Teaching Toward the Vision

Of course, none of these things just happens because we want them to. While we are fond of thinking that traits like devotion, faithfulness, handiness, and godly decision-making can be caught instead of taught, I’ve not found this to be a reliable way of reaping a desired outcome. Unfortunately, “catching” poor character and worldly, unsatisfying habits is just as likely, if not more so, as catching that which is good and upright. Therefore, teaching toward your vision is not only necessary, but must be persistently and steadfastly done.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:20, Paul reminded the spiritual children he was teaching how he felt toward them. He said, “For ye are our glory and joy.” As parents, we feel the same way toward our earthly children, and we easily feel crushed by disappointment when our children turn astray or make wrong choices. Sometimes we feel as though our ability to teach and mold our children resembles a scramble in the dark, a wild groping for the right way to lead them, train them, discipline them, and love them. But they are a glory and a joy to us, and because God has made them so, we must never lose sight of our vision for them—no matter how far adrift we feel. When we feel weak and exasperated by trouble or setbacks, when our vision dissolves into the hazy and intangible, that is all the more reason to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

Sometimes it is the difficult or chaotic times that shake us up and help us realize that big changes are in order. We can then take those times to reevaluate whether the things we are doing are pushing us toward our vision or away from it. We can restructure our schedules, our priorities, and even our attitudes to fall back in line with our vision.

Encouragement For the Vision

Reviving our vision takes constant effort and vigilance. It takes clear definition of our goals. And sometimes, in all of life’s challenges—and on the homeschooling journey in particular—it takes support and encouragement.

In the book of Exodus, chapter 17, the children of Israel were engaged in a battle with Amalek in Rephidim. God wanted to bless His children; it was His will that they succeed; but it still took effort on their part. This would be no easy battle, quickly won. Particularly, it took effort on Moses’s part. While Joshua led the fight, Moses was given the task to stand on the mountain with the rod of God, holding his hands high.

The day lengthened. The battle raged on. Aaron and Hur brought Moses a rock to sit upon, but his arms grew weary. Heaviness, like lead weights, pulled at his shoulders, and his hands began to droop. When they did, the tide of battle turned against Israel. With supreme effort, he pushed his hands up again. As he did, the battle surged in Israel’s favor. As long as Moses could hold his hands steadily aloft, Israel prevailed.

But Moses’s arms burned. His circulation buzzed in agony. Finally, Aaron and Hur “stayed up” Moses’s hands, one on either side of him, giving him the strength to keep his eyes on the vision of victory God offered. As the weary hours passed and the sun began to set, the Israelites finally triumphed over Amalek. God had blessed Moses as he remained steadfast with the support of others.

Like Moses, we often need support as we aim toward our vision for our children. Mental and physical fatigue, childish rebellion, medical conditions, jobs, extra-family relationships: all keep us engaged in battle continually. We must actively seek support, first from God Himself, our shield and defender, and then from those He places in our lives to uplift and challenge us.

Your encourager may be another homeschooler. It may be a family member, a close friend, or a pastor. It might be someone you can enlist as a prayer partner. Sometimes God places people in our lives who do the job of challenging and uplifting us without even realizing they are being used by Him. Look for those people. But if they don’t seem to be around you, remember God first. He is always there, and He always desires to be your strength.