Grab your Bible and a cup of coffee as we explore how to apply the book of Hebrews to our lives as homeschooling families.
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There’s quite a lot happening in the book of Hebrews. While there are several themes that are prominent in the book, we’re going to focus on a few of them today: living by faith, perseverance, and growth.
Also worth noting, we don’t actually know who wrote Hebrews. Some scholars suggest Paul, Luke, and a few others as possible authors, but we do know that it’s written as more of a sermon instead of the letters we find elsewhere in the New Testament.
Hebrews for the Homeschool Heart
Regardless of authorship, we know that Hebrews was inspired by God and there’s a sermon here that we can apply to our everyday lives, but also to our homeschool hearts specifically. Let’s take a look:
I don’t know why rest is such a hard thing for us to grasp in some seasons. We know we need to do it, but we fail to make it a part of our natural rhythms.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. ~ Hebrews 4:10-11
The funny thing is that I’ve written about this before. I’ve given an invitation to rest, but I find myself struggling with rest more than ever before. This life requires lots of plate spinning, juggling, and all the balancing references that come to mind. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to stop all of it and truly rest.
Hard or not, we’re commanded to rest and we’re being downright disobedient when we don’t. It’s not about legalism, but it’s about trusting that our Father knows what we need better than we do.
We fill every waking moment with activity, learning, and preparing. We use our weekends to prepare the coming homeschool week and then we homeschool the other five days, all while balancing relationships, our homes, and outside commitments.
We’re at capacity, friend. There’s no more room. We’ve completely crowded out our Father and wonder why we feel so empty.
It’s time for obedience. Put aside the lesson plans, pause the constant planning process, and give yourself space to simply be.
Embracing God’s Faithfulness
This homeschool life is a beautiful thing. In fact, we’re downright privileged to have this time to know our children and pour into them each day. Even so, there’s lots of pressure that comes with the homeschool lifestyle, but thankfully we’re not on our own through it all.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16
Friend, it’s such a relief to know that we have direct access to our Father. No, it’s not easy to teach, lead, and serve on a seemingly nonstop basis, but grace and mercy are ours for the asking. We’re we’re not only given permission to approach our Father for help to get us through, we’re encouraged to do so.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. ~ Hebrews 10:23
In The Message, this same passage tells us to “keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.” I love that wording in particular because we can get so caught up in the day-to-day demands of homeschooling that we’re no longer doing it with the end in mind.
That’s where the promises that keep us going come into the picture. His faithfulness is front and center when we hold on to those promises in the muck and the mess, in the stress and the noise, and in the busyness and the good intentions. We’re compelled to keep going because that’s what our Father does for us: He keeps going.
Looking Beyond Ourselves
It can be easy to think that all of this daily striving and giving of ourselves won’t make a difference, but that’s not the case. In fact, that “it doesn’t matter anyway” mindset couldn’t be further from the truth.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. ~ Hebrews 6:10
It’s tempting to read that passage and miss how it connects to homeschooling, but that’s because we often forget that homeschooling is a ministry to our families. In essence, we’re ministering to the saints through these lesson plans, read alouds, co-op days, and nature walks. This homeschool life is a labor of love that our Father will not forget.
More so, it’s tempting to think we shouldn’t follow a path if we’re unsure of the route or final destination. After all, we don’t have Google Maps for our homeschool journeys. There’s nothing out there that will warn us about stormy weather or congested roadways, much less suggest an alternate route before we see a cloud in the sky.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. ~ Hebrews 11:8
But it’s not necessarily the journey itself that’s the most important here. It’s having the faith to take it.
Not for Us
And this journey that we’re on? It’s never been about us anyway. That’s why these steps of faith matter. They’re bigger than us.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. ~ Hebrews 11:39-40
I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of counting the fruit from all these years of home education. I want to know that these efforts are helping my children become who God has called them to be, but there’s the thing: some of this fruit isn’t for us to see.
You see, homeschool life doesn’t play by the rules of our modern culture. Today we work and reap the rewards for ourselves. That’s not how the heroes of our faith operated. They remind us that we may plant the seeds and tend the fields, but the harvest isn’t ours to hold. The harvest is for future generations.
That’s why we need reminders of the many Bible heroes who died in faith, but didn’t receive the promises. Their steps of faith weren’t for them, but they saw the promises far off and ran bravely into what God had for them. That’s a powerful legacy, friend, and it’s what’s required of us as we raise lifelong learners and difference makers.
As homeschooling parents, we know the importance of continuing education. Many of us are studying educational philosophy, listening to podcast after podcast, and conversing across tables and on boards all hoping we’re finally on the right homeschool path.
We obsess over this information intake and we too often consume the next thing before we’ve had time to digest and appreciate the last. If it were food, we’d label this as gluttony.
What if we pursued God’s Word with the same hunger?
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and interests of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12
There’s nothing wrong with learning more, growing as a student, or exploring new philosophies, but balance is crucial. We can’t spend so much time listening to these voices that we forget to listen to our Father. After all, no one else knows us better and can speak exactly what we need in the way that He can.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. ~ Hebrews 5:13-14
The thing about listening to God is that it isn’t so much an assignment as it is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper into His Word, draw closer to Him, and grow as a Christ-follower.
Lastly, the writer of Hebrews compels us to gather and encourage one another.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as in the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25
Isolation is a word that often comes up when parents talk about the hardships that can accompany the homeschool lifestyle, but it we’re reminded in this passage that isolation doesn’t need to be your word. No, we’re told to find community and stir up love.
Hear me out: I know it’s not always easy to find the right fit when it comes to homeschooling community. I know firsthand that it’s no fun to be the only Charlotte Mason homeschooler in a sea of unschoolers or to be the only Christians at the secular co-op. Even so, community is important.
I acknowledge that the writer wasn’t giving the case for homeschool co-ops in Hebrews 10, but the takeaway here is that we need people who get us. We need people who celebrate our wins, walk us through our struggles and don’t immediately suggest we enroll our kids in the local public school when this all seems overwhelming.
We need those people and we need to be those people for other homeschool families. If you haven’t found your people, keep trying. Don’t give up on the gathering.
In closing, I hope this look at the book of Hebrews encourages you and reminds you that God’s Word speaks to every part of our lives. Sure, there are several themes I didn’t address, but these are the passages that speak to me.
What about you? What has the book of Hebrews spoken to your homeschool heart?
More from my Homeschool Heart series: