Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: parenting

christian parenting

Last month, David and I were privileged to go see “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,” which if you haven’t heard about it yet, is a movie about the impact Mr. Rogers had in a specific journalist’s life. As I sat there watching, I couldn’t help but wonder what our families, churches, and communities would be like if we all took some lessons from Mr. Rogers’ playbook.

There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. ~Mr. Rogers

Throughout the movie, we get glimpses of what drove Fred Rogers, what made him unique, and how his worldview impacted generations of children. I learned a lot about Mr. Rogers that I never knew– and I learned a lot of lessons through the movie that as a Christ follower should be evident in my life each and every day– and gives us some great lessons to pass on to our children by modeling them in our own life.

People Matter.

David and I often discuss that as part of our family “code.”  People matter. It’s no wonder that the second part of the greatest commandment was loving people.

Mr. Rogers cared deeply about people. I mean DEEPLY.  I sat there weeping as I watched even the throwback moments to his own show, through my now adult lens. A big part of the mission of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was to help children develop emotionally and help them learn to deal with all kinds of feelings– and he tackled some deep, dark feelings with them, too.

As a man, he showed that same level of concern by investing in the lives of others on a daily basis. He cared. He prayed. He checked up on. He displayed the love of God to everyone with whom he came into contact. I sat there thinking that I wanted to be just like him in those ways.

So, how can we as parents model that people matter for our children? It’s easy, really, if you are tuned in to the opportunities God gives you each and every day.

  • Reach out to those you know are lonely and hurting.
  • Take a meal.
  • Visit a shut-in.
  • Ask questions when you’re talking to someone to let them know that you are truly interested in them.
  • Follow up on things you’ll say you’ll do.

Our children see all these little things and more– and all of these can be done at every stage of life you find yourself in.

Kindness Matters

We teach our children from a very young age to be kind to one another. Over and over, we quote Ephesians 4:32, stressing the importance of kindness. We talk about how God wants us to be kind even to our enemies…. But do we actually take the time to practice this virtue in our adult lives? Mr. Rogers is noted as having said, “Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Sounds easy, right- one kind word. We all know what an impact that one kind word could have on someone– a simple acknowledgement of their value could make all the difference in the world to them.

Titus 3 reminds us that it was “when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us… because of His mercy.” When such overwhelming kindness was shown to us, how could we not show kindness day in and day out to those made in the image of our loving God? How many hearts could be softened and lives changed  if we did? (And that includes kindness and civility online, too.)

I live in the South, so we all tend to speak to one another, but one of my favorite things about taking walks in my neighborhood are those small interactions with people. My spirit- and I hope theirs- is always lifted after we chat about how good their yard looks or what’s happening in their family. It certainly doesn’t take any training or an extreme amount of effort to display kindness to those around us.

Gratitude Matters

I’d like to give you all an invisible gift. A gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today. Mr. Rogers

Gratitude is a starting point. It’s not a reaction to something, but rather, it’s a frame of mind, a way of living, and it’s sadly becoming a lost art in a world that always wants more or wants something or someone else.

Taking the time to be grateful for all that God has given you. All the people that have invested in you. All the individuals who together have been used to make you who you are today is a stunning exercise to go through, and I highly encourage you to do so (would be a great exercise at your Thanksgiving table this year!!) One of the most stirring moments in the movie happens when Mr. Rogers encourages journalist Tom Junod to do this exercise at a restaurant– and the entire dining room full of people engages in it as well. (You can get a sneak peek of that scene in this video clip, starting around the 3:14 mark.)

Let’s model for our children a heart of gratitude. Let’s not miss the small blessings or the big ones. Let’s be thankful for the people God has brought into our lives, and let’s set out to use kindness to show those we come in contact with that they matter to us and to our Heavenly Father. Just think of what a Beautiful Day it would be if we all did.

My Thoughts On A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood Movie:

I admit to being a little shocked by the movie at first, for I went in expecting to see a play on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood– simple, sweet, “feel good-ish.” Early in the movie, though, I was confronted with a darker reality– grown up problems, anger, unforgiveness. The “neighborhood” I was expecting looked very different than what I imagined it would, and for that reason, I wouldn’t recommend taking your children to see it.

