Aren't You Being Selfish?

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

The words were still echoing in my mind. "If every Christian homeschools his child, what will happen to the public schools?" asked a Christian friend as we chatted over the phone. "Doesn't God tell us to be salt and light in the world?"

Although I didn't have a good answer then, I thought about my friend's exhortation and logic. Examining our reasons for homeschooling, I considered the negative effect of continually exposing my child's heart to humanistic and ungodly teaching. Most elementary-aged children lack the reasoning skills to discern truth from conflicting messages, so how would a young child be able to debate with a teacher who didn't value the truths of Christ? After all, didn't recent statistics also prove that even high school students had difficulty in maintaining their faith throughout college? Clearly, expecting my young daughter to be the salvation for the evils of the public school seemed like a gross burden to place on her shoulders. Was I being selfish in caring about my child's needs before those of society? I didn't think so.

God has given parents the priority of first teaching and training their own children. Yes, Jesus wants our children to influence the world, but they can hardly do so until they are prepared. God's Word tells us to keep the heart with all diligence and assures us that a child must be trained in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). Therefore, before young people can influence the world for good without being influenced by evil, they must have a plumb line of truth based on God's Word. Unfortunately, homeschooling families are accused of brainwashing their children with religious nonsense and being intolerant to different ideas and beliefs.

As a homeschooling parent, have you been asked the "What about the kids left behind in public school" question? You know your child's heart. Don't let the world's salt and light argument deter you from following God's mandate for raising your child.

Father, thank You for giving me the responsibility to teach my children. Show me how and when to guide them into the world with the Gospel message of love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(35 comments)


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MELISSA R 07/20/2009 07:16:46

Thank you for this! It is a really good thought for a lot of us.

G V 07/20/2009 15:07:11

Hebrews 11:23-25 is a passage that illustrates the same thought portrayed in today's devotional and has been my reason to homeschool my preschooler.This vision and calling of God to homeschool, will keep our children from being conformed to this world but to be salts and lights in the world , as Moses was ( in this passage). May the Lord help us. Amen

AL J 07/22/2009 08:42:05

Saying "Doesn't God tell us to be salt and light in the world?" as a reason or excuse to place your children in the hands of an out-of-control school system is basically the same logic as saying "God wants us to witness to sinners." to justify spending time in a night-club. People who send their kids to public school just need to admit they do it because it's easier, or for whatever other reason, rather than trying to whitewash it with a Christian veneer. In ancient Hebrew culture, the role of teaching and instructing the children was generally upon The Mother of the house. The religion and instruction of Israel, Judaism, was also called 'The Mother' of the people. This is why it was CRITICAL for the men of Israel to not 'go after' pagan women, as this would result in their children being DIRECTLY taught paganism, apostate doctrines and ways of life. One way or another, our children will learn the wickedness of the world first-hand in their lives. There's no sense in baptizing them in it at such a young age, by throwing them into public school and giving control of their minds to unknown parties.

LORI W 07/23/2009 16:35:16

Wow I agree. I am new to homeschooling this year and my daughter is going in the 4th grade. She has been in public school and though she is very intelligent (skipped 1st grade), her spiritual life was a greater concern to me. I noticed changes in her from being exposed to other beliefs and lifestyles and realized it was time to take her out of the world until she is spiritually grounded and able to fight off the attacks from the world. Eventually, she will prove to be the "salt and light" that God created her to be with the proper training. I refuse to feed my child to the wolves when she is defenseless.

