You’ve heard it said, “Confession is good for the soul”, and today reader, I want to confess to you for my own good, and perhaps for yours. It’s nothing sordid – like, teaching Darwinism is supported by the fossil record ;-) – no, nothing like that. But it is scandalous, none-the-less.
In Front of God and Everybody
I flirted and messed around…right in front of my children. It wasn’t with another man. It was worse. I flirted with a false god, an idol I embraced as the savior of my children. And its name was…
You heard me right. When my children were little, I went into homeschooling believing that it would save my children from the evils of this world (as embodied in the “godless” public school system) and make them really awesome Christians. My idol, homeschooling, would safely shepherd my childrens’ spiritual lives and would save me from worries about bad influences and rebellious stages.
The Belief Behind the Belief
Now, if you had asked me if I really believed that, I would have denied it on the spot. I knew that no training or parenting technique could replace Christ’s finished work on the cross, or the Holy Spirit’s contemporary work to show my children their need of Christ. But deep in my heart, I secretly (and idolatrously) believed that homeschooling would somehow help the Holy Spirit along a little. Yeah, I know how that sounds.
Eventually, we did place our children in public school for their middle- and high-school years. And guess what? We soon saw rebellion, anxiety, depression, etc, etc. Was it the public school’s fault? Would it have been different if we homeschooled, or homecolleged (is there such a thing?) our kids all the way through adulthood?
Who Is to Blame?
No. Public schools weren’t to blame for these behavior issues; my kids’ own hearts were to blame. The Bible teaches that we are all born with broken, depraved hearts that drive us to seek our own will apart from God. Public school was just the avenue God chose to reveal this to my kids. Those years were difficult as they wrestled with God and their need for Christ in their hearts. But there in public school, they saw their own inner darkness, and their complete inability to save themselves from it.
Me? I have this darkness in my own soul, too. While homeschooling can be a wonderful option for educating children, it can’t save them from their sin. I had secretly hoped it would and I needed to confess that hope to Christ as the idolatry that it was. Only He can save my children. Christ, plus nothing.
What do you secretly hope will save your children? Leave me a comment if you like.