After I digested the emotions and thoughts I had at the end of the movie, though, I realized that I truly believed that every adult would benefit from seeing it. The themes of kindness and love that are so prevalent within the film are critically needed in society today, and I love that they are there to extend the legacy left behind by this man who loved God and  about whom I have never heard one bad thing.

While I would not deem this a “Christian” movie, per se, there are overwhelming biblical themes running through it that should be both a reminder and cause conviction for us as believers if we are not living them out in out day to day lives.

I highly recommend you grab your spouse and head out for a date night. Some of the movie will be hard to watch, but so much will be encouraging as you see the power of love, investing in others’ lives, gratitude and kindness play out on the big screen. I imagine, like me, you will leave wanting to be a lot more like Mr. Rogers in the days ahead.

Click here to get your tickets for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood which opened in theaters on November 22, 2019.

 

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Family Conference

We are so excited about next week’s Online Family Conference! It is Jam Packed with incredibly helpful and practical information for your family, and we invite you to join us there, because all of us can benefit from taking a little extra time during this busy season of the year to invest in the relationships and functions that mean the most to all of us.

Homeschooling impacts every relationship in a home. And, with the Holidays, and the busy-ness that comes with them upon us, we are offering our Homeschool Family Virtual Summit now to help you get ready.

Click here to take advantage of the early bird $19 Rate!!

Check out a sampling of the workshops you’ll find in the online family conference:

  • Rethink Your Perseverance: Parenting Even When You Don’t Want To
  • Family Wellness Principles
  • Protecting and Praying for our Marriage
  • Raising Children of Promise
  • Keeping it Simple in Your Home: Less Clutter and More Joy
  • Hope for Moms with Chronic Illness
  • Parenting for the Heart (And Speech) of your Child
  • Internet Age Parenting
  • Holiday Homeschooling: Marriage Edition
  • Time Saving Strategies for a Busy Homeschool Household
  • The Family That Reads Together Stays Together
  • Delighting In Your Kids Instead Of Dealing With Them
  • Be Financially Responsible Now So You Can Live the Life You Want!
  • Rethink Your Marriage: A Look At Something We So Often Overlook
  • Family Traditions
  • Marriage and Relationships in Homeschooling
  • Homeschooling in the Hard Times
  • Homeschooling With Unit Studies
  • Work from Home Without Having to Sell a Thing
  • Strategies for Keeping Your Temple in Tip Top Shape
  • 3 Must-Have Tools That Help Me Get Stuff Done
  • What I Would Stress Less About- Reflections from a “Retired” Homeschool Mom
  • How and Where to Look for Work from Home Jobs
  • Why Don’t your Kids Act Like Homeschoolers?
  • 3 Must-Have Tools That Help Me Get Stuff Done
  • True Confessions of a Classroom Teacher Turned Homeschool Mom
  • A Family Transformed by The Word
  • 5 Keys to Parenting Special Needs Kids
  • Creating an Environment for Family Conversations
  • Clash in Your Home: A Game Plan for Cleaning Up the Conflict
  • Making Memories in Your Homeschool
  • Finally!–The Perfect Schedule for Your Homeschool Family
  • Cultivating Marriage while Parenting Special Needs
  • Homeschooling Kids of Multiple Ages…Without Losing Your Mind
  • How To Avoid The College Scam
  • Preschool Should Be FUN!
  • Adult Children with Autism: Letting Go while Holding On
  • Your Identity is Not What You Do, But Who (and Who’s) You Are
  • Don’t Know What to Major In Or what Your Passion Is? Here are some great tips to help you figure that out!

And there are even more than that for you to choose from and enjoy any time you want to!

So, click here to secure your ticket for LIFETIME ACCESS to the online family conference, call your spouse, and find some time to cuddle up together and invest in your family now!

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Today’s culture would like for us to believe that it is normal for siblings to not get along and not like each other. This is readily seen in the media. Rarely do movie or television siblings treat one another with respect and affection. They are usually fighting, yelling, name-calling, or belittling each other with mocking, sarcastic, and even hateful remarks.

