No Fear

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24).

Let's face the facts. There are some people who shouldn't homeschool their children. For whatever reason, they lack the resources or ability to teach, and their children would do better in a conventional school setting. However, there is another side to the coin. Many parents who should be schooling their children at home are not. Responding in fearful apprehension, they use the excuse, "It's great others can homeschool, but I could never do that!" The status quo or their own inhibitions have convinced them of failure while God waits for them to believe in His wisdom and guidance for success.

Many great leaders in the Bible faced similar initial fears. Moses, Joshua, and Gideon all experienced anxiety and thought, "This job is too big for me." Afraid to try and wanting to quit before they even started, God challenged them to reach out and trust Him for courage and strength. God graciously gave Moses a spokesperson in Aaron, Joshua was given encouragement at Jericho by God's holy messenger, and Gideon received confirmation of his call through a fleece that was both wet and dry. Stepping out from behind their fearful excuses, they were used greatly by God to accomplish His will.

What task has God set before you that you're afraid to attempt? In addition to homeschooling, is He asking you to work with the church youth group, serve in a short-term mission, or start a Bible study in your home? Whatever His leading might be, don't let fear stop you from stepping out in faith. God is mighty, and He will go before you and help you accomplish great things for His glory. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).

Lord, forgive me for being afraid to follow You. Sometimes what You ask seems too big for me to accomplish. Use me for Your glory and strengthen me now to follow You in obedience. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(31 comments)

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ROSE B 08/31/2009 05:43:39

It amazes me how God always has a way of saying that it is ok. This is my first year homeschooling, and on top of that I work in the church office once a week, am the leader over two and three year old Sunday School, and I believe God is moving me to open my house and get a bible study group going. Sometimes, I feel like I just have NO TIME. It is a blessing to be reminded of God's love and strength.

AUTUMN W 08/31/2010 05:42:38

I have to disagree with the opening sentences. If God blesses you with children, He has also blessed you with the unique ability to raise and teach those children. I am surprised that AOP holds the opinion that some people just shouldn't be teaching their own kids.

JULIE J 08/31/2010 19:40:42

I have to agree with Autumn W. I mean, I know there are extreme circumstances where someone may be mentally ill or something. But I personally found it very discouraging to read those first few sentences. I am going through a very rough time right now and have been doubting my ability and call to homeschool my children. By the world's standards, maybe I am "one of those people who shouldn't be homeschooling" due to life circumstances. But God continues to make it clear that He has called and equipped me to do so, regardless of my weaknesses. HE is strong, not me! I guess that was the last thing I needed to read tonight, in a "homeschooling support" devotional.

KRISTINE H 09/20/2010 20:27:35

Thank you Autumn and Julie for your comments. I am not homeschooling but am highly considering it and have my "doubts" and that first line made my stomach go into knots wondering if that could be me. Yes, HE is strong and I hope he can prove the devotional above wrong by getting me through it if I do decide to HS.

LINDA H 08/31/2011 04:02:26

Kristine H. I was concerned before I started homeschooling. Could I ?, should I ? Just remember if you and your family choose to HS, it is a family effort and the Lord will lead you and your family to what is best. I would worry and stress the first few years, trying to find what was the best curriculum. Then the Lord gave me peace and showed me how I should HS my children and He will show you what's best for yours. I would just pray. Julie J Thank you for your honesty. I have been suffering from an illness and have had to really question whether I would be able to. I have been praying and so far I am still waiting on the Lord. I know He will guide me. When I think of the idea of putting my children in school, I honestly don't like the idea. So I wait for Him. I will be praying for your HS to go better, sometimes it's a real challenge and hearing " well maybe you should put your kids into school" doesn't help. Be encouraged, you can do it and know someone out there is praying for you. :D

JEREMY H 08/31/2011 04:17:57

Please don't let the first line discourage you. Let God encourage you. If you have the desire to homeschool, God is the one who gives you the desires of your heart. He has placed that desire in you. If you don't feel qualified, sincerely pray and seek God's direction and special training. Remember, God's strength is greater than your own. Let's face it homeschooling isn't always easy. You will make some mistakes, but you will also have many successes. There will be days when you feel great about how you are doing, and there will be days when you "feel" like you are the worst homeschool teacher in the world. Be patient and don't dwell solely on your feelings. God will specifically give you a peace about the calling to homeschool. Pray for peace that passes all understanding, so you will not waiver when you have down days. Take it one day at a time, let God equip you & you will KNOW if you are called to homeschool.

