The Wings of the Eagle - Faith for Home Schooling
- 2004 19 Jul
There is no way around it - home schooling takes faith! It is a walk of faith from start to finish. To educate our children ourselves, we must break from the norm, embark on something completely unknown, even unexpected, trusting that God is in control of the results. I'd say that takes faith, wouldn't you?
I think the eagle is a perfect illustration of the faith necessary to home school our children. He soars above circumstances, flying higher than other birds. During storms, while most birds seek shelter in trees or hiding places, the eagle actually puts wind currents and storms to use by allowing them to propel him forward - even in the harshest conditions. An eagle's wings are what give him the unique ability to overcome those things that could defeat or destroy him, and to conserve his strength as he soars above destruction. The wings of an eagle are like the faith of a home schooling family - it is what allows them to launch out, to rise up, and to weather the storms that inevitable come.
The Bible talks about the eagle's wings in Isaiah 41:30-31:
"But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint" (NKJ)
We, too, must rely on our wings of faith if we are to "rise" to meet the challenges home education brings. This path can bring a lot of pressure - it can also bring great reward. When the struggles, frustrations, or fears come…we must have the ability to overcome those things or they will defeat us. Faith will give you the strength to keep going, even in the face of opposition. Faith will carry you through to the finish!
Step Out On Hope
Hebrews 11:1 tells us "Faith is the substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen." So faith itself begins with hope. When I first started reading about home schooling, I had just a flicker of hope - mixed among many doubts - that we could do this. As I read every book I could on the subject, my hope began to deepen; I began to sense God calling us to take this seemingly radical step.
Hope is actually the precursor to faith. In other words, it is enough to get you started. You can even "step out" on hope, as it says in Hebrews 6:19, "we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor…[that] cannot slip or break down under whoever steps out upon it." Maybe you are still just hoping that home schooling will work for you. I believe you can develop that hope into a deep faith that will carry you to the end of your home schooling destination—whatever that end may be! As faith become a stronger force in your life, you will find yourself well able to meet the challenges home schooling brings.
Rise up in Faith
Obviously, your faith in Christ will be the foundation for your efforts. Diligently apply yourself to Scripture, invest time reading books that will strengthen you spiritually, and commit yourself to prayer. Make time for your sisters in Christ and allow them to edify you and hold you accountable. If you don't have a good home schooling friend, make that a priority in prayer. God can bring someone into your life that can make a world of difference for you!
The next area of faith you'll need is faith in home schooling itself. To develop your "eagle's wings," you will need to spend time with other home schoolers, attend conferences, read positive books - especially success stories from other home schooling families, and allow it to get into your heart! We can receive great encouragement as we observe and listen to those who have made it through.
You also need to have faith in your decision. I know many parents who wrestle almost daily with this. They constantly question their choice to home educate, and it opens the door for all sorts of problems, mainly in their own minds. They become, as the Bible describes, "double-minded." James 1:8 says that this person is "unstable, unreliable, and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, and decides]." It also says he will be "driven and tossed like the sea!" Faith in your decision will keep you steadfast and resolute - regardless of what others say…and in spite of any disapproval or judgment you may receive. Settle this issue once and for all: God called you to home educate your children. If He "changes His mind," He will let you know. Until then, don't look back or second-guess yourself.
A final area that requires faith may be the most challenging for us moms. That is believing in ourselves. We need to have faith in our abilities, our motives, our commitment. There's a saying that says, "Whom God calls, He equips." It's true. You have what you need to educate your children successfully. Now, this doesn't mean we don't need God! It means that we recognize the gifts He's given us, continue to develop ourselves as teachers and mothers... while relying on Him to make up for our weakness. This means, when that voice in your head reminds you of your inadequacies and shortcomings, you choose not to listen! Remember the promises of God's Word, refuse to allow doubt and fear to creep in, and be done with negative thoughts once and for all!
Home Schooling: A Life of Faith
The force of faith in the life of a Christian home schooling family cannot be overstated. As Habakkuk 2:4 says, "The just shall live by his faith."
We responded to God's call to educate our children by faith…we make crucial decisions regarding their future by faith…and we raise and train them…by faith!
Finishing the home schooling race will take determination and diligence. To finish it with joy and confidence will take strong wings of faith! Consider again the eagle soaring effortlessly above the storms, riding the thermals; by the force of our faith, we, too, can rise above opposition, doubt, struggle, and every challenge. Our wings of faith will carry us through to the finish and allow us to enjoy the journey.
A homeschooler for over 14 years, Sue Brage is known as "The Homeschool Encourager." She speaks and writes to hundreds of homeschoolers and currently writes a weekly email devotional called Weekly Word. She is also a full-time writer for an international ministry in the Denver area. To receive your free e- devotional, or for more information about her ministry, please visit her website, www.homeschool-encourager.com.