This sort of behavior has not only become accepted in many homes, it has become expected. It is viewed as normal. However, Jesus commands us to “love one another” and to “put others above ourselves.” The sibling relationship is the best place to begin instilling these principles. Brothers and sisters who are trained to treat one another with respect and love will not only enjoy closeness during the growing up years, but will also delight in a well-nurtured, stronger relationship in adulthood. Rather than merely playing referee, here are some practical ways parents might encourage their children in a well-balanced friendship:

Have a “Serving the Other” Day

Talk about how Christ did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Let your children experience the joy of serving by thinking up three to five ways to serve their sibling one day each month. If needed, develop a list of ideas for “serving the other” day from which they can choose. It could be simple acts of kindness such as making sister’s bed, offering to let brother sit in the front seat with mom even though it is not his turn, or doing the other’s chores.

Make it fun. Let the child who is serving pick his/her own day and try to surprise the sibling with each task. In order for the one being served to fully enjoy the pampering, make sure the children play “server” on different days. If there are many siblings in the home, you could add to the fun by drawing names and trying to serve without the other finding out who the server is.

Teach Them to Support One Another

Require siblings to attend one another’s special events. If Hunter is playing his trumpet at a beginner band concert, attendance should not be an option for his brothers and sisters.  If Amy is performing at a ballet recital, her siblings should be there to support her with cheers. Prompt your children to encourage and build one another up verbally when they are young and it will become a precious habit as they grow.

Our daughter has been involved in theatre since she was young, and our son was required to attend all of her performances. When she was a senior majoring in theatre at University of Alabama, it melted my heart that her twenty-three-year-old brother chose to attend every performance he could, even Shakespeare. He would stand in the lobby after a Shakespeare play waiting for her to change and come out so he could tell her how amazing she was, although he didn’t have the foggiest idea of what had happened on stage. Why? Because the sibling love and support that was cultivated at a young age had blossomed into a strong and rewarding relationship in adulthood.

If your children are older and struggle with supporting one another, it’s never too late to start encouraging them. Have a talk with them about developing their friendship and go over the new expectations as a family. There may be some initial complaining, but as they begin to enjoy the new support from one another, even if it is forced for a while, they will grow to appreciate a stronger, more loving relationship.

Teach Them to Prioritize Their Friendship

It is fun to include non-related friends on outings sometimes, but if it is a prerequisite for your children’s enjoyment then it should be avoided until it is not. Don’t feel obligated to always take a friend along. Unity is cultivated on outings where siblings enjoy adventures and time together. Always taking a friend can hinder your children from bonding with each other, and cause them to become overly dependent on peers.

When my children were young, we often invited their friends over. However, I pulled the privilege of time with friends several times over the years in order for my children to focus on their own friendship. I remember a phase my son went through where he was belittling almost everything his sister said and not speaking to her with respect. We discussed his wrong attitude toward his sister, and I said, “Alex is your best friend, yet you don’t seem to be enjoying her like you do your other friends. Until you can speak to her kindly and treat her with respect, you will lose the privilege of spending time with other friends.”

Each time I cut back on their time with friends, requiring them to focus on the priority of their sibling friendship, it never took more than a couple of weeks for them to gain a new appreciation for one another. Instilling a “best friend” mentality and requiring uninterrupted time together until there is an attitude change is not punishment. It is pro-actively training them to keep their relationship right.

Guide Them to Settle Conflict

If arguing and bickering is a problem, you might have them go in separate rooms (doesn’t have to be bedrooms if they share) and not come out until they have done two things:

  1. Be willing to confess their own fault in the argument. This is teaching them to take ownership and seek forgiveness for their own wrongdoing rather than selfishly dwelling only on the wrongdoing of another. Jesus challenged us: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).
  2. Write down (or think of) something positive about their sibling and be willing to share it when they come out. This is teaching them to control their thought-life in the midst of conflict by thinking on what is “excellent” and “praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8) rather than stewing over the details of the argument.

Pray for God to give you wisdom as you encourage your children’s friendships. Look for ways to encourage them to love and support one another. Naturally, siblings are going to argue and get on one another’s nerves from time to time, but it is important that we proactively cultivate unity and friendship. After all, there is no longer lasting relationship than that of siblings, typically lasting long after the parents have gone and long before spouses and children come along. Therefore, it is a lifelong friendship that should be respected, nurtured, and cherished.

For more information on cultivating unity among siblings, order Ginger’s new book I Can’t Believe You Just Said That: Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child’s Tongue This revolutionary book lays out a practical, three-step plan to help parents reach beyond the behaviors with which siblings struggle—such as tattling, bickering, and blame-shifting—to address their hearts.

