Covenantal Families 7/Preserving the Heart of Homeschooling-Discipleship, Part Two PDF Print E-mail
Covenantal Families

       Again, allow us to impress upon you the importance of this series of lessons, as we believe them to be the most significant that we have ever presented. For some of you, this particular lesson will seem drastic, strong and sharp, but if you carefully consider the massive degeneration that is permeating our homeschooling body, along with the peril we presently face if we do not completely turn our hearts back to God and to discipleship, we believe that you, too, will concur that this deadly disease requires radical surgery. And as we all know, the cure for a deadly disease is oftentimes more painful than the disease itself, making the necessary remedy quite unpleasant, just like chastening from the Lord, but the life giving results far outweigh any objectionable treatment. Therefore, please pray before you read this lesson, beseeching God to open your heart and mind to the truth and to give you the courage to make the necessary changes to come into alignment with His will. For this, go back to the prior lesson posted on our website www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com on “Covenantal Families/Children-God’s Tool for Dominion Through Discipleship” and thoroughly study the scriptures that define God’s design for discipleship. We would also highly recommend that you read Tom Eldredge’s book Safely Home.
      The following is a trumpet call for all homeschooling families to heed. It is the essence of this series of lessons. Please read carefully. Presently we are engaged in the fiercest battle ever fought over the hearts and minds of our families. As the temptations of more educational alternatives and opportunities for more activities outside the home continue to increase, so, too, does the number of parents abdicating their duty to disciple their own children. For those who have eyes to see, homeschooling is rapidly losing its identity, as educational methods look more like the world with each passing day. The predictable consequence is that our children are looking more like the world as well. There are more gods in the homeschooling pursuit today than ever before as families seek out more and more educational classes and pleasurable activities outside the home. This rejection of the divine covenant of family, along with the concerted attempt to redefine homeschooling according to man’s reasoning instead of securing itself on the firm foundation of God’s Word, will ultimately destroy our nation and the reformation that began just over 25 years ago if we do not take a stand against this apostasy and make an end of this perversion of homeschooling.

 
Similarities Between the Fall of Jerusalem and Our Unfaithfulness

 
      The fall of Jerusalem occurred because God’s people abandoned their mandate to disciple their children. As God’s people, we must examine where we are today. Will history testify to our faithfulness to the divine covenant of discipleship, or will it bear witness of an apostate people? In this lesson, we will demonstrate the similarities between the Fall of Jerusalem with homeschoolers’ present abandonment of their divine duty to disciple their own children.
      To review what we presented last time from Tom Eldredge’s book Safely Home, we learned that for six centuries the Greek civilization was composed of extended families who educated their own children, who lived together, who worked together, who worshiped together, and who spent their recreational time together because they considered children as essential to the success of the family and thus integrated them into every area of family life. Therefore, the entire care of each child was solely provided for within the family. So much importance was placed on the family, in fact, that hundreds of family members worked together to contribute to the welfare of their family unit, enabling them to accumulate immense wealth. The strength of their civilization, then, rested securely on the foundation of its families for centuries; however, as Tom Eldredge so aptly explains, “Prosperity must be matched by a multi-generational family vision or it will devolve into indolence, selfishness, and moral profligacy. Lacking a godly vision, the beneficiaries of prosperity view prosperity as an end in itself, or at least a means of promoting pleasure-seeking.”
      Lacking biblical vision, the Greeks devolved into a selfish, pleasure-seeking society where less importance was placed on the family as they shifted their focus toward individual fulfillment, which eventually culminated into women’s insistence of being relieved of their domestic duties that they deemed burdensome. Child care, being the most time consuming of these responsibilities, was thus turned over to institutions outside the home, thus allowing them the freedom to pursue those things that they considered more pleasurable. Free from these domestic responsibilities, women naturally spent more time outside the home, which resulted in an increase in broken marriages. Thus, after six centuries of building strong families, and subsequently a strong civilization, the Greeks degenerated into a culture antithetical to their former family-focused way of life.
      In essence, by eliminating intimate relationships with their own family members, the Greek families committed suicide. As a result, without the moral structure of the family, each individual selfishly lived his life for himself, causing the Greek society to implode.

 
Greek Education and the Gymnasium

 
      With this in mind, it becomes crucial for us to understand that every culture’s religious philosophy dictates its mode of education. For the Greeks, it was humanism; hence, we realize why academic and athletic competitions played such critical roles in their educational system as these allowed their heroes to demonstrate their reasoning powers and physical abilities. In essence, the driving religious philosophy of the Greek education system was the worship of man who became the measure of all things—the antithesis of the biblical approach to education.

 
Hebrew Education/Biblical Education Versus Man’s Method of Education


 
      However, for God’s people, the driving religious philosophy was the One True God. Consequently, as dictated by Him, the emphasis in their education system was placed on reverence for Him and the family covenant of discipleship that He ordained. Family relationships were paramount, as children were looked upon as gifts from God and essential tools for taking dominion of the earth for His glory. Children were, in fact, considered absolutely crucial to the success of advancing God’s kingdom; therefore, they were integrated into every area of life as parents faithfully discipled them by their side, instructing them in God’s Word to think His thoughts, which according to His Word was the sole purpose of knowledge. Naturally, parents and children worked together to contribute to the well-being of their own family. Thus, the strength of the family formed the foundation of their civilization. They, too, amassed great wealth, but because they possessed a biblical vision of wealth, their wealth was used to strengthen the family and advance God’s kingdom. Theirs was a truly multi-generational vision in which their lives focused on their children and their children’s children. In turn, children were devoted to their parents, honoring them while working by their side.

 
Destruction of God’s People


 
      However, in 466 B.C, the Hebrews’ apostasy brought on the destruction of their first temple by the Babylonians. Seventy years later, a remnant returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Unfortunately, though they physically left Babylon , Babylon remained in their hearts because they neglected to tear down all the high places.
      Instead of trusting in God to provide for all their needs, they turned their hearts from their Father and looked to the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great to protect Jerusalem . This compromise led to their acceptance and adoption of the Hellenistic culture. Consequently, the Hebrew fathers abandoned their multi-generational vision and thus relinquished their duty to disciple their own children to the Greeks’ humanistic education system. So horrific was their degeneration that the Hebrew fathers actually had a gymnasium built for their sons near their temple.
      As a result of the fathers turning their hearts from their sons, the sons turned their hearts from their fathers, which in turn led to a horrendous apostasy, profoundly impacting their race forever. For sons no longer honored their earthly fathers because their fathers no longer honored their heavenly Father. Instead of the sons cherishing their heritage, they despised it because the gymnasium (with its emphasis on exaltation of self and pleasure) appealed to their flesh and thus became much more attractive to them than their fathers’ singularly focused, “old fashioned” restrictive training with its emphasis on submission to God’s Law and to the authority He invested in their parents.
      Their thinking became so perverted that they rejected the Son who lived His entire life devoted to doing the will of His Father. Thus, God destroyed them in 70 A.D. But in the course of this perverse generation, God promised restoration of discipleship through the power of His Holy Spirit.

 
A Great Reformation

 
      Last words are always significant, but none so significant as God’s last utterance to His people before the coming of Christ 400 years later.
      Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him… Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”
      Then 400 years later the New Testament begins as promised: “And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
      It is impossible in this short space to fully convey the grand overarching efficacy and magnitude of God’s magnificent power that He displayed throughout the Great Reformation where fathers committed their lives to teach their children the entire counsel of God’s Word, making the scriptures alone sufficient for every area of life, but it is this Reformation that produced the greatest theologians of all time, including both the stalwart Pilgrims and Puritans, which in turn produced the first and only Christian Republic in the history of the world.
      Possessing that multi-generational, eternal vision, our Pilgrim/Puritan/Colonial forefathers’ commitment to disciple their children in God’s Word during the 1600s and 1700s produced the most literate nation that the world had ever seen with an astounding 99% literacy level. But it must be understood that the parents’ purpose in teaching their children to read was so that they could read the Bible and the most widely printed publications of that time—sermons. And indeed it was diligent study of the scriptures along with 100 years of these sermons that prepared them for establishing our Christian Republic .
      Consider that it was the Pilgrims’ resolute determination to protect their children so that they could raise them in the admonition of the Lord, without the hindrance of the surrounding culture’s temptations, that brought them to our shores. Indeed, they would rather die in the wilderness than allow their children’s souls to be turned from God’s Law. And as we study their history, we see that the very foundation of this divine endeavor was laid with the blood of those Pilgrims, whose faithfulness to their children’s souls compelled them to leave their homes, family, and friends for a savage land.
      William Bradford’s account in Of Plimoth Plantation clearly reveals the Pilgrims’ reasons for departing from Holland as the “…great licentiousness of youth in the country, and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks, and departing from their parents. Some became soldiers, others took upon them far voyages by sea, and others some worse courses, tending to dissoluteness and the danger of their souls, to the great grief of their parents and dishonor of God. So that they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and be corrupted.” (And of course) “for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world, yea though they should be but even as stepping stones unto others for the performing of so great a work” (America’s Providential History, pp. 66, 67).

