one thing I wish I could tell every [christian] homeschool parent

If you’re a Christian parent homeschooling -or planning to homeschool- their children, then yay! I’ve finally gotten your attention.

Being a homeschool graduate and follower of Jesus Christ, I pride myself on my freedom to make homeschool and church jokes without being disrespectful or rude because, hey, I’m one of them. So good for you for giving your kid(s) that same freedom.

As a whole, I am extremely grateful for the education I was given and the way I was raised. I was blessed beyond measure and I am who I am today because of my upbringing.

However (there’s always a “however”), there is one thing that I wish I could tell all Christian, homeschool parents. I know you’re all on the edge of your seats waiting for this, so here ya go:

Teach them everything.

Anticlimactic? Hardly.
Let me explain.

I was taught science from a Christian -read creationist– point of view. This is not a bad thing, because I do believe the earth was created by God.
I was taught that the one true way to God was through Jesus Christ. This is also not bad because I do believe Jesus is the way, truth, and the life and no one can come to God except through him.

But in learning this, I was not taught everything.

Yes, I was given a basic understanding of opposing viewpoints (in religion and science), but it wasn’t enough. The curriculum I used in science was very biased towards creationism, which doesn’t sound like a bad thing until you end up with a child who thinks he/she knows exactly how the earth was created, how long it took, and what God had for breakfast on the seventh day when he rested.

Enter middle-school age Shelby, bumping around on her high, sixth-day-creation horse. I got into many “discussions” about the existence of God and how the earth came to be and what the purpose of life is and in every one of those conversations, my argument would fall flat on its face.

Doesn’t make sense, does it? After all, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Scripture is true; so in defending it, I should win the argument. Right?

Wrong. The Lord quickly, yet gently, revealed to me that he did not need me to defend him. He did not and will not need me to prove his existence.

Because the honest truth is that we can’t prove God exists and we never will. That’s why it’s called faith.

The second honest truth is that we don’t know everything.
And if we don’t know everything, then other people might not be wrong.

I know- if they’re not Christians, then it just seems like we should think everything they say is wrong- right?
No. They are intelligent people. God gave them brains and they are using them.

What’s going on here is more than reasoning and logic- it’s spiritual, and the sooner you teach your kids that, the sooner you get kids passionate about loving people despite their belief system just like Jesus.

What God wanted of me was to be understanding and loving. After all, isn’t that how Jesus acted?

And this is my main point:

Teach them everything, because in the end it’s not about winning an argument.
It’s about being able to have an intelligent conversation without being ignorant of what other people believe. Knowing the other person’s “side” allows you to be understanding of their beliefs and accepting of the person, as Jesus was. No, he didn’t tolerate everything they believed or did, but he also didn’t send them away at the door. He ate with them, talked with them, and loved them.

We need to stop raising robotic, Sunday-school-answer children and start raising future contributors of society who carry the name of Christ well, use the brain God gave them, and live with love pouring out of their ears because they know God is just that good.

Teach them everything and you’ll teach them how to love.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “one thing I wish I could tell every [christian] homeschool parent

  1. Hi! I’m certainly not the audience you intended to read this post, as a childless scientist and badly-lapsed-Catholic-turned-agnostic. But I have to give you kudos–what a refreshing message! If only more people (on “either” side, or all sides) encouraged the consumption of knowledge–not as a way to tear down opposing arguments, but in order to better empathize, respect, and as you say, even love–I believe the world would be such a richer, better, peaceful place, regardless of your beliefs. Thanks for sharing your refreshing perspective!

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