Ginger Hubbard, bestselling author of Don’t Make Me Count to Three, Wise Words for Moms, and I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, speaks at women’s events, parenting conferences and home school conventions across the country. Visit her website at www.GingerHubbard.com

Be sure to make your plans to hear Ginger at Teach Them Diligently 2020!

Looking for extra help in refining your focus as a parent? Download our free prayer guide for our children and walk through the accompanying email series. By praying a specific scripture each day for your children, you’ll be amazed at how much God will grow you and them through the process. Go to www.teachthemdiligently.net/pray to download yours today.

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Things don’t always go as we want them to. Bad things happen and always will. Companies close. People move. What we once held dear can be taken away from us. It is how we react to those things that gives us great insight into where our heart is and how we find our identity, for as one of the characters in the new movie Overcomer notes, ” Your identity is tied to whatever you give your heart to.” He goes on to note that, “Something or someone will have first place in your heart. When you find your identity in the One Who created you, it will change your whole perspective.”

I’ll let that last statement sink in a bit.

In a world that seems to have lost its mind and all sense of reason regarding the concept of identity, Overcomer gives hope! There is a solid foundation in which we can find our selves, our worth, and our future. We cannot allow our past to define us or hold us back, for we are offered forgiveness freely from the only One Who is able to change us from the inside out.

Your family really does need to see Overcomer movie, which opens in theaters today! There are great messages there for one and all.

  • Your children need to see it, for there are lessons presented to them as they watch young Hannah Scott learn who she truly is by digging into God’s Word. We are excited to be able to offer you a great resource to help you talk to your kiddos about this issue. Click here to download it now.
  • Mom and Dad, you need to see it. I actually texted David as I watched it, since he wasn’t with me at the time, to ask if they had been living with us. This movie explores some of the stress points you may have experienced as you seek to serve God together. There is some great insight for all families offered there.
  • Your unsaved friends need to see it! Invite them to join you. It’s a very good story, and they will absolutely hear the gospel presented clearly and with great relevance during this movie.
  • Your discouraged Christian friends needs to see it. Their hearts will be encouraged as they begin to look beyond today to see what God is doing– and to remember what He has already done.

So, what are you waiting for? Download your discussion guide, purchase your tickets, and take your family to the movies this weekend. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on it!

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Peaceful Sleep

Those of you who have been a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for any length of time, have probably heard me talk about how I used to set scripture to tune as I was teaching my children. We used to sing scripture to help memorize it, to learn the principles of it, and so much more.

One of the songs we sang almost every single day while they were growing up (and even sometimes now that they’re older,) is a tune I made up for Psalm 4:8. That verse starts, “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep…” I would sing that every night with each child individually to help calm their heart and point them to the One Who is able to keep them safe and to help them sleep in peace. It’s very much a part of the tapestry of our family.

This week, I was thinking of how easy it is for us moms (and dads!) to comfort our kiddos with verses like that. We can assure them that the boogie man won’t get them, and there is no monster hiding in their closet. (My youngest used to call those the “Spookies”… :) ) We parents faithfully point their little hearts to their loving Heavenly Father Who promises never to leave them and to keep them safe. It’s easy for us to wrap our heads around that.

But, is it easy for us to remember that and apply it to our concerns as well? Can I sing to myself “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep…” as confidently as I sing it with my children? I am facing “spookies” of a different kind. There are bills to be paid, more to do than there is of me, and stressors that threaten to take my breath away if I dwell on them.  For some, there are serious health issues, economic issues, or relationships that seem completely out of control. How can we possibly lay down in peace and sleep?

The answer is found in the last part of that verse (and consequently our little Nunnery-song…) “For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.”  Only by focusing on the God Who is able to make me dwell in safety can I truly lie down in peace and sleep. Only by trusting in His love and His power can I find sweet rest. Only in submitting myself to his plan and purpose can I find the repose to lie down in serenity.

So, I wonder, Mom and Dad, are you able to sing that song with me? Are you able to lie down in peace and sleep; knowing that the God of the Universe, Who loves you so much He sent His only Son to earth to make a way for you to live eternally, is taking care of you and making you able to dwell in safety? If not, I urge you to spend some time in His Word this evening, reminding yourself of Who He is. Perhaps a quick trip to Psalm 4 is a good place to start. :)

Joining You In This Journey!
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I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that TONIGHT is your final opportunity to purchase a ticket to this year’s Back2Homeschool virtual conference. Lifetime access to all the workshops listed there is available for only $25, but it goes away overnight. The first workshop is one that I did on the Heart of Your Homeschool, which I pray will be a great encouragement to you– helping you refocus and refine your vision for this new homeschool year. I sure would love for you to check it out. Click here to secure your ticket now before it’s too late. 

