Saturday, October 24, 2009

What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

I was on Facebook the other day and the question came up with regards to homeschooling as to what a wife was to do when a husband wanted to send their children to the government schools. So this led me to add this question to my previous list, see the bottom of this post for links to past posts. While this is not really along the same lines as the other usual objections to homeschooling it is a very important question that needs to be addressed.

First I would like to address the opposite of this question, what if my wife does not want to homeschool. I will admit this question is heard very little but there may be those that hear it. For those husbands that have this issue the key is not to dictate that the wife is to school the children, husbands need to lead by example. I hope it has been clear throughout this entire series that the issue of homeschooling needs to be grounded in scripture and God’s decrees and not in the ineptitude of the government system, as inept as it is. So, as the leader of the family, husbands need to lead their wives to see that homeschooling is not simply a choice but God’s design for the family. However, things must not stop there as it is also not enough for husbands to convince their wives but they must also help as they are able. We as husbands need to serve our wives and sacrifice ourselves as Christ sacrificed himself for His church (Eph 5:2,25). This may take the form of moving from where you live and even taking a different job, doing whatever it takes to disciple your children as God calls us fathers to do. The bottom line is as husbands we need to lead in more than just words but also in action.

So in the instance where the wife is the reluctant spouse, husbands need to lead by action and not just dictate what needs to be done. Find ways to help in the process of homeschooling and show your commitment to the process. In all of this bathe everything in prayer and in leading your wife to see this is all being done in obedience to God’s word.

Now for the question I started with which is by in large the norm for most families. I will confess it was for our family as it was my wife that saw the need to homeschool years before I did, yes I said years. It was her diligent and prayerful conviction that allowed her to convince me to homeschool over what I am sure were years of frustration. But even then it took more years than it should have for me to come around. I was convinced that this homeschool business would be OK for the primary years but once high school came we would need to seek change. I thank God that He changed my heart before then. That gives you some background so you can see that what I am sharing here is what I should have done and not what I did. It is only by the grace of God that we are where we are today, but that is God. He is faithful when we are not.

So what are wives to do if their husbands do not want their children homeschooled? Well, I can do no other than start with scripture which says that wives are to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:22-23) and work to help their husbands see the need for homeschooling (1 Ptr 3:1), in a God honoring way. If you honor your husband, and thus honor God, God will strengthen you in discipling your children, along with your husband, until God changes his heart. The tough part of this for wives is that they are not required to submit to that which God forbids and so the question arises as how does this relate to homeschooling. Scripture places husbands as responsible for the family so the wives submission to them in this area is not the same as the wife desiring for their children to go to government schools. This is one of those areas where one needs place full trust in God for their children and I realize this is not easy with all that transpires in the government schools. If wives will submit to their husbands in a God honoring way I am convinced God will honor them and care for them and their children. God can give you the stamina and strength to disciple your children and to counteract the government schools until their husbands comes along. Remember that God does not simply call us to Himself for salvation and leave us but is working in all we do as well as having His hand on all those around us, even disobedient husbands. We may not know why God does not change their hearts but as with me He does this in His way and in His time.

As far as practical advise I would suggest wives give their husbands biblical reasons for homeschooling and resources that will help them see this. Some very good resources I have found and would have liked to have had earlier are: When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul Jr. as well as the CD series from the 2009 Leadership Summit. Both these resources are biblically grounded and challenging. I know when I read R.C. Jr.’s book the lights went on for the first time as it related to God’s plan and reasoning for homeschooling/discipling. For too long I had simply been looking at what form of schooling appeared to offer the best education but I had neglected to look at what we are truly called by God to do and that is disciple God honoring children first and foremost. Education will happen but it is not our primary reason for homeschooling, raising children that honor and glorify God is. Another resource I have found is an article written by Israel Wayne called A Christian Education Manifesto which is chock full of verses and biblical evidence for the need to home educate.

While I do not like to tell people to change churches I do fear that there are too many churches with pastors that are falling short by condoning Christians sending their children to the government schools. If possible speak to your pastor and work to help him see what God desires but at the end of the day you may need to find a church that supports homeschooling. Pastors need to realize that by their lack of conviction with regards to homeschooling they are enabling fathers to keep their children in the government schools and they are in the process not doing wives or children any favors.

So that is a short overview of this issue and I pray it has been some help. You can read over the previous posts I have done on the subject of homeschooling, see below, as there is much biblical evidence in them and they may also help to answer some objections that are commonly used to avoid homeschooling.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

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