ANGIE W 07/20/2011 03:49:44

Lori, that was perfectly spoken. I myself am starting to homeschool this fall. Have a daughter in 5th, 4th and a son starting kindergarten. Kind of scared about all of this, but I know that God will see me through. Were all so excited though. Honestly, my oldest daughter, in my opinion, couldn't have taken another year of public school. She's smart, but the kids alone are sooo cruel. I don't remember the kids being so cruel and OVEREXPOSED at that age. It scares me when she came home last school year as a 4th grader telling me about things girls in her class had told her about sex and the internet. ABOUT SWALLOWED MY TONGUE!!! I want to be the ones to teach my daughters and son about sex, not learning all this junk at school, then I have to explain what their talking about. I want them to stay little girls for at least a little while longer. Sorry I got on a soap box, but I could go on and on about the things my two daughters have endured ( in public schools) in such a short time there! I can't imagine what 5th on up would of been like. Like Lori said I'm taking my children away from the wolves, and with Gods help, I can prepare them more better and stronger for their futures. WITHOUT CORRUPTING THEIR MINDS!! God bless you all and I'm going to continue to pray for all those other children left in public school, because my daughters did leave some really sweet little girls behind, and I TRULY hate it for them. Kind of did make me feel good, cause their were several of them who told their mama they wanted to homeschool too. They told me just didn't think they could do it, some said that was THERE ME TIME!!! Imagine that.

KIM H 07/20/2011 04:04:45

My oldest son was homeschooled until college and he is a steadfast Christian man. I had to return to work when my younger son was in sixth grade and he has been influenced by the schools environment, especially in junior/senior high and has fallen away from the Lord. Now, he is 19 and all we can do is pray. I truly believe homeschooling is best all the way until a child is 18 and online college classes if a young person needs further maturing. Jesus began His ministry when He was 30 after being instructed, He is our example. God bless you all every day.

LISA B 07/20/2011 04:17:14

Thank the Good Lord we have the option in this country to homeschool our children! It is a blessing and I think we all are realizing that today! Especially those who have had a taste of govt. schools! I just want to add - there are those who think that parochial schools are a good substitute for govt. schools. A friend of mine has her dear, sensitive daughter in a Catholic school and she gets picked on mercilessly by the other kids. This could be a whole different topic - but I just want to say that this dear child is being thrown to the wolves in an environment that the parents think is better than govt. schools. It might be worse! My friend's sisters all homeschool so she's aware of the option - I pray she would try it - for her daughter's sake.

JAMIE S 07/20/2011 04:19:30

Thank you everyone I really needed to read this today. I am starting this August homeschooling my 4th grade son and my 2, 5th grade sons. I have six children but my two oldest which are in 7th grade this year have a great generation of kids and make straight A's in public school and I'm afraid to take them out of that environment, I havnt felt a tug at my heart from God to take them out like I have the other three. My three I am keeping home have been exposed to some inappropriate behaviors at school and one of my 5th graders was having some negative behavior such as outburst, deepression, low self esteem. I actually pulled him out of 4th grade and started his schooling at home first and I've seen such a major difference in his behavior and I thank God for giving me this opportunity to reintroduce God back into their education. I'm looking forward to my 2nd grade son joining us at home when he enters 3rd grade as well! Thank you everyone for all your post, I really was doubting my decision on homeschooling my boys but these daily devotionals really speak to me and confirm I've made the right decision! :)

PAULA K 07/20/2011 05:10:58

I homeschooled for 4 years, then put my kids in public school for 2 years due to health problems. I pulled them out now as I felt them SLIPPING AWAY from our family, from God, and our home was becoming a place to rest their heads. They didn't learn anything at school anyway - except for the continual focus on "dating" from 3rd grade on up. We CAN'T DO IT ALONE. We can only do it with God's help and provision. It is the right choice to homeschool, but it is not the easiest. I have found my kids have returned back to me and their true selves, as well as God after being removed from that environment. It is the entire burden of Christ's church to be salt and light, not just that of our children.

LAUREN J 07/20/2011 05:15:47

I appreciate the encouragement of this for those of us who have chosen to homeschool - I've heard this argument before, and actually know families who have chosen not to homeschool because they believe their kids can be missionaries in public schools. I think the important thing to remember is that not all Christian families do homeschool, so those of us who are homeschooling shouldn't feel like we're being selfish - we're just doing what's right for our families. My friends who don't homeschool have kids who are well suited to standing up to the pressures and opposition they face, and they are successful missionaries in their schools - what a blessing! As Christians, we're all a different part of the body, and we can all encourage one another. My kids can be a positive, affirming influence on the kids who need Christian friends outside of their schools, and the Christian kids in school can introduce non-believers to a strong community of faith. Thank goodness God gives us all different roles to fill - we're much more effective in making new disciples for Him that way!