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Depending on who you ask or reference…approximately 60% to 80% of young people from Christian families are leaving the church once they graduate high school.  

Many Christian families look at these numbers with trepidation.

Some think that whether their children become a statistic or not is completely out of their control. We are all observant enough to perceive that there are a lot of big churches out there that are empty on Sundays. We notice that the church in America seems to be shrinking and not growing. Some adults have even accepted this idea of the prodigal son or daughter as being a part of growing up where we can expect children to leave the church for a time.

All of us who went to a secular college or university went through the gauntlet of a bitter professor that spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince young Christians that there was no God. I was one of these young people that went through his teenage years in a church-going home, never believing, and fleeing the church the first opportunity I received. I didn’t believe in Christ when I arrived at college and while I was there one of these professors simply gave force to the beliefs already bouncing around my head. By college, I had already veered off the course my family preached.

I was no longer willing to check the same boxes as my family…

These larger statistics of young people leaving the church and the antidote to this trend is the answer to why we believe these events are so important.

I want to give you a quote that is foundational to the mission of Teach Them Diligently. Make no mistake, we are a homeschool convention, but we are also much more! Teach Them Diligently has a mission tied closely to the Great Commission that we believe will turn the tide of young people leaving the church.

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are!”

If you have been around Teach Them Diligently for a while (this is our 8th year producing events,) you have heard me say this from the main stage at one point or another. Keep reading because I will tie that quote into the larger mission, but first, another story connected to a good friend of ours.

Once as I was reading Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham, I noticed how he described how separated our families are now.  He points out that a typical Christian family will send their children to a traditional school for 8 hours a day while the parents head to work. The mom and dad often get home late, and the children are generally participating in extra activities like cheerleading, sports, clubs, etc. Once everyone finally comes home, they scarcely ever eat a meal together. The children will do homework and study for tests while parents watch television or whatever.  Then, they go to church, and it is worse. They go to Sunday School separated by age and then on to children’s church. The church is filled with programs broken down by age so the families seldom worship together in the same room or even sit together. Many young children never witness their parents actively participating in worship.

Did you know that the average father or mother only spends 34 minutes per day with their children?

When I saw this, my immediate thought was that this was the answer…! This is the reason that so many of our children are running from the church when they leave the home.

In Deuteronomy 6 God gives a very direct and specific plan to the Israelites about how to pass down their faith in God to their children. He does not say create this institution or find a youth pastor or find a good school. Instead He directly instructs the parents. He tells them how and what to teach. We will unpack this a little more in an upcoming article.  However, what I want to focus on right now is that God instructs the parents to teach them.

Now, some of you are reading this and thinking that I am demonizing all schools, youth groups, and Sunday School programs. I am not!  What I am saying is that there are a lot of parents that are anxious to throw their children to churches and schools to disciple and educate them. They are outsourcing!

So many parents do not even realize that they are the ones God has directed to pass down a love and belief in the redemptive work of Christ.

Homeschooling is not a checkbox! You don’t suddenly start homeschooling and your children become smarter and more spiritual than everyone else.  At Teach Them Diligently, we are adamantly opposed to diminishing a Life with Christ to a series of checkboxes.

The truth is that our children need their parents. They need parents to invest in them and engage.

It is very possible to engage in discipling your children and still send them to public or private school. However, I do think it is harder, but definitely possible! I know a lot of children that love the Lord in public and private schools.

We (Teach Them Diligently) are advocates for homeschooling because we believe homeschooling with the intention of discipleship and equipping them to excel in this world is the best way to reproduce young people that love the Lord Jesus Christ . Additionally, we believe parents are to teach their children how to teach and mentor others. Some of you have heard me say many times that your home is your Jerusalem, and Leslie and I absolutely believe that our mission is first to those God placed in our home.

AND, if parents are to be the disciplers God meant them to be, there is one word you should remember that is incredibly important in this process. I discussed this one important word in another article you can access by clicking here.  It truly could be the most impactful thing you could ever tell your children in the day to day process of raising and equipping them, so I encourage you to take a few minutes to check it out.