 

Yet There Arose Another Generation That Knew Not the Lord
as Prosperity and Self-Reliance Brought Indifference to Their Provider


 
      Yet for all the sacrificing of this noble generation, there arose another generation that knew not the Lord, as Cotton Mather states so plainly: “Religion begat prosperity, and the daughter devoured the mother” (America’s God and Country, Bill Federer, p. 433).
      What happened? As God delineated in Deuteronomy 28 and elsewhere in that book, the people’s obedience led to great blessings, but as prosperity pervaded the colonies, the people who once relied on God turned away from Him in self-reliance. Thus, their hearts waned so far from the truth that the sober warnings of Divine Judgment that followed the blessings in Deuteronomy fell on increasingly deaf ears.
      Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day, a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God…and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God…”
      Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-19 “Take heed lest you forget the Lord your God, by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes…lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God…Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth; that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall surely perish.”
      Judges 2:10 “…And there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel .”
      Isaiah 1:2,4,6 “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.…Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger…From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores…”

 
Decline of Hebrew/Biblical Education


 
      The corruption became so great, in fact, that the ancestors of these great and noble men relinquished their duty to disciple their own sons to the Greek system of education, so that humanism once again took preeminence. Thus, instead of the family taking dominion for Christ in governing the church and state, the state took precedence and began taking dominion for man in governing the family and the church.
      In contrast to God’s design for dominion, Plato’s Republic outlines the state’s design: “As long as children are doing work at home and under the authority of parents, we cannot make them creatures of the state. To mold the children into the man of the state, we desperately need to get rid of the family.”

 
Homeschooling Reformation

 
      But then again, just over 25 years ago, God began another Reformation, turning the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the children back to their fathers as a multitude of parents fled these Greek institutions of humanism to educate their own children as God commanded, so as to prepare a people for the Lord. So when Candy and I began homeschooling at that time, we joined the ranks of a remnant of bold, committed parents who refused to place their children in any educational setting other than their own homes. They were, in fact, so committed to their duty to teach their own children that in the face of prison, they remained steadfast to their commitment to adhere to God’s Word. However, as always, when God acts, Satan reacts, coming in as an angel of light.

 
So You Wanna Go Back to Greece ?


 
      What is your reason for leaving the path of least resistance and joining the ranks of other homeschooling Pilgrims? Why are you homeschooling your children? This question is of paramount importance, so please consider carefully. For we are engaged in the fiercest battle ever fought over the hearts and minds of our families. As the temptations of more educational alternatives and opportunities for more activities outside the home continue to increase, so, too, does the number of parents abdicating their duty to disciple their own children. For those who have eyes to see, homeschooling is rapidly losing its identity, as educational methods look more like the world with each passing day. The predictable consequence is that our children are looking more like the world as well. There are more gods in the homeschooling pursuit today than ever before as families seek out more and more educational classes and pleasurable activities outside the home. This rejection of the divine covenant of family, as demonstrated in the past and upcoming lessons, along with the concerted attempt to redefine homeschooling according to man’s reasoning instead of securing itself on the firm foundation of God’s Word, will ultimately destroy our nation and the reformation that begun just over 25 years ago if we do not take a stand against this apostasy and make an end of this perversion of homeschooling.
      Quite frankly, Satan is not worried about those who are already in his power. It is those who are not in his power who worry him. So he began infiltrating our ranks and began working from within to destroy the powerful force raised up against him. Cunningly, he brought in his hypocrites—those “who pretend to have admirable principles and beliefs, but behave otherwise”—who called themselves homeschoolers because they removed their children from Greece’s humanistic institution, but who held on to Greece in their hearts. And it was these hypocrites who recreated the same humanistic institutions, all in the name of Christian homeschooling. Only Christian homeschooling, by its very definition, requires accordance to Christ’s model of education clearly conveyed throughout His Word, which happens to be parental discipleship at home.
      Consider that just several years ago, Candy and I attempted to count all the learning centers that operated within just one hour of our home and came up with over 30—and that includes only those we knew about. How many more are there today? From others’ comments, we speculate that this number has probably doubled. How indicative of our present rebellion.

 
Jesus, the Son of the Father or Barabbas, a son of a father

 
      Our present condition is nothing more than the age old dilemma of the heart: Whom will you choose? The heir, Jesus, the Son of the Father or the illegitimate Barabbas, a son of a father. “And the people said, ‘Barabbas. Crucify Jesus! His blood shall be on us and our children!’”
      Every decision ultimately boils down to these two choices: Christ or the world!

 
Consider the Classes Offered from the Following “Homeschooling” Learning Centers

 
      Some time ago, we googled homeschool learning centers in the St. Louis area to get an idea of the temptations facing new homeschoolers. The burgeoning number of educational choices that we discovered was so grievous that we just sat in unbelief as we gazed over these Greek institutions. It had such an adverse impact on us that the effect still lingers as we continue to discuss this dreadful situation and the overwhelming pressure it must have on our families.
      To reveal the true nature of these “homeschooling” learning centers or co-ops and expose the antithesis between homeschooling and these Greek institutions, we have listed a small sampling of classes offered to our families. Since not all of the fall schedules were completely secured at the time of our perusal, it is possible that by now some of these classes have changed; however, this does not alter our objective.
      LEARNING CENTER 1 meets one day a week and offers Revolutionary History, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra 1 and 2, Biology, Elementary Spanish, Spanish 1 and 2, Intermediate Spanish, Journalism, Elementary French, French 1, Creation Science, Galleons History, Native American History, Writing, Trigonometry, Pre Calculus, Speech 1 and 2, Computer, Elementary Literature, American Literature, Art 1 and 2, Introduction to Literature, Physical Science, Concert Choir, Bel Canto Choir, and Beginner Band.
      LEARNING CENTER 2 meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and offers Christian Self-Government, American History, Worldview Foundations, Western Literature, Government and Constitution, Constitutional Law, Critical Thinking, Debate, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Strings, Public Speaking, Guitar, Personal Finance, Etiquette, Study Skills, Writing, Economics, Sewing, Instrumental Music, Choir, Speech and Debate, Drama, Drawing, Science Experiments, Algebra 1 and 2, Writing, Brass Ensemble, Beginning Spanish, Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Gym, Preschool Reading, Math Readiness, Sewing, Math Games, Literature, Missouri State History, Music Theory, Vocal Music, Advanced Instrumental, Quilting, Car Care, and Spanish.
      LEARNING CENTER 3 meets as noted: Monday and Thursday: K-1st Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, Readers, and Science; 2nd-3rd Social Studies, Science, Math, Language Arts; 4th-5th Social Studies, Science, Math, and Language Arts. On Tuesday and Fridays: for 6th-7th History, Science, Math, Language Arts, Readers-drama, art, music…; 8th-9th History, Literature, Creative Writing, Science, Math, Spanish; 10th and up Social Studies, Literature, Science, Math, and Spanish.
      LEARNING CENTER 4 offers the following classes on the days noted: Tuesday: Algebra, Chemistry, Physics, Japanese, Art, Geometry, Physics, British Authors, American Literature and Composition, Biology, Advanced Math, German, History/Geography… Wednesday: recommended Band. Thursday: Algebra 1 and 2, Physical Science, Spanish 1 and 2, Japanese 1 and 2, General Science, Advanced Communication Series, Cooking, Geometry, IEW, Literature Discussion Group, History/Geography, Photography, Pre-Calculus/Trig, Biology, Personal Finance, and Government. They also coordinate PE and Spanish on Thursdays.
      LEARNING CENTER 5 offers the following classes on the days noted: Monday: Grammar, Computer Science, English Composition, Latin 1, French 1, Chemistry, Drama, Christian History, Astronomy, Music Theory, Logic 1. Tuesday: Bible. Wednesday: Algebra 1, American Government, Economics, Latin Rudiments 1, Algebra 2, Trig/Pre-Calculus, Geometry, Health, Personal Finance, and Physical Science.

