Posted in Daily Focus on Sunday, August 17, 2014
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
As a homeschooling parent, you likely know the frustration of being stereotyped. Unfairly, mainstream America has deemed us unfashionable, overly protective, dogmatically religious, and socially backwards. Like other stereotypes that develop from negative assumptions, homeschooling parents suffer from unjust labels with unfounded perceptions of their true character. Added to this misconception is the fact that homeschooled children are also stereotyped.
Breaking loose from these hurtful stereotypes is difficult, but as Christian homeschooling families, we can change how the world views us. Instead of becoming defensive and argumentative when homeschooling adversaries slander our name, we can show God’s love through our Christ-like character and actions. Whether we’re shopping at the mall, attending a community event, or eating at a restaurant, we can erase incorrect images with courtesy, respect, and genuine concern for others. In addition, godly homeschoolers can best illustrate one reason for teaching our own children by displaying a servant’s heart that looks for ways to help others in need. Christ Himself said it best in the Sermon on the Mount: “Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44b).
Do you struggle with vengeful thoughts when others look down on you for homeschooling? Don’t let the homeschool stereotype discourage you. Prove those labels wrong and respond to the negative remarks with the love of Christ. After all, isn’t that the most important message we’re trying to teach our children as we homeschool? “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3).
Lord, forgive my anger when others make fun of us for homeschooling. Help me to tell them of homeschooling’s blessings and show the same love You did when mankind mocked and ridiculed You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
SISTER L 08/17/2008 22:16:56
Excellent article. I have been so blessed by these devotions sent to my inbox. I finally found this blog and am able to comment. Thank you so much!
SAMUEL C 08/20/2009 20:04:59
The best defense is an offense and we teach our kids by being out and doing in many different ways in our community and city. When the "locals" see us out being NORMAL it doesn't matter what someone says, "one can't deny what they see with their eyes"!
robin r 08/17/2010 06:16:45
As a supporter of homeschool, but a currently working mom, I see often feel the exact same way--like I'm being stereotyped for a choice my husband and I made for our family. Hopefully my actions will prove to others that just because I've chosen to work, doesn't mean I don't love my children less or don't want the very best for them.
AUDREY A 08/17/2010 16:33:56
Thanks for this reminder! Some times our family do get caught up and drowned by the daily things of life and forget Christ's teaching.
SHELLEY M 08/18/2010 06:25:48
I don't spend much time worrying about what the world thinks of us. My main concern is what our Lord will say to me at the end. Will I finish well? Will I have done my best to teach my children when we are walking, lying down, eating? Will I hear Him say "Well done good and faithful servant"? If I seek to please God, the world will see that and make of it what they will.
LORRIE C 08/17/2011 03:47:17
Misconceptions always abound when others choose the "culturally" abnormal. Just being a "sold out" Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday church goer is in itself strange to a culture of people who serve themselves and "other" things.
Frustration can surface at times when you lack a support system in this homeschool journey. It's a faith walk that has to be lived out each day with the knowledge that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is your strength and support system ultimately!
God Bless you for this devotion!!!!
LEANNE D 08/17/2011 08:25:06
I am very thankful that I live in a community where homeschooling is accepted as a normal option. I have been the parent of all combinations....a working mother with a publicly educated child , a working and work at home mother of privately educated children and now a work at home mom homeschooling two children. None are easy... I am always surprised by where the Lord leads....
LAURA G 08/17/2011 09:47:07
Hi everyone I\'m new to this community.We\'re on our 7th year of homeschooling and I personally have learned so much not only academically but also spiritually. This devotional hit home with me because of what happened to me the other day. I went to get my declaration of intent from the school district where I live and the women informed me that they no longer give them out and that \"homeschooling parents needed to take more responsibility and find their own declaration of intent then fill it out and return it\" unquote. I just said \"Oh, O.K. \". But by the time I returned to my car I was asking myself, what was that all about. I mean I pay $3,600 in property taxes of which about $2,500 goes to a school system my children do not use. I pay for all their school supplies, music lessons,art classes, so-on and so-on. I could have sworn I was already taking on ALL the responsibility for educating my children.
Anyway, I just kept saying to the LORD, I\'m sorry for being so angry; please take this anger from me.
So this morning I opened this e-mail and found this devotional. The LORD as always has answered my prayers. I also found a great declaration of intent full of Biblical scripture that more than explains my position on homeschooling. GOD is good.
I\'m going to hang this devotional on our inspiration board and read it everyday. Thank you for your wise words.
MARIA C 08/17/2011 14:05:05
I was feeling down about my in law\'s. How they didn\'t want me to teach their grandchildren homeschool but reading this today has woken my heart to the Lord. I need this today! Thanks so much <3
SHERECE V 08/23/2011 15:53:04
Hi everyone my name is Sherece i live in the Caribbean Trinidad and Tobago and i am very nervous about the whole home schooling thing it is my first time,but i am happy to know i am not alone.We do not have much people doing this kind of thing in Trinidad and would love to get all the material to help my child who is by the way is cerebral palsy and do not have a long concentration span thank you very much for your time.
