The Joy of Children

"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them" (Psalm 127:4-5a).

Call me crazy, but I just love kids. Therefore, making the decision to homeschool our four children wasn't difficult. It was simply a result that grew out of love. What did seem crazy, however, were the countless, negative remarks I received from people who felt bogged down by the responsibilities of parenting. Such comments like, "Why in the world would you want to stay home with your kids?" or "I can hardly wait until they're ready for school, so I can enjoy my life again," seemed as crazy to me as my homeschooling did to them. In response I thought, "Why wouldn't you want to spend time with the people you love most?"

Treasuring the blessings of children is a foreign concept to most. Although many couples love and enjoy their children, there are also couples who view children as an inconvenience. Wanting to get ahead in the world, they only have time to enjoy their children in small doses and pass off the major responsibility for their children's care, education, and entertainment to others. However, the Lord's view on children is different. God calls them blessings and "rewards" (Psalm 127:3). Through the eyes of children, you appreciate the wonder of God's world and maintain a heart that is soft and compassionate. Children also teach you to forgive easily, love unselfishly, and enjoy the blessings of the moment.

How are you feeling about your children today? Do you view each one as a blessing, even in the toughest times? Admittedly, homeschooling your children is a huge responsibility that requires a great deal of self-sacrifice. However, even in the worst of your homeschooling moments, the blessings they bring far outweigh any burden involved. Ask parents who have been homeschooling more than a few years, and they'll tell you the same story — their children are their greatest treasures. What about yours?

Father, forgive me when I take the world's view toward my children. Just as You treasure me as Your precious child, humble my heart and teach me to love my own children, too. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(29 comments)

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Marshall & Melissa M 04/29/2009 01:14:17


CATHERINE D 04/29/2009 12:25:20

you are an inspiration! I am thankful that their are still people that feel like me! praise the lord

JANELLA S 05/07/2009 07:08:02

Thank you for the reminder! I need them occassionally (especially when I'm ready to give up on homeschooling!).

NATHAN L 04/29/2010 05:18:20

On hard homeschooling days, this helps keep things in perspective. Thank you for the reminder to ALWAYS treasure my children not only when it is easy!

ROBIN D 04/29/2010 06:27:17

Thanks for the message. I caution you to be careful though, "treasuring the blessings of children is a foreign concept to most." is not true. MOST parents do treasure the blessings of children. A small percentage of working parents want to give up time with children to work. Balancing a rewarding career and time spent with children is something almost all working parents struggle with. They want the best for their children and work hard to find it.

CHRISTINA S 04/29/2010 07:10:38

This is a great reminder of why I am homeschooling my children. I treasure my children and I love that I am able to stay home with them and enjoy them everyday.

GINA S 04/29/2010 22:28:31

I have heard so many negative comments since I decided to homescool. I actually heard "I don't know you could do it I couldn't be with my children that long." Comments like that just don't register with me. I get frustrated with my children but I love them so much that a little craziness is not a high price to pay. I am glad to know that there are others that feel the same way. To know that our kids are going to be out in the world someday and that the time that we have with them now are the memories we will treasure for the future. Thanks for making me feel that I am no alone.

EILEEN M 04/30/2010 01:06:01

Homeschooling parents see the 'BIG PICTURE' of our purpose in life. There exists a profound link in the revelation revealed to us through Christ that provides graces towards our desires to teach our children to KNOW, LOVE, and SERVE God. This is where the real 'TREASURE' lies deep within our hearts!

MELISSA L 04/30/2010 03:32:50

I am surrounded, it seems, by people who view their children as an inconvenience. Sometimes I feel like the "not normal one". So AMEN to this devo!

MISTY K 04/30/2010 07:10:40

People say things to me like that all of the time. Not only am I at home with my kids all day, but I recently started homeschooling a friend of ours children, who were having problems in their public school. All children are a blessing, even the ones that aren't ours!

STEPHENIE A 04/30/2010 19:39:04

Wonderful! I know all this, but how great to have it confirmed so beautifully. I cherish every moment I have with my kids. Sometimes I find myself around people who act like kids are a burden and it makes me very uncomforatable.

SARAH K 04/29/2011 06:41:07

I have a good friend that is looking forward to her kids going to school, so she can go back to work. That is foreign to me, too. I love every second with my kids. It's true, some days I have to get to the end of the day, or beginning of the next, before I love some of the seconds, but kids are only our kids for so long. I don't want to miss a moment with them.