 
Biblical Reasoning Compromised by Worldly Reasoning


 
      At least this last one identifies itself as a school. However, carefully consider the perversion of truth that occurs once biblical reasoning is compromised by worldly reasoning.
      The website states that this school “is a classical Christian school established to provide a classical and Biblical adjunct to parentally guided education, primarily at the secondary grade level. (It) seeks to honor parental authority as an extension of the family under the assumption that education is ultimately the responsibility of families rather than that of any other agency, public or private. (It) is a school where parents can either enroll their children part-time to take one or more classes or full-time to take their full course load.”
      It goes on to state: “We believe that the Bible clearly instructs parents, not the Church or State, to ‘bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.’ Therefore, under the delegation of the family, we seek to teach in a manner consistent with the Bible and a godly home environment. Teachers and staff are to remember that they do not function above parental authority, but rather with delegated authority (loco parentis) for the parents. Parents have the ultimate responsibility, not the school or its teachers, for their children’s education. The school is essentially a community tutorial service to families to enable them to do their job more effectively.”
      “All parents must demonstrate their commitment to the family focus of the school. Thus, they are to work with their students/children in the completion of assignments.”
      WHAT?
      The school admits that “education is ultimately the responsibility of families rather than that of any other agency, public or private,” that “the Bible clearly instructs parents, not the Church or State, to bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” that “parents have the ultimate responsibility, not the school or its teachers, for their children’s education,” but that their school seeks “to teach in a manner consistent with the Bible and a godly home environment.”
      Do you recognize the inconsistency of these statements? This school actually presents an excellent biblical argument on behalf of parental discipleship against their own institution in one fell swoop. And this school teaches logic!
      They go on to state that “parents must demonstrate their commitment to the family focus of the school and thus…are to work with their students/children in the completion of assignments,” which, of course, the school selects, teaches, and assigns. This is absolutely ridiculous. And when are the parents to instruct their children when they attend classes three days a week and then must work at home to complete their assignments (which they admit are very rigorous)?
      Are you also grieved, or are you intrigued by these educational opportunities? Have you failed to tear down the high places in your heart?

 
Attempt to Redefine Homeschooling

 
      Allow us to remind you that we are engaged in the fiercest battle ever fought over the hearts and minds of our homeschooling families and reiterate that throughout time whenever God acts, Satan reacts. In the very beginning, God created life, so Satan immediately appeared as the angel of light, but in fact brought death. For every divine life-giving principle has its “beautiful” counterfeit that manifests itself in organizations, institutions, foundations, and associations.
      When we contemplate the import of the fact that the very foundation of society rests on covenantal families, we realize why the enemy works so hard to undermine God’s design for taking dominion. With this understanding, consider carefully the plight of homeschooling today.
      When we began homeschooling nearly thirty years ago, there was not one homeschooling learning center in Missouri , not one. As a matter of fact, homeschooling parents at that time adamantly rejected all forms of Greek education. But then as always happens, the counterfeit arrived on the scene as an angel of light, causing some to question, “Has God really said that we must instruct our own children? Surely there are many things that I am incapable of teaching. Let us join together and divide up the responsibility. You teach what I cannot teach, and I will teach what you cannot teach. Surely, our children need peers for friends and exposure to other’s skills.”
      Unfortunately, though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and in most cases will choose the easier road. Regrettably, once the compromise begins, there is no stopping the slippery descent apart from a radical revival of the heart. Even more regrettable, though, is the far reaching impact this has on our children; for what we practice in moderation today, our children will practice in excess tomorrow.
      So, if it is all right to go to a learning center once a week, what is wrong with attending two learning centers each week or maybe even three? Where does this compromised choice lead? Well, if we take our children to centers for learning from others, what will keep them from sending their own children to public schools?
      When we consider that throughout history the rejection of God’s divine covenant of family brought destruction, we can better understand our predicament—we are in trouble!!! Destruction is certain if we do not place homeschooling back on the firm foundation of God’s Word. It is all about discipleship in accordance with truth. For it is not the state’s duty to educate your children, nor the church’s duty to educate your children, nor any homeschooler’s duty to educate your children. Usurpation is sin under any disguise.

 
Every Teacher Transmits His Own Beliefs and Convictions


 
      Leaders and teachers at a learning center relayed to others and us that God cannot know what is in our thoughts or hearts; therefore, like with Abraham, He must test us. They believe that “God does not know our hearts, does not know our minds, and does not know the future.” Yet scripture clearly teaches otherwise. Although there is not enough room to give all the scriptures that refute this heresy, here are a few that came to mind.
      1 Chronicles 28:9 where David beseeches Solomon to “know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts … if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”
      Psalm 44:21 “Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Matthew 9:4 “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, ‘Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?’”
      Hebrews 4:12 “For (even) the word of God is living and active … and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
      Yet knowing the implications of this heresy, one of our support group leaders at that time thought we ought to advertise this learning center because the classes were free, and of course, people wanted them. She stated that she just tells people not to take any classes taught by this couple, yet we knew that at least two other teachers there held to that heretical theology because they tried to proselytize two of our other support group leaders. We also know that families left there because this doctrine permeated the lessons and was subsequently being passed on to their students.
      Quite a few years ago, CHEF leaders (who are no longer with CHEF) told us that they wanted to make everything available to homeschoolers and that they felt absolutely no responsibility over how it might affect families. They refused to check web sites before they printed them, and they admitted that even if a child got hooked on pornography because of one of the sites they printed, they would not feel any responsibility. To justify their position, they pointed to the fact that we shopped at grocery stores that sell alcohol.
      Immediately, Candy and I pointed out that alcohol is not evil in and of itself, but it is the unrestrained consumption that God condemns. We personally don’t like alcohol, but Jesus actually turned water into wine at a wedding, and Paul tells Timothy to take a little for his stomach. However, in reference to their comparison of pornography to alcohol, we also pointed out that God throughout His Word speaks very strongly against any form of sensuality or fornication, to the point that lust in one’s heart makes him guilty before God who clearly states that neither fornicators nor adulterers shall inherit the kingdom of God.
      So when we asked where they would draw the line, as to what they would consider unacceptable, they responded that certainly abortion is evil, and they would stay away from that. “Why,” we asked, “because babies are involved?”
      Yes, abortion is a horrific sin, but so is pornography. Do you see the degeneration and inconsistency of these choices? If decisions are not based on the certainty of God’s unchanging Word, then they are left to the discretion of personal likes and dislikes and to the whims of the emotions.
      Another example of this line of thinking includes a director of a learning center who was quoted as saying that their center “is built on Christian principles and beliefs, but really and truly we aren’t teaching religion here. We have all kinds of people here with all kinds of beliefs. Most people are here, Christian or not, because they want something better for their children.”
      Several years earlier, a publication promoting their classes stated that their learning center reflected a “wide worldview.” Hmm?
      So what do all these examples reveal? As a former public school teacher, I can confidently state that every teacher (whether Christian or not) transmits his own thoughts, beliefs, values, and convictions to his students, and regardless of what you desire, they think they know best for their students because they believe that their beliefs and convictions are the right ones. It is naïve and foolish for parents to think otherwise.
      Several years ago, another one of our local “homeschooling” learning centers encouraged one of their students to leave home and actually found a place for him to stay. Ironically, the mother of this son actually taught classes at that same learning center. When I inquired about the situation, she relayed to me that she thought that these other homeschooling moms were her friends until they helped her child rebel against her.
      Those who attend learning centers need to seriously ascertain why they chose not to send their children to public or Christian school. If the answer is remotely related to the concern over transmission of beliefs and values that might be contrary to their own, they need to seriously contemplate what they really know about their children’s teachers’ beliefs and convictions.

 
Why Do You Homeschool? Preference or Conviction?

