Last week in the podcast we were able to hear from Lisa Falknor, Erica Powell, and Tracy Mauldin about education choices for our children. It was a blessing to be able to see Believers who have been called to make different choices in how to educate their children come together and support each other in the paths God has taken them. Sometimes we assume because someone makes a different choice on something as critical as education that relationships have to suffer. What an amazing reminder that our unity is in Christ, not how we bring up our kids.
So why is this choice often times so difficult? It is an important decision, but as we heard last week, that decision doesn't have to be permanent. One of the best pieces of advice I've heard, even before we had kids, was that it is a yearly decision. We shouldn't make the assumption that what God has called us to one year is what he will call us to every year after that. It's something to prayerfully consider each year. So if the decision is not forever, why is it still so hard?
As humans, we often allow fear to make our decisions for us. In education, this can show up in several ways. We fear our children will be exposed to difficult things in public school or they won't have access to the resources they need to "succeed." We fear our kids won't be properly socialized if homeschooled. We fear they will become too sheltered if they attend private school or that we won't have the finances necessary for them to attend. The common thread with all of these thoughts is that our fears are keeping us from something instead of our calling pushing us towards something.
I'm not saying these aren't real and valid issues that need to be addressed. Nor am I saying that you shouldn't take them into consideration when making your decision. But when we're so focused on our fears, we don't have the bandwidth to think about how big our God is, and that He's promised to take care of us. Do you know what is the most common command found in Scripture? Do not be afraid (or some variant of it). Obviously God's people have always struggled with fear, but we have a God who is bigger than our fears. And we have His power in us. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
So we do not make our decisions based on our fears. We make our decisions based on God's promises. We prayerfully consider our choices and "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5) And when someone makes a choice that is different from yours you can thank God for caring about each of us individually.
And the amazing thing about this is that it doesn't just apply to how we choose to educate our children. It doesn't just apply to decisions involving our children at all. It applies to all our decisions. Don't let fear win. Trust in the all-knowing, all-powerful, personal God who works all things for our good and His glory.
Below are some resources I've found helpful. Hopefully they give you peace and encouragement about the path God has chosen for you.
How Should We Educate Our Children? The Case for Freedom (The ladies at Risen Motherhood did a four part podcast series on education choices)
Homeschool Will Not Save Them (A good article on our inability to save our children through our parenting decisions)