Beginning with Home Schooling (24) “In Everything I Showed You…”

You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:34-35).

I am convinced that most people who commence Home Schooling, hardly know what they are getting into. We certainly didn’t. I didn’t know that it would lead to moving interstate for two professional jobs, amounting now to thirteen years, and still going.

Nor did we know what it would mean in terms of our children, how it would flavour their upbringing, or their attitudes as adults, but it has. Parents have to think about this. I don’t for a moment claim it’s always been easy, but I haven’t seen any negatives, either.

This is what we were supposed to be doing, from the beginning. The idea that we could delegate education to an institution, and then try to find Biblical validity for the practice, is comic at best.

Parents have to accept that they are going to be central to the practice of their children’s education. In fact, if Abraham did this successfully, God said it would lead to him inheriting the promises of God. He said concerning Abraham,

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised him (Gen.18:19).

What is a key to success in this?

John Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides islands, from 1887. His missionary predecessors to the islands in 1839, were killed and eaten immediately they set foot there, so he knew this continued to be a very dangerous place; it most certainly was.

What inspired him to go there? His father of eleven children was a man devoted to prayer, praying with his family daily. Many years after attaining adulthood, Paton wrote,

How much my father’s prayers at this time [i.e. as a child in Scotland] impressed me I can never explain, nor can any stranger understand. When, on his knees and all of us kneeling around him in Family Worship, he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the Heathen world to the service of Jesus, and for every personal and domestic need, we all felt as in the presence of the living Saviour, and learned to know him as our Divine friend.[1]

Consequently, before he was twelve years old, Paton said, “I have given my soul to God, and was resolved to aim at being a missionary of the cross, or a minister of the gospel.”[2]

The apostle Paul took this matter of personal example, very seriously. He wrote to the Corinthians,

Be imitators of me (I Cor. 11:1). 

He wrote to the Philippians,

The things you have learned and received and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil.4:9).

He wrote to Timothy,

The things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (II Tim.2:2).

And then,

You followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, and sufferings… (II Tim.3:10).

Conclusion:

It’s a big thing to try and live up to Paul’s parting words to the Ephesians, “in everything I showed you…” But if godly parents will take this charge seriously, they will most likely like Abraham, inherit the promises of God, along with their children. For,

A righteous man who walks in his integrity- how blessed are his sons after him (Prov.20:7).

Is that what you’re living, working and praying for?

 

 

[1] Quoted in John Piper, “21 Servants of Sovereign Joy,” 2018, p.543-44.

[2] Piper, p.545.

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