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No matter how many reasons I could conjure for not doing it; I could not get away from the powerful word God was speaking to me from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (NKJV).
I knew God was calling my wife and me to home educate our three children. It was not an act of rebellion against the state education system or from fear of negative peer influence upon them; nor was it from worry the downward spiral of the USA culture would turn their hearts.
We had a clear vision from God for our family; not only for our lives but for our children, grandchildren and our great-grandchildren to the tenth generation. They will walk mighty in Spirit, live godly lives, and make a difference in their generation. Some would be called to full time Christian ministry and some would be godly leaders in their community. They will be mighty in Spirit and make a difference in their generation.
We knew that would only happen if we took seriously our primary responsibility to disciple our three children. We could not see that happening in two-to-three hours in the evening and on Saturday and Sunday; not when the public school or Christian school would have them for forty hours a week. I knew the Scripture that says children are to be “under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father” (Galatians 4:1-2). It is not a sin for parents to send their children to these institutions, if they responsibly watch over their children’s education. God was speaking to Wanda and to me about His calling. Others may appoint tutors but we were to be the tutors of our children, not someone else.
Did I tell you this was 1982?
The amazing curriculum and support systems that are in place today were nowhere to be found. In fact, the only book on the subject was Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Home education was a whole new concept to our generation, albeit, our founding fathers and previous generations had used it very successfully. It was not legal in the State of Washington to home educate. We boldly took the step.
The major motivation to begin home schooling, and to continue for thirteen years, was the commitment to train our children with a biblical world view as we taught them reading writing and arithmetic. There are biblical principles and precepts that are foundational to understanding history, science, reading and mathematics. When education is void of those biblical values, children will not retain God in their knowledge. Though they may be learning they will not be able to come to the knowledge of truth.
Wanda and I hold a firm conviction that children must be trained in character as well as the three “R’s”. Education without character will make children real characters. They will be educated to more skilled ways of committing sin. Children who are trained in godly character as well as an excellent education will be more skilled in building a society that loves, cares for, and has compassion for human life. They will build culture established on the principles of justice and righteousness.
Home education only works when the parents are very intentional, purposeful, and disciplined in their schedule and approach to educating their children.
We will talk about that more in the next installment of Raising a Foundation for Many Godly Generations.