real encouragement for real homeschool moms




We love going to a local chili supper fundraiser for a group of volunteer firefighters. Because it is held at their station that is along a busy highway, days before the event, they line the road with bright orange warning barrels so people coming to the supper as well as those passing through their small town will slow down, pay attention, and avoid danger. Remembering a traffic tragedy at one of their suppers a few years back reminds them how important this is and everyone is grateful for their diligence.

This week I have been considering just a few of those things I believe should serve as warning markers, the cumbersome orange warning barrels along the patriarchy highway, that will keep families from danger. Here is my list of questions and observations; please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section.

How do they use the Bible? Creating unusual if not weird interpretations of Scripture and turning Old Testament narratives into commands, camping out on the more difficult passages of Scripture that centuries of Bible scholars disagree on but magically they understand, these are all part and parcel of this movement. The entire stay-at-home-daughters movement is based on Numbers 30! I still don’t get that one.  Ask them to explain why men are priests of the home when 1 Peter 2:9 says we are all priests and kings. Remember the Golden Rules of interpreting Scripture: The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things. AND, context, context, context! Warning: Danger.

Do you see hypocrisy? Do the rules apply to everyone or just their minions? Do they set themselves up as arbiters of truth and discernment but rain down fire and brimstone on anyone who even dares to question them? Does their behavior contradict their teachings? Do they have strident rules for everyone but then not apply them in their own homes? Do they present information in such a way as to dissemble truth, only telling you what they want you to hear, knowing if they reported the whole teaching or story, you would believe something entirely different? A number of years ago two different women reported that their pastor and his wife instructed their entire congregation to never tell anyone that they had been divorced and remarried, leaving them feeling they were part of some cover-up they didn’t understand. I call this the “Rahab Clause” as one pastor a few years back taught that God blessed Rahab’s lies so he will bless ours if it for the common good! Warning: Danger!

Do you see a lack of accountability or refusal to hold men accountable to their elders, denominations, and everyone else? Whether we want to believe it or not, there is an epidemic of good old boys clubs within patriarchal circles and creativity when it comes to allowing church leaders to “be restored.” Of course, true restoration and genuine repentance are the hoped for result. But I have seen too many times where people are placed back in to areas of responsibility making a mockery of the whole process. I still remember when a pastor in one of the most conservative churches in my area committed adultery with a woman he was counseling in his congregation. Though he had to step down for a while, during his time off, he was allowed to continue preaching as pulpit supply for other churches in his denomination! And some of the strongest voices for pontificating about the lack of church discipline are those who have ignored their own authorities and gone off to do their own thing. Warning: Danger!

What are the relationship dynamics? Is there a spirit of one anothering that permeates the entire group or is there an attitude of top down authority that goes beyond leadership? Do the fathers get up from talking with the men to help with little ones or change diapers? Does this group produce wimpy wives or even those who are as sweet as a little old magnolia blossom on the outside and mean as a junkyard dog on the inside?  How are children nurtured? With an iron fist or with a spirit of gentleness and grace? Do the older young men and women relate to each other normally or is it stiff and weird? How are elderly folks treated in these families? Is practicing the one anothers of Scripture ever mentioned? Do you see it in action? Or is there nothing but role playing? Warning: Danger!

Does there seem to be an obsession with modesty, moral purity, and sex? All the modestly dressed women in the world will not prevent men from lust. Neither will Debi Pearl’s perfect heavenly marriage, wearing only dresses, abstaining from television or movies, not allowing women to engage in conversations with men, warning young people to not become emotionally involved with someone prior to marriage and even asking young maidens to pledge sexual purity to their fathers.  (If I read one more salacious description of some couples “first kiss” I will scream. Go back and read Doug Phillips’ description of the “first kisses” has witnessed. So weird!) Do you hear about modesty frequently in your support group or women’s group? Does the pastor preach about sex often? Do you feel uncomfortable when he does? Does he use phrases that depict the act of sex in a violent way? And speaking of violence, what is the group’s position of spiritual, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse of women and children?  Don’t know? Warning: Danger!