 
      The only thing that can save us is adherence to the Word of God. Only fidelity to the covenantal faithfulness of discipleship as patterned by our heavenly Father and Son’s relationship will assure covenantal faithfulness in subsequent generations. For family government is the best reflection of Christ’s image upon the souls of its parents.
      The only pillar of homeschooling, then, is the will and Word of God—for unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Pillars support, sustain and uphold. They bear the weight and burden, and they give fortitude and firmness so that the things they support are not easily shaken.
      Proverbs 24:3-6 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power. For by wise guidance, you will wage war…”
      1 Corinthians 1:24 “…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
      Colossians 2:3 “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
      Ephesians 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”
      James 1:17 “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
      Exodus 31:3 “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge…”
      Daniel 2:20 “…Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him.”
      Psalm 33:12-20 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness. To deliver their soul from death…Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.”
      Allow God to be God and the Most High to rule according to His design. Let His Word rule in your hearts, remembering with gratitude what God has done for all of us these past 25 years.

 
Eternal Creatures

 
      What law is so vastly crucial to consider when educating our children? The Law of eternity! Children are eternal creatures. Think on the import of that truth for a minute. When considering the vast importance of our role, we must remember above all else that our children are eternal creatures who will either live forever with God or apart from Him. So what we do with the time allotted with them does not just affect this present moment in time, but all eternity. And what will we be doing in heaven but serving God day and night in His temple?
      With this in mind, carefully examine your lives. Are you raising your children for God’s throne room or for the world’s playroom? Are you preparing them for their noble station in the King’s court, or are you bending their necks toward the world? Sadly, many mothers are so anxious about their children’s society that they neglect the weightier matters of eternity.
      Regulation of principles and manners renders children a benefit or detriment to all society. If they are aligned with their Father so that they go about their Father’s business, then they are being prepared for their future estate and their future vocation in the King’s court. If, instead, parents bend their necks toward this earth, inculcating them in worldly pursuits as they spend their time pursuing youthful folly, it is the world that they will receive as their inheritance. We get what we desire and what we deserve. If our children love divine truth, then they will be about their heavenly Father’s business for the rest of their lives. If they dislike His Law and being still while in communion with Him, then they will be placed beyond heaven’s reach, as a large chasm exists between God’s kingdom and Satan’s.

 
The Adulteress Who Seduces with Lips of Honey

 
      One of the chief hindrances to the advancement of divine truth is the suppression of the truth in unrighteousness by the lawless, who despising His lordship, not only redefine God’s covenant according to their own reasoning, but diligently work to bring others into their lair of rebellion. Thus, those who reject their duty of covenantal discipleship aggressively labor to keep new homeschoolers from the truth by placing them on the fast track of an activity-driven lifestyle away from their duty at home.
      A homeschooling mother who specifically attends a very activity-driven support group with the sole purpose of saving new homeschoolers from the leaders’ snare fittingly described these cohorts as adulteresses. It was the perfect description because I have seen these women in action. Sadly, each of them (and others who replicate the ways of their kind) embodies the seductress who seizes the naïve and tells them that she seeks their presence earnestly at her learning center and at her delightful activities. “Come,” she says, “let us delight ourselves!” With her many persuasions, she entices them; with her flattering lips, she seduces them until they go as an ox goes to the slaughter. For her speech is smoother than oil and sweeter than honey, but its end is bitter as wormwood, as they go off together down to death.
      The enormous pressure placed on homeschoolers to relinquish discipleship for more and more activities outside the home is staggering. One of our support group leaders brought to our attention that one of this group’s newsletters actually contained 70 pages of classes and activities—70 pages! Think of the anxiety this places on less established homeschoolers!
      God defines the dilemma clearly when He says, “You are either for Me or against Me, gathering or scattering.” Are you gathering or scattering; for Him or against Him?
      Unsure of their ability as they navigate new territory, new homeschoolers need assurance that when God calls, He equips! They need someone to walk them through the scriptures and through the well-charted plan for discipleship and homemaking. This includes ideas on how to plan, how to manage their home, how to disciple, how to create lovely learning experiences, how to create a lovely home, how to be a helpmate, how to make lovely meals, how to create lovely family celebrations, how to eat healthy, how to… This is what they need! This is what God requires! Not, “Hey, don’t worry about that. Come with us, and we will take care of that for you while you have fun. Oh, you have to come! You do not want to miss out! Everyone will be there!”

 
Like Chickens with Their Heads Cut Off

 
      I recently talked to a mother who identified herself as a homeschooler, but upon listening to this mother’s weekly schedule, I realized she was not a homeschooler because she was never at home. One day her kids spent at a learning center, the next day they spent their time at a sports arena, the next day they were at another learning center, another day was spent in a debate class, the following day was spent with music instructors, while Sunday was spent with youth from their church. I was stunned! What a bizarre lifestyle! This is not homeschooling! And no, homeschooling is not about choices; homeschooling is schooling at home—plain and simple.
      Several years ago at a CHEF function, a young mother asked my forgiveness for being late and then proceeded to tell me about her day, proudly boasting of all the other numerous homeschooling activities that she had attended that day—as if busyness was a virtue. I looked down at the baby on her hip and five other children by her side and was so grieved! I did not know this woman personally, but I already knew much about her through another mom who had shared with me her great concern for this family because the mother was always frazzled, the kids were always frazzled, her home was a wreck, her husband was neglected, and meals were thrown together. Quite frankly, the family was on the verge of financial ruin, yet this mom refused to stop spending money on activities and on the gas it took to get to them.
      Another new homeschooler, upon leaving a CHEF event, stopped to ask if I was going on to the next homeschooling function. While fumbling in her purse for her newsletter, she asked me what group this was and if our group was a part of the group listed on her newsletter that she drew out of her purse. She then began pointing out that group’s function, which was to take place later in the afternoon, one that night, another the next day, and another in two days and on and on and on... I literally felt like vomiting when I saw the long list of “homeschooling” activities and considered the tremendous pressure this placed on new homeschoolers such as this woman, but more importantly, for the path of destruction it led to. I then remembered what another national leader said about this very situation: “He who gets to them first, wins.” In other words, whatever path the new homeschooler is placed upon will be the path she stays on for the duration.
      I proceeded to respond to her question by telling her very emphatically that CHEF had worked very hard for the past 25 years to build up families, not tear them apart, and began to expound on the importance of family, home, the Hebrew method of education, and our calling to be keepers of our homes. Unfortunately, this poor woman was rather late for the next activity, and so with glazed eyes, she frantically rushed off into the abyss that leads to destruction. She thought she was living a life of pleasure, but, in truth, she was not because it was pursued at such a feverish pitch. In fact, most parents’ pleasure really has become quite laborious when we consider all the time and energy consumed in pursuit of this worldly fulfillment.
      Really, these moms are no different than the wealthy women who shopped at my parents’ store on their way home from their day’s worth of pleasurable activities with friends, who sent their kids off to school so that they could pursue their own pleasures—except for the fact that these “homeschooling” moms drag their children along with them everywhere they go.

 
Examine Your Family

 
      Parents, examine carefully the condition of your family. If you give your children a choice of anything, what do they pick and with whom? Are they content to stay at home all week or even for weeks on end without visiting with their friends? Are you their friends, or are you their chauffeurs? Remember we are to walk with, not drive to!
      Is your home empty most of the time? Has it become a whitewashed tomb? Are you guilty of programming your children to think that the world revolves around them? Do they think that they are the center of life and that you were created to indulge their desires? Is home education about academics or about discipling the heart of your child?
      Sadly, many parents have made their children their idols to which they sacrifice daily by pandering to their wishes of self-fulfillment. Home is no longer the center for living but some temporary holding tank until one can launch himself into the universe of possibilities for success. Instead of inculcating their children’s minds and hearts with worshipping God, studying His Word, and working together for the family, they have implanted an exorbitant appetite for activity by their attempts to fill every waking hour with artificial stimulation and superficial relationships. Yet to satisfy self is the vanity of life—making it pointless, ineffectual, futile, and empty.
      Unfortunately, many of our families have fallen into this mindset because of their church’s activity-driven programs and the teachings that focus on the individual instead of on the family—a standard set by the world that the “Church” embraced many years ago.
      This past month an older homeschooler shared her initial impression of the first homeschoolers’ conference that she attended many years ago. The conference’s focus naturally centered on the family and home, but since this was so contrary to the teachings that she had received from her church, she almost left because she felt the conference was teaching blasphemy. At first I did not understand, so I asked her what she meant. She proceeded to tell me that her church always promoted the individual and going out on missionary endeavors rather than family and home.
      How often does your pastor speak on the importance of the family and home? How often does he encourage the fathers to disciple their children, wives to be keepers of their home, children to be obedient to their parents and to work with their families for their families? What a revelation this is to those who have never considered the far reaching implications of their messages!
      Regrettably, children accustomed to constant activity are only happy and content when in constant action. Periods of inaction, with no place to go and no one to go with, naturally cause great discontentment for those who have become dependent on others and a whirlwind of activity for their happiness. How sad that their own parents rendered them incapable of appreciating and enjoying the wonderful relationships God intended for them to have with their parents, their siblings, and Him.