We believe the antidote for the flow of young Christians out of the church and away from Christ is parents engaging and taking serious the task of discipleship God has given them.

This is the reason that you hear us talk so much about relationships at our events, and that is the reason Leslie penned the Teach Them Diligently book to talk about what the Bible has to say about discipleship-focused parenting.

Of course, we spend a lot of time talking about the academic success of homeschooling. However, there are also a lot of sessions regarding relationships in terms of parenting and marriage and even your relationship with Christ. Every year there are several that realize that they have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ. (One year, we had 8 salvation decisions in our teen program that wasn’t even programmed with that end as a goal.)

We don’t ignore teaching methods, organization, and academics. But, if you are in October and getting frustrated because your school year is not quite going the way you envisioned in August, remember that the core is discipleship. Pray over your homeschool! Ask God to forgive you for being frustrated and remember what the ultimate goal is! It will be okay! God is with you!

God will not ask you to do anything that he has not equipped you to achieve, right? You need Him, though, and that is the point.

He does not expect you to be perfect! Which brings me again to the one word you need to remember…You can read that article here!

For now,…Remember that your children need you to engage in their life with Christ and mentor them to be reproducible believers equipped to love God and to serve Him better in the future.

We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and help you proceed with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ.

We would love to have you join us there, because we truly do believe that you need this encouragement and further equipping for the mission God has given you. Find an event near you and plan to join us now.

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Sincerely,

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group of friends together

Sometimes it’s hard to admit we may need help with our home school.

Understandably, we may be overwhelmed with a curriculum choice, lesson plan, need for organization, home school itself, or the motivation to want to teach class. It is during hard times such as these that we should ask for help. Too often, as home school parents, we feel the pressure to ‘measure up’ with other home educators whom we feel have it all together, so we don’t ask for help. We stubbornly or pridefully persist in finding our own solution; and we continue to sink, possibly getting in over our heads before reaching out. This reminds me of an experience I had, related to this observation.

It seemed like a very simple plan. We were studying a unit on biology, and I decided to take full advantage that our house fronted a lake. We’d just purchased a brand new microscope. I decided to give my children a new experience, to see a little bit of pond life and an amazing creature called the amoeba.

I explained all of this to them as I pulled on my husband’s rubber fishing boots. (Little did I now that this was mistake number one, the boots were way too big.)

Once I was ready, I walked out to the backyard with six laughing, shouting, and very excited children running ahead. (“See,” I thought to myself, “I knew I could make biology fun!”)

Stay on the Bank

Giving the kids one final encouraging warning, “STAY ON THE BANK,” I waded into the lake, specimen jar in hand, while envisioning what impact this type of hands-on experiment would have on their learning and possibly their future career choices. Then it happened. As I took my third step into the water, I felt one foot begin to sink just a tad deeper than the other. I quickly steadied myself, so as not to plunge headlong into the murky lake. But, I was in trouble. As I attempted to bring my left foot even with my right, I felt my foot coming out of the boot, so I pushed my foot back into the boot to try to put it firmly back on. (This was mistake number two – trying to force my foot back into the boot only caused it to sink deeper into the mud.)

Still undeterred, I decided to pivot on my right foot and place it evenly with the left and head another way.
Yet, to no avail, for the right foot was sliding out of that boot as well. To my horror, my big boots were stuck in the mud, and with a maneuver in either direction, I felt myself sinking.

While trying to remain calm (and trying to look cool), realizing the children were closely watching my every move, I tried to think of a plan of action that did not include yelling for my husband. I couldn’t think of one.

My feet were not going anywhere, no matter how tightly I curled my toes to try and lift the big boots up. So, now, not quite so calmly, I shouted, “Go get your dad and tell him I’m stuck in the mud out in the lake.”

Three children raced to be the first to deliver the message, and three stayed to ask if I wanted them to come in and help. Unfortunately, the tranquil learning environment I had intended had quickly turned chaotic. I saw my husband’s face as he raced out the door, and knew at once the message he’d been given might have been a bit more dramatic than necessary. The dog was barking at all the commotion, the three children who’d remained faithfully at the bank were now screaming for their father to “ hurry up” and rescue me.

