“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Let all your things be done with charity.”
I Corinthians 16:13 KJV
Quit is to leave, to withdraw from; but the primary sense of the root is to move or to send; requite is to send back.
1. To leave; to depart from, either temporarily or forever.
2. To free; to clear; to liberate; to discharge from.
3. To carry through; to do or perform something to the end, so that nothing remains; to discharge or perform completely.
4. To quit one’s self, reciprocally, to clear one’s self of incumbent duties by full performance.
5. To vacate obligation; to release; to free from.
6.To leave; to give up; to resign; to relinquish; as, to quit an office.
7. To forsake; to abandon.
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of The English Language
After we had been homeschooling for a few years, we took ten couples to a homeschool conference. The main speaker was Gregg Harris who made a startling statement. He said to look around at your friends that came with you and notice who they were. He then said that most of those people would be quitters and not persevere in homeschooling until their children were grown. Why? Because we are a generation of quitters!!
No way! Not these dedicated couples. I can remember many of those families who attended with us that year. Out of those families; only two are still homeschooling and three are either divorced or separated. It doesn’t seem to matter what our convictions are, they aren’t strong enough to ‘keep us keeping on when the going gets tough.’ We are a generation of compromisers who change what we believe or think like the wind.
Our commitment to our children should be our first priority. As moms (or dads) our commitment often lags by the middle of the year as the winter blues set in. As January turns to February many moms are hopelessly depressed climbing the walls with children spending more time ‘inside’ than out. We can feel like it is time to quit! What’s a mom to do?!
First of all know that your children are the best reasons for you to remain committed to HOMElearning. They are worth it, totally worth every day, every moment you spend with them over the years as you raise them.
It says in the bible that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to discourage us and wants our families to be weakened, not strengthened. He cannot get us to deny our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but he sure will (if he can) pull us away from our children. He wants our children! Our children need us. They need two parents with a strong home and strong faith that desire to spend quantity time not just quality time with them. We are to watch the things that will take us away from our commitment to our children. These ‘things’ can come in the form of: time, ungodly influences we allow into our lives, and friends that pull either our children or ourselves from the family.
We can let down our guard and allow time robbers into our lives. A Keeper at Home is a watch over her home. We are home with our children all day, how are we spending our time? Are we allowing our children to watch TV or videos that will not direct their interests and thoughts to the Lord? So many moms of teenagers are discouraged because their children are not walking with the Lord. The seeds for a young person’s life are planted when they are very little. Moms whose children are under eight are tired, burned out, and at their wits end because their children’s behavior is totally out of control. We desire to raise our children to walk with the Lord but it is often difficult knowing how to transfer our faith to our children. Often, there is a connection between how we as a mom and our children spend our time.
There is a whole new mindset with homeschoolers these days compared to when we began our journey over sixteen years ago. Support groups are like a smorgasbord where families can choose which one they attend. In the early years, it was so exciting to find another family who homeschooled that we were thrilled to drive 20 to 30 miles in order to get together. Now there are many support groups and homeschool activity co-ops cropping up in numerous churches and you are no longer alone. Along with this, the mentality has changed as people pull their children out of the government schools primarily to provide a safe environment and academic excellence. Both of these reasons are wonderful but when the parent’s primary reason is for a safe environment or academics they have lost the vision or never caught it in the first place. Since the mom often teaches and plans for the homeschool, she will shortly tire or burn out from carrying the responsibilities almost entirely alone.
STAND FAST IN THE FAITH
The cereal companies advertise about the vitamins they have included to fortify us for our day. Of course, these are synthetic vitamins that have been added to what was depleted out of the cereal during processing. Are you depleted of your spiritual vitamins? Have you spiritually fortified your day? The only way we can fortify our day is by being prepared for what lies ahead through starting our day with prayer and time in the Word. That is the only way we will have supernatural strength to stand fast in the faith.
It is so hard to find time with the Lord when our children are all little or we are nursing a child. Maybe you are one of those moms who this isn’t a struggle for, but when my children were all little ones, this was definitely an area where creativity with my time was needed. I read somewhere this week that a woman can focus on two things at once. I try to pray before I ever get out of bed. My mind is still in a fog but when I honor the Lord in this way and start my day off with my thoughts on Him, my day goes much smoother. I am reminded of a song that says, “Err you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?” Hmmm, did I? Did you? The shower is the best place to pray as it relaxes me and it is easier to release and lay my burdens before the Lord. I also pray before I start reading the bible because relying on shower time I find is not enough (besides often I relax too much!!) When laundry is being folded, I try to remember to think about the person I am folding clothes for and pray for them. In this way we begin to reflect on the things of the Lord as we go through our day.
