Monday, April 3, 2006

Basic Training

I recently attended a Hearts at Home convention. If you ever have an opportunity to attend one, you should. They are very fun and very encouraging.

During one of the seminars this year, the speaker said something that really stuck with me. She said that as mothers, we are "raising an army useful for the Lord."

I have been mulling that statement over for several weeks now, and I am thinking that I may need to change my perspective on homeschooling. Not that this is anything new. My perpective on homeschooling is always changing as God continues change me.

Am I raising an army useful for the Lord?

I'm not sure. Many days my troops in training spend more time fighting with one another than preparing to someday fight against powers of darkness. We have become mired down in the daily grind: academics, chores, music lessons, etc. When people ask me why I homeschool, I still tell them how we want to disciple our children and give them a solid Biblical foundation, but to be honest, if you had observed our homeschool for the last few weeks, you probably wouldn't have seen much evidence of discipleship.

We are very "behind" according to our school calendar. We started late and have had many interruptions. The past two months, I have been trying to cram more and more math, history, science, spelling and grammar into our days to catch up. I have felt a persistent sense of urgency, as though something terrible will happen if we don't get finished before the end of the summer.

That sense of urgency has been noticably lacking, however, in our spiritual training. As I strain to sqeeze in more academics into our day, Bible time, devotions, and prayer time are slowly squeezed out. What's wrong with this picture? While I have been so distracted and stressed about wordly standards of education, my soldiers have been getting out of step. Disipline issues are taking more and more of my time and attention.

My brother is a captain in the Army. He was deployed to Iraq six months ago. Just a few months prior to his deployment, he was given command of a company of soldiers who had not been well trained. Their previous commander had been negligent in his duties. Without the proper training and leadership, this company of soldiers was ill-prepared for war. Not only would they have been ineffective in their missions, but their very lives were at stake if someone didn't line them out and get some discipline and order in the ranks. It was not easy, but my brother did just that, and the company has successfully served in one of the most dangerous parts of Bagdhad with minimal casualties.

I do not want to send my little army out into the world ill-prepared for war. I want them to be effective in the work the Lord has for them. Their souls and the souls of others are at stake. So tomorrow, it's basic training time. If I truly want to raise an army useful to the Lord, I must refocus my attention and energy on Christ, and point my children towards Him also. I know that if I do that, everything else will fall into place.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

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