I wonder if his parents instructed him to practice his harp playing? Who taught him to read and to write? Was he instructed to write the poems he was creating on paper, and did anybody help him sharpen those skills? Was he always joyful practicing his harp lessons, or was there personal discipline involved to improve his playing? When he took the sheep out, did his parents remind him to practice his harp an hour a day? Before he met Goliath, he had met a lion and a bear when he was a young shepherd. Had Jesse, his father, taught him how to be a shepherd? How often did he practice slinging rocks before meeting that bear or that lion

Even when he was in the service of King Saul, playing his harp to soothe Saul, David went home to tend to his father’s sheep. He remained a dutiful son, fulfilling his work at home in spite of serving in the king’s court (See 1 Samuel 17:14).

This is a precise illustration of what we are doing as we homeschool our children. David was likely prepared for his future as warrior, psalmist, and king through doing those little things at home—practicing his harp, writing poetry, sharpening his slingshot skills, and faithfully tending to his duties. God took those little things in which David was faithful and used each of them to build His kingdom and speak His truth to our hearts.

David’s life story also illustrates the downfall of the second half of the verse from Luke. Show your children that David’s sin with Bathsheba began in the little things. In 2 Samuel 11 we read these words: “Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel....” Hmmm. At the time when kings went to battle, David was in his house walking around on the roof instead of going with those he had sent to the battlefield. David was being unfaithful in some of his duties as king. Through that failure, he saw Bathsheba and sinned, which eventually led to murder. Complacency and faithlessness can enter into a life at any time. We really must teach our children well.

Another beautiful picture in the Word is the story of Isaac and Rebekah from the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis. Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac, his son. The servant stopped in a town and prayed that God would show him the young woman by having her ask him if he wanted some water and then offering to water his camels as well. Beautiful young Rebekah came to the well, doing her household chores, taking water from the well back to her household. She met Abraham’s servant, offered him water, and then offered to water his camels.

How many other times had she offered to water a traveler’s camels? Perhaps she made a practice of kindness, of going the extra mile? Maybe, in doing her daily work at the little things in her parents’ home, she often watered a stranger’s camels or entourage? She was being faithful in the little things, taking what she had learned at home and applying it as she went about her duties. God met her there, and her destiny unfolded before her.

In reality, all parents teach the little things—how we teach them makes a difference. We can inculcate faithfulness and integrity, or we can do just the opposite. Some parents hand over a large portion of those little things to others within traditional school systems. When we homeschool, however, we take the joy and the responsibility of equipping our kids to be faithful in every circumstance, and we are present to help them apply those lessons every moment of the day.

Have you ever been on a field trip to a museum or enjoying a park day with your children when a school group comes along? I have. At the museum, I have seen those groups of kids being unkind to one another, being disobedient, sneaking pokes at one another, passing notes, talking, texting, holding hands or even more, without enough teachers or volunteer chaperones to correct the behavior. At the playground, I have seen the teachers stand in groups talking while the kids bully one another on the jungle gym, just out of earshot.