A new neighbor moved onto our block recently. We were both outside with our kids (she has 6 of her own), and I hadn’t had an opportunity to meet her yet, so I strolled over and introduced myself and my kids. We began chatting and inevitably the conversation turned to school. When I told her that I homeschool my kids, her response was immediate. “Oh, I could never do that! I don’t have the patience.”
This response is not new to me. I’ve heard several variations of it over the years, including:
“I don’t have a teaching degree.”
“I’m not disciplined enough to do that.”
“I’m not organized enough.”
“I could never handle being with my kids all day long.”
What I find interesting about these remarks is that I’ve never asked anyone, “Why don’t you homeschool your kids?” These responses are given to me merely because I’ve told them I homeschool mine.
Moses Didn’t Want to Lead God’s People Either
Do I believe that everyone should homeschool their kids? NO! But I do believe that there are many people who may be missing out on a great plan God has for them and their families, simply because their excuses are getting in the way. Moses came up with several excuses of his own for why he shouldn’t lead God’s people out of Egypt. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. I’m no one special. Exodus 3:11 “Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” You may be thinking, I’m no one special. I have no skills for teaching my kids. How can I possibly do something like this? God’s answer to Moses was simple. vs 12 “And God said, “I will be with you.” You’re right. You may not have any special credentials, but you are special to God! He loves you and will be with you helping you all the way.
2. What will others think? Exodus 4:1 “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, “The Lord did not appear to you?” I confess when I first started homeschooling this was one of my first thoughts. What will my parents say? My In-Laws? My grandparents? My neighbors? I’ll probably never hear the end of it! What was God’s response to Moses’ complaint? I will prove to them that I’ve called you. In Exodus God proved it by making Moses’ staff turn into a snake, by making his hand turn leprous when he put it into his cloak, and by making the water Moses took from the river pour out as blood on the ground. How will God prove it in your case? I can’t say; very likely over time others will see a beautiful growth in you and your children, both academically and spiritually. Regardless, if you trust that He will be with you, you can also trust that he will eventually calm other’s fears with proof that he has given you the strength to get it done.
3. I’m not good enough. Exodus 4:10 “Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Moses’ excuse in short, was that he just wasn’t good enough. Do you feel that you’re not smart enough? Homeschool law says all you need is a High School Diploma or G.E.D. Do you feel you’re not patient enough? God will teach you patience. Not good enough at Math, Science, etc. God will teach you about the subject along the way or somehow provide for you in your weakness. God’s response to Moses was firm, strict, and yet comforting: vs 11 “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Dear child of God, God knows your shortcomings, but if he’s calling you to do it, he will help you and teach you what to say.
4. But I just don’t want to! Exodus 4:13 “But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” In other words Moses was telling God: but I just don’t want to! This time God got angry. “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses…” God is love and he loves us all the time, but it would be wrong to suggest that he never gets angry when we whine, complain, and tell him we don’t want to do something. (As a parent I get annoyed when my children pursue these tendencies!) Consider: just because you don’t want to homeschool, doesn’t necessarily mean God doesn’t want you to homeschool.
Moses gave God a lot of excuses, but Moses was a Godly, humble man, and over time he became a fantastic leader of his people. Why? Because despite his fears, his inadequacies, his struggles, he obeyed God and followed God’s commands anyway. Child of God, God loves you and has great plans for you and your children. Possibly God has been tugging at your heart and putting thoughts of homeschooling in your mind. When you put aside the excuses, and follow God’s plan, you can trust that He will “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20) for you and your family.
Copyright June 1, 2011 by Gwen Fredette