Today I read Ecc. 12:12 "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." If you have ever had a mountain of homeschool catalogs before you can attest to this truth of many books. Your children can attest to study sometimes being wearying. We have abundant choices. Most of the products are advertised as don't miss, exceptional, homeschool guru's number one choice. We should investigate which tools of education are best for our families. We should strive for excellence. A good education is admirable. We can evaluate where we are and where we are going. Inventories are more important. But periodically we need to check and see if education is on the pedestal.

Our children are in competition for colleges, scholarships, and jobs. Our sincere motivations come from a desire to see them do well. We provide them with tools, time and even tutors. We like workshops, tutorials, co-ops, seminars, online courses, and of course our home school catalogs. We drool over them like we did the toy catalog when we were six. We want to get it right. We are responsible. We just want to equip them. Good. But one day they will leave. Our sphere of influence will be lessened. Their educations may please us and bring them honor. But will we say of them, my children have been with Jesus. Will others see them and say, those children have been with Jesus?

Certainly we must never trust in education. We must never elevate educational excellence to a status of idol. We must never ever put our confidence in homeschooling, and assume our method will insure good results. We must trust the God who allows us this privilege. We must pray the Holy Spirit guides them and draws them near. We must walk in a way that is worthy to be followed. And we must demonstrate priority of seeking the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul. We can not put Jesus in our children, but we can let Jesus be seen in us. Parents can make their children their number one mission field. And the best way is not with memorization and catechisms but by following Jesus in a way that is transparent and joy filled. That comes from being with Him.

We can delight in a good Algebra grade. I do. The harm comes when we show more approval for academic achievement than when our children walk with the Lord. Are we happier when they win the spelling bee or when they initiate an act of kindness? We can applaud their science fair project. Do we get equally excited over their service for the Lord--however mundane? Do we seek out opportunities for them to see God? Let us be sure to tell them when we see God in them. Let us encourage them in their faith. They need us to notice. They need to know the most important thing is when we look at them we see Jesus.

This is the cry of my heart. Remind me God to put my hope in You, and You alone.

----------------

Marla is delighted to have accomplished her childhood dream to be a wife and mommy. Originally a product of the Shenandoah Valley, Marla is still a small town girl at heart and cherishes her family and faith. Presently in her 11th year of homeschooling, she is the mother to seven children, four still at home. Pleasures like a good cup of coffee, or the first hydrangea bloom are simple things she appreciates. Admittedly a bit of a homebody, Marla delights in her family (most days!). Marla is a contributing writer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, www.TheHomschoolMagazine.com Copyright 2005 The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC