Friday, March 03, 2006

Do Not Learn the Way of the Nations

I received a comment on my post entitled 13 Things about My Experience with Homeschooling from 'S' and thought I'd post my reply to that comment as my post for today. Anyone is free to comment!!


Hi S! Thank you for commenting. I know a lot of people have the same concerns as you do about homeschooling, and while I will attempt to address your concerns, I'm not pretending to know all the answers! :) I do, however, believe the Bible to be the word of God and therefore consider it to be TRUTH. It is where I go to find my answers to questions about life. I state that up front because each one of us has the God-given choice to believe His word or to not believe His word!

A verse that I cling to when I am confronted with this same question about socialization (it’s an argument I hear over and over again as a homeschooler) is Jeremiah 10:2:

Do not learn the way of the nations…

(There’s more to the verse, but that’s the part that I want to focus on.)

And then verse 3 says:

For the customs of the peoples are delusion…

What does God mean here? I believe He is cautioning us about learning what they do – learning about their evil practices.

I want to teach my kids that it’s not okay to take things that don’t belong to them. So how do I go about it? I think that it would be absurd for me to teach them how not to steal! And I’ll go a bit further – my focus should not be on why we shouldn’t steal, instead, my focus should be to instill in them generosity; to teach them why it really is better to give than to receive and to give them opportunity to practice giving and sharing.

The other day my daughter was given 2 suckers from the teller at the bank. We were on our way to pick up her two older siblings. She had a dilemma, there were not enough suckers to go around and she knew it!!! Now I suppose I could have ‘rescued’ her by getting another sucker so that there would be enough to go around. Instead I asked her what she thought she should do. She struggled with it a bit cuz she really, really wanted a sucker for herself. But in the end she gave her suckers to her brother and sister. I was sooo proud of her!!! And I told her that God would bless her for giving up something that she really wanted. I believe as they see for themselves these principles in action that my kids will not even have the desire to steal. Or if the temptation does arrive – they will know from experience that there is a better way!!

In order to teach my children to behave I don’t sit down and show them what is naughty first. Of course I address bad behavior as it comes along… but I certainly wouldn’t be able to (even if I wanted to) show them all the wrong things they need to avoid! Again, I believe my focus should instead be on why they should want to behave and why it is better to speak truth and do good even when they don’t feel like it. We all experience the fruit of their choices – good or bad!

This world can be a scary place! Not everyone wants good for my children and they will face people that want only to hurt them. Do they really need to be exposed to harmful behavior in order to learn how to deal with it? I don’t think so. And I believe that God’s word teaches us the opposite. He tells us to think on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and that which is excellent or praiseworthy!

You may think I’m na├»ve for believing so. But as I said up front, I believe the Bible is God’s word and that it is TRUTH. The second part of Jeremiah 10:2 says:

…And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them.

You see, my hope is in God. I pray that God will protect them and give them MUCH wisdom. Apart from God NONE of us are safe!!! As a mom I have blown it over and over and over again. Even I, who wants good for my children, have hurt them many times. But as I give my mistakes over to God, oh, He is soooo good! He works them all for good.

I hope I have answered your question somewhat! If you have any further questions feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer. God’s richest blessings on you!!!


Stef said...

I hope you weren't offended by my comment. If so I do apologize. I think homeschooling is beneficial for some people, but as you said, we have been given the right from God to decide what we are going to do . I believe that having my child home with only me and his or her siblings is actually detrimental to their social development, as I said before. I don't see public school ( in most places at least) as a horrible place. It gives our children opportunities to learn from different people, learn different techniqies to cope in this world.

I appreciate you responding to me and I am glad to see that your children are blossoming wonderfully in the name of the Lord.

Have a good weekend.. and God Bless.

Shelly said...

Oh no, I wasn't offended at all! :) Feel free to drop in anytime! I welcome your visit and your comments!!