AUDRA K 08/31/2011 05:05:30

I am a first year homeschooler and know it was my fear and apprehension and unwillingness to take a leap of faith with the Lord that caused me to not Homeschool my children till this year. Although I also believe that God didn't convict my heart strongly until this year that it was what He wanted me to do. And with all things God leads us to that are hard, difficult, or fearful, God will lead us through it to His glory. I would encourage anyone who is overwhelmed, feeling inadequate, or just like things aren't going well, to pray and ask God to help them remember why they started homeschooling to begin with. For me and my husband it was to give them a Christian education at home and to draw nearer to them and to the Lord. We have to remember that God won't bring us to something He doesn't equip us to handle. We can do all things through Christ who is our strength! (Phil 4:13) If we keep our eyes on Him He will show us where we need to go, and what we are to do. Peter didn't sink until he took His eyes off of Christ. We are more than conquerers through Christ. (Romans 8:37) Praise God!!!

JENIFER H 08/31/2011 05:32:51

I appreciate the insight expressed in the first line of this article. I taught in public schools for seven years before becoming a stay at home mom, and saw some students enter public school with a great background from homeschooling, while others had huge gaps in basic education - their parents had homeschooled out of fear, or laziness (in a very rural area with little bus transport), rather than from calling and preparation. Perhaps that line should read that God does not call every parent to Homeschool. Some children, at some point in their life, will do better in a public or private school than they would at home, and parents need to be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit leads them.Where He guides, He will provide, and He knows our unique situation, talents, and weaknesses, and will provide strength to follow his calling. Let's be sure to follow the Proverb "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:6)

CHRISTINA K 08/31/2011 07:11:54

Autumn and Julie, I understand where AOP is coming from on this one! I was a public school teacher for a short time before starting to homeschool our children and there were a handful of instances in which kids that had been "homeschooled" were re-enrolled in public school. These kids should NOT have been homeschooled, as their parents' idea of homeschooling them was having them watch random, somewhat educational videos and basically just keeping them home to avoid the hassle of public schools. In none of these cases were these kids ready to be in school: at sixth or seventh grade they could barely read, were very socially awkward, and could not pay attention to instruction or assignments. THESE are the parents I think they may be referring to. If someone's idea of homeschooling involves keeping their children home and expecting them to entertain themselves or learn from a stack of books and movies with no direction, it is destined for failure.

MAYA T 08/31/2011 07:31:03

God speaks to me. He used this devotional to speak to me today. I have been having awful dreams since I have been exercising. I have exercising because my kids have P.E. and I wanted to set a good example. But the truth is I knew for a long time the Lord wanted me to start taking better care of myself for my health. Now since I have, I have the most tormenting dreams ever. Dreams of death each night. It is complete fear. I want to thank you Lord that I have nothing to be afraid of. I worship you and you are my God. You are the Love of my life and no other will take your place. You are my stronghold and nothing else shall make me afraid. I know who I am in you. I love you. You love me. I am your child. You will not allow any harm to come to my life. And I will follow your ways forever.

SONYA S 08/31/2011 09:03:41

I also agree with Autumn. The Lord will equip you for every good work to which we are called! Anything else are seeds of doubt(and also laziness, lack of biblical understanding, or refusal to listen to the Spirit's guiding). He has already equipped each parent, all we have to do is trust Him. He is so faithful! He commands us "parents teach", "diligently", "as you walk by the way..etc". So we can trust Him to give us what we need :) Parents that can't teach might include someone who is mentally handicapped or someone who is incapable of caring for themselves. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Mature as well as baby believers can do this! In our weakness, He is made strength!

