Posted in Daily Focus on Tuesday, August 5, 2014
“That the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11b).
Parents who teach their children at home have a tendency to sacrifice the fruit of gentleness on the altar of homeschooling. Ever the exacting teachers, we sometimes forget our role as merciful comforters when educating our children. My foolish insensitivity to my children’s needs was revealed one day when my daughter came running into the house. Whimpering, she cried out, “Mom, an ant bit me!”
Knowing her aversion to insects and assuming she was trying to avoid her schoolwork, I ignored the tears and replied, “Oh my, it was just a little ant. It couldn’t have hurt that badly!” As unfeeling as a robot, I hugged her quickly, told her to stop crying, and sent her on her way to finish her studies.
Several days later, I reaped the humbling consequences for my apathy to my daughter’s pleas. Sitting in the sandbox near our new home, I warmed my toes in the sand and watched as my children built towering castles. Suddenly, a sharp pain in my foot made me yell, “Ouch!” I was sure I had been stung by a bee or a wasp, but when I looked down, I only saw an ant. What I didn’t know, however, was that this was no ordinary ant. Native to the area, it was a red harvester ant whose bite was as painful as any bee sting. Showing the true compassion I should have shown her, my young daughter came to me with a genuine hug and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’ll help you!”
Have you become so busy or dogmatic in your homeschooling routine that you fail to show compassionate love? Staying on task and accomplishing educational goals is never more important than expressing gentle, heartfelt concern to your children. Whether it’s an emotional hurt on the inside or a painful wound outside, let love’s compassion be your guide in all your actions. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).
Father, Your tender love encourages me so much each day. Please, keep my heart soft, so I can express that same love and teach the most important lesson my children can learn — compassion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
RACHEL S 08/05/2009 04:24:49
Thanks so much for this reminder and gentle correction. I think I'll print this one out and read it every day!
JACQUELINE L 08/09/2009 06:00:36
I confess I am like a drill seargent probably more than I care to admit..thank you for yet another word in due season
AUDREY A 08/05/2010 02:36:34
Yes I 100% agree with what the devotional says and feel so convicted. With God's help, I shall repent and be a mother with the compassion of Christ.
ELISHA H 08/05/2010 02:43:22
Seems as if you guys have someone looking in my window. Thank you for this. I have never seen these verses to my knowledge, just reading too quickly. Thank you for showing me this side of my Father, I really never knew this side was real. I want to immitate this side of Christ and the Lord. My children deseve this just as much as anyone else and as much as I would like that gentle compassion when I am hurting.
JESSIE C 08/05/2010 04:35:17
Thanks so much for your wonderful timely messages! I have been homeschooling 5 children for 14 years now and feel ready to retire, but I have a few more years to go. Your devotionals are just what I need each morning. THANKS SO VERY MUCH!
Aldy D 08/05/2010 18:04:16
Beautiful , the simple thing that happen every day remember us the the Lord is good. He show us how great is Him, we need to learn more about him, his Love and Compassion don\'t have compare...
Aldy D 08/05/2010 18:05:48
Good is good all the time. He is faithful, even when I don\'t understand to much thing that He is doing in our lives.
Karen O 08/07/2010 16:32:53
Boy did I need to read this! Thank you :)
DAWN C 08/05/2011 05:03:39
Loved this, thank you for the GENTLE reminder!
HEIDI R 08/05/2011 05:10:13
I am new to this daily devotional. I have only been reading it for about a week, and I can\'t believe how relevant it has been to my life. This is one I think I especially needed. My son seems to scream in pain as though being bitten by a red harvester ant every time we do his lessons, and I have lost my patience more than once. Thank you for the reminder that I\'m a mommy first, and that I can teach my child something much more important than reading and writing by showing him gentleness, affection, and love. Heidi
BETH A 08/05/2011 05:17:04
......If I have all knowledge,.... but have not charity, it profits me nothing. (1Cor13:3). Your devotional explains that so insightfully! Thank you.
RACHELLE S 08/05/2011 06:12:29
Thank you for this, I so needed to hear this as I too am a drill seargent. May God bless each one of us!
EVELYN B 08/05/2011 07:05:36
So often, only the last part of the verse (He shall gently lead those who have young) is quoted in homeschooling circles. The first part, emphasizing the compassion, is skipped altogether. This devotional is so on target! Thanks!
DAWN L 08/05/2011 07:18:40
If we feel we need to show the world that \'homeschooling is best\' and try to overacheive through our children, then we have erred. \"If I have propetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and have all faith, so as to move mountains, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I am NOTHING.\"
RICKI M 08/05/2011 07:41:02
So convicting! I definitely needed this reminder as we tread back into the school year :) Thank you!
TERI K 08/05/2011 08:19:03
So needed to read this today!! Thank you :)
KIMBERLY D 08/05/2011 11:01:01
Love is the greatest gift of them all, and the place where all our teaching should spring forth from, onto our children.
Thank you for your gentle reminder.
LISA N 08/05/2011 12:31:55
I have been convicted of this many times. It is an easy trap to fall into when we have a hectic school day and tensions are high. Thank you. I too will print this out, and I will put it by our coffee pot to help remind me EVERYDAY before our little blessings rise. You are a blessing!
LAURA H 08/05/2011 21:04:55
Woe is ME! How precious to be reminded of our need to teach our children the most important lessons. Oh, how I do want my children to be loving, considerate, compassionate and kind! Thank you so much for this \"on time\" devotion. The Lord always knows just what we need.
AUDREY A 08/06/2011 04:03:22
Thank you for your reminder, so timely again!
KATHY S 08/05/2012 06:10:27
This is one area that God gave me a heart like his. And, it has passed down to my child, who has the biggest most loving and compasssionate heart!
I sure could use some help in some of the other subjects though! :)
What I do think is that because I only have 1 child, it may make it easier for me.
I try to envision 5 or 6 children asking me questions or needing my attention all at once, I might not do as well. So God blessed me with just one, and that works for me.
My compliments to all the Mom\'s with multiple children, it must be very hard to teach all at once.
CARRIE K 08/05/2012 07:20:31
This is going in my Scheduling Binder! I thank you, and our children thank you.
MILDRED P 08/05/2012 08:25:26
Thanks for the much needed words of wisdom. They could not have come at a better time. I am also guilty of this infraction and will use this wisdom to improve our home school experience. Sometimes it is so easy to get so caught up in the daily tasks involved in home schooling that I overlook the small things. However your words help remind me that if I want my child to show compassion I must be the example.
LINDA C 08/05/2012 09:39:01
I absolutely love these \"Daily Focus\" insights. They are very inspiring and encouraging to help me to remember how I need to be everyday! Thank you for \"Daily Focus\" and the people who write them and share!!
CARRIE S 08/06/2012 10:01:25
Okay, are you watching me? Needed this big time!
SHEILA MOSLEY 08/05/2013 13:20:10
Thank you. This is something God has been dealing with me about for the last few years.