Dying to Self

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Homeschooling is not what you thought. Those images of perfectly happy children soaking in your words of wisdom have evaporated. You feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew. You are reevaluating. Homeschooling involves sacrificing more of your precious day than you intended. "What about time for me?" you ask.

God commands us to sacrifice all that we are to Him. Romans 12:1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Living to please yourself should no longer have a place in your life. God wants you to move beyond the immediate to the eternal and trust Him to lead you by faith. Your flesh will continue to cry out, "What about me?", but as you nail those desires to the cross, you will experience a new dimension to your homeschooling and your personal walk with God. His plan for you is much bigger than a new outfit, a new house, a trip, or whatever you think makes you feel content. Let Him teach you how to homeschool and bring those things into your life that will make you truly happy.

Lord, forgive me for thinking that this world is all about me. Show me how to say "no" to those things of the flesh that cause me to want my own way and give up homeschooling. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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CELESTE T 12/15/2008 06:39:02

Thank you Alpha Omega for Daily Focus. It always seems to be exactly what I need to hear. God Bless you.

CATHY A 12/15/2008 14:29:21

I truly love the devotions!! Today was one of the best! Great wisdom and encouragement! Thanks for your insight and wisdom to whom ever writes them! They are my daily bread and helps me so much! God bless!

MANDY B 12/15/2009 07:56:59

I love reading each day's new verse and thought. I love that these devotionals are directed for homeschoolers. It's just what I need each morning. Thank you.

SUSAN W 12/15/2009 10:30:15

Though we do have to die to self, and I have no intention of giving up homeschooling, we are still human beings with needs and frailties. My children and husband sometimes sense that I'm getting to the snapping point, and they recommend that I go out and take a nice walk, or do something I like to rejuvenate myself a bit. Be careful not to overplay the self-sacrifice hand. It actually gives your family a chance to be self-sacrificing if they step up to the plate and sacrifice a bit for you! (After 19 years of homeschooling, I KNOW the need to just take a walk every once in a while!)

J B 12/15/2009 16:10:29

All of these comments are so true...I too, struggle with not only the "me" time I miss, but all the other responsibilities I have for the home. I am not the perfectly organized person by nature and struggle with time management and ask God for help with that constantly. It is a sacrifice and yes, sometimes it can be overdone and become ineffective if we let ourselves become overburdened emotionally.

KELLI R 12/15/2009 19:06:39

Needed to hear this!!!!! WIth the dirty dish growing, and clothes pile getting higher by the moment- Needed this. THANKS!!!!!

LANI M 12/15/2010 06:28:53

I, too, needed to hear this today. Being in the first trimester of my 4th child, I am struggling with fatigue. Thank you, Lord, for your precious and oh-so-true words. Thank you, Alpha Omega, for the daily devotions.

Laura S 12/15/2010 10:12:46

I am a new homeschool mom. This was my first time receiving this devotion. I was feeling overwhelmed today, thinking...if my kids don't appreciate my time and sacrifice that I am giving them what's the point! This is the reminder I needed to keep the focus on why we made this decision to homeschool. It's not about me! Thank You, I needed the encouragement.

HOLLIE H 12/15/2010 11:00:25

The "fleshy" thing I desire so much right now is SLEEP! Hours and hours of uninterrupted, peaceful slumber- that is my selfish desire! But I know that even today when my eyes are barely open, my head is aching horribly, and the children's noises seem unnaturally loud, God is here with me. And as many times as I have wondered if you can die from lack of sleep, He keeps me going lovingly into the right direction. I may stumble a bit and maybe one day I may actually physically fall down, but it is worth it to know that homeschooling is actually a gift and an honor from Him. How little my sacrifices seem compared to all Jesus has done for me. Thank you for helping me to stay on the right path. You are a cherished friend.

PENNY H 12/15/2010 21:30:50

Well . . . I hate to admit it, but this was a much-needed reminder for me. I was just telling my husband this very thing this evening - that I needed to "die to myself", and how very hard that is. At the end of our conversation I felt relieved that I had shared this, which seemed to take the edge off of the real need to die, simply because I admitted it. Anyway, reading this confirms that the Lord is actually telling me to do just that - "die to myself"! Ouch!! Thanks so much for the gentle reminder(s) each day of how we must live/walk as Christians and homeschooling moms/dads. I believe the Holy Spirit is indeed guiding your hands to type daily words of wisdom. Thanks again!