APRIL B 08/31/2011 09:46:28

I don't see how the first sentence is so bad. It's true. Not everyone is called to teach their children academics. It's not a slight and I don't think, intended to be discouraging. It is a statement of fact. The Lord has given each person gifts and yours may or may not be teaching. But it's okay. Those whom the Lord has called to any task, he equips them. So if the first sentence doesn't apply to you, don't take offense, just dismiss it. You know in your spirit what the Lord has called you to do. If it is teaching your children, no sentence written in a devotion will deter you. Look to God for your guidance. These devotionals are a blessing. They have blessed me on many occasions, as well as encouraged me. Keep doing what you're doing. I look forward to them. God Bless and have a great day today teaching your gifts from God.

DAWN S 08/31/2011 10:18:59

As a homeschool mom, doing what God wants and God has made the path for me to do, I am bombarded with doubts every year. After thinking and praying on this I have learned why. We as homeschool moms are doing what God wants, that makes us a huge target for the devil to attack us. Whenever you are doing something that is drawing you, your family, your church, your friends, or your community, closer to God that will immediately put you closer to the top of the devils attack list. Be prepared, be strong and keep on Gods path.

EDWIDGE S 08/31/2011 12:06:17

We're so hard on each other: parents (moms), homeschoolers. We've started homeschooling this year, and I believe God did just as He says in His Word ("directed my path" to homeschooling as I brought it before Him in prayer and "acknowledged Him" in my desire to do it). We've only been at it about it week now, and even though we've already experience some days that don't go exactly according to plan or run exactly on the schedule I've set, I'm completely at peace and excited about this journey. We have our reasons for opting to homeschool, but I've had to remind myself already a few times (while considering it and now doing it) that in the end, homeschooling will not save our children. It may help that end, but our children, like every other believer, will have to arrive at a point where they make a decision for Christ and fully purpose in their hearts to commit and devote their lives to Him, His service, His Kingdom. More than that--my personal experience says--they will have to fall in love with Him, which is my heartfelt prayer for them. (I went to church, read my bible and prayed for more than a decade before a life event drew me so intensely to my knees that it seemed my surviving and overcoming it could ONLY come DIRECTLY from our LORD. The verse about Him being a "very present help in trouble" was just a string a words until that night when He revealed the truth of it. That most wonderful, deeply personal, almost palpable experience with Christ opened my eyes and had me fall so in love with Him, that--as painful as that life event was--I wouldn't change a thing. Now, all I want to do is learn about Him, please Him, and make sure I'm at the center of His will. I want to make it to heaven and be with my Maker and lover of my soul forever. I was never homeschooled, and the schools I did attend were mediocre to good. But the LORD had His sights on me, and at the perfect and appointed time, my heart began to turn toward His. Homeschooling, not homeschooling, public school, private school--I'm not sure any of it is the defining factor. Know the LORD, love the LORD, live for the LORD, show your children the LORD through your words, your actions, your life and PRAY! Pray intensely, constantly for the little ones that have been entrusted to us. That they would come to know, love and seek to honor and please the LORD, their God. That they would be strong and confident in Him as this world falls further and further away from Him. God will honor the prayers of faithful servants no matter what the setting of their children's school, no? I believe so. God bless you all! (Pardon any confusing typos. I had to type this quickly ... to get back to the lessons I should have been working on with my kindergartener during this time! lol)

A W 08/31/2011 17:24:27

Wow! I appreciate all of the encouraging comments. I am homeschooling my kindergardener and it has been exciting and disccouraging sometimes. I feel like God has directed me to do it, but sometimes I still feel overwhelmed. I too questioned myself when I read the opening lines of this article. I belive God has equipped all parents to teach their own children. However, it requires being selfLESS and willing to sacrifice. One of my best friends is a Christian public school teacher who loves her job and is a great teacher. However, she does not believe in homeschooling. So, she and I don't agree much on anything. Actually, I have not support system at all except for my wonderful husband. My mother is starting to come around as she converses with my son and sees how much he is really learning. One thing I don't understand is why women are so hard on each other. Working moms, homeschoolers, public school teachers blah blah blah. As women of God we should be praying for each other and encouraging one another. I really needed to read the comments on this article today. Thank you all for sharing and being a blessing to me today.

