The theme for this issue is Blueprints for Your Homeschool. Inside, you will find articles and features designed to help you organize and schedule the hustle and bustle of your family and its educational pursuits. In this brief introduction, I offer a suggestion to homeschooling fathers, and this small tip may be the difference between homeschooling success or failure.
Organization is an important component of any effective household but crucial for a homeschooling family. For any normal home to succeed, a plethora of responsibilities and activities must be accomplished. A homeschooling mother must find a way to balance household chores and cooking with taking care of the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of her children. In addition, she has the added responsibility of educating them! The one person, who most often inherits the oversight of almost all of these activities and, in younger households, does all of these activities, is the homeschooling mother. Many homeschooling fathers fail to realize the difficulties of this assignment. As a homeschooling father myself, I know how easy it is to take for granted the investment my wife makes every day. Stacy does such an excellent job running our home that I often fail to appreciate the energy she puts into this task.
Consider the concept of energy for a moment. Energy is defined as the “capacity to do work.” From physics we know that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is transferred. This is what our wives do daily. They transfer their energy to our children and our households. The result is a functioning home and flourishing children. But if they continue to expend all of this energy, what becomes of them? Where does all this energy come from? The answer, of course, is that the best source of energy is from God, who lovingly and graciously bestows upon our wives the energy they need. My question to you (and also to me) is, Are we doing all we can to ensure that our wives have the spiritual energy they need to accomplish the daunting task of teaching our children?
I believe one of the greatest gifts we can personally give our wives is daily time alone with the Lord. Our wives need time for personal prayer and reflection. They need God’s refreshing breath to recharge their spiritual batteries. A time of peace and quiet—away from the demands of the household—where they can spend time with their Bible and with God, who would fill their souls with the grace and resolve to meet the challenges of the day.
Most of us would say this is a nice suggestion, but who can afford to take the time? My rebuttal is that we cannot afford not to. Martin Luther, the great Reformer, once said, “If I am going to have a busy day, I spend one hour with the Lord. If I am going to have a very busy day, I spend two hours with the Lord.” Time with God is not discretionary.
Here is my tip: Why not make it your practice to get the children up, dressed and fed in the morning? While you are serving your family in this way, your wife can spend quality time with God. In addition to helping meet her spiritual needs, you will have a great time of fellowship with your children!
True confessions time—I have miserably failed at what I am proposing here. I have been remiss in making sure Stacy has been spiritually charged. I have been challenged in this myself, and I commit to you that I will be practicing what I preach. If we have the opportunity to meet at a homeschool event, please ask me if I am making sure Stacy has time with God each day. I really will appreciate the challenge!
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
By James Michael McDonald, V – originally published in Homeschooling Today magazine – all rights reserved