Learning from Nehemiah as We Build Our Homeschool
Grieve for the Broken: Nehemiah 1: 3 – 4 “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.”
This passage is from the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a Jew who lived in the Persian Empire. As cupbearer to the king, he surely must have enjoyed the wealth, prestige, and benefits of living close to his sovereign. Despite his important position, however, his heart was still with his people, the children of Israel, and when he heard of their plight he was moved to tears.
Lack of money, lack of teachers, counselors, support staff. Violence, peer pressure, low test scores. Many of our schools, particularly in Philadelphia, are also now in trouble and disgrace. As parents, as providers for our children, it breaks our hearts to see how these problems are affecting our children’s future.
Come to God in Prayer: Nehemiah 1: 4 “For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah was a man of action. Immediately he combined his grief with prayer and fasting, remembering God’s promises and faithfulness to them in the past, and confessing how they had fallen short of God’s expectations. He then asked for success in his plan to rebuild the wall.
Child of God, by coming to the Lord in prayer and asking for wisdom and guidance, you will take the first great step in rebuilding your child’s education.
Leave the Old Work Behind: Nehemiah 2:5 “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Nehemiah correctly realized he could not do two jobs at once. He could not help the children of Israel until he put his position as cupbearer on hold.
Child of God, homeschooling takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. To be a great teacher to your children, your interests cannot be divided. If you put your career temporarily on hold, you can throw yourself wholly into your new work.
Foundation of Christ: Nehemiah 2:20 “The God of heaven will give us success.”
Nehemiah took time to survey the damage of the wall and to make plans for rebuilding. He brought his plan to the children of Israel and assured them that they would succeed — not because of his power, or wisdom, or position of authority in working for the king, but because of the “God of Heaven.”
Child of God, has God called you to homeschool? Begin building your homeschool program on His wisdom and power. He will bring you success!
Build Together: (See Nehemiah chapter 3)
Nehemiah did not complete the new wall on his own. He had the help of the Jewish community. Many families completed broken portions of the wall near their own homes.
Child of God are you trying to build your homeschool by yourself? You will quickly become weary! Find a homeschool community — a group who will support and encourage you and your children in this great work.
Expect Opposition Without: Nehemiah 4:2 “What are those feeble Jews doing? ……. Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
As soon as Nehemiah began to build, his troubles began. Many people ridiculed the Jews. Eventually Nehemiah had to post guards and even told half of his men to carry weapons in case they were attacked.
Child of God are you facing opposition without? Perhaps your family and friends disagree with your choice to homeschool. Perhaps the opposition you are facing is your own doubts and fear of failure. Nehemiah met this opposition with a word of encouragement to the people: Nehemiah 4:14 “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Child of God, remember the Lord. He is still great and awesome and will carry you through this difficult work.
Expect Problems Within: Nehemiah 4:10 “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”’
The children of Israel had other problems as well. They complained that the work was too hard. There was a famine in the land. (see 5:3) and they were worried they might not have enough to eat. In addition, the nobles and officials were taking advantage of the Israelites in their time of need (see 5:7) and they were arguing amongst themselves.
Child of God, perhaps you are also facing problems within. Your children may be complaining about their assignments. They may be fighting amongst themselves. Maybe you are worried about making ends meet and living off of one income. Although their struggles were very difficult, God gave Nehemiah wisdom to govern the people and to tackle each problem as it arose. (see 5:19). May God also bless you with wisdom and energy! Troubles will come, but by His grace, The Lord will help you manage these as well.
See the Miraculous! Nehemiah 6:15 “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.”
Despite the terrible state the wall had been in, despite the troubles the Israelites encountered, despite the difficulties Nehemiah had in managing such a project, a wall around an entire city was finished in less than 2 months.
Child of God, despite where you’re starting from, despite your own doubts and the doubts of others, despite your kids fighting and complaining about their work, God can also do the miraculous in your home. Homeschooling works. Although it is hard, the benefits are many! May God give you the strength and ability to persevere as you teach your children, knowing that God is accomplishing his great work with each passing week, month, and year.
Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
Psalm 24:3 – 4 “By wisdom a house is built,and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Copyright September 25th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)