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  • Our Command to Teach Them Diligently

    Those of us who are convicted that homeschooling is the Biblical model of education often refer to Deuteronomy 6:4-9: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

    However, one of the biggest arguments I hear against this is that yes, parents are responsible for their children's education and discipleship, but that no where does it say, "Thou shalt homeschool" and that parents have a right to delegate that responsibility. But here is the problem with that. First of all, the argument that there is no specific command is weak. What about polygamy? There is also no specific command against that in the Bible, but you will not find a genuine Christian pastor anywhere who will say that polygamy is an acceptable practice for the church. We do not always need a "Thou shalt" in Scripture to deduct a clear command. Furthermore, there is no word for homeschooling in the Bible, so it would not make sense for there to be a command that uses that word. Personally, I believe the above Scripture comes pretty close to being a clear command to homeschool!

    Secondly, I would strongly question the idea that we can simply delegate our responsibilities. For example, my husband has a chronic illness, making it difficult for him to always be available for us. Does he delegate our pastor to come and lead our family worship and to help disciple our children? Isn't our pastor the "expert" who is "more qualified" to disciple and train our children? Of course not. There are jurisdictions that God has set in place and this would be a violation of that. Education is much, much more than simply instilling academics into the brains of our children. Nothing is without worldview and all teachers and instilling their own worldviews into our children when they, the "experts," teach our children. I recently heard of a lesbian kindergarten teacher who even used math, something most of us would see as a neutral subject, to begin to teach her worldview to her students. Are we really going to believe that some things are simply amoral and that education can be separated from the spiritual? The world functions in a much more holistic manner, but to our Western minds this is a foreign concept.

    Detractors will also say, "Well, that was the Old Testament. We are not under the Old Testament any more and we have freedom in Christ." This is also a distortion of the truth. When Jesus came, He was clear that He did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. In fact, he showed by His example that we are incapable of keeping the Law, as He demonstrated that the Law is much more than a list of commands, but a heart attitude. Not only are we commanded not to kill, but Jesus went further by saying we are not even to hate someone! His standard was much higher. Yes, we are under grace, but that does not mean that all of the Old Testament is invalidated and irrelevant to our times. There are important principles that we cannot ignore. I do not believe for a moment that Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was invalidated when Jesus showed up on the scene. God still wants us to be involved with our children throughout the day!

    It breaks my heart to see our society spiraling out of control, becoming more and more evil and rejecting God. How did we get here? We must ask the question if it could be that those who are training our children have a huge responsibility in this. Does it not make sense that if Satan can get a hold of our impressionable children early and indoctrinate them with lies and half-truths, he will have more chance at successfully eroding our church and culture? And what better way to do that than when our children are out of our homes for large portions of the day, under the influence of people we barely know? Do we really know everything our children are being taught? Do they share every detail with us? Christian friends, I urge you to pray and seek the Lord on this matter. Do not give in to your gut reaction of anger at being told something uncomfortable or hurtful. Do not feel judged. We all love our children very much, but I'm afraid we are too easily swayed by what is considered "normal" in our culture without truly critically examining it. Satan also uses these "normal" things to lull us into a sense of security and to get us to just go along. I pray you will seriously consider bringing your children home and experiencing the blessings of your family being together!
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