CARIN M 04/29/2011 07:57:54

I LOVE spending time with my children! It is not always a joy, sometimes the work is too hard, sometimes the character issues seem too immense and never ending; but I never stop LOVING my days with them. I am so grateful that my DH has finally found a new job so I can stay out of the work force! Praise the LORD.

DANIELLE S 04/29/2011 08:52:08

Thank You! I was really starting to feel alone in this feeling. I could never understand why all my friends talked so badlly of their children as if they are such a burden. It saddened me deeply to hear them talk so negitively about their kids. When I would speak the opposite of my kids they look at me like I'm crazy and it actually puts distance in between many of us because they started making comments in a condesending tone like "Oh, well not you because your the perfect mother." I have dealt with comments like this even from my own mother. It hurts to not have someone understand the depth of love I have for my kids and to be mocked because of it. It's really sad that it's so hard to find friends who feel the same about their kids. It's refreshing to hear that their are others out their that aren't walking around constantly complaining of the blessings that our Father has given and intrusted to us.

EDWIDGE S 04/29/2011 11:16:57

I enjoy my children: they're so "colorful" (for lack of a better word), lively, so funny, and I find them truly interesting. But if I am to be completely honest, that fact makes up for perhaps only 40 percent of the reason for my desire/"decision" to homeschool. The other 60 percent represents a duty and responsibility I am impressed with to train up the children the LORD has entrusted to our care in a way that is pleasing to Him. HE gave them to us and expects us to take the charge of parenthood/parenting very seriously. No one is going to love my children, look out for their best interests, and want the best for them as much as me and my husband; no one is going to be as invested and interested in--and motivated for--their wellbeing and success (spiritual, emotional, mental and physical) as much as the two of us. (I set off "decision" in " " marks because, not being delusional about the HARD WORK (spiritual, emotional, mental and physical) that homeschooling involves, I prayed and prayed and sought God's guidance/direction for a YEAR before HE revealed His decision to CALL me to homeschooling. I wanted/NEEDED the call to come directly from Him because I wanted the security of KNOWING that He would equip, sustain and encourage me--being WHAT I need, WHEN I need--SINCE/BECAUSE HE CALLED me to this work. Does that make sense?) To Robin D, I would say this: I cannot say with full confidence/certainty that MOST parents treasure their children anymore than I can say that MOST parents don't ... BUT a simple, informal survey of the condition/state of today's youth in the United States and around the world indicates to me that, more often than not, children are NOT viewed by the adults around them as blessings. Children are increasingly neglected, mistreated, abused, abandoned, and even killed. And as the world grows more and more cold and even hostile toward our LORD, His ways and His truth, it only follows logically that this world would lack what is necessary to "treasure children as blessings"--that's a spirit-led perspective, I would say. Also, of all the parents I've shared our plan to homeschool with (who are NOT homeschooling themselves), I've received positive feedback from perhaps just a couple. Otherwise the comments tend to be "I don't have the patience" ... "I don't think that's healthy" ... "I definitely could not be with my kids 24/7" ... Some have even said that the time away from their kids make them better parents. I don't begrudge them for that sentiment nor am I dismissive of it, but these interactions do leave me wondering oftentimes, "I wonder how many of these people would choose to become parents if they knew beforehand that there would be NO "going off to school"--that they'd be solely responsible for educating their children at least through ... say ... the 8th grade? lol I dunno ... perhaps it's necessary to define what it means to treasure someone as a blessing. Does that mean we naturally desire to spend all or most of our time with her/him/them? Is it possible to value/cherish someone without wanting/needing to invest more time and effort than working parents have to offer their children? And what of single parents who just can't do what we do? Just putting the questions out there ... no slants ... Thanks for the devotional!

JOY A 04/29/2011 15:22:46

I love your posts!!! They are a tremendous blessing and encouragment to me everyday!!! It's like your reading my mind! I am aware that is the Holy Spirit speaking through you straight to the hearts of ud homeschool moms!! Thank you so much, and I hope you know your labor isn't in vain!!!

LISA M 04/29/2011 23:04:00

Wow, this is talking to me. I am new to homeschooling and not doing well. I am a tomboy who avoided dating and children as much as possible through my early 20s. Now, I am married and have 5 children! I am not a naturally organized person, do not have a lot of patience and learning always came easily to me. I have been forced to become what is unnatural to me in order to mold my children to become people after God's own heart. That meant depending solely on Christ for what I didn't have. Any successes I have had are not of my own strenth. There are days that I want to run far and fast, desperate for some breathing room and peace, and even give up. God used those times to impress upon me what my kids HAVE learned; that my efforts are not in vain. If I think about how we're going to make it through another year, I'm already defeated. If I thank God for his provisions and trust him for tomorrow, He always provides. I do love my kids but not nearly as much as He does. THAT is what keeps me going. They do not belong to me. I am merely a steward of God's property. Imagine, he chose ME to train 5 souls! I'm overwhelmed. Only a fool would take that lightly.