Do the leaders surround themselves with impressionable young people? I am coming to see this as a major warning sign within the patriocentric groups. First of all, it certainly flies in the face of their teachings about parents being mentors and the importance of parental authority. While I absolutely agree that we want to see our children encouraged and discipled by godly men and women throughout all their lives, I believe God has given parents that important role in the lives of their young adult and adult children. Shipping them off to places for undefined “internships” and questionable “theological” training presents all sorts of new problems and ones we may not even know about until it is too late and damage has been done. What is wrong, for example, with parents who continue to send their young daughters to ATI headquarters when there continue to be reports of bizarre behavior? My guess is that this is far more widespread than we imagine throughout all these  groups and not only am I tossing out orange barrels, I am throwing red flags. Warning: Danger!

Do they promise a utopia in this world?  Whether it is Vision Forum’s grandiose 200 Year Plan or someone offering a health and wealth Gospel to the faithful, this world is not our home and our only hope for perfection is in heaven! I believe this is one of the cruelest and most deceptive aspects of the patriarchy movement. Yes, we are to be faithful stewards until the Lord returns and are not to think of our attempts to see the culture redeemed via evangelism as polishing brass on a sinking ship. But neither are we to calculate how God will bless us or America through having lots of children or homeschooling or getting the right guy in office. Anyone who paints this vision for you is wrong. Warning: Danger!

Are you being mocked for your concerns and questions regarding the Doug Phillips’ resignation? I don’t know why I am so stunned at the insults and name calling flying left and right at those who question these teachings and the still unanswered questions. If you are getting the heat for this, hang in there. This amazing video is for you. It explains the phenomenon of the whistle blower. It might not make you feel much better but it will certainly help you understand why people don’t appreciate your warnings!


YouTube Preview Image


I know my list is not exhaustive but please add your thoughts and testimonies to the comments.

More help for discerning false teachers.

Excellent advice from Sallie on becoming a Berean. Share this one far and wide!!!

20 Responses to Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part four ~ danger markers along the patriarchy path

  • Kris says:

    These are great points! I definitely enjoyed Sallie’s blog on wisdom and discernment. Definitely wise wisdom!

    I remember sharing some issues with someone on the FIC church one time, she wasn’t very open (her family was looking for a church at the time) and she really didn’t talk to me much after that, was a little aloof. Haven’t really seen her since. I’ve talked with some home school moms and they hold to some of the patriarchy items. It’s difficult to keep quiet in a group situation. Sometimes better to speak in private or pray that God will change the heart as only He can! There are many men in homes that provide for their family as God wants them to and deeply want the best and who don’t hold to the patriarchy movement at all!

  • ruth says:

    Karen – thank you for the series of articles this week. You are doing an excellent job of analyzing this madness. I take no joy in seeing a man fall or family hurt, but I am glad that perhaps the folly of all of this will become a little more evident by this revelation of the relationship. The more I think of it, the more it hit me…….really….it’s all about the MEN. PRIDE…what my family looks like to others, what I want my family to do for me…how my daughter is to serve me….it’s really LITTLE KINGDOMS of ME! That’s what they want! How about putting yourself on the back burner and looking out for what the Lord wants? Pride goes before a fall, and when you do fall you yourself asked to be put in the limelight for many years, so now you get to see the negative side of that!

