The Princess and the Pack Mule
- Friday, March 05, 2010
I didn't immediately warm to the idea of children, but after befriending several pregnant ladies at church, my heart softened, and four years later I was thrilled to be expecting our first child, a boy. Twenty months passed and along came boy number two. Twenty months more and we welcomed boy number three. Then, boy four and boy five. Boy, oh, boy, when God changed my heart, He really did the job!
At the time, homeschooling wasn't anywhere near my radar screen. I equated the concept with hippies, gypsies, and other weirdo subcultures. But then I got a revelation.
I'm convinced that most parents in our nation don't need more love for their kids; they need a revelation. Americans and evangelicals in particular love their children. Just open the door to any kid's bedroom in the United States of America and the love comes pouring out of every nook and cranny: pricey clothes and shoes, beauty supplies, trinkets of every kind, iPhones, iPods, laptops and software, any number of gaming systems costing as much as my first car, musical instruments, and fast food on demand. These and more spell l-o-v-e to vast numbers of well-intentioned parents.
But "love" is not enough. Dads and moms need a revelation.
Revelation is defined as follows: "1. a revealing 2. something disclosed; disclosure; esp., a striking disclosure, as of something not previously known or realized 3. communication, by a divinity or by divine agency, of divine truth or knowledge; specif., God's disclosure or manifestation to humanity of himself or of his will."6 A revelation opens our eyes to see something we haven't really seen before, motivating us to do something we've never done before! When Moses's mother "saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months" (Exodus 2:2). When God allowed me to see beyond the natural to the supernatural potential that He had deposited in our sons, I took action. A revelation in my heart brought a revolution to my home. A revolution is a far-reaching change in ways of thinking and believing, and God knew I needed to be changed (Romans 8:29). But if you know anything about history, a revolution never comes without a battle.
Yes, that day God recruited me to start a war. And I was His first target. Ouch.
Isaiah 53:6 states the problem precisely: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way." It's not about one type of sin or another—it's about our wicked human hearts. We want our way, and God is committed to taking the "me" off the throne. After all, He can't do much with a princess; a pack mule is much more useful.
I always used to scratch my head quizzically when I read 1 Timothy 2:14-15, "The woman . . . . she shall be saved through childbearing . . . ," until a few years ago when I realized the work God has worked in me through mothering. It occurred to me that most of what is valuable in me came as a direct result of yielding to the process of living life with my boys.
Home education isn't nearly as much about curriculum as it is about living a lifestyle—a lifestyle of families dying to their self-centered agendas in order to swim upstream, against the current of our secular, hedonistic society. In essence, these busy boys saved me from the tyranny of self! And what a wicked monster she is.
Now, after twenty-plus years of home educating our sons, at particular moments I'm still astonished to think, "This is my life." And I must say, it is my best life now—even on the hard days, and there have been lots and lots of those. You can't be changing the world—and that's precisely what we homeschoolers are doing—without some fiery trials (I Peter 4:12).
Winston Churchill said, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." So . . . march on, Mama!
Denise Mira, author of No Ordinary Child: Unlocking the Leader Within Your Child, has been married to Gregory for twenty-nine years. They are the parents of five sons. Denise has traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, inspiring change as she shares the message God has given her for families. She would love to have you visit her blog at www.denisemira.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. www.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/index.html, "Overview: 10 Facts About K-12 Education Funding." Total taxpayer investment in K-12 education in the United States for the 2004-05 school year is estimated to be $536 billion.
2. www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html, Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., "Research Facts on Homeschooling," September 18, 2008.
3. www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,426150,00.html, Monday, September 22, 2008.
4. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=85408, January 5, 2009.
5. www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/30/cafferty.schools/index.html, March 30, 2009.
6. Webster's New World College Dictionary on Power CD, Zane Publishing, Inc., 1995.
Copyright 2009. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Winter 2009/10. Used with permission. Visit them at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. For all your homeschool curriculum needs visit the Schoolhouse Store.
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