KARYN B 08/31/2011 18:24:14

There is a common thread here that God's word is nuetral. God is not neutral or dormant in any area of our lives, nor does His word change. Deuteronomy 6 (especially verses 5-7) are very clear on how we are to teach our children. Those of you who doubt and are discouraged, please remember that God already called you to teach your children when He inspired these words, before you were ever saved or became a mother. He doesn't have to call you again because he has already given you your guide book for life. The fact that some people may not obey God's word as He intended, does not mean that His word is not true. It is the heart of those parents that needs to change, not for God's word to be reinterpreted or to say, "not everyone should homeschool". If we are required to do a perfect job of raising and teaching our children, then my children would have been better off without me, the moment they were born. I am in no way a perfect homeschooling mother but I aspire to this through the grace of Jesus Christ in my life. The children who were placed back in to school, were not ready by the world's standards but God has never commanded us to ready our children for lessons from Babylon.

ROBERT R 08/31/2012 04:54:44

Lifting you up, Maya! Remember, you do not serve a God of fear, my sister in Christ :-) He IS with you AS you trust and obey.

KATHY S 08/31/2012 05:11:03

The first sentence that the Author wrote, I believe that she is referring to the parent(s) that probably shouldn't even be parents. I've met many of those parents when my son attended Public school. The children who are sent to school in torn, dirty clothing, hungry, and they probably get more peace and guidance at school than at home. Yes, even in the Public school system. There are some unfit, lost, unsaved parents out there my friends. And I think that is who the Author is referring to. I am all for homeschooling, WE LOVE IT. But, some people ARE NOT FIT TO PARENT much less to teach. And my reference is not meant to be a "Hit" at the poor, we are borderline poor here ourselves. BUT, I wash my childs clothes, cook for him, care for him. listen, guide, and most of all LOVE him. I too for years told my friend Jennifer ( that homeschooled her 7 children), "Oh, I could never do that." I only have one child, he would be lonely". "I'm not qualified" ETC. My regret for waiting is overwehlming. I can only wish that I had started years ago. And to all those who have any doubt, if you love our Lord Jesus, that's all you need to Homeschool, he will guide and provide the rest. May God Bless and encourage all those who have read this devotional today. Amen.

REBECCA W 08/31/2012 05:31:04

God is so good! I needed this devotional today. We have been homeschooling for many years and I find myself wondering if I am doing the right thing. Also, my husband and I have been asked to be youth leaders this year with the teens! I am scared but I know this is God's will for us. Thank you for this today!

STEPHANIE J 08/31/2012 13:08:39

It is not possible for everyone to homeschool their children. Would you tell a single mother of a 3 year old and a 6 year old that she is out of God\'s will because she doesn\'t homeschool her children? Who is supposed to support them? God\'s will for you is not God\'s will for everybody else. So if she doesn\'t homeschool, she is lazy? If she doesn\'t homeschool, is she selfish? Or maybe she hasn\'t sacrificed enough?

KIMBERLY H 08/31/2012 16:31:08

I actually have to disagree with the second line. In fact it upset me a little because so many things i\'ve come to know and read about homeschooling, doesn\'t take money( resources). I feel everyone can make the choice to school in the manner they choose and I don\'t judge them, even though I do feel we as homeschoolers are judged a lot. As far as line 2, we don\'t have a lot of money but we love the library and visit it frequently, I\'ve been able to get a lot of freebies for schooling online, and a little creativity is key. So it doesn\'t take tons of resourses to homeschool, just a little more time and energy. My kids are worth it, and I feel I\'m setting a great example for them.

