Wake Up With the Gloves On!
When you woke up this morning, chances are you weren’t startled by the “boom!” of an exploding bomb or set on edge by the aggressive vibration of an AK47 riveting ammo through the air. And though the harsh battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan can seem like they’re a million miles from your city, don’t be fooled.
You are living in a combat zone.
While breathing in the air of freedom, enjoying the privilege of home-educating your children, you can forget that you, too, are a soldier serving in a war that must be won, for the sake of not only your family, but for the generations yet to be born.
“But, Denise …”
I know. You’re simply trying to keep your nose above the rising waters of that new unit study curriculum you bought, the ever-breeding laundry pile, your hungry household, that nagging to-do list. On many days you feel like a lousy teacher, but … a soldier?
“Not ME!” you cry aloud.
Trust me. I’ve been parenting for over a quarter of a century and home-educating my five sons for nearly that long. From where I’m sitting, I can safely assume that you’ve already received several incoming missiles—perhaps even today—intended to take you out and get you to stop doing what you’re doing. Because, in truth, you have the most important job on the planet.
Plato said: “There are two important things in society: who gets to teach the children, and what do they get to teach them?” He knew that whoever owns the hearts of the kids will eventually own the civilization. That’s why home education is such an important movement, growing in the U.S. at the rate of 7% per year and graduating at least 100,000 students annually.1
Home education is not just an academic option. Home education is a revolution. It’s about forging the parent-child relationship as God intended from the beginning. It’s Malachi 4:6 coming to life as the hearts of fathers are turned back to the children and, in turn, the hearts of children are turned back to the fathers. The results are irrefutable.2 The implications are mind-boggling.
So Dad, Mom, you are “kind of a big deal” on the timeline of history at the moment. No one else can fulfill your role, and the time is “now.” I liken you to that heroic couple, Amram and Jochebed (Exodus 1–2), who, finding themselves pregnant in the direst of circumstances, decidedly met their challenge with faith, ingenuity, and resolve. Being of no reputation or means, and expecting a son at just the time when Pharaoh had decreed that all male babies be thrown into the Nile, they had every practical reason to cave. But they stood strong and refused to give place to defeat, which was setting a precedent for Moses, their deliverer-son, who would soon grow up and be facing much opposition of his own.
Your task is of no less import. You are raising world-changers. Perhaps that’s why you find it to be so difficultthat you’ve spent much time trying to convince yourselves that it really would be okay if you put the kids in public school for a year …
Maybe you’ve experienced some setbacks, allowing disillusionment to get the best of you. Proverbs 13:12 says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Sigh. However, the second part of that verse says, “But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” God wants you to experience the fulfillment of your longings for your children, but first you must choose to shift gears from cruiser to conqueror!
Be sure of this: anything you want, you’re gonna have to fight for. You must contend for the dreams God’s given you (Jude 3). You long for a strong marriage? Great kids? Homeschooling success? Peace of mind? These victories won’t come without vigilance. You’ve got to “wake up with the gloves on” every single day, if you intend to win.
War must become a way of life for those who desire to conquer. Even our Bibles are books of war from front to back. In Joshua 1, the Lord presents some wonderful promises to Joshua, but He doesn’t say they will come easily. He indicates that there will be a struggle. He repeatedly commands Joshua to “be strong and courageous!” along the way.
In the New Testament, war metaphors abound. Ephesians 6:11 commands us to “put on the whole armor of God,” I Timothy 6:12 exhorts us to “fight the good fight!” and I Peter 5:8 warns us, “Your adversary the devil … walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Weapons come in many forms. Ponder for a moment what stymies your momentum, robs your joy, and saps your strength. There you have it—the perfect weapon pitted against you. How will you respond when those fiery darts are sent your way (Ephesians 6:16)? Your dogged determination alone can’t nullify their impact, but you have been given an arsenal to fight with. Second Corinthians 10:4 clearly tells us that “our weapons are not carnal, but … [they are] mighty through God.”
Will you pray (James 5:16), praise (Psalm 149:6), profess (Hebrews 13:15), pursue (Psalm 18:37), and stand (Ephesians 6:14), or will you doubt (James 1:6), complain (Numbers 11:1), grumble (1 Corinthians 10:10), and give up (Galatians 6:9) in dismay?
We must humbly acknowledge that “the battle is the Lord’s” according to I Samuel 17:47, and yet, we must fully engage. We as parents must never resign ourselves to giving up. We must never throw in the towel by displaying helpless inactivity on our battlefields. We must possess a will to war.
Let’s not be found sleeping on our watch.
- hslda.org/docs/news/200908100.asp, (8-10-09, Ian Slatter, Director of Media Relations). Return to text.
- hslda.org/research/ray2003/default.asp, (Dr. Brian Ray, “Homeschooling Grows Up”). Return to text.
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.