  • Kate says:

    I am afraid you have gone a bit overboard in your assessment of this situation. I really have enjoyed your blog and have learned a lot but this one didn’t seem to teach and instruct as much as it seemed to rip another family of Christians apart. Instead of discerning through, it felt as though you were wanting revenge on this group of believers. I’m afraid the things that you are accusing them of, you might want to check your heart because the same sin is seeping through your evaluation of them in the way you write. I understand there are a lot of problems in their theology, but it never works for us to point out other peoples sin in a way that punishes them and destroys them. As I have been reading through your posts, I have found myself thinking “this woman sounds as though Doug had an affair against her” You sound spiteful, sister. I’m all for us admonishing each other and helping each other see the errors in our thinking…but you seemed to make this a personal attack. A lot of what you have said has also been exaggerated which you use to make your points instead of stating what is really true-that is slanderous. I would encourage you to be careful with the way you judge, should you also be judged. There is a need for us to be careful with this paticular theology, as to any theology. We are sinful! We all try to create our own religion out of our understanding of the Bible. No one is above this…not even you, my friend. Jesus asks us to balance grace and truth when confronting other believers. These paticular posts have lacked both. I understand that you are wanting to bring attention to some of the dangers of this theology. Please, sister… We are all in this together and we need to help each other not stomp on those that are dying.

  • Jerzy says:


    I wonder if these people who accuse you of being spiteful would be willing to say the same words to Doug.


    I’m afraid you’ve gone a bit overboard in your assessment of the situation. I really have enjoyed your blog and have learned a lot but this one didn’t seem to teach or instruct as much as it seemed to rip other families of Christians apart. Instead of discerning through, it felt as though you were wanting revenge on a group of believers. I’m afraid the things that you are accusing them of, you might want to check your heart because the same sin is seeping through your evaluation of them in the way you write. I understand there are a lot of problems in their theology, but it never works for us to point out other peoples’ sin in a way that punishes them and destroys them. As I have been reading through your posts, I have found myself thinking “this man sounds as though non-patriocentrists have it out for him.” You sound spiteful, brother. I’m all for us admonishing each other and helping each other see the errors in our thinking…but you seemed to make this a personal attack. A lot of what you have said has also been exaggerated which you use to make your points instead of stating what is really true-that is slanderous. I would encourage you to be careful with the way you judge, should you also be judged. There is a need for us to be careful with this particular theology, as to any theology. We are sinful! We all try to create our own religion out of our understanding of the Bible. No one is above this…not even you, my friend. Jesus asks us to balance grace and truth when confronting other believers. These particular posts have lacked both. I understand that you are wanting to bring attention to some of the dangers of certain theologies. Please, brother… We are all in this together and we need to help each other not stomp on those that are dying.”

    I know it’s hard to paddle against this current, Karen. Thank you for doing it. And you’re not overboard, you’re not ripping other families of Christians apart, you’re not seeking revenge on a group of believers, you’re not spiteful, you’re not personally attacking, you’re not exaggerating or slanderous, you’re not erroneously judging, you’re not “above” anything, you’re not lacking in grace or truth. And you’re not stomping on anyone dying.

    And THAT’S the truth.

    I wonder why those so quick to defend patriocentrism never offer examples of their accusations, nor do they offer suggestions of how calling out false teachers should be done.

    On another note, can you or other readers recommend resources to teach kids how to engage in conflict? As the introvert’s introvert, I’m terrible at it, so I’d like to learn how to do it, too, without hating myself afterwards! :-)

  • Jerzy says:

    ” . . . nor do they offer suggestions of how calling out false teachers should be done.”

    Other than “in love”.

    I wonder if Jesus was speaking “in love” when He called the Pharisees snakes?

  • Kate says:

    I had a hard time deciding to make a comment knowing that I was setting myself up for misunderstanding. I do not appreciate that you are making assumptions on what little I could communicate. This is part of the problem! My hearts intent was not to tear down Karen or her message of encouraging other people to discern through false teaching… I myself do not defend patriocentrism. I was not claiming to do so, because I do see errors in it. I have a problem when we start attacking the people instead of the theology. I think I have proven my point with the way you have attacked me when you know nothing about me. You hurt other believers and discourage them when you judge without truth and grace (I didn’t say ‘in love’ I said in grace and truth) Jesus managed to do both-even with the Pharasees! He left those who rejected Him and would not repent but sure loved those who accepted His grace and truth. You only hurt those who are searching for truth when you come across so arrogantly and insensitively. I think its possible to stand for truth, confront people in sin AND not belittle them in the process.

