Many homeschool families incorporate field trips and outings into their homeschool plans while others encourage participation in sports, music, dance, or plays. Some parents develop their own curriculum, run their own business, or work in addition to homeschooling. Exploring social media, you see pictures of organized homeschool rooms and crafty kids. You find yourself pondering how other homeschool parents do it all. After all, maintaining commitments such as these may only seem possible in your dreams. Should you try harder to incorporate more into your homeschool endeavor? Feelings of self-doubt compound in your head and you start to wonder if you will ever be enough!
While it’s not beneficial to enter the arena of comparison, the reality is that we all become aware of our surroundings and the experiences of other families. When this happens, feelings of self-doubt come into play. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are reminded that, as believers, the enemy will target us and prowl around us like a roaring lion. What can you do when this roaring lion enters the homeschool arena with the intention of devouring you with self-doubt?
As we read on through 1 Peter 5:9-11, we are encouraged to stand firm in our faith, resist that lion, and be at peace, knowing that God, Himself, will restore us. When we study Ephesians 6:10-18, we learn how God will help us fight our battle against self-doubt. Here, the apostle Paul advises us to “be strong in the Lord and his mighty power” by symbolically suiting up in the full armor of God. In Ephesians 6:13, Paul lists each metaphorical component of armor. Each component listed represents a tool that will help protect you from a spiritual attack such as self-doubt.
The Belt of Truth
To prevent wandering around and gathering up your spirits, harvest biblical truths by devoting time to daily Bible study. Weave those biblical truths into a belt. Continually maintain the integrity of this belt and wear it at all times. This belt, woven with biblical truths, will help you gain more specific guidance on Christian living and aid you in making decisions that consistently align with God’s word. Consequently, you will gain confidence in your decision-making process, making you less susceptible to influences surrounding you.
Provide your child with his own "belt of truth" by teaching him principles of salvation, love, thankfulness, and God's grace. Help your child realize the importance of maintaining a relationship with God and the importance of loving and serving others. Help him to understand the value of his personal uniqueness. Help him see that he is a valuable entity of the body of Christ.
Put together educational tools or utilize preplanned curriculum that incorporates biblical principles and cultivates biblically based critical thinking skills throughout each subject. While studying the subject of reading, ask your child questions that will help him think critically about character’s thoughts, choices, actions, values, and faith. Ask him what he would do if he found himself in a comparable situation. Discuss what the Bible says about the varying elements woven throughout the story and relate it to specific Bible verses. By incorporating these questions during your child’s study of literary works, not only will you be cultivating critical thinking skills and comprehension but also his knowledge of biblical principles. Incorporate a similar strategy as you discuss policies, procedures, and historic events throughout the subject of history. Dissect tactics people use while writing commercials, propaganda, and other works of genre as your child studies English. As you incorporate biblical principles throughout your child's studies, he will gain a deeper knowledge of biblical truths and learn practical ways in which they apply to daily life. Your child will find his purpose in God's creation. He will excel in the missions God places on his heart. And he will be equipped to confidently uphold his decisions when he faces persuasive forces from peers and society.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Each of us has our own personal weakness to different temptations. The temptations that I find myself weak against may not tempt you a bit. Additionally, our society places its own value on varying types of sin, deeming some types of sin more acceptable than others. Be cautious and aware of society’s judgement and minimization of certain types of sin (Romans 12:2). By aligning yourself with the standards of society, your own personal standards may become distorted. Furthermore, by comparing sins, one could minimize or even justify sinful actions. In God’s eyes, jealousy, unforgiveness, talking negatively about another person, or demoralizing another person is just as sinful as not being faithful to your spouse.
The good news is that God’s grace redeems us. Christ’s purity and sacrifice for each of us is a gift that we can embrace. By accepting God's gift of sacrifice, we invite Him into our inner core where He will continually strengthen and change us. We do not need to be perfect; we just need to rely on the Righteous One for strength. As we reach out to God through prayer while trying to improve our efforts to be more like Christ, we rely on His help to overcome our personal temptations. As your children witness your reliance on Him, they will learn the benefits of His saving grace.
The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace
As I think about sandals of the Gospel of Peace, I am reminded of one of my favorite verses, Psalms 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Allow God to be your guide throughout your life and answer any calls to service that He places deep inside your heart. Right now, God may be telling you that the most important mission in your life is to teach your children about salvation and prepare their hearts for service to others. Other times, God may guide you to help a friend in need or work in another field of interest.
Pray for God to take away all distractions that could cause you to lose focus on the purpose He has called you to during this specific season of life. Ask Him to help you clearly see the reasons you have for making choices on extracurricular activities or other commitments so you can be sure your choices align with the purpose and goals He has for you and your child at this point during your homeschool journey. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 we are reminded that God will help you overcome obstacles of confusion.
The Shield of Faith
Faith is ever more important as we try to shield ourselves from spiritual attacks. Remember, the enemy is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for any crevice to your soul so he can cause you to become weak. It is all the better if He can get you to waver in your faith. Sickness, calamity, and hardships can all become heavy and wear you down. In John 16:33, Jesus reminds us to have peace in Him. In this world we will have trouble. But take heart! He has overcome the world. No matter what you face, know that God is on your side. With Him, you will have the strength to endure and overcome anything.
The Helmet of Salvation
Colossians 3:2 reminds us to check our perspective. We should set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. If you consider viewing any circumstance from a biblical perspective instead of a humanistic perspective, you will find yourself thankful instead of disheartened. Are you ever exhausted after addressing your child’s behavior all day? Viewing the countless opportunities to address your child’s behavior from a biblical perspective, you will find yourself thankful for each opportunity to align their hearts with God.
The Sword of the Spirit
No soldier runs into battle without a weapon. Scripture is a powerful weapon against all temptation, disillusion, and outright attacks. Consistently study scripture to gain clarity, guidance, courage, and strength. Preserve its teachings inside your heart and mind. This powerful weapon will give you the upper hand in any duel.
When you find yourself in the arena of comparison, head to head with that roaring lion of self-doubt, suit up in the armor of God, look to the heavens, exchange your humanistic perspective for a biblical one, and proudly wield your weapon. If you do all these things, you are sure to win each battle against self-doubt, leaving an unexplainable peace that your dedication and time teaching your child in a loving and caring atmosphere is, in itself, a true blessing.
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