"What will my child be when he grows up? Will he be happy? Will he be successful? Will I succeed as a parent?" These are questions that every parent asks throughout the child-rearing years. However, the most important question we should ask ourselves is, "What does God think about the job I'm doing?"
Our children should shine for God! They should take seriously His commission to go out into the world to reach the lost. Our job as a homeschooling parent (or any other kind of parent, for that matter) is to instill the importance of sharing God's Word with those around us.
God has a plan for each of us. We all have a mission! As mothers and fathers, the most important task God has given us is to train our children. We train best by example. They need to see us embrace our daily commission from God with enthusiasm and sincerity. Since the first "begat" in Genesis, we parents have passed down God's word to each generation. Our world is vast and opportunities to serve the Lord are infinite, but if we fail in our homes to light the spark, we stop dead in our tracks! God's work is here and now.
God sends each of us to our own mission field, just as He will send each of our children. The seeds we sow now will prepare them for the future. We need to teach them how to love the Lord, teach them how to be good parents, teach them how to love their neighbors, and teach them how to understand what they face in life.
Preparation for the Task
Whether or not we use curriculum, library books, or the vast assortment of homeschooling material available to us, the Bible should be our guideline for what and how our children are educated. We should share the Bible with them, teach them what the Bible says and help them absorb the basic principles of God's roadmap for their lives. Our children need to know that faith, above all else, will steer them through this life. Whether God leads them to mission fields in foreign lands, to inner city areas in the U.S., or next door to witness to a lost neighbor, they need to know that God prepares the way for them, and that God will never forsake them, no matter the adversity.
We do our children a great disservice when we don't prepare them for the unique life God has in store for them. This world has always been vast, and it has always encompassed a great assortment of cultures and ideas. The best way to prepare our children to face whatever and wherever the Lord sends them, is to expand their horizons every day. Read about other people: people down the street, people in another state, people across the country, and people around the world. Read about people that God has used. Read about people that failed.
Share the lessons God has taught other Christians (and non-Christians) throughout the years. By this you will help your children to understand the big picture - that the more things change, the more things stay the same! Help them learn to speak up for what they believe, and help them learn to admit when they are wrong. Righteousness is a gift from God, but self-righteousness is a double-edged sword.
Many of these lessons are right there in the biographies of our great forefathers. History is one of the most accessible ways to prepare our children for the future. Once again, history begins with the Bible. After all it is "His Story." But don't stop there! Along with God's word, read about our modern history and cultures. Prepare their hearts and ears to listen for God's call, so that they can travel down God's road with confidence. Whether they are called to be mothers, fathers, ministers, missionaries, doctors, politicians, or athletes; that confidence will arm them for life.
Yes, our job is a big one! We are passing down our faith, love, and understanding to the next generation. If we allow the flame to die out in this generation, it will affect all generations to come. Our children can't go into the world to witness until they are nurtured at home to become strong in the Lord. This strength comes from education, example, and faith!