 
God Places Children with Parents


      Think about it. God places children in a family whose members all share a common DNA, the same parents, the same name, the same home, a common heritage, a common culture, similar personalities, common goals, common foes, common interests, common experiences and an affection for each other peculiar only to them. The segregation of these divinely connected members through schooling, socializing, and worshipping reduces the function of the family unit to the lowest common denominator of strangers lodging together.
      What other end could we expect from those completely devoid of a unified purpose and commitment but a covey of quail who, upon graduation, spread in all directions in accordance with the pattern the parents set in their formative years where friends and other strangers become more important than the parents and siblings God gave them.
      Carefully consider the fact that God predisposes children to favor their parents in affection and admiration, in instruction and dependence, giving parents a tremendous advantage for impacting their children and subsequent generations, if they keep their children home with them and spend the time with their children that God intended. If, however, children are constantly bombarded with outside stimuli by a multitude of other people, the parental influence is no longer singular or superior, but of little consequence. If you take your puppy around the neighborhood and have it fed at a multitude of homes, will that puppy come home to you? Why should it?
      Ask yourself: Are you devoted to God’s superior design, or are you devoted to ruining His design?
      A family is actually one that lives, communicates, worships, plays, and works together for their common good. Do not fool yourself—a family is not members brought together by birth who spend the remainder of their days running in different directions. The deluge of propaganda has coerced some to think that incessant activity is normal. It is not! It is absurd and self-destructive!
      Surrendered souls to a humanistic religion that allows no other allegiance but to self are incompatible with the family structure. Throughout His Word and His history, God clearly demonstrates the truth that churches and nations are firmly planted on the foundation of families. Thus, we can see the goal of that counterfeit savior who aims to destroy the family by isolating the individual from his family and from his home, fracturing home life by enticements of self-interest found only in formalized institutions and organizations.

 
Do You Keep a Home or a Boarding House?


 
      There is a vast difference between a home and a boarding house. One is warm and cozy, orderly, beautiful, inviting, comfortable, and relaxing where wonderful conversations are shared over lovely meals, where books are read and discussed, where games are played, where backs are rubbed and prayers are shared, while biblical instruction and application is imparted throughout the entire day.
      A boarding house, on the other hand, is no more than a base for dressing, hurried meals, and sleeping, more like a motel that everyone is running away from—not running to. Is your home really a home or just a boarding house? Does most of your living take place there? Is home where your heart is?
      After a November support group meeting in which I had expounded on all our Christmas family traditions, a mother of young children came up to me to tell me how much she appreciated all the ideas I had shared because she had always dreamed of holidays being like those I described. It all sounded so wonderful, yet she had no time to do any of those things for her family. I felt terrible about her dilemma but could not imagine what responsibility kept her from enjoying the holidays with her family. My inquiry led to the awful truth that her daughter’s learning center’s Christmas production each year required long evenings of practice and rehearsal, leaving their family frazzled and unfulfilled. What was most disturbing about this discussion was that this mother truly desired a different lifestyle and longed for the kind of home and family that God ordained and laid out in His Word, but she had it fixed in her mind that she did not possess the power to change the direction of her family. And so is the pull of peer pressure!

 
Our Convictions Direct Our Actions

 
      For years, a homeschooling mother constantly shared her gratitude by telling me how much her family had benefitted from our teaching and continually expressed that if it had not been for our teachings and encouragement, they would not have been homeschooling. Yet for all her appreciation of the teachings and encouragement, her desires took her in a completely different direction than what we promoted. And although we had talked with her about the damage that learning centers and running around had on homeschoolers, she still always ran away from her home. The fact of the matter is that even though she was grateful to us for our teachings, she did not adhere to the principal truths contained in those teachings. It actually came down to her preference for homeschooling—not her conviction to homeschool.
      Although Jon and I had pointed her in the right direction, she used her own reasoning in conjunction with the biblical truth we presented to create her own pattern for homeschooling. Thus, what appeared at first as just a slight deviation from God’s essential truth, over time, it became greater and greater the further her departure took her from God’s plumbline.
      Sadly, in spite of the fact that this mother knew in her heart the wonderful effect our teachings had on her initial direction to homeschool, and though she knew how we both felt about learning centers and the detriment they were having on families, knew all the counseling and discipling we were doing with families to maintain the vision of discipleship, and although she promised not to encourage others at our support group meetings to attend her learning center, she could not help herself. So one night at our meeting, she ended up encouraging one of our young mothers to join her learning center. What makes this story even worse is that Jon and I had spent considerable time helping this young mother’s family.
      For years this young mother had attended our seminars and workshops and support group meetings. She told me that she knew that the way we lived and homeschooled was the way God intended, but that she did not know how to achieve that goal because of the bondage they were in to outside activities. Her children were disrespectful to her and her husband. They were not content to stay at home or even to go on family outings without friends and thus complained about everything. So we spent evenings and days ministering to her, until she finally broke the chain that bond her to the grueling schedule of running from one activity to the next. It was hard! The children complained that they were bored, but she stuck to her guns and attempted to live in accordance with the biblical vision we had imparted of what home and family should be. And then, right at this time of struggling to maintain that vision, this “homeschooler” came along and tempted her with a wonderful learning center full of wonderful opportunities—a much easier, well traveled road than the one she was presently forging. The end of the story is that Jon and I moved our support group meetings to our home so that this kind of peer pressure would not take place at our meetings ever again.
      What are you doing, moms? Consider well because we are held accountable for every word that comes from our mouths.
      Let us be frank! Co-ops or learning centers are all the same—someone else is teaching your children, imparting their worldview and their values, and setting their example by which to live. Children are being herded and pressured by their peers just like all the other children in schools, giving their hearts to their peers and other adults. Think about this: Just as schools usurped God’s divine order and responsibility, learning centers are attempting to play god, thinking that they know best. They are usurping the divinely appointed parental authority and the sacred bond of affection that God created. The devastating results are that friends become more important than the parents and siblings God gave to children.
      Countless families, now over 100, have come to us for help because one or more of their children have left home in rebellion to their parents. Guess what? Almost every problem began when the parents sent their child to a “homeschooling” learning center or church youth group. As peers, teachers, and youth pastors became more important than parents and siblings, an irreparable breach formed that continued to widen with time until the child could no longer abide his parents’ authority. Remember it was God who said that a man of many friends comes to ruin.

 
A Shocking Testimony

      Several years ago, a new homeschooling mother, whom I did not know, called to share her regret over her choice to homeschool. She began thinking that homeschooling took place in the home, but what began as a marvelous dream ended in a nightmare. Homeschoolers she met persistently pressured her to join their learning centers. Finally, the pressure was too much for her, so she joined not one, but two learning centers.
      Ironically, what homeschoolers called wonderful, she termed worldly. She then adamantly expressed to me her disgust at the rotten fruit these centers were producing. She said that what she observed in each of these centers was that the students were disrespectful to their parents, did not relate well to other adults, dressed immodestly, acted immaturely, grouped in cliques, and exchanged flirtatious innuendoes.
      She ended her observation with this summation. “I thought homeschoolers were supposed to be different! I expected an excellence, but what I observed was nothing different than what I saw in the public school my children attended—the very reasons I pulled my children out of that environment. Only this is worse because these people call themselves Christians!”
      Sadly, I had to agree with this disheartened woman and confirm that yes, it is sad, but an accurate revelation. And yes, I do hear this all the time. It is not surprising that people on the outside can see what those who are caught up in the whirlwind cannot. We actually have many outsiders who come to us with their concerns over what learning centers are doing to the only hope they see for our country. For they believe as we do that homeschoolers are degenerating to the lowest common denominator—the world.

