Forgiving Failure

If you've ever felt guilty about past homeschooling failures, you're not alone. Many parents have known setbacks with over-scheduling, under-planning, and teaching unfamiliar courses. However, the worst failures experienced as homeschooling parents aren't related to academics or schedules. Our worst failures come when we fail to show the love of Christ. Losing our patience and becoming irritable with our children, we speak harshly and suffer regret and remorse for foolish words and actions. Afterwards, even though we confess our sin, we fail to accept God's forgiveness and torture ourselves with our mistakes until we quit homeschooling altogether.

Until we understand that the Lord forgives and cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:9), we will continue to carry our guilt. Promising yourself that you'll do a better job homeschooling tomorrow or the next day only adds to your guilt. The forgiveness of sin isn't based on your performance. You've already proven that your performance isn't good enough. Your forgiveness is based on what Christ has done for you on the cross. When you acknowledge that He died in your place, He gives you a new thinking pattern guided by the Holy Spirit. In His power, you are able to set aside your selfish and fleshly desires that cause homeschooling failures.

What about you? Did you wake up this morning dragging around the guilt for your homeschooling failures from yesterday? You can find release from that bondage if you hand over your past mistakes to Christ. If you've confessed your sin, He's forgiven you, and there's no reason to feel guilty any longer. "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:10, 12).

Lord, help me to receive Your forgiveness and not live in the shame of my failures. Give me wisdom to teach my children today and help me to trust in Your strength and not my own. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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RACHELLE F 05/25/2009 09:56:08

Great! I needed that.

MICHELE T 05/27/2010 09:37:04

I can relate to this. Thank you.

HOLLIE H 05/23/2011 03:46:53

Thank you so much for these words! Sometimes I wonder how someone as sinful as I am could ever be qualified to teach my children of God's love. Often I wonder if public school would be better for them because at least there they would be free from my horrible failures as a Christian. How silly I am not to hand my burden over to Christ who is waiting to wash it all away. One night I dreamed that all of my mistakes were written on a huge dry-erase board for everyone to see and I was so embarrassed! After sharing this with my husband the next morning, he reminded me that because I am a Christian, Jesus has cleaned my "dry-erase board" so clear that none of those sins will ever be seen again!

WENDY E 05/23/2011 05:30:25

I REALLY needed this one! I think you have just described my last month. Thank you for this post.

CHARITY L 05/23/2011 06:06:39

These daily posts are such a blessing and help me to remember that I am not alone, that we all struggle with sin. But thanks be to God that he sent his Son to wash away our sin. We are a new creation! Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and that by confessing my sin you are faithful and just to cleans me from all unrighteousness.

PATTI C 05/23/2011 06:19:11


BRANDI D 05/23/2011 06:24:38

Thank you! I needed the encouragment!

SUSAN S 05/23/2011 06:40:50

Wow! I really needed to hear this. Thank you for taking the time to send it out.

CARRIE B 05/23/2011 06:56:23

Thank You!!!

REGINA L L 05/23/2011 07:36:32

Wow...a verse I share with others who struggle, but often forget to apply to my own failures! Thanks so much for reminding me that my failures are not forever with Christ. What an amazing gift we have been given if we are privileged to teach our children...they see our imperfections, but we can teach them that Christ has given us His righteousness because in and of ourselves we have none. Regina L

CHRISTINE E 05/23/2011 10:08:51

Thank you so much for this nugget of encouragement. Correction: it's more of a gold mine! As the mother of a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy--also an only child--I often feel the weight, literally and figuratively, of the responsibility of homeschooling him. It sometimes almost paralyzes me, and then the guilt kicks in. But then I realize my focus has been completely askew. Who is it that called us to this PRIVILEGE? Is He not that very One who has promised to equip us, strengthen us, lift us, guide us, encourage us, mold us (and our kids!), and always forgive us? "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV) This refocus changes everything! Hallelujah!

MARY C 05/23/2011 19:30:55

Mary C. Oh my. The Lord is so very timely.

LAURA C 05/25/2011 09:23:22

This is read a day after my meltdown where I said I refuse to homeschool my very bright 11 yr old stubborn son. I apologized to him before bed, but still have residual guilt for my weaknesses. Thanks for the support in the inbox daily. We all need it!

JEANNINE M 05/23/2012 04:58:17

What a wonderful prayer, Blessings to all of you

KATHY S 05/23/2012 05:15:20

We serve a Wonderful, Merciful God! When you really think about it, all of our sin, washed white as snow, Wow, It's hard to believe, but TRUE!. We get to "start over" when we become Christians. Thank you Jesus for giving up your life so that we could have eternal life. Amen.

CRIS D 05/23/2012 06:40:21

I am very humbled by not only this wonderful daily message, but by all of the vulnerable and truthful posts. I just finished the 4th year of homeschooling my boys and I question if I have another year in me. My struggles are directly related to this subject. I often say I love the job, but the hours are very tough. After being together with tween/teen boys day in day out for years, there is an overwhelming sense of loss of space and boundaries. Homeschooling families need days off too. From each other! I need to lift this to Jesus, who truly knows all of our needs. I hope my character flaws will eventually turn to areas of Victory. Hugs to all of you!

MICHAEL B 05/23/2012 07:32:05

OH, this daily focus really speaks to me!! I get up in the morning asking God for His strength and wisdom to only go to bed at night asking for fogiveness. As a mom I stay home to homeschool 3 chiilsren. I am very happy to have that blessing and responsibility, but when there is stubbornness and rebellion, IT is very hard. I know Jesus forgive. I still carry a lot of guilt with me becase my children are not so easy to forgive and forget. We changed to this new curriculim, and I am thankgul. I hope this next year is easier. Thanks and God bless you all!! LORA

TRACI T 05/23/2012 08:09:08

This is my first AOP devotional and I am so encouraged and ready to start my day.

MARSHALL WATSON 05/23/2013 13:38:41

Thomas Edison, a very smart man, tried hundreds of variations in his attempt to create the first working light bulb. He never considered any of them failures. His comment was they were all learning experiences of how not to make a working light bulb. We all make mistakes, we will until we die, or until the Lord takes us all home to be with Him. Mistakes are not failures, they are learning experiences about how not to do something. When we allow our mistakes, or failures to frustrate us and lose our temper, then we sin. Confess your sin and the Lord is just and will forgive, if we are truly sorry. We are just completing our first year of home school with three teenage girls, 14, 15, 16. They are my wife's nieces who came into our custody 7 years ago when they were taken from their mother for neglect and abuse. They all have learning disabilities because of the life they lived before we were awarded custody. This has been a real challenge for us, but God brought them into my life for a reason, one was to save them from further abuse, second to allow them to live in a true two parent home with a stay at home mom. But I believe the main reason was to make me a better person. We are all learning together so many things, mostly how to love God and each other.

Mocha Jackson 05/23/2013 15:04:24

Praise the Lord.

marny renteria 05/29/2013 19:21:30

Thank you for acknowledging the home school parent's heart. These messages have blessed me this morning.

TRACIE SIMONS 05/23/2013 16:57:27

This was just what I needed to hear this morning. I am a mother of 8 ages 1 to 12 and am homeschooling 6 of them. I have been struggling with impatience and sometimes I get so angry and think they would be better off in public school, but for me that isn't even an option. I fully believe they should be homeschooled, and there is no turning back. What I can't get past is all the guilt. I got up this morning and prayed and said today will be different, but I've already yelled a few times. :( Thanks for the encouragement today! I will keep in the forefront of my mind the wonderful gift God gave me when He died for my sins, and He will help me through this!

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