was free to look at the words of Christ, and they were no longer a burden. The model of church that we follow is not as important as the life we live today. And that is a life with Christ at the center of our home.
Christ says “to observe all things whatsoever I have taught you”- both in the gospels of Mark and Matthew. Christ is so beautiful, so loving, and He is wisdom Himself. So when Christ says something, I listen. Getting to know the Lord’s nature, I can see that He never shares wisdom with the intent of burdening me. But since He is the Master of my universe, when He shares wisdom and life it’s in order to help me in this time I am given in the natural world. Every word He has shared with the world has merit.
He said to observe many things, look out and be on watch for many things, and to be fruitful. Out of love for Him and reverence for His wisdom, I would like to begin observing His words of wisdom for how to live righteously. He lives in me via the Holy Spirit so I have the strength to live the righteous life. The Lord has not been silent on the matters of spiritual mentoring, worldview training, and character development. We each have our own personal spiritual parenting convictions, wisdom we have received from the Lord and His prompting in our hearts. I would like to share a very specific belief that we’ve taken on which has made a huge difference in our home.
I am on course to raise my children with the expectation that they are going to make a difference. The Lord has given them gifts and they are not going to bury them in the sand and waste the talents meant to bring glory to the kingdom. I want them to impact the world. My spiritual mentor, Buzz (he’s also someone many of my readers know personally so I keep his name a secret) has said recently in an interview that “The purpose of a church has always been to bring more people into a relationship with Christ, just as Christ purposed in His earthly ministry. His purpose is to bring together, reconcile and unite all people to Himself. It’s that species of sectarianism that the Lord had in mind when He said that ‘He who is not with me is against me'”.
I don’t want to set my sights so low that my boys care more about getting to the next level on a video game than they do about impacting our world, or even building the next great home invention for that matter. We have all kinds of home-made games and gadgets lying around the house built out of interest, time, and access to things other than mindless entertainment. Not all video games are bad, some are extremely creative and educational, but since I don’t know the difference, we avoid them until I get a chance to check them out. Right now, they don’t play any and I am very strict with it. They are also limited in what and when they can watch television. Weekdays are out of the question, unless it’s a special day, like when I had surgery and they crawled in bed with me to watch cartoons.
Homeschooling is not an automatic guarantee that children will go out and change the world, but my goal is to raise a generation of Dukes/Leber boys who will glorify God and make a difference for Him. More than seeking other things, other ways of gratification, or glory to themselves. I don’t want them to be self-absorbed like I was. I don’t want them to care about fitting in like I did.
The Lord gives direction and wisdom all throughout the good Book. So much of its wisdom is revealed slowly as we mature and our eyes are opened to what He is saying to us. Many of the letters in the NT are for the church as a whole. Not one letter was written to a pastor, but rather to communities of people who lived in a city. The gospels are so precious in that we get a glimpse into what the Lord said with His words. The OT is a picture of Christ and is valid today. I am learning more about who I am and who He is, in this chapter of my life, simply by reading the Old Testament with spiritual eyes revealed.
The Bible is not a tool for telling us “how to live”. Not for our family. The Bible is a precious blessing that gives me practical wisdom straight from heaven and is untainted with human agenda and manipulation, which I’ve sometimes gotten in place of Christ when I relied on other Christians exclusively for His wisdom. I can’t exclusively rely on the Christ inside of myself, because the heart is easily deceived and it’s a clear that I alone can not possess all of Christ. I am simply a portion.. The Christ inside of me, the Holy Spirit, has led me to lonely places. It has been for His glory and often times I was not popular with sharing His wisdom or prophesy. I want my children to know that Lord. The one who doesn’t ask us to click with people, but rather love them with unyielding, forgiving, sacrificing love. A love that looks outward and is designed to make whatever He touches better, or at least honest. I want them to know that the right road is a narrow road and doing the right thing, doing what will best edify, magnify, and express Christ, isn’t a popular road to travel. But I never for one second regret any of it.
The latest lesson in our christian teaching is found in Matthew 7:12, which says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s a lesson inspired by the arguments they have between themselves. Christ is so darn practical. We explore Christ in what was going through His mind when He said these words. Who was He with? What was happening when He said these words? Do we think He knew we would read them today? How is this a summary of all that was taught in the law and the prophets? We’ve been sitting on this for a bit. The other night my husband began to hide the word about worrying, and why it’s of no use to worry. The kids were worried about something and the words of Christ soothed their fear.
It’s nice. For a long time I had set the Bible down in order to know Christ without it. It was a needed and valuable time, but I was never meant to put it down permanently. I may not use a specific Bible curriculum (I actually use different ones here and there), but the words of Christ are enough and I don’t need a curriculum. Christ said to hide the Word in our hearts and the beautiful mystery revealed is that He is the Word and He has hidden Himself in our hearts when we allowed Him in. He is very clear in the words He used in Matthew 7 when He says that the decisive issue is whether they (we) obey the Father in heaven. Not all people who refer to Him as Lord will enter heaven, but those who obey the Father in Heaven will. So is this for judgement or condemnation purposes? No. It’s wisdom. We obey because His life is inside and He obeys. We can share the practical and life-giving wisdom He has provided us. We can share the wisdom of obedience and disciplines and celebrate them because we are not under the law, but under grace. And He will know who we are by our actions, which flow from our heart, on judgement day. Did we live for ourselves? Did our children end up living for themselves?
This blog is a bit of a two-parter. The Bible is some great parenting advice and more importantly, it is the Words of Christ recorded on paper and completely inspired by the Holy Spirit. While it is good to set the book down for a period of time, it is dangerous, as a Christian, to lessen its importance and relevance. If only for the wisdom, I am grateful for the Word and special understanding He gives in my homeschooling. It is my guiding light in a world of darkness. Beware of those who claim that the Bible is anything else. False prophets are not easy to spot. Nobody willingly becomes fooled. It’s only after a slow gradual shift in thinking that we come to believe some crazy things. And then one day I stepped back and realized that I don’t believe that the Word of God, the Bible, is not needed. I believe that it’s not only needed in my life, but invaluable for homeschooling, and it was the Lord’s leading that led me to that conclusion.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful homeschooling week my friends!
With Love, Sunshine, and Joy, your Friend,