SAMUEL C 07/20/2011 05:45:40

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am concerned about the World but I cannot win them if I not ready to win them. Here are a few examples Abraham was not ready for the promise child for 25 years Joseph was 16'ish when he was taken to Egypt Moses took 40 years in the wilderness AFTER being raised in his families home. David spent 14 years in the wilderness running for his life before he became king Paul had to spend 17 years training before he was a Public church leader My Favorite Jesus was 30 when he entered the Ministry and at 12 it states that HE grew in wisdom and stature and nothing else much is written about HIM until HE is baptized by John and begins HIS ministry. Care about the public schools? I sure do. I won't sacrifice my children to the sinful mentality that continually runs our school down the road of destructive indoctrination. Will the local school board even allow a Christian to make it to the board? God will raise up a Moses but until HE commands me it is my child ... I will teach them myself. Thank you again AOP for your leadership! This devotional has helped me again with my resolve. You are helping us immensely out here make the wise decisions. Keep the faith! Sam

GINGER B 07/20/2011 06:02:28

Very nice devotional. I enjoyed this very much; thank you.

CHRISTINA L 07/20/2011 06:12:09

Just as you would not expect a solider to go into battle untrained, than we can not expect our children to go to battle without training. IT is not the children who are to be the salt and light of the public schools it the responsible of the adults in the systems. I would not more send my child into battle with training than I would let my child run a piece of farm machinery without showing them how to use it and watching that they understand the dangers and power of the machinery.

LUANA B 07/20/2011 06:19:19

Thank you for such an encouraging post. I am beginning my second year of homeschooling in August, and my husband and I both agree that it has been the best decision we've ever made for our children. The first year was not easy, but 90% of our days were good ones. I only wish that I had started when they were in kindergarten. Alex

PAT T 07/20/2011 07:14:07

God never called children to be salt and light. Jesus called the little children to come to HIM! I agree with the other posts saying that adults are to be the salt and light and we shouldn't be sending our precious children out to do that until they are fully equipped!

EDWIDGE S 07/20/2011 07:34:51

Thank you for this devo. I enjoyed reading the comments, especially Al J and Christina L's comments. We have a 5 yr, 3 yr and 3 mo old. We'll begin homeschooling our 5 yr old this Aug/Sept. I'm more excited than nervous. I've not been confronted with this question, but I think if I were, my response would be : "I'm not being selfish; I'm being obedient." I so wanted God to direct this journey that I prayed about and researched it for more than a year. I did not want the decision to be mine; rather, I knew if He called me, He would equip me. And I knew that in order to face the homeschooling challenges that are sure to lie ahead, the call and equipping HAD to come from Him. His Word confirms and reminds me that our family has made the right decision.

KAREN B 07/20/2011 07:43:46

Again I am greatly encouraged by the writer. But today I am encouraged as much by the posts of other readers. This will be my seventh year to have the joy of home schooling my daughter. We are very close and I am so thankful for that. I have never felt I was being selfish because I wanted my daughter to grow up without being influenced in the classroom by others who have no concern for her spiritual welfare. I am always proud ( not in a prideful way) to let people know that I home school my daughter.........however, satan has a way of using the tiniest things to cause you to question your abilities and whether you are doing the right thing. I have been dealing with that just these past few days. I believe the Lord has answered my questioning thru this devotion and the comments posted. Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to use your thoughts as encouragement .

