The photo to the right is our children, who are very close to one another. We were blessed, in that we experienced no sibling rivalry. We were warned about the teen years from friends who had older children. The teen years turned out to be our favorite years.
About six years ago, a Christian magazine published a negative article stereotyping homeschool families in a bad light.
The pastor, who authored the article, wrote: “Why would a family who attends a church that maintains a Christian school keep their children at home to teach them? Either the parents believe they can do a superior job in educating their children over the church or they cannot trust God to meet the financial obligations involved in paying school tuition. And what greater damage can you do to the mind of your child than to divide him away from the ministry of your church.”
Our pastor voiced his concern to us about the article and said, “They need to know about your family.” Our Pastor believed, as we did, that we are to obey the Bible and that God does not send a families’ personal mail, intended for the head of the family, to the pastor. Our Pastor was a homeschool friendly pastor, and supported Barry making the decisions for our family, even if the decisions were a little different from what our church normally did. For example, our Pastor allowed us to not put our children in the youth group. He chose Barry to be head of the deacon board and honored my husband’s decisions for our family, even though some decisions were a little different from the norm.
We contacted the editor who ultimately apologized for the article.
The editor asked my husband: “Did you homeschool as a matter of convenience, money or conviction?”
My husband’s reply: “A conviction is something to live for. We went to the Lord in prayer, asking Him which school option was His will for our family. God spoke in our hearts, and worked through circumstances to show us that His plan for our family was to homeschool. We homeschooled as a matter of conviction. For our family, homeschooling was the center of God’s will.”
The editor asked us to write our homeschool story, so we did. Part 2 or our story~
Because parents care about their own children more than anyone else cares about them, most Christian parents make phenomenal teachers at home. They have a drive within to give their children the best education possible.
We found the wisdom to train up our children from the Bible. They were disciplined and obedient, because at an early age, we loved our children as Proverbs 13:24 commands: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” After age four and five, we did not need to use the rod much at all. After age seven, we were finished using the rod, except for very rare occasions. Oh, happy day that was for us, the parents! Our children were very obedient and a pleasure to be around. One of the first Scriptures they learned was, “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 (and Ephesians 6:1-3)
God’s Word was our child training manual. At an early age, our children were taught, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” Bad attitudes were not tolerated. We were concerned about their hearts. We taught our children to obey us, so they would have an obedient heart towards Jesus.
To balance rebuking our children, we daily praised them for Christ-like character
qualities we saw in them, so discouragement would not
set in. Psalm 127:4 “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” We are just ordinary people, but because of God’s Word, we knew He could use us in an extraordinary way to point our children in the right direction. Children become what they are praised.
When we get to heaven, we look forward to seeing our many children because of miscarriages. The Lord blessed us with heavenly children and with three precious children on this earth; Kristen, Brandon, and Melinda. We thank the Lord and give Him all the glory, for our children have been a joy and blessing as Psalm 127:3 promises, “ Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Our children were saved at home at extremely young ages. It was of paramount importance to get Scriptures into their hearts. In 2 Timothy 3:15, Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught Timothy, as a child, the Holy Scriptures. Paul was able to take Timothy under his wing as a result of Timothy’s parent and grandparent’s teaching. Because of our children memorizing Scriptures, they learned the fear of the Lord. As our children learned to love the Word of God, they
learned to love the Lord God. They wanted to obey God, because they loved Him.
Kristen, our eldest daughter is now married to Dr. Dwayne Piper. The Lord called Dwayne to the ministry. He is a pastor of a local church and our daughter serves as a pastor’s wife.
Kristen and Dwayne had a special courtship. Their choice of purity is such a testimony for young people.
They never kissed another.
Their first touch and kiss were at the marriage altar.
Kristen’s sweet countenance has been noticed over the years. She is easy going, yet she is strong willed when it comes to doing what is right and good. Kristen was blessed with a beautiful singing voice and cheerfully sang around our home as she cleaned the house. She enjoyed showing hospitality. Kristen was very missed when she got married, but the goal is to send our children forth as arrows for the Lord. The parents decrease and the new spouse increases.
At an early age, Kristen was taught to be a good example to her siblings because she was the eldest, and she took this responsibility very seriously. Before she married, Kristen served as Sunday School teacher, church pianist, and helped with music specials in our local church.
Her life verse is Joshua 1:8. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
All three of our children desire to homeschool their own children in the future.
To be continued in the next post~