KIMBERLY L 08/17/2012 04:25:55
I needed this inspiration! I\'ve been bombarded with comments of discouragement, how public school would be so muh better, how \"different\" my kids are......... Thank you for the encouraging words of faith! God is using you in a great way!
KATHY S 08/17/2012 06:09:01
Welcome Sherece V. !
I will pray that your homeschooling goes well for you and your child. My child has a form of Autism, Homeschooling was the best thing I could have ever done for him.
I think you will find that your child will respond much better to you as their Mom , than any teacher from a school outside of the home. Be Blessed!
The subject today was needed for me. I just completed a letter the other day for anymore family and family friends who are questioning my elderly Mother like the \"Police\" about my son and his homeschooling.
So, I\'ll put the letter aside, continue to go out into the world and get constant compliments on my son who is extremley well behaved, and caring.
And as a last resort for the people hounding my Mother, I have let her know to let the \"questioners\" know that a Doctor who graduated from \"Harvard\" and practices Psychiatry now for 35 years, told me to homeschool my child.
Perhaps those few people will stop their harassment to my Mother (who defends us always) when they hear that someone more educated than themselves ordered that we do this for my son\'s well being and saftey.
Thank you for another wonderful devotional! Gods Blessing to you and all who are writing in on this Blog!
BETTY N 08/17/2012 06:14:39
Thank you. I needed this inspirational message, too. Both my daughter and I are tired of being told that home schooling makes her too \"sheltered\" and \"naive\". Her old school friends pity her because she\'s not involved in school activities. However, because she is home-schooled, my child has been able to pursue interests in acting, voice, and tennis. She has worked with actors and film directors/crews from NY to LA, all while living in the South. Her new friends, whom frequently conference with each other via Skype, live in places as far away as New Zealand, Brazil, Egypt, and China. So, while I initially home-schooled her because of a learning disabiliy (reading), she wants to continue home-schooling, so that she can continue having the freedom to pursue her goals. Five years ago, when my child was two years behind in reading by the 4th grade (and diagnosed with ADD and LD), I reluctantly chose the home-school route. She has gone from failing to excelling -- from hating reading to loving it. God has truly blessed us!
DIANE C 08/17/2012 07:18:04
Unfashionable, overly protective, dogmatically religious, and socially backwards. These are bad things? :-) Maybe we should tell our 14 year old boys that it\'s time to leave the oversized Star Wars T shirt at home.
The fact is, there are a lot of homeschool parents that fit these stereotypes to some degree. That\'s why they exist and shame on us when we fit the description.
First I say, so what? Second I say, our lives should be such a powerful representation of joy, and of Christ\'s love, that these stereotypes would have no merit. Unfortunately, they often do have merit.
DIANE C 08/17/2012 07:22:01
@ Laura G, I like you.
LORI B 08/17/2012 08:00:36
I\'m a new homeschooling mom, starting my 4 and 5 year olds in Kindergarten in just a couple of weeks. My husband and I have always known that we wanted to homeschool. Being certain of it did not prepare me for the question that I recently faced \"Why do you want to homeschool\" (asked with a negative tone of voice). All I could think of was \"Because we want to!\".
Since then, I\'ve pondered the question and possible responses as I am sure that I will be asked the question many more times in the upcoming months and years. I could say \"Because we are convinced that is what God wants us to do for our children\"... but some people have no interest in that and then think that we are just \"crazy religious people\" and they stop listining. If people want to hear, then that is what I will say. But for those that don\'t, I figure they will see God working in our lives, and His peace, joy and love in our lives and maybe sometime they will want to ask what is so special about us and I will be able to tell them.
For everyone who asks me about homeschooling that I cannot give the direct answer of \"Because it\'s God\'s direction for our family\", I\'ve found that the book The Great Learning Awakening (A Homeschool Apology) by Lee Dickerson has helped me to verbalize the many advantages and secondary reasons (As HE is the first!) to why we are homeschooling. She is a Christian homeschooling mom, but she deliberately does not touch on her faith in the book although being of faith I can see it in there... but I like that people can\'t just put it down for being the stereotypical \"crazy religious\" homeschooling book. Anyway, enjoyed the article and just wanted to tell others about this book because I really enjoyed it. God bless you all!
TABITHA J 08/17/2012 14:59:03
Recently, my church preached about how many people in the world seek more on man pleasing instead of God pleasing, especially on young people who seek to look a certain way because the world say that they need to look a certain way, even resulting in young men and ladies to leave the church once they graduate from high school to experience the world.