Must I be Superwoman to Home School?
- Zan Tyler Editor of the Crosswalk.com HomeSchool Channel
- 2002 17 Sep
When you consider the possibility of home schooling for the first time, its a little like deciding that your event in track and field will be the high hurdles. The first time you look at that track, all you see are the hurdles, one after another. You dont think about the stamina you build by training for the event. You dont think about the satisfaction you will gain by actually learning to clear the hurdles. And you dont anticipate the joy of winning the race. You just think about the hurdles. But God never calls us to do anything based on the merits of our own strength.
As a prospective (or veteran) home-schooling mother, you may find the perceived benefits of home education paling in comparison to the hurdles you are visualizing having to clear. And, when youre really honest with yourselfand Im really honest with myselfthe biggest hurdles we face are those dealing with our own inadequacies:
Im not smart enough to home school my children.
Im not spiritual enough to home school my children.
Im not rich enough to home school my children.
Im not patient enough to home school my children.
Im not domestic enough to home school my children.
Im not smart enough to home school my children.
Im not organized enough to home school my children.
Im not a consistent disciplinarian.
Im not a certified teacher.
Im not a lawyer.
So the question really is, Do we have to be superwomen to home school? And wont our children be the ones to suffer if were not?
Let me be painfully transparent here. I feel my inadequacies everyday as a wife and as a mother. In subsequent articles we will deal with the particular issues of IQ, patience, domesticity, organizational acumen, and consistency. But for now, lets look at the underlying issue herewere not sure were adequate for the job or up to the challenge.
The truth is that God never calls us to do anything based on the merits of our own strength. I often contemplate the story of Jesus telling the disciples to feed the multitudes, and the disciples telling Jesus, We have only five loaves and two fish. (Matthew 14:15-21)
How did Jesus respond to the disciples? Did He say, Boy, youre right. What was I thinking? Hardly. He knew how many people had to be fed. And He was well aware of the disciples meager resources. His response to the disciples was simply, Bring them (the loaves and fishes) here to me. What happened next was truly miraculous.
And ordering the multitudes to recline on the grass, He took the five
loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed
the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and
disciples gave to the multitudes. And they all ate, and were satisfied.
And they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve
full baskets. And there were about five thousand men who ate, aside
from the women and children.
What are the lessons for us as parents to glean from the miracle of the loaves and the fishes? They are many.
1. We must do as Jesus instructed the disciples: we must take our resources to Him.
Just as Jesus was well aware of the disciples' meager resources, He is equally aware of ours. He is not surprised or taken off guard by our inadequacies.
2. When our resources are in Jesus' hands, they are safe.
What a relief and release it is to put our resources into such capable hands. Surely this One who "holds the whole world in His hands" is capable of holding that little portion that I commit to him. When Jesus takes our resources in His hands, He is free to bless them and break them, making them fit for use in His service.
3. Notice that after blessing and breaking the loaves, Jesus returned the food to the disciples.
He wanted them to feed the multitudes, although Jesus could have easily chosen to feed the multitudes Himself. He could have reserved the joy of feeding so many hungry people for Himself. After all, He performed the miracle. He multiplied the resources. And I'm sure that the multitudes were looking to Him to feed them. But God in His great love and grace wanted the disciples to have the joy of sharing in His work, experiencing His abundance, and relishing the fulfillment that comes from serving others.
4. When we commit our resources to Him, and He blesses them, the results are truly astonishing!
With five loaves and two fish, the disciples didn't possess enough food to nourish themselves, much less a great multitude. But with God, all things are possible.
5. Remember: God is able do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Even if Jesus had given the disciples only what they needed to feed the crowd of five thousand, He would have still provided for them miraculously and abundantly. But Matthew tells us that after everyone was satisfied, the disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftover food. That is exceeding abundantly. God is not stingy. He wants to fill our cups to overflowing. We just have to remember to first give Him our cups.
Do you have to be Superwoman to home school? No. You simply need to take your meager, inadequate resources and place them in the hands of Jesus. Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The same Jesus who met the disciples in their time of need and multiplied their very inadequate resources in the process is waiting for you to place your resources in His very large hands. Brace yourself--the results can be astounding!
Zan Tyler is the editor of the Crosswalk.com HomeSchool Channel, and the co-author of the book Anyone Can Homeschool. She and her husband, Joe, have three children and have been home schooling since 1984.