A Word of Encouragement to Homeschooling Dads
Thursday, 18 June 2020

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"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity." I Corinthians 16: 13-14
"You have to be a man first before you can be a gentleman." John Wayne, McClintock

As fathers, we have many responsibilities. We are responsible for providing for our families financially, physically, and spiritually. We have responsibilities at work and church. We have responsibilities to God and to ourselves. It's a lot to juggle, and sometimes we fail at one or more of these. So how do we handle it all?

First, watch. Be aware of what is going on around you. Don't be so involved at work that you miss out on your kids growing up. Don't get so wrapped up in your hobbies, work, or friends that your wife feels neglected. Be aware of the messages coming through the screens in your home – yours and your children's. Watch for influences of this world attempting to creep into your life and your home and your family. This is one of the reasons my wife and I homeschooled our children; we wanted to shield them from the worldly influence of the public school system. (I am a public high school science teacher, so I see the effects of drugs, gang culture, and promiscuity every day – and not just in the kids.) As men, we tend to be single-minded. We cannot afford to lose sight of ALL our responsibilities in favor of just one because too much is at risk. So how do you do that?

Second, stand fast in the faith. It starts by making sure YOU are in the right relationship with God. Let's face it: we have a lot of heavy responsibilities. It is better to face them with God's help and rely on God’s strength to meet them than to deal with them on our own and in our own strength. Do you know Christ as your Savior? If not, please reach out to me or another Christian so we can share the Good News of God's love with you.

If you do know Jesus as Savior, how is your walk with Him? Does He only get a little time on Sunday, or do you spend time daily in the Bible and in prayer (and not just at meals)? Standing fast in the faith means you actually know what the bedrock principles of the faith are. Do you? If not, you can correct that. There are some wonderful books by godly men that can encourage you and strengthen your faith and knowledge. The Men of Character series by Gene A. Getz would be a good place to start.

Third, quit you like men. (Behave or act as a mature, full-grown man.) Don't be afraid of taking the leadership role in your home. God has given that responsibility to you. Whether you like it or not, you will be judged. Ephesians 5:22-6:4 gives more charges to husbands and fathers than to wives and children. We must love our wives sacrificially, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. We must dwell with them according to knowledge (I Peter 3:7).

We should not provoke anger in our children, but instead raise them to have their own real, vibrant faith in God. That is what the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" means. It is also another reason for homeschooling your kids. God gave us men the responsibility to raise our children, not the government, not the schools, not the church, and – I know this is uncomfortable – not our wives.

This charge in Ephesians 6:4 is to fathers, not both parents. We need to be involved in our kids' education. If your wife is homeschooling your kids, do you know what is being taught and how they are doing? Do you help them with homework, or help your wife prepare lessons, or teach with her? We must stand in the gap for our families against a dark and sinful world. How?

Fourth, be strong. That doesn't mean you have to be strong on your own! Ephesians 6:10 admonishes us to "…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." God will give you the strength you need to face every challenge if you ask. God will give you the wisdom to make the right decisions if you ask (James 1:5-6). God has your back, Dad if you trust in Him.

Finally, let all your things be done with charity. According to Webster's 1812 Dictionary, charity is “love, kindness, affection, tenderness, a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit.” This is the gentleman, a man who chooses love and kindness and gives the benefit of the doubt when his natural inclination is to the contrary. It is bringing yourself under the control of the Holy Spirit and loving as God loves. And it is hard, especially in our current culture.

That doesn't mean that those who don't know Jesus as Savior and Lord cannot or do not act this way. Living your life where ALL your things are done with charity is exhausting in your own strength, but with God's strength, it can become a life-long character trait that permeates everything we do.

I encourage you to first look at your own faith, Dad. How is your walk with Jesus? Do you have one? If not, you can fix it today. Take time to seriously consider how aware you are, assess your faith and your leadership, and be honest about whose strength you're relying on and the attitude with which you operate. Our families deserve the best we can give them. Give them God's best version of you today.

Meet the Author

Jason Haney - Jason Haney is a husband of 28 years and father of two boys. He is a deacon and youth pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Yuma, AZ.