ARACELIS W 12/15/2010 22:51:07

God, I know,lead me to this website because these devotions have saved me!! I feel inept most of the times, my classroom a mess, my house a mess, and well, my quiet times, not long and pronounced as before, a quick prayer here, a cry for help there, and a"Jesus, help me" there. Thank you, Thank you, thank you...A. williams

Georgina G 12/20/2010 16:00:50

I think we also have to be careful that we don't give TOO much of ourselves away. It is easy to become too engrossed in our children. How are we to continue if we have nothing left to give. I agreed with this devotional right up to the "Living to please yourself should no longer have a place in your life". I think the idea has its place, but I firmly believe that the quoted section goes a little too far. Are we never to please ourselves? That is exactly what the quote says. It "should no longer have a place" in our lives. Too far.

DEANNA P 12/15/2011 07:02:40

I used to wonder if I really gave myself up to my heavenly Father, would I awaken in some remote area of some lost country doing some senseless repetitive task while flies buzz around me? The more I get to know Him and realize the price He paid to buy me back from sin, the more I realize that His will for me is exactly what I am made for, the very thing that will give me peace and deep satisfaction. The Word says I am crucified in Christ, NOT in children or homeschooling or any other worthy cause. If you need sleep, then your efforts to teach will be hindered if you keep putting that need aside. Snuggle up with your little ones and doze off together! Let them serve you, for in that, they will learn to be the loving, Godly children you are teaching them to be. Let them see you rest, for they may someday find themselves sleep deprived and recall how you cared for yourself; they will recall the wisdom you have, instead of the martyrdom that we can so easily slip into when we are not taking care of ourselves and can't see a good enough reason why we should. How 'good' are you for your kids if you are grumpy, tired, frustrated and angry with yourself? Jesus got away with His Daddy on several occasions, not necessarily like clockwork, certainly not b/c He knew His Father was keeping track of how many days He met with Him! He spend time with His Father b/c He needed it! He is Love, and Love does not keep a record of wrongdoing! Many of us see Him up in heaven keeping track of how many passages we have read or hours spent praying, how many times we bite our tongue and not respond to the careless words of a spouse or a mil. He is not the divine Santa Claus, checking your status to see which list to which you belong! That is not the same God Who gave His best for us so we could have life and have it more abundantly. The worst thing you can model for your children is a life of slavery to the man-made laws we Christians make for ourselves. Read the book of Galations. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we MUST spend quiet time or we MUST give up rest and work like slaves; His love is unconditional -- let that sink in. He loves you so much! Enjoy your babies! Watch a Veggie Tale together and laugh along with them. As many will tell you, these years will be gone in a flash, so savor the joy and privilege of parenthood that God is pleased to give you. HUGS!! Deanna

DAVID C 12/15/2011 07:04:55

I have always espoused a die to self mentality in my homeschool (as much as I could, anyway) and what it led to was children who thought my purpose in life was to serve them. Clearly, I overdid something. While I still try not to be selfish, I have learned that God gave me desires too...for a reason! Also, I've learned that homeschooling does not always trump all other responsibilities, as we homeschoolers sometimes think. (You know, the dishes will be there when the kids are grown....) Also, when I gave and gave everything to my children, and they didn't respond correctly, I felt like I wasted so much and stuggled with anger and bitterness. While these are sinful responses to a tough situation, I think the base issue was I was really doing what God wanted me too - I had "overdone" homeschooling. I do feel like God gives us, at least from time to time, responsibilities that are not dependant on our children for a feeling of accomplishment. Of course, we need to be in prayer about when a desire needs to be given up for the homeschooling goal, and when it shouldn't. Homeschooling is wonderful for children and hard on moms, esp. moms of many. God understands that and He cares for the moms too. Don't be afraid to take the relief God provides. (FYI I have homeschooled for 12yrs. and still have 4 children at home - one in preschool, so I have many years left.)

DAVID C 12/15/2011 07:06:03

Didn't realize my user name was David, ...I am actually his wife:)

Jody F 12/15/2011 08:39:55

I agreed with the devotional today, but I also agreed with David's wife (at first I thought, wow, a dad who home schools!) Children can easily become selfish -we deal with it everyday in our home - a home school home for 12 years now. I do take time to go upstairs and wash a floor, throw in a load of laundry, or get a cup of tea - making sure that they are busy with something they can handle themselves. I took the devotional for what it was - a gentle reminder that when we want to call it quits (and which one of us never has?), God has called us to a much higher position and that if we "die to self" that inclination to quit will be just that, an inclination.

J B 12/17/2012 10:25:53

Like many others who have posted in response to this devotional, I struggle constantly with this issue. I believe man can take anything God has given us in His word and take it to the extreme..... I pray for wisdom in understanding and that I will not take anything to the extreme - too little or too far. Dying to self to me means that I must put aside any resentful thoughts I have to doing what needs to be done and sacrificing time where it needs to be given.... and I find peace when I give up feeling anxious or guilty and just take it one project at a time

Sarah Downing 12/15/2013 14:39:40

This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of!! Thank you! Reading what y'all have posted has helped me know that I am not alone in this struggle. :) Thank you all for you honesty!

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