Learning First, Before Teaching

Awhile back I went to a homeschooling meeting with some people from my church. We were there to hear from a local homeschooling veteran, advocate, and education counselor. I’m so glad I attended because this wise woman spoke truth, as if God were speaking to me right there in the basement apartment on a Tuesday night.She went around to each attendee and spoke to each of us regarding our children, and each piece of advice was different because each family is different. To the parents of a high schooler she counseled them in this way and that, and to the new homeschooling family she told them to take an extended summer. Regarding my three children ages 6, 3.5 and 12 months at the time, she told me, with tears in her eyes, “Enjoy your children, take them to the park at least twice a week, play with them, because before you know it they will be all grown up and you’ll be walking them down the aisle toward their husband.”By the end I was tearing up too.It was exactly what God needed to tell me. I can get very caught up in teaching the “right” thing and “doing school” enough times per week that I sometimes forget to let my kids run around outside or to play a game with them! I didn’t think I would be “that” kind of a mom, but when I have so many things to do inside my house (school, cleaning, naptime) I sometimes forget to venture out for the sake of my kids.The whole thing, speaking with this woman, was something I’d been realizing that I had needed for a few months. I had recently been shown (convicted is too strong a word) that, much to my dismay and surprise, I don’t know everything. Yet I had been spouting off advice left and right about what to do, blah, blah, blah, when really I should be learning more and experiencing more before I go and say what someone *should* do. This includes my kids. I need to be focusing on making my walk with Jesus straight while I’m trying to train my children.

The woman at the meeting quoted Luke 6:40 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Jesus is giving the Sermon on the Mount in this passage. If we as parents desire for our children to be lovers of God and doers of his Word, we first have to love God and do his Word. This had a profound effect on me regarding my roles in life and specifically my role as a homeschooler.

Practically it means I need to make time to meet with God and read the Bible and other supplemental books on godly living. I need to address issues and repair them. I need to meet with Godly women mentors and be discipled, not just disciple people.  If I want to make sure my kids have a strong relationship with God, I first need to have a strong relationship with Him. I feel the weight more heavily when I realize that my own study of the word and relationship with Christ affects not just me, but extends to my children as well. Yet it is not a burden. It gives freedom!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30

As you seek to teach your children, whether or not you are homeschooling, in what ways are you seeking to continue to be a learner yourself? Are there any ways that you feel you need to seek growth in order to better lead your children?
(Post by: Addie)

3 Responses to “Learning First, Before Teaching”

  1. 1 jolenesloan November 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Beautiful… and oh so true for us Mommys of littles!

  2. 2 Ashley L November 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Thank you so much for this, Addie! One thing that God has impressed on me lately is my need to grow in loving “the least of these.” I desire my children to have a heart to love and to serve those in need, but I myself need to keep my eyes open a bit wider to the opportunities that God brings before me (as well as to actively seek out ways to help), especially if I want to help my children grow a heart to serve the needy. I feel like this is such an important aspect of following Christ, but in many ways with my life and the audience that we reach out to in our ministry, it is so easy to be unaware of those who are hurting and deeply in need.

  3. 3 Claire November 19, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Thanks for sharing! What a great reminder! My kids are still young so I’m still a couple years away from full fledged homeschooling… But this is such wise advice to tuck away. And even to remember nOw to set down the chores to enjoy my sweet babies.

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