  • Susan T says:

    Jerzy and all,
    The TED talk that Karen posted above about whistleblowers contains *excellent* training on “constructive conflict” begining at about the 7 minute mark.
    Another way to gently engage is to ask “the 4 deadly questions” and listen carefully…
    1) What do you mean by that? – and really listen & keep asking this to clarify what are the other person’s terms/definitons.
    2) How do you know that is true? Person must further clarify where they are coming from
    3) Where do you get your information? causes the other person to declare their sources
    4) What happens if you are wrong?

  • Pressing On says:

    Yes, a friend of mine helped me immensely in my understanding of the dangers of patriarchy by noting that it is inherently a weak system. Where there is no give-and-take and freedom to disagree, there will be more errors. Having two people with difference backgrounds and viewpoints (male and female especially!) is very healthy when it comes to decision-making as long as there is respect and compromise on both sides. That is expressed very well in the TED lecture.

    My friend also noted that couples who work out the division of responsibility among themselves with some areas of overlap do better than those who stick only to rigid “approved” approaches. Think of the father who refuses to help with baby care, and what happens when the wife has to have surgery. Or the wife that finds herself frozen with fear when her husband dies because she has zero understanding of their finances.

    For example, for the first year of our marriage, we did the finances together. We had to understand and meld our viewpoints on that. Then my husband suggested that I take over because I had already fallen into the role of bill-payer and knew more about insurance, taxes, etc. And I still do that, but I periodically also sit down and show him the bills and discuss any issues related to our finances. If either of us was out of the picture, the other would do fine. Some in the patriarchy camp would be of course horrified at a woman running the family finances, but I’m the more detail-oriented person, and it works well for us. I always let my husband know of major changes or issues to be discussed. We’re a team, after all!

  • ruth says:

    It struck me – the irony – that Doug now finds himself to be the target of criticism. Perhaps Karen and others are now evaluating HIM. He has had little mercy for other believers who disagree with him on many issues. He shows little grace to those who do not homeschool, who believe their daughters can go to college, who may limit their family size, or who believe women should be able to vote. What goes around comes around. How does it feel, Doug, to be evaluated and found wanting?

  • Jerzy says:


    Since you didn’t call anyone out by name, I’ll assume your second response was to me.

    “I do not appreciate that you are making assumptions on what little I could communicate.”

    We have to make assumptions based on what people write. It’s the nature of the medium. In this case, I only made one, and it was reasonable – that you were defending patriocentrism. Since you stated in your second response that you were not, I stand corrected.

    “My heart’s intent was not to tear down Karen. . . “

    Using words like “spiteful”, “revenge”, “slanderous”, “exaggerated”, “stomp on those that are dying” does not reflect that intent.

    “. . . you attacked me when you know nothing about me.”

    I did not attack you. I made some statements and posed some questions.

    “(I didn’t say ‘in love’, I said in grace and truth)”

    That comment was a generalized statement about a common, Christian response, not directed at you specifically.

    “Jesus managed to do both – even with the Pharasees!”

    Jesus calls false teachers snakes and it’s called “grace and truth”. Karen does the same and it’s called spiteful, slanderous, and judging. There’s a bit of inconsistency here.

    “. . . when you come across so arrogantly and insensitively.”

    Some would call what you label arrogant and insensitive assertive and direct.

    I’ve addressed your concerns. Now could you address mine?

    Would you confront Doug or any false teacher with the same words, or intent, that you directed at Karen?

    Can you give examples of where you think Karen has gone overboard, where you think she’s seeking revenge? How is she punishing and destroying Doug? (Seems like he’s doing that pretty well on his own.) How has Karen exaggerated? Slinging these words around without giving examples doesn’t lend your response credibility.

    And once again, what would you consider an acceptable way of identifying false teachers? Is there a way you would have done it that’s different from the way Karen did it?

