real encouragement for real homeschool moms

 

Many of my fondest memories of childhood include going to the old Baptist church in the small town where I was raised.  Sundays were spent snuggled in a pew between my mom and grandmother who offered me Wintergreen mints and fashioned Kleenex carnations from the pocket of her purse to contain my wiggles. My dad, who was a deacon, brought us to Wednesday evening prayer meeting and my grandma taught the adult Sunday school class for over 3 decades.  We packed out the building for week-long revival services every October and I experienced the truth of the Gospel, repenting of my sins and claiming the grace of Jesus alone for my salvation as a 10 year old.  I was baptized and married in that same church, beneath its grand old stained glass windows and years later I grieved the passing of the ones I loved the most in that same spot.

During my second year at one of our denomination’s colleges, I witnessed the face of Christianity change forever: Roe vs. Wade became the law of the land.  Though I didn’t know this at the time, the anti-life agenda was ushered in, in part, by the very denomination I had called my own and I was soon to see those church members who had taught me Bible truths as a small child consider themselves “pro-choice,” embracing all sorts of aberrant teachings that would make past saints turn in their graves. Only a few years later, as a spiritually hungry young family with three preschoolers, we knew we could not raise our children in this church so we moved on.  It was a bittersweet time but the Lord was preparing us for an even greater spiritual journey: homeschooling.

It is no coincidence that Francis Schaeffer’s monumental work, The Great Evangelical Disaster, was published just as modern home education approached its first tipping point in the mid eighties. Clearly defining the battle lines between secular humanism and Biblical Christianity, Shaeffer’s work was prophetic. While calling out a generation that witnessed the slide into evangelical apostasy, Shaeffer managed to capture an eerily accurate picture of where future generations were headed. “Here is the great evangelical disaster,” he wrote, “the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth…the truth of all the Bible teaches, not only in religious matters but in the areas of science and history and morality.” (1)

What Schaeffer didn’t anticipate was one branch of the church that wanted no part of this disaster and would eventually become the bright spot for cultural revival: homeschooling families. While seminaries continued to send out graduates who were more interested in being relevant than faithful and denominations invested in high-tech buildings and elaborate strategies for growing the body of Christ, moms and dads opened their Bibles and school books, quietly teaching their own children and introducing them to a personal creator God who is intimately involved in all areas of life.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the state of many congregations has deteriorated even further and faithful homeschooling families who are committed to the authority of Scripture and raising their children to see the Bible as their standard of measure, often find themselves in a precarious position. Surveying the evangelical landscape, they ask:

Where do we fit in?

Should we continue to support churches that have abandoned the Bible, including its teachings on the family? 

Should we join with other homeschooling families and plant a church?

Does our own church situation help us as we raise our children or does it hinder our efforts?

How do we avoid worldliness without being disobedient to the Great Commission?

How can we have more meaningful spiritual lives?

How do we prevent our children from becoming part of the current statistics that say only 10% of children raised in Christian homes maintain their faith when they grow up?

As we began to teach our own children, we soon recognized that the homeschooling lifestyle brings with it new priorities.  We saw the need to invest our time where it counted the most and that meant many of the traditional church “programs” had to be taken out of our schedule. Discipling young people and building solid, life-long mentoring relationships with them takes all your energy and your priorities become different than those of other families. We realized it might make more sense to spend five hours teaching Bible truths to our own children than it did using those same five hours to prepare a Sunday school lesson. We quickly learned that if we were going to have daily devotions as a family before Clay left for work in the mornings, we would have to forgo evening church activities.  And as all four of our aging parents began to have significant health problems, we knew our children would learn more valuable lessons caring for them than participating in any organized youth group.

It was at this juncture that we knew we had chosen a path that made other people uncomfortable and even irritated.  We were seen as not really participating in the life of the church because too often that was defined as being part of church programs. We had come to the place where true Christian education was happening in our home but church life was frustrating and often painful.

We have been members of traditional churches, participated in planting two family integrated fellowships, and eventually returned to the traditional church five years ago. We have been where many homeschooling families are today, asking these same questions and looking for answers.  Here are a few things we have learned along the way:

As Christians who are growing in our faith, we aren’t looking to be entertained or for a congregation that will babysit us or our children. What we want is the challenge to have a deeper relationship with Christ and encouragement as we apply Scripture to our lives. We want our church to equip us for the work of the ministry, first to our families and then to others.

As we mature as believers in Jesus Christ, we realize the value of practicing spiritual disciplines like daily Bible reading, prayer, fellowship with other believers, sharing our faith with others, and using our spiritual gifts to build Christ’s kingdom.  We also can look back over our spiritual journey and see how the Lord has worked in our lives by measuring our personal and family growth by the Bible’s standard found in Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;against such things there is no law.” Through this process, frustrations with church life are inevitable and are even a good sign if we use them to honestly evaluate our own lives.

George Barna, who researches matters of faith and culture, says that, based on data from the past two decades, roughly two thirds of Christians today see the local church as their greatest source of spiritual growth but by the year 2025, half of the body of Christ will have rejected the traditional church and will be pursuing alternative ways to relate to God and pursue their faith. These are people who recognize that they are responsible for their own personal growth as believers and for ministry to others so they “stop going to church so they can be the Church.”(2)

Even though they may still attend a church, homeschooling families could fit into this category.  They desire to hear solid Biblical preaching, participate in vibrant, God-honoring worship where the music, no matter what the style, reflects sound theology, and to be involved in the lives of others who share these convictions. They also believe it is important to serve others within the body of Christ alongside their own children.

