Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life Purpose?

One time I was asked "What do you want your children to accomplish in their life, higher eduction, a great job, money...?" My response was not any of the listed ideas, instead I responded with, "That my children know God and serve him!" To a non-christian or even a non-homeschooler that sounds like a sad and pitiful answer because our culture teaches us that fame, fortune and friends make us happy and successful in this life. But my purpose is not for what I (or my children) can achieve in this life, it's what comes after that I am more interested in. If I give my children the best clothes, house, toys, gadgets, elite education (by society's standards) in this life but they do not know Jesus Christ and serve him, they may have temporary happiness on this earth, but will spend eternity in Hell. To me, it is too high a price to pay! Hell is real and I am not going to waste these precious few years I have training and teaching my children on material things. I do not know when they will leave this earth so I have to make the most of every minute I have with them preparing them for eternity, not this temporary life on earth.

So how does this work as far as academics in our family? While I do believe that education is necessary in this life, I feel that it comes second to nurturing an intimate relationship with the Lord. Most of our education system from private or public school to higher education is a product of our culture. It is man's desire to climb up the ladder of education the way we do today, not God's. Does that mean it's bad or wrong, no. I do believe that God gives man knowledge and wisdom to pass on to others. However, when your child's life only becomes about doing well in school so he can go on to a university which in turn helps him to get a job that pays lots of money...then your focus is not in the right place. That is a worldly view based on what our culture and society have deemed important and successful in this life. The bible does not tell us that we have to receive an education to get to heaven. Our education system including college is man-made. The bible does tell parents that they are to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it(Proverbs 22:6)" and to teach his commands, decrees and statutes to our children. Train a child in the way he should go means training them to serve the Lord and live a productive life on this earth for His glory, not ours. This is what the Lord has for our family, it may not be the same for yours and that's ok!
In our home, we have what I like to call "Life School" every minute of every day. They begin their schooling from the moment they are born. Now i don't mean they know how to read and write from an early age or do algebra equations at 8, but they are educated through every day life happenings. Cooking or baking provides lots of math and reading practice and making homemade laundry soap is a great science experiment. Letter recognition and counting can be done in the car or bath tub and learning colors is fun while doing the laundry. Just try finding a caterpillar and letting it spin a cocoon, then watching it emerge as a new creation, a butterfly. That is the most amazing science lesson and I don't even have to "teach" it to them. God provides everything we need! If we take advantage of every day teachable moments, our children are receiving the best education we can offer them, although maybe not according to our cultures standard.

I ran across this passage while reading Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. It sums it all up!

"Christian home education is the shaping of a life, not just the preparation for a living. Your child needs to see that home education is preparing them for a higher purpose in life, and that their real hope is heaven, not the riches of this world. They need to know that their purpose in life is to serve God, not to make money and buy things. If you set their hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things, then they will find fulfillment in whatever they do in this life because it is a means of serving God."

I pray that we all will not bow down at the altar of this material world, but place our eyes upon the Heavens and find purpose in this life!

1 comment:

  1. I will amen with you on this. Thanks for being so open to share your heart and all the Lord is showing you!


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