TAMMY H 07/20/2011 07:46:30

The other thing is that the salt and light scripture says we ARE salt and light. It is not telling us to go out and be - we and our children are already salt and light. It is an indicative rather than an imperative. My children have been in public school until this coming fall. They will be 7th and 3rd. I tried that method of justification and it was lame even to my own earsm especially when I looked at the basic grammar. The reality is if every Christian child were homeschooled - what an amazing revival would be in store for our cities, our country and our world as they became adults. The training and discipling that they received would prepare them to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations. They would be prepared for the battle that is this world. The command to go is in fact an imperative given to adult followers - not precious, moldable, impressionable, young children. I regret taking the easy way out and putting my children in public school, which by its very nature is out to destroy Biblical Christianity - and that is above all why discipling our children at home is absolutely correct. One other thing, I heard a speaker refer to Luke 6:40 "A student is not above his teacher, but when he is fully trained will BECOME LIKE HIS TEACHER." K-12 is 14.000 hours of instruction, I sure don't want my kids becoming like the godless, teachers in the public schools. Even in the case of a believer as a public school teacher, the hands are tied - they cannot instruct our children in the ways of the Lord. Ahhhhh, I'm getting soapboxy and preaching to the chior, I'm sorry. This particular issue is hot button for me. We are "crazy, holy rollers" in the eyes of our family and even moreso now that our kids will be homeschooled. :-) So blessed by these devotions.

ROBBIE V 07/20/2011 07:58:05

We have home schooled our children from day one and my daughter just graduated so I am commenting from a large amount of time observing, living and evaluating the diversity of opinions, folklore, myths and hostility toward home schooling that exists in our culture. This particular argument is common amongst evangelical parents who make a series of conclusions based on very bad premises. The first is that "salt and light" comes from being in close proximity to someone. The second is that "salt and light" is something that is done to or toward someone, as if it is a verb. Salt and light are descriptive not prescriptive. So to assume that children are salt and light undermines all reason and reduces the process of evangelism/discipleship to a transactional process not a relational one. The third premise is that the content and philosophy that undergirds government education is benign and/or easily countered with what is taught in the home. While I agree that the home still remains as the greatest possible environment for impact on a child's life, the school is hardly benign. It takes constant and deliberate action from parents to debunk, explain and work against the anti-values, anti-christian and humanistic orientation that is the bedrock of contemporary American education. So party on parents who think their little rug-rats are soldiers in the army of the Lord simply by sucking oxygen. I am afraid that is just does not work that way.

JENNIFER E 07/20/2011 08:27:05

I was once on a panel of educators, put together for a church group who wanted to discuss educational options for their children/grandchildren. At one point, the public school teacher on the panel got visibly upset and said, "It's private schools and homeschoolers who are destroying the public school system! You're taking the good kids out and leaving us the rest - and who is going to model intelligence and good behavior then?" Thanks to God for helping me hold my tongue - this was a panel discussion, not a debate. The good that came of it was that her statement spurred a discussion among the parents at the meeting, who decided that, even if that were true, they weren't interested in knowingly sending their children into a very negative situation - one said, "like sheep into a den of wolves" - when they still had a choice in the matter. It was an interesting experience; one I think more churches ought to consider. Parents are faced with some daunting choices when their kids get to school-age. Homeschooling has certainly been the best option for our family, but every parent must make that decision themselves. I have noticed some real change in how the parents who participated in the panel discussion have dealt with their children's education, and many have been much more comfortable coming to me with questions because I served on the panel.

ATEBA C 07/20/2011 11:24:15

Funny, I was actually thinking about the public schools this morning as I passed one on my morning walk. I was wondering how they would manage if one by one parents began to take their kids out of the schools. I am new to homeschooling. I have a 1st grader and pre-k this year. I dont know that I feel that public schools are bad I just feel that they have gone on a totally different path than I personally would like to have my children journey down. Families that have two parents in the home have a greater chance at homeschooling their kids because of the support from their spouse. But that may not be so for the single mother in a low income neighborhood that has no choice but to send her children to the neighborhood schools. I guess what I am trying to say is PRAY for those that HAVE to send their babies into the care of others in the school system. Pray that they have the energy at the end of the day to go over homework and to continue to reteach the word of God as well as proper morals and values. Most of the women that I know that send their kids to school if given the chance would love to stay home with their kids, its not always done because it is the easiest way out. Blessings!