AUDREY A 05/01/2011 00:05:25

Awesome devotional! Exact sentiments but you said it all! :)

LYNN B 04/29/2012 04:28:41

This post has really made me think.I've been homeschooling my two children for 3 years and I'm about to quit when this schoolyear is done.They've tried everything:2 Christian schools,1 horrible year in public school and now I'm searching for another option.I even tried a small homeschool Christian coop this past year for awhile but that was so worldly it introduced my kids to some unhealthy relationships(I joined for relationships!)My kids don't want to be homeschooled anymore.My son is almost 15 in 9th grade in the Fall and my daughter is 13(8th grade in the Fall.My son fights my authority and is in counseling.My pastor recently took him for 2 weeks to give me a respite.He's mentoring him still including a Bible Study on Boundaries with Teens.I'm pretty disappointed and discouraged with homeschooling.It's hard to teach someone who disrespects you and doesn't receive from you.My pastor said I need to be his mother and not his teacher and I agree.We're together 24/7.Several people think he has ADHS(hyperactive type which needs a lot of structure)I could go on and on but please pray for my family.I feel like a failure sometimes.I wanted to homeschool for all the reasons you mentioned,but with my son's issues I can't.My daughter needs more friends,too and opportunities to grow.

KATHY S 04/29/2012 08:26:29

Thisdevotional really hit home! I LOVE being with my child, 24/7 ! He is such a JOY! He is the best GIFT God could have ever given me. I can't comperhend how some Parents wan't to be away from their children, preferring work or other activities that separate them from their children. When my child was in school, prior to homeschooling, picking him up was the HIGHLIGHT of my day. If they could only truly see their children as Jesus does all of us (his children), I think that they would be more inclined to have the yearning to spend every minute they can with them. OUR Children are only children for such a SHORT time. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE you can with them!

JILL K 04/29/2012 08:57:31

Ouch, I really needed this TODAY! Feeling overwhelmed with my teen rebellion! I need to step back and look at her like God looks at me. Thank you!

TERESA S 04/29/2012 14:29:43

Lynn B Please do not feel badly You must do what is beneficial to you and your son If you become just your son's mother, and not his educational teacher, your relationship may improve. At least he will not have as many opportunities to buck your authority. Do not be discouraged, just because your son is challenging you now, does not mean your long term relationship is doomed It sounds like you hae a wise pastor. As far as your daughter goes, only you, and the Lord, knows if your daughter will be spiritually and emotionally safe in a public school A lot will depend on the peer group your daughter hangs out with. I know my daughter was being endagered spiritually and emotionally in school, I did not wait until a major event happened. At the first clear sign of trouble, although my child did not actually go through with what someone was trying to get her to do, I removed her. My daugher very much wants to fit in, and this makes her vulnerable She was not thrilled, but dutifully did as she was directed Being a homeschool MOM DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER MOM THAN FOLKS WHO DO NOT HOMESCHOOL Some children do hold true to their faith in public school. Each mother must pray and choose what is best for their children. My youngest child would probably be fine in public school,. but I wanted the girls to be together. My prayers go out to you and yours.

TABITHA J 04/29/2012 15:05:39

Most parents who think that they will get their life back when their kids start school are in for a big surprise. They won't be able to get the "me time" because when the kids are at school, they will be at work, which is not "me time," but rather "work time." When I have kids, I want them to learn good values and they can't learn them in public schools, especially how they are today.

DAVID C 04/30/2012 04:22:51

This is Jennifer. Be careful of pride, ladies, my experience is that most parents do love there children and try to do what is best for them. Perhaps they go about it in a different way...we like to think that our way is best, and perhaps it is.... Also, you are a better homeschool mom than me if you always love to be around your children. I love my children to pieces and was happy to homeschool them, but honesty requires that I let you know that I have been overwhelmed and unhappy many a day of my 12 yr. homeschool career (so far) and the thought of having some days to care for my family and home without little ones around sounds nice sometimes. Pray for those who persecute you, but watch your pride....Jennifer

DAVID C 04/30/2012 04:28:41

This is Jennifer again. Lynne B, I have been there with a son who probably has ADHD and bucks authority and can be quite a trial. He went to public school in 8th grade. His being stubborn has served him well there and his faith is strong. I wish this wasn't the solution that worked for us, but it did. He is a junior now and doing well. Having to be under others authority was good for him. I wish we could have sent him to Christian school, but it wasn't an option. Let God lead you and do what He says, not what our ideals, neighbors, or homeschool groups say to do. I'll pray for you.

