Following Traditions

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

I hate to admit it, but the first years I homeschooled, I tried to make our homeschooling a carbon copy of what I experienced in a traditional school. Following the same regimented routine I remembered, I attempted to convert our home and teach my children with standards and techniques meant for a classroom of 25 children. Thankfully, God helped me to discover a more robust way to teach our school lessons, and my children became happier in their studies.

Following the traditions he had learned, the apostle Paul also had to change his thinking toward the new believers of the early church. As a devout Hebrew and learned scholar of the law, he saw Christians as a threat to the foundations of his faith. Believing he was preserving the true worship of God, Paul zealously pursued these new believers to eradicate them. Hundreds of men, women, and children died as a result of his actions, until he saw the light and encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Years later, Paul confessed his mistake in 1 Timothy 1:12-13 when he said, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”

What about you? Is your faith in Jesus Christ based simply on following the empty traditions you learned as a child, or do you truly know the One who uniquely created you? Jesus loves you and wants to have an intimate and dynamic relationship with you, so you can experience not only the forgiveness of your sins, but also the abundant life He has promised (John 10:10). Ask the Holy Spirit to touch your heart today and let Him show you a whole new way to love the Lord!

Father, forgive me for coming to You with empty acts of worship. Take my life and use me for Your glory. Teach me from Your Word and guide me with the Holy Spirit, so I can serve You with a heart that is passionate and alive. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Comments(10 comments)

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JENNIFER H 08/21/2011 07:19:16

I'm still trying to change my mindset when it comes to our homeschool day. I am sort of stuck on the school way of doing things, but I know it's not what my child enjoys. What do some homeschool families days look like? My child is doing 1st grade work, and I have preschoolers. I'm curious to know what other parents do for this age.

HOLLY T 08/21/2011 07:46:12

Thankyou so much for this devotion. We can do nothing good without the Holy Spirit directing us as we teach our children. That's exactly where I'm at this year. I want only God's direction for our homeschool year. The discussions we have on history and science have become intense as we learn where faith comes into these subjects and how to defend our faith by what the word says. Only the Holy Spirit can help us as we walk and trust HIM daily.

KERI O 08/21/2011 10:42:53

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I was raised in religion, steeped in tradition and when I finally became free of that, I understood more of what God expects from me: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him, -empowered by the Holy Spirit to live as He leads, not having to conform to what some tradition would dictate... There is so much freedom simply in understanding what He has available to me (like this devotion points out): forgiveness, an intimate relationship with Him, and life in abundance. When I feel helpless in knowing what direction to take next with my children, I know I can count on Him to guide me and lead me into abundance as I learn to walk with Him and obey His voice. I don't need to be afraid that I'm not going to have my needs met as a busy mom because when Jesus says that He's come to give me a life of abundance, He means just that; no lack - in any form. John 10:10, Ps. 23:1, Jer. 29:11. Learning to trust Him for my every need is not only freeing, but imparative.

TRISTA J 08/21/2011 21:27:33

Hi, Jennifer H! I too have small children at home, toddler to 1st grade levels. For now, our homeschooling day looks more like just parenting than school, although we do spend time (an hour at most) in the morning at table doing devotions (geared to young children - there are lots available at family bookstores or through a Google search) and then phonics and math. We don't user any curriculum at present, I use jolly phonics (which is used in our local school system), and then we do math exercises that I make up on my own. (counting cereal pieces, adding subtracting them etc.) We are loosely following Kids of Integrity materials for additional Christian lifestyle lessons. Beyond that, we are into note taking for almost everything we do throughout the day (I reinforce whatever we went over in the morning throughout the day) and journaling after supper so we can see what we have learned. Since the children can't write much themselves yet, I help the oldest print a few lines while the others draw in their journals or just play, and then I let all the children dictate while I act as stenographer. Simply taking in part in household chores and activities provides much learning opportunity through toddler to primary school years. Don't pressure yourself, even just being a parent and interacting with them all day is enough at such a young age! Modelling a godly life and talk, talk, talking about what you are doing and why is plenty! Enjoy them while they are young, they are only this small for a short time! Blessings, Trista J

TRISTA J 08/21/2011 21:33:09

Oh, and I wanted to mention.....this is the way we do things for now, but every family does their own thing in their own way, and there can be no wrong way if you are using the bible/word of God as a base for instruction and prayer as a guide. I was full of doubt, but my prayers have always been answered and I have always been led to people and resources that I need, exactly when I need them! God is so good! Trista J

KATHY S 08/21/2012 02:21:43

This was a great subject to bring up today.One of the reasons Homeschool is so awesome is because we can do things our own way! I love it and so does my son! Every day is a new adventure. We choose to work on 1-2 subjects per day so that we can really get into the work without having to switch to five other subjects and lose what we are learning in transit. By the end of the week the subjects are complete, just in our own way and time. (Of course with God's guidance) And the "Traditional church" ways are long gone. I too was raised in a church where we sat kneeled stood and repeated, and I had no clue what was going on! Wasted years. We belong to a "Bible based" church now and just Love it! And....we understand the entire service! Praise God for the opportunities he has given my son and I !

KATHY S 08/21/2012 09:41:35

I\'m sorry ladies, I gave all a postive rating, and they were taken away :(

CHRISTINA LITTLE 08/21/2013 13:09:24

Someone once told me that if you want your kids to keep up with public school, then send them there. But if you want them to work on their level (even if its a few grades above or below), then homeschool them. This has stuck with me and helped me see my true calling to my child and not as a great teacher.

Tammy Pridmore 08/21/2013 13:11:32

Good morning. Jennifer H, If I were just starting out I think I would like to try unschooling especially if I had younger children. From what I understand it would be based on the child's interests and would include reading or being read to hands on, plenty of time for imaginative play, life experience which comes from spending time with you and others just enjoying being together, observing how daily tasks are accomplished, and getting a chance to try to accomplish some of them. I love our curriculum though (My Father's world).

NIKKI SANNER 08/25/2014 13:10:54

When I saw the word tradition in this devotional I knew someone was gonna go down this road! Kathy S...your comments greatly offend me! I belong to the "sit, stand, kneel church" you refer to in your comment! But I KNOW why we do what we do! It's actually quite beautiful and is ALL routed in the BIBLE! To claim otherwise is completely Out of ignorance. We should seek to unite with fellow Christians in this world and support one another. Tearing one another down with our words of disagreement does not help te cause. We have religious freedom here but many people are loosing their lives and everything for their faith. We should unite and pray for all those persecuted and not seek to tear down te church here at home because of our doctrinal differences. Much love and peace, nikki

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