ILA JO H 07/20/2011 11:26:43

thank you for your words of encouragement. i am homeschooling our two youngest children, they were given to us 9 years ago. they both have fas (fetal alcohol syndrome). zach is 13 and cassi is 9. for 8 years allowed the public schools to teach zach and each year he felt more like a failure and more odd or different from the other children in his class. this past year i decided i would give home schooling a try. we started at the basic level with 5 in a row and math you see. zach has blossomed into a confident young man that feels like he can do anything. he still stuggles with day to day living but school work is now a joy. cassi is just starting to show the same type of struggles so i am glad that i chose to home school her before the schools had a chance to beat her down. i have had many people ask me if i think that home schooling is the best choice, and my answer is YES! i only wish that i had done it sooner. be selfish or what ever they want to call us, God gave us these children and He is the one who will hold us accountable for how we raised them. do all you can to raise them up in His word and show them that they are special. we can still be salt and light to a dark and dying world, but we must first build our kids up in the Lord so that they can stand strong against the wiles of this world. thanks again! ila jo

ILA JO H 07/20/2011 11:35:16

just to add to Ateba C comment about being able to stay home and teach our children; there are families in our community that are willing to add other's to their home school so that those families who do not have the ability to be stay at home mom's or dad's can still have the benefits of home schooling. the parents participate in activities as they can and the student still gets the personal one on one that is lacking. so if you are interested in home schooling but think that there is just no way i encourage you to seek out the home schooling groups in your communities and see what they have to offer. we have one family that offers art classes and others that offer outdoor activities and so on. we live in a small town in alaska, where we all pull together to raise the children. i only wish that i could do more as i see children growing up unguided and hurting.

BRENDA S 07/20/2011 21:23:42

All of your comments have really spoken to me. I currently teach in a private Christian school where my children attend. Prior to this past school year we were homeschooling. We all enjoyed it very much, but I felt I was not providing them so much of what they could get at this school. God provided me with an opportunity to teach so that we could afford the tuition. I work alongside godly teachers. However, I do see the negative impact children have on each other. Christian schools are not immune to the cruelty that children often show each other. I read devotions and comments like these and wonder if we have chosen the right path for our children. I am sure there are many more families searching to do God's will and are unsure what that is for their families. I admire your convictions and asks for your prayers for God's direction in our lives. Thank you!

KATHY L 07/21/2011 08:00:04

SORRY - LONG POST AHEAD! I have enjoyed reading all these comments so much - I find myself nodding in agreement as I scroll down and read each one. I was particularly stunned by Jennifer's post regarding the public school teacher who blamed homeschoolers for the decline of the public school system! Now there's some pluck! - blaming us for the state of the public schools, which we left BECAUSE they are substandard, Godless, and detrimental to our childrens' health. A bit of chicken and egg confusion on the part of the teacher, or maybe it was just frustration coming through on her/his part. We started homeschooling when our boys were in 6th and 3rd grade - a bit late coming to the table -but we got their just in time. We feel we really SAVED our then 6th grade son - we didn't lose him to the world, didn't let 50 other 11-13 year olds be his moral guidepost and daily influence in words and deeds (and the words he heard in 5th grade were quite something...). He is now confident, good at math (both were lacking as he was pushed along in public school - and we were involved parents!) We read THE CLASSICS!!! imagine that! We read the BIBLE! We read great Christian thinkers and TALK about what they said! It need not be said this is not done in public school. There is no substitute. As for the other frequent criticism, "you"re not a teacher, what makes you think you can do this?" Well - I did great in elementary school! (and high school, college.) And, I don't need to control 20 other kids, just mine!!!! I don't need to evaluate 20 other learning styles, just 2! And... as we have all learned there are CURRICULUMS you can use! You don't have to make this stuff up - and guess what, that's what the public school teachers do too!!!!!! I was amazed at my younger son's kindergarten class - it was so cookie cutter - anybody could have done that. Sorry - I hope I'm not getting sarcastic. Two more things I will share - homeschool coops can be a great option - fun for the kids - but you may have to scale down what you do at home to leave time - don't add more stress. (major mistake I made) But I met such Godly role models in these veteran homeschool moms that is was a great blessing for me too. Sports, church groups add to these outings with others. So much for the socialization argument. If someone brings this up - mention who do they think they best people are to socialize your kids - unsupervised MTV and HBO laden children or children and adults of your choosing. (oops - getting sarcastic again.) My past stresses are coming through because we have been criticised for all of these things, with unsupportive grandparents as well, so it has been hard). One last thing I'll share is about Christian schools. We have been blessed with a program at a local Christian School where home school kids can takes classes - regular day and/or homeschool group after school classes. Its been very good (not cheap though). my oldest son, now in 11th grade, is going full-time there next year. It was a hard decision, but there are so many options he would like to take part in (great music program, sports, missions). So it is the right thing for him. He has heard unsavory things coming from kids mouths there however, so as a couple other posts indicated, Christian schools are not a panacea. But now we talk about it and I think it is a great tool, trial period for eventual going out into the world. My younger son is still homeschooled and doing after one school class. We'll see what fits him when the time comes. We all make sacrifices to homeschool - less money, fewer vacations etc. but I would not trade it for anything. It has not been easy - no joke - I cried out to God many times, but what worthwhile thing is easy? So I wish the best for all of you, pray for you and thank God for his guidance and teaching of his perfect precepts, including raising OUR children ourselves.

