I have been inspired by all of the comments on my previous post on this topic at homeschoolblogger.com to continue to ask my endless questions and give my thoughts about homeschoolers and the Church. The topic of homeschool-friendly churches, family integrated churches and homeschooling Christians being called to protect our young as well as be salt and light has really got me thinking. I realized once I started writing on this topic that my heart was burdened with these issues more than I realized. Whenever that happens, I know I have touched on a topic I need to pray more about and I will definitely do that.
I understand that I will probably always experience some tension between being salt and light and affecting others in the service of the Kingdom and others influencing me with their negative or suspicious attitudes. However, I wonder if this tension will lessen as my children grow both in academically and in the Lord. It seems like it may be easier to explain to an older child why others do not educate as we as we do than it is to tell that to a 4-year old. Part of the problem is that I do not want to be dishonest. The fact is that I feel that homeschooling is Biblically mandated given the current state of education in America. I do not judge those who choose not to homeschool and I love them just as Christ does but I will not say "Oh, homeschooling is just a choice we made but if you do not even want to consider if it is right for your family that is OK." I agree that homeschooling may not be right for everyone but certainly Christians should at least seriously consider homeschooling their children, especially those in church leadership, in my opinion.
Because homeschooling is an important part of my faith and church attendance is part of my faith as well, I am struggling to find a way to make everything come together for good. Even as I write this I remember that it is not my job to struggle with this. God will make all things come together for the good of me and my family as we ove Him and are called according to His purpose.
I can relate to one commenter on my previous post on this issue at homeschoolblogger.com who discussed church calendars often being filled with many activities that seem to interfere with family life. Again, this could be because I have very young children that can not participate much in organized church activities.
I should say for the record that I love my church and I do not feel "persecuted" as a homeschooler there. There are other homeschooling families who are very supportive. The vast majority of families in the church of course have not made the choice to homeschool. I do wonder what it would be like to worship on Sundays with a group of more like-minded people who feel that it is crucial to homeschool our children in America today. A homeschool support group is perhaps the logical alternative.
I am pondering this issue in a very rhetorical way- I do not feel I will actually move on any of these issues any time soon. The exchange of ideas has been wonderfully thought-provoking and will provide rich fodder for my prayer life.
Discussions such as these help me to focus on what is most important: My relationship to the Lord and His Body and my relationship to my family.
Keep all the great comments coming.