16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
As our pastor began to emphasize the fact that it is the job of every church member to "Go", and not just that of pastors, deacons, etc, my antenna went up. For a moment I wondered if this could be a Biblical argument against homeschooling.
I have heard many parents say they send their children into public schools to be "salt" and "light". I tabled the thought for the time being and tuned back in to the rest of the sermon (which was very good, by the way).
Since Greg had the older two boys for the drive home, I had my own quiet drive to think back on the question of the command to "Go" and our choice to homeschool.
I realized pretty quickly that, no, sending them in to school and expecting them, unaided, to do something they haven't been clearly shown would be absurd.
But to keep them home and say we were teaching them to be able to "Go ye therefore" later, and then not model and instruct that command would be equally absurd.
For my children to be able to go into their world and teach the gospel to all people, they have to see that behavior in me.
It is no secret that our children grow up to do what they have seen modeled in us. Sons grow up opening doors or always pumping the gas because that's what Daddy always did for Mama. Girls grow up buying a certain brand of cleaner, or making potato salad just so because that's the way Mama always did it.
Sure, not all of our habits rub off on our children (thankfully!) but many do, especially those that are enforced through teaching. Enter the familiar passage from Deuteronomy 6:6-7
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
When we are consistently teaching our children God's word, and his commands, and then consistently modeling them ourselves, they will be prepared to do so themselves as they grow. At first with our guidance, and later on their own.
I think it would be safe to guess that the 15 year old that has observed mom and dad "going" and "teaching", at the same time being taught the principles behind these commands will be much better prepared and more likely to speak up, sharing the gospel with boldness and love than his counterpart who was taught on Sundays and Wednesdays and sent off without a model, and without a guide.
Likewise, I think our first example will be even better prepared than the homeschooled 15 year old who was diligently taught Bible history and how to study God's word, but never saw mom and dad say a word to anyone about what Christ has done and can do.
All of this rationalizing led me feeling very excited about the great opportunity we have with keeping our children with us day after day, year after year.
It also led me back to exactly what our pastor had been teaching just a few minutes before: I've got to be speaking up. Sharing the Truth with the other mom at the park, the checker at the grocery store, the lady in the waiting room... all those people I see when I "go".
Do I like this idea? Um, no, not particularly. I am an introvert of introverts.
Is that an excuse? Um, no.
I've got to speak up. Why?
#1 - Jesus commanded it.
#2 - Someone's eternity could depend on it.
#3 - My children are watching.
If they learn from me, their impact as they grow into adulthood could reach much further than I could ever imagine. More people saved, more people serving Christ, and my children hopefully more prepared to serve their Lord, and obey his commands.
Looks like it's time for me to get busy.