FAITH Y 07/23/2011 07:24:52

Thank you for this post. We will be starting our 2nd year of homeschool and feel very blessed to have made that choice. I have read the comments above and have found all very encouraging, especially since I can identify with almost all of the situations described above. We know we have made the right choice for our children now 9 & 5 and thank God for His continued guidance. My husband and I both work full time (His time is flexible and we use our vacation days and weekends wisely), however, God has blessed us with a chrisitian Nanny who loves our children dearly and want to see them walk in the right path. She also assists with the 5 year old. We try to use all the time we have wisely and continuously pray for guidance. We used the AOP 3rd Grade curriculum and our son likes it. We also added materials from several other resources. He will start the 4th Grade curriculum at the end of August. Our daughter (5 yrs) will start with the Horizons Kindergarten program in August. Please pray for us as we make plans to have one homeschool parent at home over the next 2 years. Thank you and have a blessed week. Faith

LA SHAWN J 07/20/2012 04:47:03

Praise God!! This morning devotion is truly affirmation and conformation for me. this has been my arguement for the past 22yrs. I have never had the support of most but these words of encouragement has strenghten me to go on with my youngest chid. I will continue to pray for all the homeschooling parents. Blessings

CHRISTINE K 07/20/2012 04:53:10

I believe that God has a plan for each child, and that plan may be different, and that plan may change each year. We must be careful not to put God in a box, and say it is His will for all children to be homeschooled. I prayed each year for each child. There were years where I felt for sure it was the Lords will for us to put our children in a private school, and we even paid the first depost, praying the Lord would provide for us. He shut every single door, and had us put them in the public school. I was so confused by that, until I had the opportunity to do a Good News Club and my daughter invited almost every one of her friends in her class, and we saw most of them come, and come to know the Lord that year! Then we moved to Maine, and I thought the same thing...surely private school, and once again, the Lord said no...she quickly made friends with one girl, and led her to the Lord. This past year we prayed again, and the Lord said homeschool! I once agin was shocked because I was thinking private school, and had not even gone to college, but He clearly said homeschool! We must seek the Lord for His will each year for our children. He has a plan for them, that is far greater than our plan :)

SHAWN S 07/20/2012 06:54:47

Thank you for the encouragement this morning! Homeschooling has at times been difficult and circumstances have been discouraging. Doing God's will as revealed in His Word has not always been easy. I'm not sure that it will ever be easy for sinners to do the will of a Holy Redeemer. I must continually die to myself, giving up the personal time, freedom and ease of life that public school seems to offer so many parents. But, it is not for me as a believer to turn my back on God's command to raise and to teach my children at home. My consolation (as every believer's ought to be) is in Christ, even when the day has been difficult, my walk has been crooked, my children are unappreciative, or I did not accomplish what I set out to accomplish for the day, I know that I am in Christ, He is in me, His seal is upon my life and that ALL things (even trials and hardship) work for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose. And for Christine K, I must offer sound biblical advice. God will never direct us to do anything contrary to His Word. The Lord, when tempted by Satan, resorted only to the written Word as His defense, saying, "It is written". Resort to the Word and stand upon the principles set therein. Nowhere does God's Word tell us to lead people to Christ. We are only told to speak the Truth to every man and to spread the Gospel of Christ (His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf). We plant, someone else waters, but it is God which giveth the increase. We are also told to raise and to teach our children at home. While private school may have been a "no", public school is not a biblical option. The unconsidered "yes" was always homeschooling, according to God's Word, by which we are to live.

