Rebuilding the Walls of the Family

I was shopping in Bi-Lo today when a woman with her son approached me and asked if I was homeschooling. Did I do A.C.E.? … I thought to myself “do I have some invisible sign written on me announcing our homeschooling status or what?”

I asked her why she thought I homeschooled and she said “because you look like a family.” Anyway it was quite exciting as she is interested in starting and pulling her children out of the public system. Plus she doesn’t want to send her children away to boarding school. The little boy (grade 3) asked me if I believed in God and Jesus.                                                                                  

(Part of an email sent to us by one of our clients).

God is doing some exciting things amongst His people, and one of the things He has been using has been home education. Home education doesn’t mean the eradication of family problems. In fact, sometimes it creates problems! Families that were able to disguise or get rid of their problems when children were going off to school daily, now have to face matters of relationship, discipline and order. I don’t suggest this is easy. But I do believe these are essential aspects of life in terms of growth and Christian maturity, that must be faced squarely by parents and children.

Taking a decision that is unpopular and against the grain of what others are doing, is not easy. When yours is the only family homeschooling that you know of in your area, it does require a level of resilience to go on, year after year. It is much easier to “go with the flow.” But very, very frequently in history, “going with the flow” can lead to disaster. What we need to understand in these situations is what the Bible means, when it refers to the “remnant.”

Any remnant is a small proportion of a much larger group. Material shops have “Remnant Sales,” which are of course the left-overs from whole rolls of material.The word “remnant” is used 88 times in the Bible. It isn’t always used with a positive connotation, but most of the time it is. Here are three examples from Micah:

I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture they will be noisy with men (Mic.2:12).

I will make the lame a remnant and the outcasts a strong nation, and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now and forever (Mic.4:7).

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love (Mic.7:18).

There were 603,550 men amongst the children of Israel (according to Nu.2:32) when they came out of Egypt. They were on a journey, but of these only Joshua and Caleb went into the promised land to claim their inheritance; the others died. When these two declared to the children of Israel, “if the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us-a land which flows with milk and honey” (Nu.14:8), “all the congregation said to stone them with stones” (v.10). If those two had made their decisions based on the unbelief of the other 603,548, they would have died before entering their inheritance. They were the remnant of a much larger group which perished within forty years.

The promised land was not for everyone. It was for the remnant: the faithful, believing saints. Now, some might be thinking, “Andrew, that sounds a bit grim.” Is it really like that?”

Well, we’re on a journey too, “looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb.11:10), and are encouraged “…not to grow weary and lose heart” (Heb.12:3). We are called (like Joshua and Caleb) to obey the Lord in whatever circumstances He places us, and leave the rest to Him. And those believers who inherit will be those who have been faithful to God, and not been swayed by a compromised multitude that took the easy way. Jesus instructed us that “the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few that find it” (Mat.7:14).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                       

Homeschooling is an aspect of building the walls of your family. Let me encourage you to “stick to your knitting” with the tasks you believe God has given you as a couple. Like Joshua and Caleb, you mightn’t have a lot of people supporting you to begin with. But if the tasks you engage in are from Him, He will be your vindicator, and you will taste of His inheritance. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa.1:19 KJV).