NO GREATER JOY: Arrows Crafted in Truth

The other day, I had an interesting conversation with another homeschooling mom.  We were discussing career paths and college admissions.  We shared our reservations about pursuing some less-guaranteed areas of study.  She has one child and I have five.  One of mine is already in college.

“Well, at least you have five chances, I only have one.”

Did you ever wish you hadn’t intercepted a conversation because you missed where it was going? My interception was, “Chances?, it’s not like I have an option to allow three or four of my chances to be near-misses.”  I only wish I had asked her to further explain what she was thinking……it has been gnawing at me ever since.

3 John 2-4 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

When we read the well-known passage in Psalm 127:3-5, there are a couple very familiar verses that are often quoted with regards to children:

“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…..”

Clearly, we draw from this passage that children are given as a blessing, a reward, in fact. With the word, “heritage”, we understand that the blessing will pass on to further generations and connect the parents’ lives to the further successes our children enjoy.

Many look not only to the accomplishments of Charles and John Wesley, but to their amazing mother, Susanna, who spent separate hours with each of her many children, imparting the Word of Truth and intensive teaching.  She had a great “heritage”, and her arrows were well-directed.
I think my friend’s funny “chances” concept may reveal that we may somehow think we are given each child to prove our homeschooling “muscle”.  Many of us may be tempted to benchmark that we are going to hit the “target”.  However, the challenge with homeschooling is that there are years when we are hidden in the butterfly’s chrysalis, the quiet, hidden place where the most important work is happening, the time when no one can judge whether the butterfly will emerge with the anticipated form or not.

The “arrows” verse tempts us to consider whether some arrows hit the target, and others disappoint.  Surely, our Lord has no intention for us to live in the fear of misdirected arrows. He intends diversity in their destinations, for the sake of His immense purpose.  There is not only one red target in heavenly warfare; but there IS one common design for a spiritual arrow.

We desire for our children to have doors of opportunity opened to them by way of their education.  If, as may be the case with some, their souls don’t prosper to the degree we hope, we would want them to have the opportunity to prosper as adults until His kindness shepherds them to a place of personal discipleship.

A good honest question for parents today is: Which things cause “no greater joy” in our hearts? Academic achievement?  Shielding them from difficulty? Prosperity? Health and safety? Spiritual well-being?

When the day comes for us to pull back on our “arrows” and release them, have we been careful to assure that the truth is in them?   As the passage in 3 John says, we, as parents, pray for our children to “prosper in all things and be in good health AS their souls prosper”.  Our arrows need to be crafted with truth.  Let us take heart and remember that there is NO GREATER JOY for us than that our children “walk in truth”.

The Fearless Path

After eleven years as a homeschool mom, I know that my secret is not that I have perfect curriculums, resources or situations.  In these years, as I’ve interacted with many other homeschool parents, I find that many of us struggle with a lack of confidence.  In fact, as many of us chat with other homeschoolers about what they are doing, we secretly tell ourselves that we are falling short and we want to hide our realities, lest someone discover our weaknesses.  Each of us has a unique family with unique talents and weakness.  The Lord made no mistake when he made us stewards our unique children.  Building our own selves up with grace, mercy and His promises daily is essential to find the endurance needed for homeschooling.

Secrets:

  • Trusting the Lord for the path he leads us down.  When we compare other paths, it shouldn’t make us double-minded about where the Lord is leading our family. James 1:8–A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
  • Knowing that He has set the ultimate goal for each of our children Jeremiah 29:11– For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  • Reminding ourselves of His promise to provide as we seek His way. Matthew 6:33–But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
  • Seeking the Lord’s leading in EVERY detail—the books, the schedule, the chores/home maintenance.  Seeking Him yearly, weekly and DAILY. Psalm 25:4-5–Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

He Has a Good Path for Us:

  • Trust that His path is not lined with “vipers” and enemies against whom we have no defense (some of us live in crippling fear that our kids are only steps away from great danger). Deuteronomy 3:22–You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.  Genesis 49:17 –Dan shall be a serpent by the way,  A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels so that its rider shall fall backward.
  • Trust that, although we know we are going uphill, we need to allow the incline to be gentle enough for our weaknesses (some of us are tempted to take the steepest, most direct path up the mountain, instead of trusting that He has cut the path that is gentle enough). Hosea 11:4 I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.
  • Trust Him when the reasonable road He chooses for us is seeming to wind (some of us second-guess His navigation and veer off, taking the steering into our own hands – usually this leads us deeper into the wilderness) Psalm 55:7–Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.

Ultimately, when I live in fear and uncertainty, I feel, to some degree, that I have been forsaken.  Let us remind ourselves that our Father’s voice constantly says “fear not” and He has promised to never forsake us.

Psalm 9:10–Those who know Your Name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who trust you.   

Our Vision

Western Region Evangelical Association of Christian Homeschoolers (WREACH) is a Fellowship and Co-operative group with a vision to support and encourage homeschoolers in the western region of Puerto Rico.  Our primary goal is to provide encouragement, friendship and opportunities to share gifts and talents amongst its members.  WREACH encourages members to offer ideas and service in order to enrich the lives of homeschooled children and their families.  Homeschooling is understood to be a relationship between parents and their children in which the primary goal is to develop the child’s character first while providing academic growth to enable productive adult lives.

We are currently planning to share in field trips, and social times as well as several co-op activities.  We envision the addition activities on Science topics, Civics and Government, Phys. Ed., Art/Photography, Cooking, Life Skills, Safety and Health.  We are interested in conducting interviews and/or on- site time with professionals/craftspeople in various fields of interest.  Members are encouraged to offer co-op planning or other service and support.  Some members may have special expertise, but all who are willing offer their assistance will be encouraged.  We will encourage youth to organize and plan for activites and focus on interactive learning.

Ephesians 4:16; I Peter 4:10