Fruits of the Spirit for the Homeschool Mom
According to Galatians Chapter 5, the fruit of the Spirit includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How do these fruits relate to home education? A better question to ask might be, what if I am NOT seeing these fruits in our homeschool? What is missing, and what do I do about it?
Once again, I’m going to encourage us to start in prayer. Lord, we need your help daily. Today, especially, we ask you to reveal to us the areas of our hearts and our thinking that need to change for there to be more fruit from our efforts in educating our children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The world wants to pull you in twenty directions all at the same time. Resist it. Take seriously the call to educate your children about God. Trust Him to work out the details, and learn to keep some actual records.
If you feel like you’re missing the boat because there is little spiritual fruit showing in your children’s lives, be honest and start by evaluating yourself. Your children will be a reflection of what they see in you. The good, the bad, and unfortunately, the ugly. Are you more concerned with growing good character (Jesus) in yourself and your kids or with checking boxes as complete?
Do you start and end your day with prayer? If not, why not? I was a working homeschooling Mama for 16 years. There wasn’t time for a quiet cup of tea and Bible reading on the front porch before everyone else woke up in the mornings. Some mornings I got home from work at 5 a.m. and dropped into bed as my husband was preparing for his day at work. What there was time for was nine minutes of prayer each day between when the alarm went off and when the first snooze sounded. Nine minutes – make the most of them. Who needs prayer, what do I need God’s help with most, where is one of the girls struggling? Then at work that evening, I would try to stop mindlessly listening to the background music and ask God to give me someone to pray for. I could read the Bible on the app on my phone during my break or my actual Bible at home before falling asleep. I was no superwoman, just a mom who wanted the best for her kids.
Do not tell me you cannot find time for prayer. You have to make it a priority in your own life before your attitudes will line up with God’s. If your attitude is wrong, then your children’s attitudes will stink too. Ask me how I know – first-hand experience!
God does not call us all to be great theologians, He calls us to seek Him first. If you’re seeking a great spelling program or the mastery of long division, but you’re not asking God how to love your children well, you are missing the mark.
I know, there are state rules, attendance sheets to fill out, standardized testing, and co-ops or sports to attend to. But all of these other things that come along with home education are not there to show God’s heart to your children – that is your job. It is better to make the minimum strides forward in English or math and to have children who are at peace with God than to send someone to MIT or Harvard on a full-ride scholarship and lose their souls. There are only a dozen or so years that your children will be learning at home; do not squander them on unworthy pursuits.
Our girls both did a lot of outside activities as they grew older, especially in high school, but my original goals did not change. I wanted to be the biggest influence in their lives, I wanted them to know they were loved, I wanted them to grow into independent adults that could someday move out on their own. It takes a lot of selfless giving on the part of the parent; it takes a lot of love.
The first fruit of the Spirit that Paul tells the Galatians about is love. Love saves us (through Jesus’ sacrifice), it covers over a multitude of sins (through forgiveness), and it allows us to tell others about Jesus (through our personal witness.) Love changes us to be more like Jesus. I want to be more like Jesus, and I hope you do too.
My daughters are now 22 and 20. I still spend that nine minutes in prayer for them each morning. Where do they need discernment, protection, a softened heart? The prayers have changed some, but the intent is the same: for them to grow closer to God.
I know you have a lot on your plate today Mama. For just a few moments, set that plate aside and be refreshed by spending time in prayer. Ask God to reveal to you His heart for your children. Ask Him for guidance to love them well. Let Him know you would not mind a little help with long division either. He loves your kids even more than you do!
A veteran with 16 years of experience, Carol writes with a practical look at the whole journey of home education. She spent the years with her daughters focused on experience-based education and frugal ways to teach and learn well. Her writing offers encouragement that anyone, even working moms, can homeschool successfully. Carol writes for her local newspaper, the Homeschooling with Heart Blog, and other outlets. You can find her love of nature, field trips, and lifelong learners on her blog: Home Sweet Life. Follow along on their adventures on Instagram.