 

Outsiders See the Difference

      Many years ago, unbeknownst to each other, two well known gentlemen made appointments with Jon and me to discuss what they considered to be the greatest threat to homeschooling— learning centers. Both had actually worked in two of our local centers, so they spoke with experience when they relayed their grief over the devastating consequences they witnessed. Both expressed the same concerns, namely, that these centers of learning were producing worldly children and destroying their hope for America ’s future. Both emphatically pleaded with us to put a stop to the learning centers.
      Well, we try, but unfortunately, while we are home discipling our own children and being a covenantal family, moms who do not keep their own homes, like the adulteress who lays in wait for her victims, busily peddle their lies to the unsuspecting homeschooler, day after day after day. They attend all the functions and oil all the wheels. We have seen and heard these adulteresses work their magical charms of seduction and know firsthand the wiles they use to lure naïve homeschoolers away from their homes. You see, Satan always works as an angel of light. Worldly people he already has; it is the ones joining the flock that he worries about. So as wolves disguised in sheep’s clothing, his willing workers are sent by him into the fold to lure the unsuspecting weak sheep away from the Shepherd.
      Actually, people on the outside and those families who do not attend learning centers immediately recognize those children who have been parceled out to learning centers and youth groups. How? Well, you have probably noticed that shortly after you have been in your house with your Christmas tree, you no longer smell its aromatic scent. However, after leaving your house for a while, upon returning, you immediately notice its strong fragrance. The same holds true with obnoxious odors. Men who spend all day working with chemicals or pesticides quickly become so accustomed to these toxic odors that they jeopardize their health because of their lack of discernment. The same holds true with constant exposure to rock music, junk food, cussing, sarcasm, and such. That is why Christ is constantly warning us to flee evil.

 
It Takes a Village to Educate a Child



      Why do parents think that their children need other children, when God says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child? Why would parents desire for their children to have a multitude of “friends,” when God says that a man of many friends comes to ruin? Why would parents give their children to someone else to instruct, when God placed those children with them to instruct? It is quite audacious for strangers to think that parents need help educating their own children. But what is even more preposterous and grievous is parents’ complicity in the entire affair. It is like bringing concubines into their homes to help them increase their family. Consider how Solomon’s foreign wives turned his heart away from God. Do you think that passing our children around from one teacher to the next is any less harmful?
      Homeschoolers may abhor Hillary Clinton, yet an ever increasing number of them are living out the reality of Hillary’s dream that it takes a village to educate a child. Instead of leading our children home to become leaders and keepers of their homes, parents are setting their posterity on the path of ruin and damnation. We must stop to consider the frightening reality that we will soon be standing before God to give an account of how well we performed as His stewards.
      Are you one of those families where you and your husband are not really enjoying the blessings of being one? Are your meals thrown together? Is your home disorganized most of the time? Are your children disrespectful and discontented? Or will you be likened to John the Baptist’s parents who “were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6)? Will you be a part of those who are “…blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…” (Philippians 2:15,16)?
      There will always be Ishmaels, Esaus, and Absaloms who bring grief to their parents regardless of their godly parents’ training. Parents can no more save their children than the government can save its people, for until regenerated, each of us are at enmity with God, drawn to the world with all its vices. However, as parents, we will stand before God to give an account of every word and every action. For whether we realize it or not, everything we say and everything we do is leading our children somewhere, either to God or away from Him.
      This applies to leaders within the homeschooling community, as well. If you are a leader, examine where you are leading your families. Are you leading them home and equipping them to be godly husbands, fathers, and leaders of their homes? Are you equipping wives to be godly helpmates, mothers, and keepers of their homes? Every leader will stand before God and give an account of where they led God’s people. It is an awesome responsibility that each leader needs to take seriously.
      Quite frankly, the only women whom we should be following are those who exemplify the women of Titus 2:3-5: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
      The King James Version reads: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
      God says, in Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 15:7 “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so.” Proverbs 15:14 “The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly.” Proverbs 14:7 “Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge.” Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”

 
Those Foolish Israelites

 
      When reading the account of the Israelites wandering in the desert, have you shaken your head in dismay, while wondering how God’s people could have been so unfaithful after He had done so much for them? When I consider where we as homeschoolers are today, I realize that we are no better than those foolish Israelites. Miraculously called out and delivered from the world’s bondage, God personally led us into a path of righteousness that was unknown to us, fed us and clothed us on one income, and protected us from the most powerful lobbying group in the country, yet our necks continuously crane backwards, while we loudly clamor to return to Egypt .


Those Faithful Rechabites



      In the story of the Rechabites, we find that they were blessed because they had done what their father had commanded them. But the interesting point of this entire history is that Jonadab, the son of Rechab, lived three hundred years before the time of Jeremiah. So for 300 years, the Rechabites kept all the commandments of their godly ancestor, even though it meant that their lifestyle made them different from everyone around them. The consequence of this multi-generational faithfulness led to tremendous blessings.
      Jeremiah 35:18,19 “Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands, and done according to all that he commanded you; therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.’”’”
      Throughout time, beliefs, values, doctrine, and morality have been passed on by parents to their children and those children to their children as families shape the destiny of nations. Where will our nation be in 25 more years? Let’s face the stark reality that in a very short time, we will all soon be dead. No longer will we have the opportunity to speak truth, for we will be forever silent, so what needs accomplishing must be done speedily. As eternal creatures, our lives ultimately lay the foundation for future generations. Considering the vast importance of our role, we must remember above all else that our children are eternal creatures who will either be forever with God or forever apart from God.
      Ecclesiastes 12:1,13,14 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them’; … The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
      Let me encourage you once again to ask yourself: Are you raising your children for God’s throne room or the world’s playroom? Are you preparing your children for their noble station in the King’s court, or are you bending their necks toward the world?
      God’s Word clearly shows that parents are divinely appointed to disciple their children. Genesis 18:19 “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…” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel ! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
      Psalm 78:1,2,5-8 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth…For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
      Numbers 14:24 “My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.”

 
A Singular Path

      A frenzied “world” wind of activity is not a virtue; it is a hideous vice—an enemy to eternity! And since it is our duty to be sanctified (set apart for God), we are not to look like the world or even slightly resemble it. We are to be a peculiar people set apart for the Lord. Therefore, a stark difference should be evident between us and the world and between our activities and the world’s activities and between our goals and the world’s goals. We cannot lead if we are following. We cannot bring others to the cross if we are following the same path heading toward the same mark of destruction as the world. Repentance by its very definition means to turn from sin and toward God—from the world and its vanities to God. We will not lead anyone in the right direction if we are headed in the wrong one. We are deluded to think that we can live like the world and lead others to Christ.
      Homeschooling is not about choices; it is about schooling at home. “Home” is the key word. It is not a generic term encompassing some home, some learning centers, some sports, some of everything. It is home and schooling at home—period! How pathetic that we need to make a concerted effort to place “home” back into homeschooling so we can legitimately call ourselves homeschoolers.
      Be honest! You cannot call yourself a Christian and live like the world because even the world calls those people hypocrites. And you know what? The world can spot a hypocrite a mile away. Why can’t we? God calls them liars and is going to vomit them out of His mouth. Let me reiterate: You cannot call yourself a Christian and live like the world any more than you can call yourself a homeschooler and do schooling away from home. It is lying all the same. Let us not be liars; let us be true to what we call ourselves, both as Christians and homeschoolers. Let us take our duty seriously. Let us stop justifying our sinful actions by placing the blame on our children that they need socialization, and instead, shoulder the blame by taking full responsibility for our actions. Because if the truth be known, many moms do not trust God to provide for their fulfillment, happiness, and contentment, for they are the ones who really need the socialization. They do not want to be home cleaning, cooking, and caring for their families when they could be socializing day in and day out with women their own age. Moms are really the ones who need the fix they get from seeing so many people and from thinking that their children have lots of friends. They need to place their trust in others to make their children a success in the world’s eyes because they fear man more than God.
      Do not kid yourself. All choices do not constitute homeschooling any more than all roads lead to God. It is a singular path, a narrow road far less traveled—a road of responsibility, commitment, trust, faith, and contentment.


