By now, I hope you are anchored tightly to your calling AND that you have gotten some insight about the definition of Biblical Homeschooling, or heart schooling, and how it is so much bigger than simply doing school at home. So even now, you’re WAY ahead of most people whether have already started homeschooling or not.
In this next module, we’re going to look closely at our relationships— for when you homeschool your children that is certain to have an impact on all kinds of relationships— both within and outside your home.
Through the years, David and I have seen way too many homeschool marriages struggle and sometimes fail, as the added pressures of homeschooling homeschooling put a lot of stress on their relationship.
Our enemy is on the prowl, and he would love nothing more than to destroy Christian families— for like we discussed already, the power to impact culture really does lie with the families. You’ll find that your family is quite a high value target, so you need to protect it well.
As a homeschooling family, you’ll encounter many things that are unique to our demographic— not the least of which is that all of a sudden mom (or dad) will have a brand new full-time, non-paying job that will take time and energy away from other things. Those additional, new things to work around— and sometimes the insecurity from wondering if you’re doing them well— can reveal weak spots in any relationship. And you can either decide to learn and grow together through those, which will make your relationship stronger, or to allow those weak spots to grow and divide you as a couple.
**So, our anchor here is—> Never Stop Protecting, Prioritizing, and Investing In your Marriage. **
In our conversation today, we’re going to look at three big ways to do that.
First, we’ll spend most of our time discussing getting on the same page together.
Then, we’ll talk about strategically investing in your marriage, and
Finally, we’ll discuss ways to get your spouse involved in the homeschool activities— even beyond the discipleship ways.
When God first started impressing the idea of homeschooling on my heart, I honestly tried everything I could to ignore it. When the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow me to get away from this idea, I finally conceded that I’d talk to David about it. I was confident David would shut this silly idea right down— so I could both obey God by talking to him AND keep my children in the situation I was comfortable with at the time since I would NEVER go against David’s wishes in this.
That’s not what happened, though! When I finally broached the subject with David, he didn’t shut me down. He actually took it seriously, and said he had been thinking along the same line (WHAT?!?) We decided to pray about it TOGETHER and within a couple of days, we had jointly decided that was what God wanted us to do.
We took the time to talk through how God had led each of us- and it was so cool to recognize that the Sovereign God does not need ME to give David good ideas… He’s perfectly capable of doing that Himself… and He already had been doing so!
As it turned out, God was impressing on both of our hearts the same calling He had given parents thousands of years before— to teach our children diligently. We were confronted with the choice— were we going to accept this it?
No longer was the question merely, “Do I think this is right for our family?” This was a mission we were embarking on- and we had royal marching orders to follow! 🙂
Different families will come to that point in different ways, of course. And, honestly, God is so gracious that He often will put a catalyst in our path that brings us to a point of decision even before we discover the greater mission at hand.
Each family will be responsible to answer for the specific ways they accomplish the mission God has given them, though, and it is critically important that parents work together in that pursuit— and not position themselves against the other one.
So, let’s discuss that a bit— and I need to be really honest and maybe even say some things you might not want to hear.
Your mission as a Christian parent is to teach your children diligently— period. Throughout God’s Word, we see principle after principle for parents— all of which include naturally and intentionally passing on your faith to your children and preparing them for what lies ahead. If you and your spouse are both believers, I hope you can agree on that point at least.
Once you agree on your ultimate goal as a parent, you need to decide together how you’ll achieve that… how will you use your time and resources to best complete the mission God has given you? That’s where Homeschooling really shines as an option! As we’ve already noted, home education is a FANTASTIC tool for discipleship as it affords you incredible opportunities to disciple your children and shepherd their hearts as they learn and grow academically.
Let’s assume for conversation’s sake that you and your spouse agree on the mission or ultimate goal as given by God. If you’re still not together on the means of accomplishing it, something is getting in the way.
It could be that the cost of time, money, energy or resources simply seems too high for one of you.
Maybe the horror stories you’ve heard hold you back.
Perhaps your own preconceived notions or the fears seem too high a price.
So, if you’re coming to two different conclusions with how God wants you to accomplish your mission and parent your children, maybe you’re focusing on the wrong thing.
At this point, it’s really important that together you prayerfully commit to your mission and then approach all educational options as just that— options for achieving your primary goal of parenting and preparing your children as the Bible commands.
God will often use this time of decision to draw you closer together if you allow Him to. Remember, sometimes God is actually teaching you both things through the waiting time, so please don’t short-change those special learning moments by trying to manipulate the situation to get your own way or move forward on your own. God is absolutely able to bring you and your spouse to one mind!
Here are some things to think about as you work through this decision together.
