BUT….I’m not qualified to teach! – Education the Way God Intended it…
Article by guest writer Kirsty Ferguson.
NOTE : All quotes used in the writing of this article are from the book “When You Rise Up : A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling” by R.C. Sproul Jr.
“Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
~ Psalm 78:1-8
It is a beautiful day outside, the sky is clear with large white puffy clouds floating by. The air is warm and beckoning and beautiful rays of golden sun creep through the window and spill across the table, at a small diner where I am sitting with a precious sister in Christ. The problem is, this dear sister is far from cheery. She picks up her cup of coffee and takes a long drink, then lowers her cup and looks at me, with eyes full of fear and confusion. “This is what I don’t understand,” she begins, “How can God expect me to teach my children ? I have never been to school to be a teacher. I actually never even graduated from college, and I was going for buisness…not for teaching.” She frowns, and holds tightly onto her cup of coffee…worry creasing her brow. “I mean, I struggle with simple things, like math. How ever will I teach my children the things that they need to know ? I can see myself making it through Preschool, Kindergarten and possibly the first few grades of Elementary school with them. But once they hit about 4th grade, I would be totally lost. And then Middle School and High School ? It would be a disaster and my children would remain stupid for the rest of their lives because their mother was a failure at teaching them!” Tears begin to well up in this dear sister’s eyes, and my heart broke in two.
I know so many parents, mom’s and dad’s, who struggle with this. This is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) problem that parents have with homeschooling. They feel as though they are not qualified to teach their children. The fact is though, is that God’s word makes it clear that you are to teach, train and raise your children in the the Lord and educate them at home. So if God gave you those children and His word is clear about what He wants you to do with them, then why would you think that He would not equip you with everything that you need to teach and train them ? It is foolish of us to think that we are unable to do the job that God has commanded that we do. Has God ever given a command that was impossible to obey ? Of course NOT! So why in the world would we as parents, think that this is the one command we cannot obey ? That is absurd.
I have found that there are two sides of people on this “concern”. On one side of the concern, the parents just don’t know or realize that the Bible commands them to educate their own children. These parents have never been told by anyone that their children are NOT to be sent to “school” but rather “school” should be within their own home, with them as the primary teachers. These types of people, just need to be shown the truth of God’s word, and be told that what they are doing is wrong and unbiblical. Many times, these people will repent, turn away from what they are doing, and begin doing things the biblical way, the way that God meant things to be.
Then…well, there is the other side of this “concern. These are the people who have heard about the command from God to educate their children at home, who know what the Bible says, but choose to disobey it. These people will try everything in their power to justify their actions. They will claim that the BIble is not clear on this subject, or that this “command” is out of date and no longer applies to them. They may also claim that well, so and so sent their children to public school and they turned out to be good upstanding christians, right ? Or, (one of the biggest excuses I hear), well we just cannot AFFORD to homeschool our children, my wife would have to quite her job and stay home full time, and that is just impossible for us to do, so we are left with no other option besides sending our children to public school. These are all LIES straight from satan himself, and he wants you to believe them as truth. They are nothing more than excuses and really just boil down to people trying to make themselves feel better about the sin that they are living in and the fact that they are blatantly spitting in the face of God by disobeying what He commands.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2
There is a very good excerp from R.C. Sproul Jr.’s book that I would like to share with you, and that fits perfectly in with the point that I am trying to make :
“I have a friend who illustrates the point in a powerful, surprising way. He might be speaking with a woman who is thinking of turning her back or who can’t quite get the courage to start homeschooling. In her humility she knows that she wasn’t the best student in the world when she was in school. Her own mother questions her qualifications, as does her neighbor. Maybe this mom went to college or maybe she didn’t. But she isn’t overfilled with intellectual confidence. My friend patiently listens while she highlights her mental weakness. Then he makes it worse. He asks, “What are the three main forms of rocks?”
Usually the woman is doubly puzzled. First, she has no idea where the question came from. She suspects that perhaps my friend hasn’t been paying attention to the conversation. And second, of course, she is puzzled because she can’t for the life of her remember the correct answer. My friend will wait patiently while she tries to construct the answer. “Um, is it sedimentary, Ignatius and moon rocks ?” My friend still won’t let her off the hook. “You’re considering homeschooling, and you don’t even know the threee main forms of rocks ?” As the woman becomes increasingly cresfallen, he smiles and says, “Yet you manage to be a godly woman.”