KIMBERLY L 07/20/2012 07:04:38

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I have really been worrried here lately about my decision to homeschool my teenage children. I felt sostrongly that God wanted me to but I had others telling me differently, I had begun to doubt myself. I am so thankful God let me find your website.

DAWN N 07/20/2012 11:46:38

I would also like to add, in case anyone finds my comment among the many here, that this idea extends to our neighborhoods, too. Early on I fell prey to the expectation that our family should reach out to our neighborhood and it was a HARD line to walk. There were so many little ones in just horrible family situations. I spent countless hours entertaining (babysitting) other peoples children because I felt sorry for them and thought we were doing the right thing. I couldn't say no and genuinely wanted to help. This is a cultural phenominon...that we are obligated to entertain any children that wander into our yards or to our door. It's hard for we moms who enjoy reaching out to others. If I could go back I would have simply held back and endured the annoyed looks and complaints from my children. I would have had the energy to invite good families over if I wasn't so overextended in this way. By God's mercy and grace our children have strrong faith and desire to please God still, but it was NOT my job to extend so much of my strength and creative energy like this. Last year we just said "no" finallly and there is so much peace and freedom and time for family. Please don't feel guilty for not "helping raise" the neighborhood children. Pray for them, smile at them, occasionally extend fellowship if God leads you to, but remember that your priority is the children God gave you to lead. I know God will give you wisdom as you do your best to listen to Him. And His grace is sufficient for us. God bless you all with a fantastic new year of learning together!

TABITHA J 07/20/2012 14:02:23

When the school district that I attended did a trial run of a month long winter break in order to save money on energy costs, many parents complained that they would not be able to find childcare for those two extra weeks. If they could find childcare for the first two weeks, they can find it for the second two weeks. In many cases, parents tend to treat the public school system as if it is nothing more than a free babysitting service. That is one of the reasons why my husband and I are planning on homeschooling our babies when we have them because it is OUR job to teach them, not the public school system nor my family, who is more worldly than Godly.

ELIZABETH C 07/20/2012 15:40:56

He tells us in His word that we are to "teach these things diligently" to our children in Deuteronomy 6. This is a fact: t is impossible to honor God's mandate when you see your child a handful of hours each day. We will absolutely NOT intentionally place our children in an environment where He is intentionally not welcomed and honored. We see Christians do this all in the name of education. He has spoken to our family, boldy and plainly, that this is His plan for our family. My prayer is for other Christian families who have their children in public schools. I pray that God's truth, revealed to us in scripture, will be imprinted upon their hearts and that their heart will be turned. These children matter SO much...join me in praying over all families to be obedient and faithful to our Holy God's mandate for ALL christian families.

LORI JACKSON 07/22/2013 13:15:21

I respond by saying that the Great Commission was not given to 6-year-olds!

Kathryn Schmitt 07/21/2014 16:52:09

We all must do what is best for our children, each individual child. They are all unique, as God made them. My son went through public school and did just fine. My daughter, on the other hand, has anxiety issues and in the 9th grade I had to pull her out of public school because they decided she had a "behavioral" problem. Their solution was to put her into a special education class with a teacher that just handed out worksheets. I tried to explain to these "professionals" that she wasn't being willfully disobedient. She was shutting down because of the pressure. They couldn't understand. They would respond by putting more pressure on her. That's how our homeschooling started. Moving forward... She is now starting 11th grade in homeschooling. She is doing Very Well! She is learning more than she would have learned in Public School. She is happier and feeling less stress. God has answered my prayers and my daughter is on her way! Homeschooling was the answer for this child!

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