KATHY S 08/31/2012 16:36:56

Stephanie J. I feel a pain or sadness in your writings. I don\'t think any Christian woman on this site would tell you or whoever you refer to as the single mom with 2 children that they are out of God\'s will because they are working to feed their children, alone and unable to homeschool. At least I wouldn\'t. However, if you or the person you speak of truly is wanting to homeschool those 2 children and ask God for intervention, I believe with all my heart that God will make a way for you or that person. I am a single disabled Mother with a child that has a form of Autism. I do not like that I am disabled, but thankful that I can homeschool my child because I am handicapped. God works in mysterious ways. I am unable to do everything that others can, but God has given me the gift of being able to be with my child. I will surely pray for you and or the person you refer to. God see\'s the sacrifices that have been made. Be Blessed.

STEPHANIE J 08/31/2012 18:27:14

Kathy S and others Thank you Kathy for your words of encouragement. That single mom was me ten years ago. I am still a single mom, but now that my kids are older, I am pulling them out of public school to homeschool them. But, for whatever reason, it wasn\'t God\'s will for them to be homeschooled until now. Not having the resources to teach does not just mean not having money to buy curriculum. In my case, it was because I had to work to support them. I couldn\'t take them to work with me. I couldn\'t leave them at home by themselves. There are many people who would like to homeschool, but just can\'t. I can tell you from experience, it hurts when people imply that you are in God\'s will if you homeschool and out of God\'s will if you don\'t. Just realize every situation is different. If you are able to homeschool, thank God for it. If you have a spouse who loves you and your children, thank God for that. If it were not for God\'s mercy and grace, think of where you would be.

KATHLEEN E 09/01/2012 11:33:54

There is nothing offensive about the first or second line of the devotional. It is, quite simply, true. There are those who shouldn\'t homeschool their children and very simply because they\'re selfish and do not put their children\'s needs above their own selfish desires. I have a brother-in-law who mandated his wife they were to homeschool and then did nothing to support her. Their idea of schooling was to get a bunch of textbooks and expect the kids to finish them without assistance. The kids were ill prepared academically and socially when they turned 18. A Christian family who failed in the homeschooling endeavor, it happens. I\'ve homeschooled for almost 10 years and yet I still struggle with if I\'m doing enough, will she be academically on target, socially awkward (which she isn\'t at all). It is then I have to rest in His peace and remember that God called us to homeschool, my husband and I. You have to know clearly that you are to homeschool because of the doubts and insecurities that come with it. You also have to know your weaknesses and whether you can overcome them to sincerely homeschool your child or children. Don\'t be too hard on those who can\'t or won\'t homeschool. They\'ve chosen their path and one day we will all answer for our choices. I have found these devotionals very encouraging the majority of the time. And look forward to each one every day.

TABITHA J 09/01/2012 23:02:28

A single parent can homeschool his/her kids and work to support the family at the same time, either by working at home or working either second or third shift, at least they are making it work. Also, I do know some people that are selfish and only cared about their own needs, not their kids.

STEPHANIE J 09/02/2012 06:23:49

People are so judgmental.

AUTUMN ALEXANDER 09/03/2013 13:17:55

I am a single mom of 3 boys under the age of 8. I attempted to homeschool last year, but had several things happen that interfered - a sudden death in the family, a sudden move to another state, my son hospitalized... it seemed that one thing after another happened and schooling was interrupted. My oldest son has Asperger's and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and along with this comes behavioral issues (resulting in the hospitalization). This year, I have chosen to put my children in public school because they have the resources to teach my son and handle his outbursts and i am emotionally weary with no family or other support to help. My heart broke to have to do this, but I knew it was the right thing for this time in our lives. At this time, although God has given me a gift for teaching and i love to do it, I am one of those people who should not be homeschooling right now. I have PTSD also and need to spend this year working on my own issues before I am ready to homeschool again in the future. This is just what God has said to me,and if God speaks to my heart, I have learned to let no one judge my decisions. God's opinion is what matters. I do believe some are called to homeschool and some people are not, and i do believe that some people should definitely not homeschool because they are not following the Lord and would not give their children a godly foundation. Also to think about, if all Christians homeschooled, who would be the light in our public and private schools? As a Christian in a public high school, I was able to start a Bible study on campus (18 years ago) that is still meeting two mornings a week before school and has an average attendance of twenty students at every meeting. God has a different plan for everyone.