BETTY D 04/30/2012 05:27:11

Jennifer, Lynn, and Lisa M: THANK YOU for your honesty. After adopting my 3 kids, I do love them to pieces -- I travelled halfway around the globe to get them despite my fear of flying. HOWEVER, that does not mean I enjoy all the challenges to authority, laziness, stubbornness and other issues that come up....daily. I homeschool because I know the Lord told me to and because of the responsibility He has given all parents. I encourage all other posters to be careful of your "I don't understand why anyone doesn't want 24/7 with their kids" as it is hurtful to parents who may be dealing with more behavioral issues than you are. I love my mom, my dad, my siblings, and my husband too.... but I don't want 24/7 with them either! And it doesn't make me less loving -- or less of a daughter, sister, or wife -- to feel like that. It's called NORMAL.

AUTUMN ALEXANDER 04/29/2013 13:12:27

I want to thank those of you who are honest about your less-than-ideal feelings about 24/7 parenting. I love my children. At 9 years old, I decided I wanted to become a full-time mom when i grew up because childcare was the most awesome responsibility I had ever experienced. Unfortunately life doesn't always turn out as planned. My oldest son is 7 and has PTSD and Asperger's - he is HARD to homeschool, but it was harder (on both of us) to send him to public school. I love teaching him but some days (many days lately) I do not look forward to the struggle and wish there was an easier path. He rebels against my authority, argues often with his younger brother, and has a complete meltdown (severe tantrum) at least once a week. Some days i want to give up and I definitely could use some respite every month! I keep going despite difficulty because the alternative is worse - my son would not survive in a public school. He would be bullied and he could hurt others during meltdowns. It is only by God's grace and provision that I make it through the hard days. Do not feel bad when you want to quit - GOD KNOWS we cannot raise our children on our own and He quietly offers to be our Strength and Hope to keep doing all that He has called us to do. And remember that He has not called all of us to homeschool - if He did, who would show the Gospel to the thousands of children not raised in Christian homes who are in public school? If homeschooling doesn't work for someone, we should not judge. Regardless of how a person's child is schooled, we as Christ followers should come alongside them and encourage them in the Lord.

James Lamar 04/29/2014 14:27:23

I feel like I have been one of those parents who was more focused on themselves than their children. I wanted to "want" to spend time with them more than work or play, but I simply didn't have the works to back it up. Recently, I started praying for God to change my heart and I think he has. I have been "sold-out" to loving and educating my girls. There was a time when I was very involved and slowly I started making work or play my focus. Once my oldest daughter starting going to public school I stopped working with her on her studies, because I thought she would be in more capable hands. Her school is so much better than the one I grew up with so I figured she would do well. Before she entered kindergarten I had her doing math in Spanish and working through 3rd grade math problems on Khan Academy. After quizzing her again recently I was surprised to find out she had forgotten nearly everything. Thankfully, she is still a smart little girl, because after just a few short days I had her working through 7th grade math! It's ok to brag on my kids, right? :) Anyway, it's sad that my passion for my kids seems more like a trend than a lifestyle. In my heart, my wife and my daughters have always been the most important, but I have fed my selfish desires more than my godly ones. We are probably making the jump to homeschool this Summer, but even if we don't I'll be sure to never trust the development of my kids to anyone else again.

leslie miller 04/29/2014 15:38:48

I have been reading the devotional since last Monday I am so thankful God laid it on my heart to read them I read all the comments and they inspire me I have a special needs(I like to say blessed child) daughter that was in public school through the 8th grade her step- dad and I toured the high school and we said no way is she going to that ungodly place from kindagarden to 8th the public school did not teach her to read she is in what would be 10th grade I have been homeschooling for almost 2 years and have her reading she wants to go back to public school that is not an option we are useing second grade work as that is her level she argues a lot with me I know God sees us through my left leg was broke in 2012 when I was hit by a car this was as we started homeschool then in 2013 I had the metel taken out just to have more surgery April 2014 as my acl in the other leg had snapped I will say this homeschool your special needs kids the public school is no place for them and I would like to say thank you to the post that said a co-op is not for them we left the church that helped get homeschooling started for us and have not found a new co-op we are looking for a mobile home to buy with the money from the car hit so I am going to see what co-ops are close to the new place in the mean time church is fine for her to talk with others

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