“You will go crazy being with your children every minute of the day.”

Okay, well—this one might be true! I vaguely remember a time when we didn’t have kids, but I’m pretty sure that my life was pointless and boring back then. If we did go crazy, our children certainly are not the ones to blame. Other forces probably came closer to pushing us over the edge than our children ever did. Truthfully, I think God enabled us to fare quite well. Neither my wife, nor I, nor our children, have ever had to see a psychologist, a therapist, a psychiatrist, a social worker from Children’s Services, or a professional counselor. To date, none of us have been on medication. Insanity Cessation classes weren’t covered by my insurance.

“You’re not qualified to teach.”

Hello? There are a lot of things I’m not “qualified” to do, but I do them anyway. Wait a minute . . . I am qualified in one area . . .

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, I am qualified to hunt wildlife (in season) with a gun. Several years ago I took a hunter’s safety test with my son, Dane. I wasn’t personally interested in hunting, but I did it just to support him. I passed with a 98%. But trust me—you don’t want me to go hunting with you, or even near you for that matter. The license (i.e., qualification) means nothing. Really!

On the flip side, just because someone has a teaching degree doesn’t mean they are qualified to teach. I’ve met teachers who couldn’t write or talk their way out of a paper bag, let alone impart truth and knowledge to a child. They were dry, disinterested, oblivious, and unskilled in the most common principles of communication—yet they had degrees. Go figure. A degree does not qualify someone to teach.

God gave me the authority to train my children, and He also gave me the command to do it. Hence, I am qualified. You see, God doesn’t command me to do something and then withhold the necessary resources to accomplish His will. I may not be qualified by the government’s standards, but I am qualified by God’s. What I don’t understand today, by His grace, I will learn tomorrow. Since God’s wisdom is infinite, all I have to do is 1.) Seek, 2.) Ask, 3.) Knock and sometimes, 4.) Repeat steps 1-3.

One reason the “Are you qualified?” question comes up so often is that people don’t understand the difference between being “qualified” and being “called.” If you are applying for a job then your chances of being hired for that job will be based upon your qualifications: experience, knowledge, aptitude. This is the case if you are applying for a job.

On the other hand, if you are “called” to a specific task, then the person calling you is already convinced you are capable of doing a good job. You may not think you are ready for it, you may feel ill-equipped, ignorant, or frightened by the magnitude of responsibility—but the one who has asked you to do it is willing to mentor you and enable you so that you will function successfully in the new position. Can you see the difference? Homeschoolers aren’t applying for a teaching position—God has called them to it.

After I’d worked as a banker for seven years, a man from a large local business contacted me and asked me to work for him. I questioned his sanity in thinking I could be an asset to the company. He persisted, so I went to work for him. He sent me off for training, worked around my schedule, and offered me bonuses and incentives that amazed me. I worked harder. We became good friends. He trusted me with more responsibility. I couldn’t disappoint him. In many ways, our business relationship grew into a ministry. There is a broad difference in being “qualified” for a job you are seeking and being “called” to do a job by someone who can enable you. A “calling” seems to spur more loyalty.