1. Number 1, Pray. Pray that God would give you both clarity about your mission and how He wants you to accomplish it.
2. Number 2, Act lovingly and humbly towards your spouse — nagging or berating him or her doesn’t bear good fruit— nor does an arrogance rooted in your knowledge of the superior method of education. I have a quote by Elizabeth Elliot on my phone’s home screen… It says, “Never pass up the opportunity to keep your mouth shut.” I need that reminder, lest I try to play Holy Spirit to fast track us to where I think God would have us be.
3. Number 3, Keep learning— there is no reason you can’t keep learning. If you truly believe God is calling you to homeschool, keep preparing yourself. That way, you’ll be ready as soon as God opens the door.
Coercing your spouse into doing what you think is right really can lead to disaster— and if you started out that way, you may want to take this opportunity to try to right that wrong. You and your spouse are partners in life— and partners in parenting. God put you together and gave you those children to love and disciple. You can trust Him to write the story for how He wants you to do that— and grow you both through the process.
If your spouse is not on board, perhaps you could watch some of the foundational segments of this class together and talk about the mission we’ve discussed. Open communication and listening to why the other person thinks the way they do is a great way to move forward together.
I have spoken often about how to work together to formulate your mission statement and to document the story of how God led you to this point, and we’ll be talking about those things as we discuss together in the mission in our next lesson. I encourage you to dive deeper into that as you see God open the doors for you to start this journey with the same mind.
**Once you do start out on your mission together, you need to not forget to continue investing in your marriage. This is super important for your family.**
Far too many homeschool marriages fall apart because mom or dad simply gets so invested in the children— or something else— that they neglect to spend the time nurturing their primary relationship on this earth.
So, never lose sight of the fact that there is a very specific reason those kiddos are here… and that can’t be neglected now that you’re spending more time investing in them.
**A healthy marriage is one of the most life-giving things on earth to those who experience it.** When you’re in good standing with your spouse, you’ll find that you’re happier, more balanced, less stressed, more healthy, you take better care of yourself— and it’s even been shown in medical studies that those in a happy marriage tend to live longer.
Beyond those scientific things, though, you’re modeling what a good marriage looks like for your children.
**So you’ll tie to the anchor as you flirt. Tease. Have fun. Prioritize spending time together. Plan together. Dream together… and fall more in love together than when you started out your marriage. **
Investing time and energy in your marriage will make your homeschool efforts— and everything else in your life much more productive.
How can you do that when you’re working and homeschooling and feeding and serving at church and on and on and on?
First, make sure that everything you’re doing is what you’re actually supposed to be doing at that point in your life. Sometimes, at different seasons, NO is the appropriate answer when you’re asked to do something. With your mission in mind, evaluate every opportunity you’re offered. Busy-ness can really hurt a marriage, because there is only so much you have to give… better prioritize where you’re giving!
Next, let your kids know how important your marriage is. Now, I don’t mean, sit them down and have a conversation about it with them. Rather, act like it’s important! Have regular date nights— even if they’re date nights in. From time to time, find ways to go off for a some uninterrupted time together. Spend some time each day really enjoying your relationship with your spouse. Make sure that your spouse and your children know how important your marriage is to you.
To do these things, you’ll have to order your life in a different way from time to time… find a sitter, make arrangements for grandparents to keep the kids for a couple of days, and so on… but it’s so important. Trust me when I say that if your kids know how important your marriage is to you, they won’t feel neglected when you go off with daddy… rather, that will help them feel more secure, knowing that all is well in family-land.
Another way to invest in your marriage, quite frankly, is to not be a prude with your spouse. Enjoy the marriage relationship like God intended for you to. The emotional trauma that a spouse can feel when that relationship is neglected is hard to overcome— and may not even be noticed by the other partner until it’s already caused harm, so take the time to invest in all areas of your marriage relationship— the friendship, the fun, the flirty time, and the “after the kids go to bed” times as well.
**Another way you can tether to this anchor will be to find creative ways to include your spouse in what you’re doing. **
To give your spouse a role in what’s going on — even if they’re gone most of the day for work, keeps them tuned in to what you’re dealing with, how the kids are learning and growing, and so on.
Some quick ideas here involve dinner conversations about what was learned. Taking field trips together as a family. Having your spouse participate in a subject they love, or on labs or something. Running things by them each evening. Working together to choose curriculum or plan your priorities each year, and so forth. Included with this lesson is a podcast I recorded with a homeschool dad who has done many creative things to get involved as well as a video conversation I had with another homeschool dad who talks about the importance of communication. I think you’ll find them both really helpful!
There is a bonus lesson that follows this one that will walk you through how to set up a mission statement for your homeschool together. You’ll find some practical insight and guidance about how this all looks there.
Finally, I wrote a prayer series specifically for praying for your marriage that I pray will help turn your heart biblically to your spouse every single day. That, too, is linked below.
With all the added activity that comes with homeschooling, you need to be very careful to never stop prioritizing and investing in your marriage.