“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” ~Matt. 18:10
I recently had the privilege of attending my first homeschool conference. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I figured I would hear about the “latest and greatest” curriculum, and of course listen to others share ideas for improving our homeschool for next year. And while I did get those things, I also received encouragement. Encouragement I was desperately needing.
I homeschool not because I am against public school (I have a degree in both elementary and special education, and I have one child who does attend public school), but because God has called me to raise my children for His honor and glory (2 Peter 1:3). Now, I didn’t start homeschooling for that reason, but the more time I spend with my children, the more I fully understand my role as their mother and truthfully, the more I learn about my God.
If you know me well, I mean really well, then you know that I never planned to have a large family. When my husband and I began to talk “marriage” while dating, family size of course came into the discussion. He is from a family of five and I am from a family of three. He wanted a big family, but I was happy with 3 or 4 children. After the birth of my fourth child, I was content with our life. We had two boys and two girls and lived in a medium-sized house that fit our needs perfectly. Our mini-van was great in that we could all fit inside with extra seating space, and life was genuinely good. Until I found out I was pregnant when my youngest was 7 months old!
We now have a total of seven children, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that daily life was sometimes challenging. There is a 10-year span between my oldest and youngest. Sometimes, most times, I view my children as a nuisance rather than as the blessing God says they are (Psalm 127:3-5). I was convinced that my children woke up each day with one goal in mind: annoy me until I caved to the pressure! Occasionally they did this individually, but typically they plotted together (there is unity in teamwork!). Because I viewed them in the wrong way, I didn’t like them. Imagine being pecked to death by little ducks. That explains how I was feeling.
But my viewpoint was wrong! And not just wrong, it was sinful! Jesus holds a high view of children, mine included! In the above verse, it clearly states that they have angels who watch over and care for them. And not only that, those angels report to God the Father Himself- talk about convicting!!
I left that homeschool conference not just better able to teach my children at home, but to better mother them. Have I perfected gentleness, patience, kindness, and the other fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24? No, of course not! But, I am working on it, and I am liking my children in the process.