It was beautifully packaged when it arrived. The best deceptions always are. And ever since Eve was beguiled by the old serpent’s falsehood in Paradise, we her children have been just as eager as she to accept a lie beautifully told.

It has been said that God always saves the best for last, while Satan presents us with his best first, hiding the final payment for our gratification behind a tantalizing show of pleasures enticing to our senses. And so the lie came, and the lie was  packaged by the master of glittering deceit. The destruction within was carefully concealed from our willingly blinded eyes.

And what exactly was this lie? Simply this: that staying home to raise children was a waste of a woman’s talents and time; that true fulfillment must be found in the rough and tumble of the world, not in the obscure sphere of home and family; that the mammon of this world, which can never be carried into the next, was worth more of a mother’s time and devotion than the eternal treasures of her own children.

Such was the skill of the deceiver that we accepted his lie, never thinking how easily we might have torn aside the lovely wrappings to expose the ugliness beneath. Such was our zeal to accept the lie beautifully told that children by the countless thousands have known only a mother preoccupied with the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, and have never known their home as the haven it might have been.

A similar lie was presented to fathers: that training and mentoring their children was somehow beneath their masculine importance; that raising children was the mother’s job; that they, as the fathers, didn’t need to be bothered by the concerns of the home circle.

The fruit of these lies can be seen all around us as we are the daily eyewitnesses to the collapse of morality and virtue in our society. Doubtless we cannot trace all of our societal problems back to the abdication of parental responsibility, but an honest look at the facts compels us to admit that the increasing absence of both mothers and fathers from their children’s lives has had an enormous negative impact on our society.

There can be no doubt that parents are the key influence in their children’s lives. Even professional educators recognize this, citing parental involvement as one of the foremost indicators of academic success. Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund, in their article “Parent Involvement in Education,” write:

The research overwhelmingly demonstrates that parent involvement in children’s learning is positively related to achievement. Further, the research shows that the more intensively parents are involved in their children’s learning, the more beneficial are the achievement effects. This holds true for all types of parent involvement in children’s learning and for all types and ages of students.

Looking more closely at the research, there are strong indications that the most effective forms of parent involvement are those which engage parents in working directly with their children on learning activities in the home (emphasis added).

Of course, the impact from involved parents doesn’t stop at academics. And none of this comes as a surprise to homeschoolers, who have taken parental involvement to the limit. The mystery is why, with so much evidence supporting the advantages of parental involvement, stay-at-home moms don’t have more respect in society. Why do we still view full-time moms as flunkies who either don’t have the skill or lack the ambition to do anything really “important”? And why do so many fathers still consider active involvement in the lives of their children as beneath their importance?

It ought to be apparent to society by now that we have fallen for a pair of insidious lies; it ought to be obvious by this point that for parents to invest themselves willingly and continually into the lives of their children is one of the highest callings they’ll ever fulfill. And yet the great deception seems to continue unabated. When we will wake up and realize this, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that homeschoolers are uniquely poised at this moment in history to have a tremendous impact on our nation and the world.