Mothers, Do You Love Your Calling?


      Several years ago, as I sat encouraging a mother to remain steadfast in her decision to keep her child at home with her instead of running him around to learning centers and weekly activities, another mother (who was obviously quite peeved with my counsel) very emphatically interjected her approval of learning centers by sharing that she would have gone crazy at home had she not gotten involved in her local learning center. How sad! How incredibly sad! This mother would have gone crazy because she did not have an outlet away from her home and her children, because at this learning center, she was able to spend time with her peers without the distraction of her children. She then proceeded to assure us that her learning center was an excellent learning center. Yet this mother’s children are very rude, disrespectful children. And since this discussion, several other mothers have shared that they removed their children from this very “excellent” learning center because of the effect the other unruly and disrespectful children were having on their children.
      Mothers, do you love your calling? Last year I was encouraging another homeschooling mother to refrain from pursuing a career outside her home. Finally she said to me, “Quite frankly, Candy, I would be bored to stay at home all day.”
      It is a grievous sin to give over our holy mission to someone else and a grievous sin to immerse ourselves in worldly activities while neglecting the fellowship of our own household.
      Do you love the honor of your labor? Do you enjoy serving your husband and your children and making them a lovely home? Do you derive contentment from that service and from the time you spend with your family? Mothers, please listen carefully. Attending to our husbands, our children, and our homes reflects the holiest service of worship that we can offer God, for family is a divine institution that God created for preparation for eternity. Our mission as mothers, then, is of the greatest import, for our lives are living epistles that offer others either a foretaste of heaven or a foretaste of hell. And since we walk in the midst of such a crooked and perverse generation, let us be ever more diligent in leading other mothers home to experience the fullness of grace, peace, harmony, love, and beauty—the reward for attaining the highest good of our gender.
      Ours is a glorious task! Consider that God entrusts souls into our care and uses us as instruments to imprint His Spirit upon our family’s lives through creating a lovely home, instructing our children’s minds with His truth, touching them, holding them, playing with them, feeding them, and comforting them—all the building blocks necessary for laying a firm foundation. Every expression, every action, and every word is engraving a message on our children’s hearts as God’s Spirit is breathed into our homes, creating a holy atmosphere.
      Every day we are surrounded by God’s magnificent love for us as He nurtures us, instructs us, protects us, provides for us, delights our senses, lifts our spirits, and comforts our souls. These signature touches let us know how much He truly loves us. And for all of the world’s tribulations, we can endure and overcome because we know that He truly loves us. Do you love your family? How do you show that love? As mothers, we must understand the importance of our roles in emulating God’s great love for us as He continually assures us of that love in everything that He does.
      A reassuring nod, a wink, a smile, a pat, a caress, an embrace, a kiss, a listening ear, a rub, a time of play, a gift, a clean home, a lovely meal, a bouquet of flowers, a celebration, a book read aloud, a Bible study, a word of wisdom… a touch of love, over and over and over again. These are the things that warm our children’s hearts, lift their spirits, bless their souls, and strengthen them to face the world.
      If we, however, labor at our own pursuits instead of His, we labor in vain, for the Lord clearly tells us that unless He builds the house, we labor in vain. In vain—to live without purpose, with no meaning, to waste one’s time for nothing, to be worthless—these immeasurable consequences call for careful consideration; therefore, consider carefully if your life’s work is pleasing, or if your life is being spent in vain—like pouring sand in a sieve or having everything we have labored for burned up in the end. That would truly be catastrophic.
      Whom do we serve: God or Satan? Because if we are not serving God, then we are most certainly serving Satan. So who is our master? This can be easily ascertained by examining how we spend our time. Are we living our lives in such a way that our children see our obedience to God through witnessing our service to our husbands and to them as committed keepers of our homes? Are we giving Him our best, our first, our all?
      Or are we hypocrites? Are we blaspheming the Word of God? Are we like those Isaiah prophesized about who honor God with their lips but whose heart is far from Him? Matthew 15:4-9 “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
      Is our service of worship blemished and spoiled because others get the best we have to offer? Malachi 1:8 “‘But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?’ says the LORD of hosts.”
      Do we worship God in vain? Do we invalidate the Word of God by living according to our way of thinking instead of living as God commanded? When we call ourselves “Christian,” do we seriously consider that we are saying that we are like Christ? How did Christ spend His time? Actually, when He was not teaching those around Him, He was in communion with His heavenly Father. Is our time emulating Christ’s time spent on earth? If not, let us cast aside all useless preoccupations and determine to use our time wisely, so as to represent Him faithfully.
      But we cannot discover our duty to our Sovereign unless we apply ourselves to searching out His mind presented forth in Holy Writ, which commands both our minds and wills to obey Him in all that we do. God’s Word was not only for the purpose of learning but also for doing, that we may be governed by it now and judged by it later. Therefore, it is our manifest duty to search the scriptures, diligently applying ourselves with all our hearts, minds, and strength, not only to reading and meditating on it, but to further applying it to every facet of our lives. If we spend time reading and listening to expositions of the Word, but do not put it into practice in all that we do, we become like the man who forgets what he looks like once he turns away from his looking glass. The genuine Christian, on the other hand, not only hears Christ’s Words, but also lives by them.
      Before launching on a long trip, I would dare say that most of us prudently research our destination, map out our path, and examine our vehicles to make certain that they are prepared for the journey, and when necessary, make the proper repairs and adjustments to assure the safe arrival of our families to the planned destination. Yet how ironic that we spend so much time preparing for a trip that lasts but a moment in time when compared to how negligently we attend to the well being of our family’s souls and their destination, which are unalterable once they pass on into eternity.
      In light of eternity, then, what are you doing to prepare your family for their destination? We are constantly reminding our children that every single thing that we do is either righteous or unrighteous, prudent or imprudent, valuable or worthless, followed by a loving exhortation to make the most of their fleeting time on this earth. It is most certainly true that we do not possess the power to save our own children, but we do possess the key to heaven, Jesus Christ, whom we constantly share with our children. It is true that there will be those who do not continue to follow our course, but our responsibility remains the same, regardless of the outcome.
      John 14:23,24 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.’”
      Since we are told that we will be engaged in constant spiritual warfare as soldiers of the Cross, it is our duty to set our sights on our heavenly Commander-in-Chief who provides the only way for victory. For without a vision, our destiny is sealed because wandering aimlessly on the battlefield makes destruction eminent. So what’s the battle plan for victory?
      Proverbs 29:18 KJV “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Lamentations 3:40 “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD.” Psalm 119:59,60 “I considered my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies. I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments.”
      Before we make resolutions, each of us must examine our own lives in relation to our families to ascertain what resolutions are necessary to keep us on course. Where are our families, and how are they spending their time? In what pastures are their minds grazing, and from which watering hole are they drinking? Are we protecting our families from the influences of this world? Are we spending time each day leading our children into the green pasture of God’s Word and to the river of living water?
      As mothers and as wives, are we encouraging, comforting, cultivating, and spiritually nurturing our family? Are we placing God’s Word first in our own lives and then first in our schooling? Are we teaching every subject from a biblical worldview and making it applicable to every facet of our children’s lives? Are we discipling our children each day to follow God’s Word? Are we teaching our children as God commanded, or have we relinquished that to others? Are we spending most of our time together as a family, or are peers and other adults influencing our children more than we are?
      As families, are we memorizing God’s Word together? Are we praying together each day, other than at meals? Are we exhorting each other to walk more in alignment with God’s Word? Are we making the most of our time to glorify God and to serve Him?


Whom Do You Follow?


