As many of you know, we've been on a homeschool adventure with my younger daughter this year. I haven't written a lot about it because I didn't want this space to simply become a place to express my joys and frustrations with the process. But, today, I want to share an update with you because I think it's a picture of what happens when we're obedient to what God calls us to do.
Parenting is hard work. It's hard work whether you homeschool, send your kids to public school, or send your kids to private school. Raising kids isn't an exact science. It's more of a trial-and-error process. And it's a job that requires us to seek God's wisdom almost constantly.
Sometimes when we ask God what to do, though, He gives us an answer that we don't like. He gives us an answer that we fight against with everything in our being. Because what He's asked us to do is hard. It's outside our comfort zone. It requires sacrifice. And we prefer the easy way. We want raising our kids to be easy. We want it to be fun. We want to look like one of those families in a Norman Rockwell painting where everyone is happy and stress-free.
When God directed us to homeschool my younger daughter this year, I wasn't happy. It sounded like a lot of work. It sounded like it would be a frustrating experience. And it meant completely rearranging my well-ordered life. It meant making sacrifices and changing things around. I fought it tooth and nail. I looked at every other option. I railed against what God wanted me to do. Then I finally surrendered.
I'm not going to lie, the first four months were mostly awful. We had tears almost every day. I caught the full force of all the behaviors that we were trying to change. I was discouraged. I was grumpy. I wondered if God had any idea what He was doing.
But then it all changed. All those behaviors we were working on suddenly became less of an issue. We saw joy and excitement come back to the learning process. We found our relationship with our daughter became more loving and respectful. We found out that God really does know what He's doing.
The lesson here isn't that everyone should homeschool their kids (our daughter is headed back to public school next year). The lesson here is that when God asks us to do something as parents, He's doing it with our children's and our best interests in mind. God loves us and He loves our kids. He knows what's best. When He asks us to do something in our parenting -- even if it seems crazy -- He's asking us to do it because it will honor Him in the end. It will help grow our kids (and us) into the men and women He wants them to be.
God is the source of wisdom, and He promises to give us wisdom when we ask Him for it (James 1:5). Since our kids don't come with instruction manuals, it only makes sense to seek wisdom from the One who created our kids. He knows what's best for each one. But when we seek that wisdom, we have to be prepared to sometimes be challenged. We have to be prepared to obey. We have to be prepared to step out of our comfort zone.
Because this parenting thing isn't easy. But when we're following God's path for our kids, we'll find that it becomes a whole lot easier.