AMANDA GANDY 09/03/2013 13:20:28

I have to agree that there are people who shouldn't homeschool. I was homeschooled and my mother did a great job. I now homeschool too. I am not a perfect mother or teacher but who is? But even the public and private schools have failed children in our society. But there are parents who do the worst job of all. Some kids I went to church with were homeschooled as I was and now don't even have a GED. They can't even understand the simplest of instructions from a booklet....all because their mother thought they were better off homeschooling. She should have left her children in public school. I look back on it now and I see that was her easy way out from requiring her kids to do homework and getting up early to catch the bus, how sad. I think if your full intention is to give your kids a better education and/or shelter them from bullying and political/governmental junk in'll be a great homeschooling parent. If it's because you don't want to get up early or help with homework....there is laziness in you and you shouldn't homeschool. You'll only hurt your kids.

Pam suulivan 09/03/2013 13:22:16

I have been reading and "listening" to these devotions for quite some time and this is the first time that I have felt moved to write. I have been homeschooling for 10 years and in that time, I have: been in a hospital 3 times for depression and PTSD from past childhood abuse, in a eating disorder hospital 4 times, and am now suffering chronic pain in my back and leg/foot. I am on pain pills so that I can manage my life. I have 4 children 16, 14,and 11 year old twins-all of them homeschooling. By the world's standards, and maybe even some homeschooling people, I SHOULD have put my children in school a long time ago!! Three of them actually went to school for a few months while I was in a hospital and they so much more appreciate homeschooling now. My conviction that homeschooling is the best for children has never wavered! God is GOOD-my children are well adjusted, learned people and have grown and learned about life through my trials. My oldest at 16 is starting community college slowly this year, she has learned what she needed to learn!! MY point-GOD can do ANYTHING!!! If our family can homeschool-ANY family can homeschool if GOD had called them!! And I agree that our children are OUR responsibility to teach, NOT the state, not the government!! pam

Dorothy Pardy 09/02/2014 13:20:04

As with many major decisions we have made (ie. adopting two of our children, homeschooling, tithing, modesty, courtship, etc.) - I start with prayer, searching the scriptures and research by reading everything I can on the topic (with a biblical view). We are about to enter our second year of homeschooling five of our children - ages 7, 8, 12, 14, 14). Last year was extremely difficult at times, but we got through (PTL!). I have done extensive research into what God's Word says about homeschooling and have not found one single piece of scripture that supports putting our children in public school. Everything I have researched supports homeschooling. We ARE all called to homeschool our children. The scriptures are very clear. We have no support circle around us as we are the only family that we know (even in Christian circles) who are homeschooling, so when things get difficult, I tend to start thinking about just putting the kids in school - after all, all the other Christian families around us are doing it and they seem to be doing fine. However, God has convicted me so strongly that we are to be homeschooling, that I persevere. I continue to read scripture, homeschooling devotions, and pray fervently to remind myself why I am doing this. I pray for everyone who takes on the monumental task of homeschooling their children as it is one of the most difficult responsibilities God has given to us. And, if we believe God's Word - we can do all things through Him who gives us strength - not through our own strength.

Dorothy Pardy 09/02/2014 13:19:53

Pam, you are an amazing example. I too struggle with depression at times and wonder if my kids would be better off away from me and in school. I get extremely stressed at times (and I know that it is because I am trying to homeschool in my own strength and not in the Lord's strength). That is my prayer for this coming school year - that I remember that I am doing this in His strength. If God has called me to homeschool, then He will enable me. I also struggle with some health issues - sometimes I am sitting at our table with a heating pad on my stomach and/or back as I teach - I have even been bedridden a few times. This year we are facing two surgeries with two of my children (one minor and one major) and I wonder how I am going to homeschool when I have to be away with that child and helping them recover at home afterwards. Thanks for sharing your story - it is an encouragement for the rest of us. God Bless You!

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