  • Nellie says:

    There have been some Phillips supporters, like Doug Wilson, who seem not as supportive as when the story broke. Recall his blog post where criticicizers were called “enemies of God”? I think that’s what he said. It’s now strangely missing, so I can’t reference it. Why did he delete his post?
    Was Wilson convicted about his mean-spirited comment or is there a reason to distance himself now?

    Why did Phillips step down as elder at BCA in February under the radar? Why then the resignation at VF ministries 9 months later? Why the complete shuttering now (latest development) of the ministry? There wasn’t someone qualified to take it over? Why did the Board mention “sins” as opposed to “sin”?

    Are these questions inappropriate or nosy? Given that VF still peddles their wares in the “business” side, I think these are valid questions. Is this a business people should be supporting? There is also the possibility of Phillips later remaking and rebranding himself. People need to examine whether or not this leader has been forthright.

    No glee here. Just someone who thinks there’s still much to sort out.

  • Steph says:

    I have appreciated your blogs. I have waivered back and forth wanting to follow after men and organizations in hopes that my own children would not have sin struggles and life difficulties that I have had. But I have also been through much inductive Bible study (as well as Bible college) and SO OFTEN red flags went up. My husband, to his credit, has never wanted to follow these men. He has appreciated some of what they have had to say (usually along the lines related to history and government), but has always felt concern over their methods, legalism and frankly there insistence on serious separation from the world to the point of ineffectiveness. I am thankful that we have not made any of these men our guru. May God have mercy on this family.

