Welcome to Day 5 of the Homeschooling Enrichment series! Today I want to take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 in regards to homeschooling and raising our children.
Before we start, please remember there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). I don’t want today’s post to discourage you, but instead encourage you ! Now is the time to change your attitude, it’s never too late!
One of the most convicting passages in the bible for me is 1 Corinthians 13. After our parenting bible study I wanted to give this a homeschooling twist. Since the post was getting too long I’ve broken it up into 2 days. After all, I can’t handle that much reading that makes me think all at one time. So, here we go…
1. Love is Patient
- Love is not impatient. Well, I could just stop right here. Am I being patient with my children during school? ugh…
- Am I rushing them through lesson so I can get onto household chores?
Am I easily frustrated when they’re having a hard time understanding something?
Let’s think back to our new perspective and remember that we are training God’s children. Our children cannot be held responsible for telling us how to teach them. Some children do great with boxed curriculum, some require “out of the box” thinking in order to break open that mind of theirs and its our job to find the right key to unlock it! Every time we’re about to react in a less than edifying manner, try to remember that your child is probably just as frustrated as we are and they are looking to us for support and encouragement. Think about it this way, how would you feel if your laptop was broken and the geek squad looked at you and said “Sorry lady, I can’t help you!” Let’s not leave our children hanging without a safety net, let them know that we’re there to catch them when they fall.
2. Love is kind
- How often do I praise our children during school?
Do I let my emotions dictate how our homeschool day goes?
Our children are a training ground just begging for guidance. In Proverbs 15:1 we know that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Let’s take the theory that “you win more flies with honey than with vinegar” and apply that to our attitude towards homeschooling. Are we blessing and encouraging our children through praise or are we exasperating them with harsh words and condemnation?
3. Love does not envy
- Am I using my children’s gifts and talents to bless and encourage them or am I constantly pointing out the negative and bad things that they do?
Am I allowing their disobedience to cause resentment in my feelings towards them?
The definition of envy is discontentment and resentment. Often based on the attitude of our children we can began to start to resent them. As adults it is easy to continue to be angry for our children’s disobedience long after the issue has occurred. Reflecting the grace we ourselves have been given, let’s try to extend that to our children. Deal with the issue immediately and move on, don’t let bitterness and resentment creep in and steal away the precious time we have with our children!
4. Love does not boast
“When I was your age I had to walk to school in the snow…and it was up hill both ways!”
The age old story we laugh about can actually cause issues in how our kids relate to us. Our children can’t understand things like this, nor are they most likely true. The only reason we are directed to say things like this is in attempt to belittle the issues they may be facing. Compassion for their immediate situation will be a much more effective teaching tool than boasting on how much you may have accomplished at their age.
5. Love is not proud
- Do I try to command obedience through fear and threat?
Do I give my children the impression that I never fail?
God wants us to encourage our children, to let them know they are part of a family team. If they constantly feel inferior to us, then they will be crushed in spirit and I don’t want to be responsible for that. I try to be diligent and if necessary apologize when I’ve acted sinfully. Letting them know that Mom is not perfect, and that I too need to seek God for wisdom.
I try to let my kids know that it is my desire to teach them to mastery and to succeed in all they do. I do not give grades for the most part. My hope is that my children will have the chance to master a subject before moving them on. We take our time, learn at their pace. As a schedule driven type person it is easy for me to let my curriculum dictate what I do on a daily basis. While I do try to keep to that, I’ve learned over the years that it’s important to take the time to make sure my children are actually “learning and retaining” the information instead of rushing through something, just so we can stay on track with our lesson plan.
In our school we work together as a family unit. Not one of them is more important than the other, but we stand together in unity. If someone is having a hard time learning something, we may stop everyone and do what we can as a team to help them get it.
I think this is one reason that the Chore Chart from Day 4 can be so effective as a household tool. We work as a team to keep our house in order, then we have time as a family to play and have fun!
6. Love does not dishonor others
Love does not behave rudely or act in an unbecoming order. A common mistake we make is to expose our childrens sinful behavior to others. Many times I’ll catch myself on the phone with a friend venting about how horrible our day was, including bad attitudes and learning issues we’ve had. While you may think your children are not listening, I assure you they are. That kind of exposure can be very hurtful to our children. Please be careful to consider what’s coming out of your mouth at all times. Our children need to know that we have their backs, that they can trust and depend on us. Think of how you would feel if you heard your child telling their friends how mom yells all the time!
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph 4:29)
7. Love is not self-seeking
Homeschooling and disciplining our children is not an easy task. As a mom I know I tend to place my own expectations on my children. If you haven’t noticed our children are all different from each other and from us! But let us remember that they have been fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps 139:14). God knew them before He formed them in our womb, before they were born they were set apart. (Jer 1:5)
God did not make a mistake, He has created them perfect in His eyes. While their interests may not be the same as our interests, we need to respect and help them pursue their desires (as long as they’re not unbiblical). Each of our children have different interests. Find out what that is, then actually take the time to spend some quality one on one time with your children doing things they like to do. It’s not about us, it’s about them! And what they want is our time, not our words.
Spend some extra time in prayer today. Ask God to help you in any area you are lacking when it comes to following 1 Corinthians 13 in your home.
Stick around Monday for Day 6 of Homeschooling Enrichment where we’ll continue the Love is study.
Note: Some of the ideas from today came from an awesome bible study on parenting that my husband and I have just started which I’d highly recommend going through, plus it’s FREE online at “Parenting as a Ministry”.
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.
Thank you so much, Erica. This is such a great article. May I ask if you used a particular parent Bible study book with this scripture? I would love to get it if you did. Thanks for the encouragement!
Thank you so much! This was such a wonderful, timely reminder. I have a hard time with patience and today was not a good day. My 6 year old son was taking FOREVER to get ready and I yelled at him. It turns out, he had stopped to pray. What a wake up call! Again, thank you!
Oh my, I stand convicted. As a first-year homeschool mom I am in such need of these words- words of experience, wisdom, kindness and faith. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Looking forward to Monday's continuation.
Wow, that went straight to my heart. Especially the part about venting on the phone. I think I crushed my son yesterday, and now I wish I knew how to repair the damage. All because I "told" on him when really he needed to be shown love. Oh man, I have a lot to learn, and when I learn it I have a lot of changes to make. Thank God for his all sufficient grace.
Yikes! This was just what I needed today. Thank you.
EM: Just go and apologize, grown ups make mistakes too, tell him you're sorry and ask for his forgiveness :o)Kids are very forgiving!
WoW!!!Our family is focusing on 1 Cor 13 this term, and I'd love to use your input into our discussions.I need to do some homework and catch up on all these posts (it's a little while since I've visited.)Catherine (aka alecat, Australia)
Air Force Mom: We are doing a parenting study, you can do it online for free here:http://www.parentingministry.org/component/content/article/14-main-menu/150-parenting-is-a-ministry-video
This brought me to tears. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing this simple wisdom. I’ve read this passage of scripture so many times and yet I always manage to learn new ways to apply it. I’ve had the privilege of being home with my children for 2 years now. I’ve squandered a lot of time with laziness and selfishness. I’ve begun homeschooling my 4 year old with basic letter skills and lots of reading together. Nothing to rigid or strenuous. But my heart’s desire, and I feel, my job as mother to both of my girls (4 and 1) is to teach them beyond basic education, but also to live a life of service to the Lord and His will for their lives. I can think of a million ways I could fail at homeschooling, but I’m praying for the courage, wisdom, and most of all patience to effectively teach my girls 1 day at a time. Thank you again for this blog, and your willingness to share with all of us!