I have my quiet time with the Lord early in the morning before the children get up but there were many years when I got up when (whoever was) the baby got up around 5 or 5:30am (after probably being up in the night) to nurse. Then as the other children got up it was next to impossible to have an undisturbed quiet time and the rest of the day was spent chasing that illusionary time alone with the Lord. During those years, instead of feeling impossibly guilty, I went with the flow and began to teach my children to have time with the Lord each day. For years, I have read the bible to the children after breakfast, sung a song or two with them, or read aloud a bible story. Whatever your circumstances, don’t neglect your relationship with your Lord and live before your children as an example.
BE BRAVE, BE STRONG
The King James Version says to “Quit ye like men” and we could easily substitute the word women for men as we apply this verse to our lives. Besides forsaking and leaving something we are doing, quit has another meaning which we often don’t associate with the word. It also means to “to carry through; to do or perform something to the end, so that nothing remains; to discharge or perform completely.”
Just as we can abandon our responsibility, being liberated or freed from what we felt called to do, we can ‘carry through’, perform to the end, doing our tasks as homeschooling mom until nothing remains to be done, until the job is completely done. Quit means NOT to stop. To keep on when the ‘keeping’ of our home and family isn’t always easy. It means to keep on through those middle years and until we reap the harvest in young people who are ready to go into all the world. Too often we are anxious for the harvest and try to bring in an early harvest seeking time to ourselves, an outside job, outside ministries, friends, or church responsibilities. These years are fleeting and will be over before long. Our husband is our first ministry and our children second. Nothing should stand between them.
This verse isn’t talking about physical strength or I’d be exercising instead of writing! Although exercising is important as a stress (endorphin) releaser just as vitamins are to our diet, the strength that is so important is the spiritual strength we receive from walking in the Spirit moment by moment as we go through our day. If we homeschool in our own strength we will loose heart and give up long before the years have brought the harvest. We might not even begin to see the harvest until we see our grandchildren being raised in years to come. Until then we don’t really see the fruit of the years and choices we made as a mom while raising our children.
It is the Lord who we should be relying and leaning on for strength when we feel weak and want first to go running to the phone, email a friend, or rush to the computer for support on the internet. Times have changed (as one mom so aptly put it) and many families are making choices that are based around their academic program rather than how the Lord desires their children to be raised, how to spend our days with them.
LET ALL THAT YOU DO BE DONE WITH LOVE
Or, “Let all your ‘things’ be done with charity (love)”. Could ‘things’ be our agenda as moms?? How about how clean or unclean the house is? How about when we are running behind on the meals? Or if we didn’t get our time to our self to ________? How about when our child didn’t do his chores? Or when she didn’t accomplish any ‘thing’ in her math book? How about how we are honoring and respecting our husband? Are we an example of the behaviour we desire our children to have towards us as moms? Hmmmm!! Ouch!!
Our tone in how we speak to our children will to a degree be the tone they use with each other (usually my sin is 7X’s magnified in my children!) I like all the verses (and have them printed on my fridge) about walking in unity and love from Paul’s epistles in scriptures. That’s good, but are we living it before our children? My children are much more receptive to the message in the bible as I live it before them in love. Then, when one of them speaks wrongly to another it is easier for them to *hear* what I am telling them about saying it in a kinder, more loving way. Our example speaks louder than any amount of scripture that we read aloud to them. We can plant those seeds but the harvest comes as they *see* it lived daily before their eyes and ears.
WHAT KIND OF QUITTER WILL YOU BE??
Are you going to be a quitter that leaves the responsibilities of raising your children at home? Are you going to requite and send your children ‘back’ to the government (or others) to train and educate? Lets take on a new mindset that is honoring to the calling that the Lord has given us to “Train up a child in the way he should go” because God has called us to a full time responsibility in training our children spiritually so that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will follow as these ‘things’ are added (II Peter 1:4-8). We will see the harvest in our children’s lives if we “do not become weary in well-doing” and persevere unto the end . . . “And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Moms, you are doing the most noble job in the world. Although it is not recognized in our society or even by many Christians today, being at home raising and educating our children is a high calling. Our children will rise up and call us blessed some day, maybe not this day so full of diapers, math to correct, and fussy children who don’t see the ‘why’ in it all.
God Bless you!!