by Rebecca Kocsis
Looking back on my homeschool journey, it’s impossible for me to separate sources where I gained wisdom for homeschooling from the Word of God. In retrospect, the Bible is where I gained my greatest inspiration.
Neither Ed nor I were raised in Christian homes. When we came to the Lord we already had three children. We desperately wanted a different upbringing for our children than we had received. We knew when we came to the Lord, we had found the missing piece of our lives. It truly was like the old Keith Green song, “waking up from the longest dream.” We were so grateful that the Lord saved us and called us His own.
As we grew in the Lord the next few years, we were learning what the Bible said about every aspect of life. That included what a Christian family should look like; our roles as husband and wife, and about being parents. Homeschooling came about as a natural progression in our own walk with the Lord.
Some of the verses that were so eye-opening to us will not be new to many of you. Think about reading them for the first time as young parents who were new in the Lord. We knew we didn’t want to raise our children in the world’s ways and experience the pain that brought. We were eager to discover God’s ways.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5
So this meant, contrary to the way we had been raised, children were a gift to us from God, rather than simply “offspring” that needed to be supported. We were to be intentional about the way we raised them. In general, having a full house meant we were blessed, not burdened.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
We were so grateful for our new life in the Lord and wanted to make sure that our children had that for themselves, too. This was a conditional promise. We saw that we bore a responsibility if we wanted to see our children have salvation.
“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. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
This was nothing less than revolutionary to us. Ultimately, we just didn’t see how we could accomplish this with our children being in government schools most of the day. We were also aware that government schools denied the very existence of God, so sending the children there seemed contrary to common sense.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. Ephesians 6:4
Though training godly children must be a partnership, God clearly places the responsibility on the fathers. They will be the ones to answer to God for discipling their children. Sometimes fathers are not in the picture, or they aren’t fulfilling their obligation to their children. That doesn’t mean this vital ministry is left undone. Mothers can and should pick up the mantle. Your children’s eternal future depends upon it.
God’s Word was the foundation that we wanted to raise our children upon. We had had enough of the shifting sands of the world’s wisdom. We wanted them to know and love the God who created them and died for them. More than that, we had a Biblical mandate to make disciples of all nations. That had to begin at home. So as in every other part of our lives, the Bible became our guidebook.
There’s one more verse that I continually relied on for the 22 years that we homeschooled.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
I know this isn’t your usual “feel good” promise, and I’ve never heard anyone else quote it in regard to homeschooling. But home education was hard work, and there were days when I’d rather be doing anything else but that. Yes, you read that right. I sometimes feel guilty when I read flowery stories from blissful homeschooling mothers. Some of our hard days were anything but blissful. Knowing I was doing what God wanted me to do gave me great peace and satisfaction; that was blissful. That didn’t erase the fact that there were times my flesh wanted to play hooky. For parents, homeschooling requires an awfully lot of dying; dying to self and our fleshly inclinations. Eventually, though all that dying was promised to bear fruit in my children’s spiritual lives. I would rather die to self now than see my children die in eternity later.
I understand that for most Christian families homeschooling today, discipleship is not the main reason for homeschooling. It is one of the reasons, but not the biggest reason. Indeed there are many good reasons to homeschool. I would even go so far as to say that all children would benefit from home education. I will acknowledge, though, that not all families are able to. Even so, may I be so bold as to say that discipling their children is every Christian parent’s highest calling?
If you are a Christian, and you are homeschooling, I pray you will make discipleship your priority. Prestigious colleges and perfect SAT scores will not qualify your children for heaven. In fact, that doesn’t matter one bit in the eternal scheme of things. I pray the foundation of your homeschool will be the solid rock foundation of God’s Word, rather than the shifting sands of the world’s wisdom. You won’t be sorry. “The one who trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:23
Editor’s Note: CHEA has been supporting parents in their God-given directive of discipling their children through home education for more than 35 years. While our work is often focused on home education and the homeschooler, it is all to advance the kingdom of God. To read more about CHEA and our mission, visit our website.