Issues, Ideals, Convictions and being Convinced…
originally written in 2000
Married at the tender age of 18, I was blissfully ignorant of domestic duties and all that married life would entail. I loved my husband dearly and I thank God for giving me such a gracious and patient man, with which to spend and share my life with. We have just recently celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and we tend to get a little sentimental around this time of year. Only the other day John recalled the first meal I ever made him, before we were married – ham, cheese and mustard sandwiches! Well, it really is a testament to God’s greatness that we ended up married as I’m surprised that John went through with it after I nearly burnt his mouth and oesophagus with an over abundance of mustard. He had seen how I kept my bedroom in a complete and utter chaotic mess and had observed how my mother waited on me, hand and foot. How he was not at all worried or apprehensive about life after marriage I will never understand.
On our honeymoon (as a matter of survival) John taught me how to cook 3 min noodles. I already managed toast and hard boiled eggs so we lived on these for some time. After we had moved into a house I worked hard at making it into a real home, a castle for my king ! I taught myself to cook and clean house, largely through trial and error. For instance, I have learned that nylon petticoats do not fare very well if ironed. One by one children started to come along and I would read and research on parenting babies, toddlers and so forth. I have always desired to be a Proverbs 31 woman (or as close as I could possibly be), to love my husband and train my children.
Then some time later we started on this fabulous journey of Home Based Learning. Typical to my nature, I researched and devoured anything I could get my hands on. (Thanks to a good friend for all her time and patience with me during that time) I then came to a point where I was happy and content with the “what and how” of what we were doing.
In my hunger for reading and fellowship with other like minded women I read quite a few periodical magazines and many websites that are designed to encourage and teach women in their calling at home. These magazines are great and a real source of blessing. Nevertheless, there is an issue that I believe the Lord wanted me to see clearly.
I need to continually remember my salvation. My salvation came at a great price to the Father and it is only the Cross that saves. Many issues that I held dear to us are simply that. Issues! Ideals! Yes, they can add fruitfulness to my life, make us healthier, wealthier and wiser but I need to be careful that I keep preaching the Gospel of Christ. I need to see these distinctions clearly and understand the differences. There are so many issues that today’s Christian woman needs to be aware of. I can homeschool our children using the finest Christian material, while my husband runs our own home business. I can sew all the families clothes or shop exclusively at second hand stores. I can bake our own bread and grind our own flour, eat our organically grown fruit and veggies, I can wear non-patterned dresses only and never cut or colour my hair or wear makeup. To wear a head covering or not? We may not watch TV nor attend any function that isn’t termed “Christian”. To celebrate Christmas and Easter? We may listen to “Accapella” singing only, avoiding any music other than classical or ‘spiritual’. We may choose not to use soap or apply any chemical laden substance to our body. Home birth or hospital birth? Where does it end?
These are just some of the issues that I have pondered, questioned and had to speak with my husband about. I’m sure there are more as there is nothing new under the sun. Some of these issues are quite valid and can be of immense benefit to our families . Often times though, when we as wives, have either stumbled across something that has been wonderful for us or that the Lord has led us to, we latch on to that and become so convinced of its merit and excited about it that we want to share it with everyone. Somewhere, somehow, amidst all this, something goes awry!
These things become the measuring stick. Oi voi, this is not good nor right. We stand ourselves up against these things to find out how we are going as a Christian woman. It is no wonder I often feel inadequate and as though I fall short! My dear husband even asked me to stop reading some of the material. The articles and books themselves aren’t bad but that they can be used in ways to take our focus away from the Truth! The Reality! Jesus Christ! Let us only preach the gospel of Christ. I have learned that I need to sit back and allow the Holy Spirit to convict me rather than being convinced of all manner of things that sound noble or righteous. When the Holy Spirit convicts, it is solid and real. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need all manner of sound logic and reasonable persuasion. If you have an ‘issue’ in your life, that is causing you angst or doubt or concern, take it to the Lord. Seek Him, study the Word and trust that in this the Holy Spirit will lead you in all truth.
Home Based Learning, for John and I is a conviction. Not a preference, but a conviction. It is not just another educational alternative but a calling from God. We don’t want to ever convince another family to homeschool but if the Holy Spirit convicts them, then I’d like to offer them encouragement and be there for fellowship. We need to be careful that we don’t spread the “Gospel of Homeschooling” before we spread the Good News of Jesus, which is essential for salvation.
The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you.