Two weeks ago we were in Sandusky for our last Teach Them Diligently Convention of the season.
We are looking into and actively planning adding some smaller events this Summer and Fall around Back to School, TTD 365, and Heart School, so stay tuned for those announcements. However, our Ohio event was the last planned convention of the season.
It was a good event, and the testimonies coming out of the event were amazing. I am so thankful that we were able to add an Ohio event at the end of our season.
I love the heart of the families in Ohio. And, just to say it, this event brought in a lot of members of our homeschool community called TTD 365, which was great.
We had a short staff at this event so I was working our T-shirt and book exhibit across from registration, and a mother came up to me during a down time to talk. She was shopping through the T-shirts, and she asked me a question that I want to share with you.
This mom had been homeschooling for about two years, and she still considered herself to be a new homeschooler.
She told me that she came to our event in 2019, before the pandemic, which was just after her first year of homeschooling. At that point she was struggling and looking for answers.
She mentioned that our event that year and the online events of 2020, during the pandemic, gave her encouragement and the right focus—renewal.
So, during our conversation over our T-shirt counter, she picks up my wife’s book and asks,…
“Which book, in your opinion, would you recommend as the most important homeschool instruction book for anyone to read?”
Then she went on to tell me that she had friends that were considering homeschooling that she wanted to recommend it to. And, here is my answer…
I told her my wife’s book, and she laughed at me. She said,
“Well, of course, you would answer that way!”
And while we both laughed a little bit because she was right,…of course, I would say that…!
Here is the point that I made to this mother…
Understanding your vision in parenting and homeschooling and even in your marriage is the most important thing to get right. Days can often be very hard if you don’t have an understanding that as a family your home is about building an environment that allows you to pursue your calling.
And, whether you recognize it or not, your calling as a mother and father shifted as soon as that baby was put into your arms. Your calling is to bring that child to Christ.
While it is not your “job” to redeem or save that child, it is your calling to do everything you can to bring that child to Christ so He can save them.
Your marriage plays into this calling.
Your education choices play into this calling.
Your home plays into this calling.
The relationships among the children in the home play into this calling.
And, if you don’t pursue this vision, nothing works right. There’s tension, stress, and stagnation. Frustration and a sense of failure is sure to follow if you don’t have this right.
And, furthermore, the whole world system is devoted to distracting you from that calling. You are told that academics is the number one priority, or socialization, or athletics, or having a good time, or money. There are a whole host of things that pull you away from your calling in Christ as a parent.
Some of these things that distract you might even be really good stuff, or they may not be evil on their own (like athletics). However, we have to understand that everything we see in this world is attempting to pull us off our calling. We are challenged constantly to pull Christ, and the Good News of the Gospel, from the top of our priority list and replace them with anything else.
Our enemy is subtle and ruthless. He doesn’t care what is at the top of your priority list as long as it isn’t Christ.
And, if anything sub-plants Christ at the top,—it is an idol. And, idols suck the life out of you. They diminish and destroy. That is what they do.
“They have hands, but do not feel; Feet, but do not walk; And they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; So do all who trust them.” (Ps. 115: 7-8)
Idols mimic and pretend to be life-giving but they are dead and empty. And, they will suck the life from you.
Personally, I have talked to so many mothers and fathers at our events, and I have said exactly the same thing as what I am telling you now and what I told this mom.
The frustration and stagnation and sense of failure that you feel is because something,—anything—has sub-planted Christ at the center of your home.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wipe out everything that competes with Christ. This just means that you have to knock everything down a wrung and put Christ back at the top.
And, if there is anything that can not exist with Christ at the center of your home, then you need to remove that thing. Whatever it is…
With Christ at the center and a correct focus on what your calling really is, everything else will fall into place.
Your home will flow better. You will find it easier to stay on track. The discipline you need will be easier.
Of course, there will be failures and set backs along the way. There are always annoyances and roadblocks. Things will not always be smooth and easy. But, you will not be “utterly cast down.” (Ps. 37: 23-24)
You will move forward. Your confidence will improve. Your sense of mission will solidify.
Center your home on the calling of Christ. For God has given you a mission, pursue it!
This is where peace is…
You can not build a strong home on a weak foundation.