Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
I have often felt a challenging dissonance, in feeling simultaneously drawn to various ministries in the church and community and yet also being firmly convinced of the urgency of investing deeply in my home and family. Lately I have sensed the Lord leading me to hone in a bit more on my four children being my inner-circle disciples.
I’ve begun to read my Bible in a new way. What all have You commanded, Lord, that I am responsible to pass on to my children? There are many, many things we have to teach. Though perhaps ultimately we could boil it down, as Jesus did, to this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.”
If then the aim in my child-rearing and teaching is to make disciples of my children, to help them know and follow Christ, and to obey his commands…
…Math becomes an opportunity to learn that we can do hard things, that there are really right answers and absolutes, that we are invited to taste something of the beauty and order of the created world.
…Science is an invitation to wonder at the creativity, genius and joy of the Holy One in His good creation. We learn to ask good questions, to notice details, to look beyond the surface of things to begin to understand why and how.
…Art becomes a worshipful practice, like music and – maybe all things. We seek to strengthen our skills for the joy of it, for the glory of the Lord, and as an expressive, heart-level way to love our neighbor. In acting as the artist and creating in varying ways, we emulate our mind-blowingly Creative Father and express more fully His image that we were created in.
…History is an opportunity to see what God has done, and how he has worked, and to love Him the more for it. We find our heroes to emulate, and the human weaknesses to guard against. And studying literature! Bliss! Don’t get me started! An opportunity to grow the mind and imagination, enlarging it, exposing it to the best ideas, the highest heights of thought that humanity has reached, sometimes touching on the eternal, invisible, transcendent.
On and on we could go, with the subjects in our home schools that we value most, each home with such incredible variety and independent flair. Every area of study is etched with something to experience and know about the character of God. But doesn’t it all ring hollow apart from Spirit of God moving in our hearts? Doesn’t it all fall flat if the Word of God does not go forth to accomplish it’s work? I pray that we would be grounded in the Word of God and inspired by His Spirit so that we may know what He has commanded, and what we are to teach our children.
And when I am tempted to be overwhelmed by the tasks of the day or by the big picture calling of home education, my deepest comfort is found in these words: “And lo, I am with you always…”