Homeschooling in the Shadows
- Monday, July 21, 2008
From time to time, it seems that dark clouds overshadow the homeschooling family. Generally secure and content in their “green pastures,” the sheep begin to stir as thunder rolls from the west and lions roar from the rocky cliffs. We begin to feel threatened, and the temptation to run and scatter is strong. Where can the sheep find courage under such dark shadows?
Homeschoolers in America have long enjoyed relative freedom. However, while the majority of American laws support the general welfare of the people, I believe it is safe to say that most of our lawmakers probably do not know God or His Word, and it is doubtful that they seek His counsel in making new laws. As we have seen in a few instances in recent months, this can sometimes pose problems for the Christian homeschooler.
It is wise to remember, however, that laws opposing the Christian faith or homeschooling are not capable of destroying our hope. Our God is above all gods; He is all-powerful, and His mercy endureth to all generations. Never let opposition rob you of your hope. Faith in God is able to conquer the powers of things “seen” by the things that are “unseen.” Life will always have its natural disasters and hungry predators; nevertheless, Christians are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).
How then do Christian homeschoolers respond in the face of opposition? Do they panic? Do they shoot arrows into the shadows? Do they faint? Absolutely not! They seek comfort in the Shepherd’s voice and follow it safely on the path of righteousness—even if the darkness has obscured His face. His voice can still be heard through the intimidating roars and thunders that turn our emotions inside out. Quiet now. Listen for His still small voice. Its comfort and peace will flood over your soul while you walk on to safety.
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyed the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God.” (Isa. 50:10)
The Emotion of the Moment
In the days following the decision against homeschooling handed down by the Second Appellate District Court of Los Angeles, I read all kinds of public comments on blogs, forums, and news reports. Those outside of California were warning the state’s homeschooling residents, “Get out of that place!” Easier said than done. Relatives, friends, employment—roots have grown so deep for many that transplanting may seem like a second-option death sentence.
Some of the California homeschoolers were responding with, “Look out! It’s going to happen in your state next.” Maybe some states will change, but (and without meaning any offense to those of you in the Golden State) there are many places in America which view California as a different planet. They have no desire to do anything like California (which state, incidentally, does not rule the nation anyway).
Other comments were harsh and cruel, crediting homeschoolers for being arrogant and bringing this upon themselves. Some homeschoolers were equally outrageous and intemperate in their communication. Common sense and clarity of thought tend to wither away as emotions heighten—a result of our fallen nature.
Christians will mar the testimony of Jesus Christ when we begin to snarl and hiss like caged animals. Our flesh reacts in a fierce “evil for evil” attitude which ultimately betrays our lack of mature trust in the Sovereign God. When we are filled with fear, Satan causes us to doubt all of God’s power and love and faithfulness. One storm on the horizon sends many immature believers into panic mode rather than “prayer of faith” mode, and when people are in panic mode, they don’t seem to think clearly or biblically. Fear causes many people to jump to conclusions and cast off all discernment.
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