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"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73: 25-26
more truth from the Word
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32
William Carey says:
"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."
Tim Keller says:
"God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself… There is no evil that the Father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace." ~ Tim Keller
Tim Keller also says:
“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” ! Tim Keller in The Reason for God.
Oswald Chambers says:
"If we simply preach the effects of redemption in the human life instead of the revealed, divine truth regarding Jesus Himself, the result is not new birth in those who listen. The result is a refined religious lifestyle, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in a realm other than His." ~ Oswald Chambers
Phillip E. Johnson says:
“When pressed in interviews to name my heroes, I have spontaneously responded that they are homeschooling mothers! To me, the heroic mothers who nurture the next generation of faithful Christians are among the leaders of the church.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson
John Stonestreet says:
“C.S. Lewis said that for every new book we read, we ought to read three old ones. But I think for every latest, greatest new homeschooling book you read, go find three old homeschooling moms and ask them what happened and what worked.” ~ John Stonestreet
Carolyn Custis James says:
“The power of our theology comes alive when we take the truth personally. Holding God at arm’s length—no matter how much theology we think we know—will never make us great theologians. We have to learn to write our own names into the plot. God will always be the subject of our theological sentences but our sentences are incomplete until we make ourselves the direct objects of his attributes…..Simply knowing a lot of theological ideas, no matter how orthodox and sound they are, will never turn us into great theologians. Theology isn’t really theology for us until we live it. Not until we learn to make explicit connections between what we know about God and the race we are running will we taste the transforming power of our theology. Fixing our eyes on Jesus means reminding ourselves of all that He is to us now. He brings meaning to our routines and energizes us to tackle the difficult tasks at hand. Fixing our eyes on Jesus gives us hope to offer disheartened husbands and hurting friends, and the wisdom we need to raise children who will fix their eyes on Him, too.” ~ from Carolyn Custis James in When Life and Beliefs Collide
Anne Ortlund says:
“So what do we do to encourage them to grow inwardly, to become resourceful and creative, to think, to meditate, to lay the foundation for growing up well? Don’t push, but affirm them! Give them the sense that all is well, that their rate of progress is acceptable to you, that you like them just the way they are…..Guide them but be delighted in them. Let them know that life is to be reached for and drunk of deeply…..Enthusiastic, that’s how you want them to grow up! The word comes from “en Theo,” or “in God.” Support them with words of faith, hope, and love, and in that framework “in God,” they’ll be ready to tackle everything. Fears and cautions are built in at an early age but so is courage! Tomorrow’s world will be different if your child has been released to experiment, to risk, to lead others, to pursue righteousness, to be an affecter for good in society, to go courageously after God.” ~ Anne Ortlund in Children Are Wet Cement
J.C Ryle says:
"Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart." ~ J. C. Ryle in The Upper Room
Clay Clarkson says:
“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak to children as though they were Pharisees. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that their hearts are hard and resistant. But this attitude is not justified by Scripture. There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness. Our children are not our adversaries. Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need love and compassion, not harshness and guilt.” ~ Clay Clarkson in Heartfelt Discipline
Tim Kimmel says:
“Grace can’t be some abstract concept that you talk about in your home. It has to be a real-time action that ultimately imprints itself in your children’s hearts. To talk about grace, sing about grace, and have our children memorize verses about grace – but not give them specific gifts of grace – is to undermine God’s words of grace in their hearts. Grace means that God not only loves them but that He loves them uniquely and specially. The primary way to give our children grace is to offer it in place of our selfish preferences.” ~ Tim Kimmel in Grace-Based Parenting
Chuck Swindoll says:
"You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately...yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur. "
Kathy Thile says:
"I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children — he does, I’m sure — and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes — they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children." ~ Kathy Thile
Anna Quindlen says:
“The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." ~ Anna Quindlen
Winston Churchill says:
“My education was interrupted only by my schooling." ~ Winston Churchill
John Taylor Gatto says:
"The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real." ~ John Taylor Gatto
Fred Rogers say:
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Fred Rogers
thatmom says
"The truth is that the way a marriage becomes truly heavenly is for each husband and each wife to pursue, really pursue, a relationship with Jesus Christ, to commit to obey the Word of God, to set aside each of their own agendas and paradigms, and then as they walk in the Holy Spirit, as they are sanctified, a little at a time each day, they will grow closer to one another. Godly wisdom will manifest itself in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, a willingness to submit to one another, the fruits of the spirit, and no role-playing (the true meaning of hypocrisy). (James 3:17)" ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"We need to approach our children not as character projects, but rather, we must see them with hearts of sympathy, with compassion and understanding, and with ears that listen. You see, homeschooling is not about lesson plans and research papers and standardized tests. Homeschooling is about building a relationship with our children, friendships that will last our entire lives on earth and clear into eternity. Homeschooling is merely the tool whereby we build those relationships." ~ thatmom
thatmom knows:
As a homeschooling mom, I have realized that everything, ultimately, is outside of my own control. I have learned that the unique circumstances that happen in my family have occurred because God’s plan is so much bigger than my own. It is knowing this truth about God and in experiencing that truth with those in my home that has enabled us to face past challenges and that will prepare us for all those difficulties that still lie before us.
thatmom realizes:
If I think about 37 years of marriage, times the number of loads of laundry I have done for 2 parents, 6 children and 1 grandma, I am amazed to know that I have washed, dried, folded, (sometimes ironed) and put away roughly 27,526 loads of laundry. That is over 215,000 socks! Or, in that same amount of time, provided 38,324 meals for a family and sometimes guests. Or that I have overseen nearly 21,500 hours of education of one sort or another during that time. Just thinking of these numbers takes my breath away. ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"Real books from the library, a tub of art supplies, being read stories rich in vocabulary, a variety of good music, the daily discussion of God’s Word and how it relates to the world around him, and the attention of a loving parent who includes him in all the activities of real life are the secrets to a great learning experience for children." ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"Being a mom is sort of like being all the people who crowd into a basketball arena all at once. Sometimes we are the players, the ones who are responsible for everything that is going on and our presence is front and center. Sometimes we are the coaches, giving comfort and encouragement, instructing with a clipboard in hand. Other times we are the referees, no striped shirts required but whistles are a must to break up the disputes when the game isn’t played as per the rules. Still other times we are the fans, cheering wildly from the stands, shouting from a distance but not from the floor. And then there are the days when we are the cheerleaders, the ones who scream 'Yeah, you can do it.' " ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
“The beauty of homeschooling is building relationships within our families and inspiring our children to become lifelong learners, gently leading them into the truth of Scripture and trusting that the work we have begun will be brought to completion by a sovereign God who has a plan for building His heavenly kingdom.” ~ thatmom
thatmom says:
"A family that embraces a paradigm becomes lazy and doesn’t study the Word of God for themselves. They take what others state as gospel. They have to check in with the “expert” blogs to see how so and so is doing it. It requires little effort and, truthfully, little leadership on the part of the parents. Dads who think they are turning the hearts of their children to themselves are really turning the hearts of their children to the dad’s gurus!" ~ thatmom
thatmom also says:
“After parenting for 36 years, I have come to realize that all paradigms are basically a list of do’s and don’ts that someone has created. Instead of embracing a list, I have discovered that it is best for me to run all ideas, philosophies, and paradigms through my “one-anothering hopper.” I ask myself if the suggestions or ideas I am hearing will serve to build my relationships or will serve to tear them down; will they reflect the one-anothering commands of Scripture? I ask if they are a picture of Christ and His relationship with me as His needy daughter. If not, I am not interested, no matter how much appeal they might have for any number of reasons.” ~ thatmom
thatmom says this, too:
“The word wisdom is used in Exodus to describe the knowledge that the Lord gave to the skilled artisans so they could make Aaron’s garments for worship. We are told that these workers “were given wisdom and understanding in knowledge and all manner of workmanship.” I have never had to sew any garments for a priest to wear for worship. I have not had to sew any draperies or build any walls or prepare any inner sanctuary as per the Lord’s instructions. But I have been called to give all I can toward the goal of building up children in the faith, preparing children for life outside my home, children whose bodies, we are told, are called the very temple of the Holy Spirit, children whose job it is to worship in spirit and in truth." ~ thatmom
what does thatmom believe?
" What is thy only comfort in life and death? "That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him." ~ Heidelberg Catechism
What does it mean to be a Christian?