Do you understand the point ?
If your goal is to raise Children who know the different forms of rocks, you might be wise to put them in contact with someone who knows. But if your goal is to raise from godly children godly adults, then you are the one for the job.”
The problem is, that these worries and fears are not something new. They are something that almost every homeschooling parent has had cross their minds at least once. I know that I have. I remember when my husband and I first began talking about homeschooling our son, we laughed a bit at the idea. I mean, I was homeschooled growing up, but I wasn’t the smartest kid on the block either. And whatever my parents struggled in, so did I. Math was not the strong suit of my mom, so neither was it mine. My mom was great with English and grammar though, and therefore, I became excellent at it as well. So thinking back to that, my husband and I rejected the idea at first. After all, we wanted the best for our son, and we thought that it meant sending our son to a private school. You see, we were already dead set against a public school, we knew all of the bad things that went on there, the evils and corrupt people. My husband went to a public school all his life, and as a result, swore that his children would never go there. So we figured that our only option was a private Christian school, where our son would be getting a good education from people who were trained to teach him, but also where the things that we were teaching him at home would not be underminded by the eduational system.
It was not until about a year ago, that God finally opened up my heart and mind to the truth of His word, and revealed to me, that it was truly unbiblical for us to even consider sending this precious little boy of ours to someone else to be educated. It makes me sick thinking back to that time when my husband and I actually thought that it would be for our son’s benefit to be sent away 8-10 hours a day to be educated by a stranger. Let me share with you dear brethren, it is NOT God’s plan for your children to be educated by someone else. Do you think that God really intended for you to ship your children off to someone else ? No matter what your reason, it is wrong, plain and clear.
Another quote by R.C. Sproul Jr. emphasizes this very thing :
” There is a similar test that I would like to offer to determine whether or not you are competent to homeschool. You don’t have to go to college to get a degree in education. (In fact, that degree might prove to be counterproductive because education programs prepare you to teach how the state wants you to teach.) You don’t have to have teachers in your family background. Not is it necessary that you were once the teacher’s pet, or are an expert in clapping erasers. The test is rather simple to take. It should only take a few minutes, and then you will know. The first thing you do is wait until it is late at night. Then very quietly, go from room to room in your house. Peek in carefully, and see if you find any sleeping children. Then be sure that these are your own children. If there are wee ones in your home during the wee hours, and if they belong to you, you are competent to homeschool. The true Expert on education is the very One who gave you these children.”
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please hear me out on this. If you have children in your house, then it is YOUR responsibility to educate them, not the governments and not a private sector. It is up to you. You will be the one who has to answer to God for the way that your children are raised. Do you really want to stand before God and admit that you shurked your responsibilites as a parent because of money, time or fear ?
It is ok to be scared, it is ok to have doubts, what is NOT ok is to pass the buck and send your children away so that someone else can do the job that God has commanded that YOU do. It may be hard at times, I am not saying that it will be a cake walk, but what I am saying is that you are called and commanded to this. If you have children, then God intended you to educate and train them in EVERYTHING, not just in the things that you feel as though you should. Every area of education is your responsibility.
So dear friend, I will tell you what I told this precious sister who was sitting across from me with a heavy heart and tears in her eyes. ” You may not be able to do this sis. That is understandable, it really is. You have worries, fears, doubts and confusion on this, you feel as though you would never be a good enough teacher for your children. You are lost and scared.” I paused and looked into her eyes as she became increasing confused, “But, let me tell you. GOD CAN DO THIS through you! And He will! So whenever you think that you cannot do this or that it is impossible, you are right, you are right. But it is in those moments that you need to get on your knees before your creator, before your God who can do anything, and ask Him to do the work through you. Ask Him to take you out of this, and to take over. Because then, and only then will you be able to fulfill these commands that He has given you as a mom.”
So friend, please do not give up. Do not give in. That is exactly what Satan wants from you. Instead focus on Christ, and seek Him first. Seek to do the which will please and glorify God. I promise you, it will be the best decision that you will ever make.
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-17