Friday, June 22, 2007

Educating Our Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord

Many homeschoolers feel that their children need to be able to give an answer to every trivia question that someone could possibly come up with in order to prove how successful homeschooling can be. I have, at times, felt pressured to stuff my children's little heads with plain facts for just this reason. Lee has been encouraging me throughout this last year to educate the girls with the emphasis on character and life skills woven through everything, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5), and giving them the tools they will need to give an answer to anyone who asks of the hope that lies within them (1 Peter 3:15). In other words, to give them a rich education that stems from a fear of God, not of man*.
Basic knowledge is very important. You can't manage a home with excellence if you can't stick to a budget and you won't be able to give an answer to the hope that lies within you very well if you can't articulate yourself both in your speech and through the written word. The Lord himself told us to watch the ant (Proverbs 6:6) and we are to consider His creation (Psalm 8:3). Great biblical truths can be demonstrated in such things and this makes science very important to us (Answers in Genesis is a great resource for this!). History is HIS story and it is imperative that we teach our children to recognize the providence of God both in their own history and in the history of the world we live in, starting at Genesis 1:1 (Acts 17:26&27, Psalm 78:4). All of these things can prepare our children to live a godly life and can be used by God to give an answer for the hope we have within us.
Some children will go further in different areas than others depending upon the giftings and interests that God has woven into them. A daughter who wants to grow up to create beautiful tapestries will likely put more time into such things than a daughter who has a serious interest in midwifery. A son who wants to go into some sort of full time missionary work will focus on different things than a son who wants to go into law. There is nothing wrong with being well versed in something, or many things, but the question begs to be asked, "Why?". Why do you do what you do and why do you teach what you teach? That is a question we have been asking ourselves a lot lately. We must not cause our children to be slaves to the world's knowledge but rather our goal must be to give our children the knowledge they need to take dominion (Genesis 1:28), to live out their faith in all things (2 Corinthians 6:4, Colossians 1:18), to love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might and to teach these things diligently to the next generation (Deuteronomy 6:5).
There is no box that our Christianity fits in. Following Christ means that you take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), all of the time, whether it is "Should I use a History curriculum?" or "What should I wear today?". It is all His.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. ~1 Corinthians 6:19&20

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. ~Isaiah 26:3

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4


  1. Thank you so much , Shelby, for this insightful post. It is easy to want to teach our children a million facts, so that they are considered smart. But only that which affects them for eternity truly matters. This was so wonderfully written.

    In Him,


  2. Lilyofthevalley4June 24, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    That is so true, Shelby! I have really desired to do that with my girls, but sometimes, it can be just so easy to set the books before them and not take the time for the more important things. :)

    Thank you for sharing that!

  3. What a great post. I need to come back and read some more.

  4. Wise words, indeed. Thank you for sharing your heart. In the end, if we can say that our children are living for Him and serving Him wholly, then we are indeed blessed!

    In His Grace,

    Mama Russell

  5. Thank you all so much for your encouraging comments :)!