To The Rescue

What a blessing my husband was, so loving and understanding of who I was. He lifted me up and pulled me out of the water, leaving the boots behind, and carried me to the bank, all the while suppressing a chuckle. He was indeed that day my hero.

We also have heroes all around us, in support groups, friends, spouses, when we feel ourselves sinking under the stresses of teaching and training our children. Yet, to have access to the greatest rescuer of them all, our heavenly Father, is the most wonderful blessing imaginable. Just as I called for my husband’s help, knowing he would come, the Father is waiting to help when we call.

Article provided by Kristine Malingowski.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

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discipleship teaching

As a homeschool mothers, wives, and believers in Christ we have many aspirations. We want to love the Lord with all our heart and be a godly wives according to Proverbs 31. We want to teach our children in the ways of the Lord and shield them from the evils of this world. We want to give them a Christian worldview so they can be world changers and carry on the message of the Gospel to the next generation.

Recently as I pondered these thoughts I wondered if how we attempt to do this is really an effective strategy. Am I teaching my kids to stand up for Jesus or stand apart?

Standing Up for Jesus

Standing up for Jesus means sharing my faith when it is not the popular thing to do. For me that means inviting people of different faiths into my home and sharing truth from God’s Word. It means not being afraid of those different from me and being willing to show the love of Jesus to those in need. It means letting go of the critical spirit that so easily besets those of the Christian faith and reaching out to the world in need.

I grew up completely surrounded by those of a faith just like mine. It wasn’t hard to stand up for Jesus in that environment. I learned to be comfortable and I spoke with all the Christian lingo of my friends. I was a good girl who followed in the faith of my fathers. There came a day, however, when I had to make my faith my own. I began to take ownership of my faith and realized the joy of my salvation. I wanted to share that with others. I spent time doing short-term missions. I was exposed to those in need in a great way by those trips.

When I came home, I saw the world through different eyes. I was no longer content to stay in my little circle and reach out to only those like me. I saw the sadness in the eyes of those I passed in the street. I was more aware of “divine appointments” or opportunities that God brought into my life to share his love with others.

 

gospel matthew 24:14

Standing Apart

My definition of standing apart in this context is to reject a spirit of pride and haughtiness and not convey to my kids that we have all the answers and those that are not living, doing or acting as we do are in the wrong. I teach my kids that there are moral standards that we should follow and I am purposing to take them to the Scriptures when we have questions about right and wrong: however, I want them to see others who are different from them through eyes of love rather than judgement. Can we see the victims of abuse through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the homeless through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the addict through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the friend who is bitter and out of church through the eyes of Jesus? Jesus sought out sinners to dine with them.

 

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Mark 2:17 (NIV)

 

I found that the early years of child rearing were tough and some days I was living on flare prayers. “Jesus help me!”, I would cry as I went about wiping runny noses, cleaning up potty messes and mending scraped knees. I spent my time teaching the kids Christian values by sharing truth with them from the Bible.

Now as my eldest is entering middle school, I am starting to see the transfer of faith and how important it is for me to live out my faith by example. It is no longer enough for me to tell my kids we need to love like Jesus because the Bible says so. They need to see me loving like Jesus loved.

We need to serve in the soup kitchen together. We need to do missions as a family. They need to see us give as a family. They need to see mom and dad participate in missions. They need to be beside us on their knees crying out for the salvation of our loved ones.

Am I teaching my kids to stand apart in judgement or join in the work with a heart of love toward those that are different? I want to join with Fanny Crosby and make the lyrics of this old hymn Rescue the Perishing my heart’s cry:

 

  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
    Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
    Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
  • Refrain:
    Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
  • Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
    Waiting the penitent child to receive;
    Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
    He will forgive if they only believe.
  • Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
    Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
    Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
    Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
  • Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
    Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
    Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
    Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

1869 – Public Domain

 

Let’s teach our kids by example to put away pride and haughtiness and be about our Father’s business. Let’s not get so caught up in standing apart from sin that we neglect the sinner in need of a Savior. Let’s look for opportunities to teach our kids to stand up for the faith and reach out to a world in need with a heart of love and compassion, while holding firm to our convictions and beliefs.

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

 

Bio photo JSA

 

Jennifer Allen is a homeschool graduate, wife to her soulmate David (who also contributes to the blog), homeschooling mom, registered nurse, AWANA teacher, pianist, reader and lifelong learner. She can be found on her little corner of the web at conversaving.com.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery

 

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