Marriage vs. Homeschooling? It Shouldn’t Have to be a Tug-of-War
- Monday, February 21, 2011
An interview with homeschooling mom and author Heidi St. John
Every homeschooling mom knows what it’s like to be too busy. School planning, music lessons, co-op meetings, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping . . . the list goes on and on. How’s an overworked, under-rested mom also supposed to work on maintaining a good marriage?
In this interview, Home School Enrichment writer Kimberly Williams talks with Heidi St. John, author of the new book The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance.
Kimberly Williams: Heidi, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with the homeschooling community on the topic of strong marriages. Often, the subject seems to be overlooked and even ignored. But as we pull back the curtain of academics and look closely into the homes of homeschooling families, we see a prevalent truth: it is very difficult to have a successful homeschooling journey without a successful marriage. Sometimes, during the busy years of raising children, homeschooling, and running a household, our focus on a strong marriage is placed at the bottom of the bookshelf. As you talk with homeschool families, are you finding this to be a widespread problem?
Heidi St. John: You know, it really is a huge issue. We have traveled the country and spoken to thousands of homeschooling families over the past several years. Marriages are in trouble. Homeschooling doesn’t make any marriage immune to the tragedy of divorce. The issue needs to be addressed and brought out into the open.
Do you remember when people were just starting to acknowledge the rate of divorce within the church? I see the same thing beginning to happen within the homeschool community. I share a story in my book about my own family and point out that nothing (not even being a pastor) makes a person immune to the devastation of divorce. There is a real danger within the homeschool community to see homeschooling as the thing that makes us safe. But it doesn’t. Homeschooling is wonderful. But it’s not the answer. A growing, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer.
We must not neglect our time in His Word each day. To do so is to open the door wide for the enemy to come in. He’s just looking for weaknesses within our marriages. My husband likes to say that Satan is like a voyeur, prowling around outside our homes, looking in our windows for any sign of separateness or weakness. That weakness might be seen in a wife who is neglecting the needs of her husband, even unintentionally, because she is so consumed with her role as a mother and homeschool mom. Or it could be in a father who is totally absorbed in his work to the detriment of his family. We must be on guard against these things.
Kimberly: I completely agree that we need to be on guard. First Corinthians 10:12 tells us, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” We are all susceptible to trials, troubles, and temptations in our homes. Would you concur that we are under an even stronger attack from the enemy due to the fact that we are Christians and that we educate our children at home?
Heidi: Absolutely. The public schools have been a stronghold for the enemy for years. But just like any movement of the Spirit, Christian homeschooling has really gotten the attention of the enemy. Here we have parents who are waking up to the importance of education and are choosing to bring their children home rather than keep them in a system that is godless, even anti-God, by design. An entire generation is at stake. And I believe it’s gotten the attention of the enemy. Deciding to homeschool your kids and train them up in the nurture of the Lord is a little like having a big red target painted on your back. In fact, we have seen more spiritual warfare within the homeschool movement in the past 10 years than we saw in nearly 20 years in the pastorate. It’s a battle. If Satan can take out the marriage, he has a much better shot at the children. And that’s what it’s about.
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