      Relationships wield a lot of power over our minds and actions; thus, it is imperative that we examine this area of our lives as well. So let us ask ourselves: Are our relationships outside our family honoring God? Can we concur with David that all our companions fear God and keep His Word? Psalm 119:63 “I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.”
      To reinforce this point, let me share that each of our relationships should be one of discipling, being discipled, or a combination thereof as iron sharpening iron. In light of this, we must ask ourselves these questions: Are our friends directing us to walk closer with the Lord? Are our friends daily exhorting and encouraging us to sacrifice our selfish desires so as to serve God and our families? Are they pointing us toward our homes and toward our biblical responsibility of being leaders of our families (fathers) and keepers of our homes (mothers), or are they constantly encouraging us to do more and more away from our homes? For Amos 3:3 (KJV) rightly asks, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
      Furthermore, are your children’s friends leading them to be obedient to you, their parents? Are your children’s friends leading them onto the path of their Lord or into foolishness? Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, so it is far better for our children to be around us than it is for them to be in the company of other fools.
      On the other hand, these truths apply to us as well. Can our friends say that we fear God and keep His Word? If we truly believe that every moment of our lives belongs to our Savior, then every moment with others should be in some way advancing His kingdom. So are we fulfilling our responsibility to others? Are we impacting those around us with God’s own Words even though it may not be politically expedient—or are we ashamed of the Gospel? Are we vocally encouraging and equipping other mothers to stay home and serve their families well?
      Let it be our prayer: “Lord, with every breath I take, enable me to make the most of every moment with my children and with everyone else around me by teaching them to observe all that You have commanded. Be Thou My Vision always! And may I be like Caleb, whom God called, ‘My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.’”
      By God’s grace, our lives should demonstrate God’s Spirit and power “so that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5).
      Ephesians 5:15-17 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Colossians 1:9,10 “…be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”



What Does Your Planbook Reveal about Your Heart?



      If someone came into your home today and opened up your planbook, what would they be able to ascertain about the way you direct your family’s life? Maybe it would be more significant if we placed it into this context: what will future generations be able to tell about their grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother when they examine your planbook? Will they see that your husband, your children, and your home came first in your life? Will they be able to see that you were content to stay at home with your family? Was your family’s intactness crucial to your well being? Will they be able to tell that teaching God’s Word was most important to each day? Will they see that you incorporated fun into each day by creating enjoyable family activities? What exactly will your planbook reveal about your heart?
      What is your relationship with the Lord? Do you spend one, two, three or more hours in study of His Word and prayer? And how much time do you spend imparting God’s truth to your children? Is your teaching inundated with His Word, His wisdom, His principles? How much time do you spend studying and discussing His Story?
      What is your relationship with your husband? Are you truly his helpmate who does him good all the days of his life? Do you help him in his walk with the Lord? Do you help him with his work? Are his clothes clean and pressed? Do you make his home clean and comfortable and cozy? Are his meals delicious, nourishing, and beautiful? Are you talking with him, comforting him, and giving him wise counsel?
      Are you spending the majority of your day preparing your children for becoming godly husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers? How much time do you spend each day talking with them? I do not mean frenzied comments like, “Hurry up we have to go…get your shoes…where is your belt…comb your hair…hurry up and eat.” I am referring to taking every thought captive to the throne of Christ by evaluating each of them in the light of His Word. Are you taking that kind of time with your children?
      How much time do you spend on their character flaws? Are you vigilant and diligent in holding them accountable? Do you praise their efforts? Are you training your children to lead or to follow? Are you training your children to be God-dependent or peer-dependent? Are you training your children to be Christ-conscious or self-conscious? Are you training your children to serve or be served? Are you training your children to be a working member of your family or a selfish pig who demands entertainment?
      Do all your activities benefit the entire family or particular individuals within the family? Are your activities of eternal value? Are they preparing your sons and daughters for God’s purpose for covenantal families?
      If you died today, are you satisfied that you spent your time wisely? Are your children prepared for life? Will you be remembered as a chauffeur or a Proverbs 31 wife and mother who managed her home well, was an excellent helpmate and was an excellent teacher who spent her time preparing her children for eternity—a marvelous mother who spent time making each day a celebration for her family?
      God requires an exact account of every precious moment He allots us, and so to answer these questions accurately, let us thoroughly evaluate how we spend each of our waking moments. For we do not want to wait until we stand before the Lord to be told that we have been unrighteous stewards, do we? “For He who is faithful in little things is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in little things is unrighteous also in much” (see Luke 16:1-13).

 
FOR ONE MONTH, DAILY CALCULATE

1.      How much time you spent at home?
2.      How much time you spent away from home?
3.      How much time you spent with family?
4.      How much time you spent with others away from family?
5.      How much time you spent in the Word?
6.      How much time you spent imparting God’s truth to your children?
7.      How much time you spent studying and discussing history?
8.      How much time you spent preparing your children for becoming godly husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers?
9.      How much time you spent serving your family—washing, cooking, cleaning…
10.  How much time you spent on the computer?
11.  Place an asterisk by every action you enjoyed.

 
      At the end of the month, thoroughly examine your month’s calculations and reflect upon their implications.



What Do You Love?



      AHHH! Do you love to converse, to read, to play, and to serve your family? Do you love to cuddle, and laugh, and cook lovely meals, and keep a cozy home, and decorate with pretty decorations, and celebrate each day with your family? Do you enjoy the gifts God gave you?
      Close your eyes for a moment as we take a sentimental journey by retracing the steps along the path that leads to the door that opens wide to welcome us HOME. Let us enter. Is your heart not quickened by the sight of your family’s lovely faces, by the sound of their familiar voices, and by the embrace of those you hold most dear to your heart? Is your heart not comforted to be gathered together under one roof again? Now recount those sweet memories of your husband’s deep voice, the strong embrace of his arms, the sound of the pitter patter of feet padding across the kitchen, the smell of fresh baked bread, the clatter of dishes being set on the table, the warmth of piping hot soup, the sight of heads bowed at your dinner table, the conversations that you share while enjoying candlelight dinners, the laughter of your children as you play a game, the excitement shared by reading a book together, the comfort of cuddling in bed… those memories that are so sweet to the soul. To see, to hear, to touch, and to
feel the blessings all around you is a precious gift from God, unequaled by anything this world has to offer.
      Remember that “by wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3,4).

Our Commitment to Our Families

      Christian Home Educators Fellowship’s vision is to raise up godly generations that will fill the earth with God’s standard; generations who “know their father’s God and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind”(1 Chronicles 28:9); generations who fear the Lord and walk in all His ways, who love Him and serve Him with all their hearts and all their souls (Deuteronomy 10:12); faithful generations fearing God more than many (Nehemiah 7:2); generations anointed with the Spirit of the Lord (1Samuel 16:13); generations who will be strong and courageous, careful to do according to all the law, not turning from right or left, whose Lord is with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:6-9); generations who show intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding, discerning knowledge, who have the ability to serve in the King’s court (Daniel 1); generations who will shepherd God’s people and rule (2 Samuel 5:2).
      To this end we have labored to impart a multi-generational, covenantal family discipleship, Christ-centered faithfulness through our annual conferences, bi-monthly emailed newsletters, monthly activities, workshops, and meetings by teaching the whole counsel of God’s Word— biblical Law and history as God’s Providential working throughout time, with an emphasis on America’s Christian Heritage. We are committed to equipping our fathers and sons to be leaders of their homes, to love their wives, and to disciple their children; and equipping our mothers and daughters to be keepers of their homes, making them lovely sanctuaries for their families through meals, decorating, gardening, family celebrations, and wonderful learning experiences; and equipping families to be about their Father’s/father’s business by working together as productive family units in various entrepreneurial endeavors.
      And from the comments that we continually receive from our families on how CHEF’s efforts have transformed their family’s lives, we are again reminded of God’s faithfulness to all of us in accomplishing His purpose in raising up generations for His throne room.
      It is no secret that homeschooling faces much opposition from within our own ranks to compromise God’s Word while promoting individualism, learning centers, entertainment and constant activity outside the home with the result being a new breed of homeschoolers who have not only abdicated their duty to diligently teach their children when they lie down, when they rise up and when they walk by the way, but have wholeheartedly embraced the world—in the name of Christianity, of course—with the predictable results of becoming just like the world. To resist this new trend in homeschooling so that we will not be judged as our forefathers were in Judges 2:10 “And there arose another generation after them which knew not the Lord,” we work very hard to draw parents’ hearts back home, toward their children, and their children’s hearts toward their parents. To safeguard our Christian heritage, let us assure you that we take our role toward achieving our goal very seriously!
      Ephesians 5:6-11 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.”
      Ephesians 5:15-17 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
      Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
      Ephesians 3:20,21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory…to all generations, forever and ever.”