Philippians has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible. It was written by the apostle Paul while in prison and was a letter to the people of Philippi, the first European city in which Paul preached and a place he visited several times. He had a special relationship with them; they supported him and he encouraged them.
Was Paul writing directly to homeschool families in Philippi? Not so much, but there’s plenty of encouragement we can take from his letter. In context or out, these verses remind me that I’m enough because of Jesus, to keep going even when it’s absurdly difficult, and to let God handle anything that’s causing me concern. After all, He’ll deal with it much better than I ever could on my own.
Philippians for the Homeschool Heart
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)
This is a great place to start because, oh my goodness, there are days I feel so inadequate and that all of my weaknesses are just too much. Am I enough to educate my children? Eh, not on my own, but the incredible thing about it is that God isn’t finished with me.
He’s growing me, equipping me, molding me, and loving me all day every day. So, yeah, I might not be enough, but it’s okay. I’ll get there and neither of my kids will be rendered unable to function in the meantime.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Phil. 1:27a)
Life happens while we homeschool and my kids are watching to see how I react.Life happens while we homeschool and my kids are watching to see how I react. #ihsnet
Whether I’m listening the lady at church who wants everyday to be Throwback Thursday, interacting with the post office employee who sent back my package twice, or dealing with any random nonsense that might show up in a day’s time, I represent the God that I serve. Sure, I’m going to mess up, but my actions must show that I’m a follower of Christ.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4)
It’s good to check my motives from time to time. When I push my children, am I doing it for the right reasons? It’s natural to be excited when they succeed, but they shouldn’t be little trophies on display for bragging rights.My children can't become little trophies that I display in order to earn bragging rights. #ihsnet
It’s also natural to be irritated when things aren’t going well. However, by regarding homeschooling as a ministry to my family, I’m reminded that I’m here to serve them and help them become who God has designed them to be.
We’re not a homeschooling family for my sake, but for theirs. My focus needs to be on them and not how I’d like for them to measure up or perform.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:14-15)
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to quote these verses when some unnamed children get a little grumbly or argumentative, but these verses are for me as much as anyone else.
Excuse me for a moment.. As The Lord would have it, these unnamed children are arguing as I write this. You know, because He likes to make me practice what I preach.
Okay, crises averted. Where was I? Ah, If I’m not careful, I can easily tear down rather than build up my children.
When their attitudes aren’t easy to handle, when the subject retention isn’t what I expect, and when they’re distracted and unable to focus on schooling, my response matters. It’s okay to feel frustrated, but I’ve got to model the same things I expect from them. If I want my children to shine in this world, I must shine.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Phil. 3:12)
I don’t have it all figured out and I’m far from perfect, but I follow God’s call on my life because I’m His. It’s okay to keep moving forward in marriage, motherhood, and homeschooling despite my imperfections. I press on because it’s not about looking back, but about looking forward and focusing on His call for my life.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
This homeschooling thing isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier when I remember to pray.
It sounds simple enough, but it’s in my nature to stress out and panic a bit before remembering to turn my concerns over to my Father. When I give it to Him and approach our homeschool with the peace that comes from God, it’s better for all of us.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:11-13)
Because this happens to be a frequently misused passage, let’s go ahead and acknowledge that Paul wasn’t actually talking about homeschooling when he wrote this. For personal application purposes, we’re going there anyway because it’s easy to get caught up in the glossy curriculum catalogs and endless Pinterest-worthy schoolroom images.
Here’s the thing: my ability to homeschool doesn’t lie in my curriculum budget.My budget doesn't determine my ability to homeschool my children. #ihsnet
It also isn’t dependent on where the school part of our homeschool actually happens. My ability to homeschool my children comes from Him and Him alone. Isn’t that incredible?