Follow the link to read The Ten Commandments of Homeschooling – Part 1 of 10
Inspired by Exposing the Seven Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers by Reb Bradley
The family unit is vital for equipping our children to function in the world around us. The family is a micro society where we learn how to live with each other, work together, and find our place in the context of a whole. In the secure environment of a healthy family, children learn how to resolve conflict, make sacrifice, and contribute to something bigger than themselves. Compared to what they learn in the herd-mentality of a classroom setting, the family is an indispensible foundation for becoming a productive part of society. If we are not careful, however, the family can also become an idol.
One of the dangers homeschool families face is allowing the family to become the ultimate thing – an end unto itself. The family is a valuable and necessary vehicle for nurturing a relationship with God and with others, but it is a means, not an end. It is written that, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife” (Genesis 2:24). It is intended that your children leave the context of family to go and bear fruit of their own in the world. In making the family the ultimate end and highest priority we wind up where the people of Israel were in Jesus’ day: an exclusive group, disconnected from the world.
Too often we can seek to derive satisfaction, fulfillment, and identity from an image of family that we are intended to derive from God alone. This can lead to behavior and decisions that actually wound the bond between family members, especially if there is not conformity to those values. Therefore, you shall honor the family as sacred, and recognize the family as preparation for greater things.
If you cannot refer to God’s kingdom and purpose as “greater” than family, then family may already be an idol to you. People and families will come in and go out from local church fellowships as God moves and works his great purpose. When such moves are healthy and initiated by God it demonstrates that God’s kingdom, plan, and body is so much bigger than any one local church, denomination, or region. The same is true of family. Parents serve a great purpose in the lives of their children, but God’s work in the life of parent and child is so much bigger than that one relationship. We would do well to make the most of the time and opportunities we are given, and be prepared to let go and admonish each other to follow the leading of the Spirit – to train up our children in the way they should go – even if it leads them out of our care. This will require humble submission to God’s greater purpose. As for you and your house, whom will you serve?