Saturday, July 13, 2013

Comparisons...Whose Standard?

 *Even though this was written to and about homeschool moms, it is an applicable principle to everyone. I wrote this yesterday in response to a growing burden I had watching homeschool moms ask questions and leave comments on a facebook page this past week.*
"When they... compare themselves with one another they are without understanding and behave unwisely," 2 Corinthians 10:12

They had set themselves as a standard and were comparing themselves to each other instead of looking to God.

I have been homeschooling for 19 years, and I have been guilty of falling into this trap in the past. And, I see SO many homeschool moms who not only fall into it, but live in it. It is probably especially true of new homeschoolers. We feel like we need a standard...a safety net. We need rules, we need the "right" curriculum, and we compare. Oh! do we compare!! We will either use the public school system that most of us grew up in, or we use other homeschool families. And, when those families are outspoken (and especially if they seem to be doing and accomplishing so much more than we are), either they set themselves up as a standard, or we, in our insecurity, set them up as a standard. But, God needs to be our standard!! It is okay to look to other moms for advice, to glean ideas, to get encouragement, but never judge how you should teach and parent your children off of what that perfect looking family or curriculum says. Go to God! He knows your children. He knows their needs. There's a good chance He is expressing himself through them...we just don't always listen. If HE says there needs to be a change (and that voice will not be condemning!), then listen. Seek out other moms who are on the path that you feel God calling your family. Ask for their input, but continue to let your Father be your standard and guide. Tune the other voices out.

If after reading a post here or any blog, magazine, etc., you feel like a failure, you feel like you're failing your children, or you feel panicked to change things, go to the Father. It's probably comparison or the enemy seeking to steal your peace and destroy the good you are doing. Ask God if there needs to be a change. He will give you peace that passes understanding in His calling for your life.

New or struggling homeschool moms (and those with kids transitioning into high school), you are their mom for a reason. God called you to teach them at home for a reason. Trust your mom instincts given to you by God. Ask Him to show you and teach you. To lead you to the right path for your children. Do not panic over how the school or anyone else is doing it. Children learn in so many different ways. Learn how your children learn and do not be afraid to go that direction, even if you believe you are the only one. I can promise you that you aren't.

I do believe there are some rights and wrongs in teaching. There are some standards for every family that I believe come from God. Relationships should come before academics. God's calling on your child's life should come before academics (especially those that are just for the sake of academics.) Rest for the body and the mind are God's standard. Letting children be free to be children, not perfect little angels, who sit perfectly still, working for hours on something they hate or is of no significant value to God's plan for them. If we are frustrated, burned out, the children are frustrated and burned out, there is a standard...and we're following the wrong one. We always hear moms say that they just need to persevere and endure, when, in fact, God may be saying, "Come to Me. Rest. My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations
And set up My standard to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in their bosom,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders."

God has set a standard...a place for us to come to, look to, return to, in every part of our life. We look to Him and His word to find that standard for our family's life.