1.We must acknowledge that we are all sinners. “For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

2.We are all accountable for our own sins before God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

3.There is only one way to be forgiven of these sins and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

4.If we confess our sin to the Lord and repent of it (not allow it to rule in our lives) we can be forgiven and be in right standing with God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousenss.” (1 John 1:9)

5.Genuine salvation will result in living lives of good works but none of those works contribute in any way to our standing before God which is based solely and completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12) and “Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) and “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

6.We all, men and women, boys and girls, have direct access to the throne of grace because everyone who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ is called a “priest and king” in God’s economy. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)

I believe that many of the false teachings within the patriocentric movement are in direct contrast to these Scriptures and I would encourage each of us to first examine what we believe about Jesus and His work on the cross, its implications and its marvelous power.

Secondly, I would challenge anyone reading here to examine your own heart and ask yourself whether you have been trusting in good works….baptism, homeschooling, church attendance, modest dress, the list goes on and on, or if you have placed ALL your faith and hope in Jesus’ blood and righteousness alone.

And finally, I would challenge you to examine the teachings within your own church system, whether it is Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc. Ask yourself what your church teaches about ecclesiastical authority and family authority. Does it line up with the Word of God? It is a top down system that requires certain works in exchange for a relationship with Jesus Christ or do you have the assurance that you are saved for eternity by His death on the cross in your stead? Does it teach that the fruits of the spirit and obedience to all the one anothers is what our lives will demonstrate or is there a list of man made rules?

If you desire to talk with me about this, please send me a note to My desire is that no one who visits this website will leave without knowing the glorious truth that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and can enjoy a life filled with His goodness and grace!

Adoration of the Home was painted by regional artist, Grant Wood. The original hangs in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Ben Campbell and Lon Eldridge deserve extra cookies for writing, performing, recording, and mixing Mom’s Prairie Song for the podcast intro and outro. Great job, guys. Garrison Keillor would be proud.

Copyright © 2013 ~ ~ Karen Campbell ~ All Rights Reserved.