In looking for a church home, it is tempting to find refuge in congregations that affirm our choice to homeschool. But, as appealing as the family integrated church movement might be, it is wrought with as many if not more dangers than being in a traditional church.

In frustration with program-driven churches, the past ten years have seen a rise in the family integrated church movement.  Wanting to avoid the age-segregation and often downright waste of time of many youth ministries, homeschooling families began trickling out of their traditional churches and joining with others to form small congregations with like-minded believers. Currently there are several thousand churches that consciously identify themselves as family integrated and those numbers are growing.

The attraction to family-centered churches is understandable, especially for those who feel beaten down by their past religious experiences. Those who gravitate toward them are typically very serious about discipling their own children and family worship lead by fathers is the expected norm for every household. Most members have already wrestled with the concept of having a Biblical worldview and have come to have the proper understanding of issues like abortion and homosexuality; there is rarely a threat that theological liberalism will take over or that the excesses of the emergent church will influence the congregation. Fellowship between families is encouraged and hospitality is regularly practiced. Children are welcomed in all aspects of church life, including worship, where their participation isn’t considered to be unusual or a distraction to adults.

However, there are some very real dangers about this movement that should be considered. Isolation becomes the standard as very few of these churches have any families who are not homeschoolers and public school or Christian school families are not welcomed unless they are willing to be “brought along” in their thinking about education, meaning they should be working toward the goal of homeschooling. Though age-integration is promoted in these churches, rarely are there retirement age, elderly, or single adults unless they are part of a particular family.  If the church sponsors evangelism or missions efforts, families are rarely involved other than by their financial support.

Too often, the Gospel within the FIC church is family reformation through homeschooling and lifestyle changes for the father’s glory rather than the work of the Holy Spirit to transform individual lives for the glory of our Heavenly Father. The Biblical doctrine of the priesthood of the believer is ignored and replaced with a heavy-handed authority structure both within the home and the church that resembles little of what the New Testament church is to be. Often the established paradigm leaves no room for personal convictions of individual families in the areas of courtship, dating, college, etc. and many young adults are forced to conform to ideals they don’t believe for fear of being labeled “rebellious.”  Rather than teaching the absolutes of the Word of God, trusting that the Holy Spirit will lead each one into righteousness, the church ends up nurturing a generation of young Pharisees who haven’t been given the opportunity to embrace their own convictions regarding nonessentials of the faith.

Frequently those leading the church have little to no theological training resulting, in eisegesis(3) rather than exegesis, which leaves the doors open for all sorts of strange and new interpretations and applications of Scripture.  The result is a long list of requirements for “biblical family life” that often results in an “us against them” mentality and the temptation for families to compare themselves among themselves, which Scripture warns is not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)  This also leads to ignoring the amazing gifts and talents among individual members of the family…sons and daughters, mothers and fathers… that God has so uniquely designed to function together for His glory!

The whole body of Christ needs homeschooling families and we need the whole body of Christ!

Author and apologist, Phillip E. Johnson, once remarked “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.”  I heartily agree!  Homeschooling moms are typically tremendous examples of godly womanhood and a picture of devotion to building Christian homes.  Homeschooling dads, through their commitment to wives and children, are some of the best examples of genuine Christian manhood in the church today.

I recently asked several pastors what their experiences with homeschooling families were like in their congregations and they confirmed what I had suspected: homeschoolers are among the most dedicated of their members.  They out distance other families in their willingness to serve others, and their children are more apt to weather any rough spots in their faith because their parents have been so greatly involved in their spiritual training. As we diligently apply the Word of God to all areas of life, we become an example that the whole body of Christ needs to see. There are so many families who are really struggling with even basic issues of faith and many desperately need help in building relationships within their marriages or with their children. Though we are certainly not perfect, as we depend completely on God’s grace for raising our children, we can have a tremendous opportunity to encourage and serve others as they witness our own trials and triumphs.

We also need to be involved with aspects of the body of Christ that are not focused on homeschooling.  There are many godly older couples who have much to teach us about stages of life we have not yet experienced and their mentoring of us through empty nests, deaths of spouses, and other significant life changes is so valuable.  We need to hear the testimonies of those who are involved in vocations where secular humanism runs rampant, gleaning perspectives we will not experience in our homes. We need exposure to all ages and all backgrounds and cultures, whether from across town or across the world.  We need wisdom and edification from Scripture taught by doctrinally sound pastors and teachers. We need opportunities to participate in evangelism and to experience the joy of seeing new people come to Christ!  We need the whole church!

Jesus gives us these two great commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 30:31) When we focus on obedience to these, I believe the Lord will lead each homeschooling family into His service within the body of Christ as we prepare the next generation to truly be His church!

 

(1.)         The Great Evangelical Disaster, page 37.

(2)           George Barna, http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/170-a-faith-revolution-is-redefining-qchurchq-according-to-new-study?q=goals+priorities

(3)           “eisegesis:” ~ “an interpretation, especially of Scripture, that reflects the personal ideas or viewpoint of the interpreter; reading something into a text that isn’t there.”

 

There is some great discussion in the comment section where this originally was posted on this blog. Please feel free to add  your thoughts or concerns.

 

This article originally appeared in the Home Educating Family Magazine, 2011, Issue Two.

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truth from the Word
"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 shesthatmom@gmail.com. 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!

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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.

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