“A mother’s heart is the child’s classroom.” Henry Ward Beecher
Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons, and our family is no different. One of our reasons to homeschool was our desire to teach our children from a biblical worldview. Let’s face it, there are many things out there vying for our children’s hearts and minds. For our family, we wanted to give our children a solid biblical foundation from which to learn and grow.
I can lay blame on the world for its negative influences on my children — I have and I do. But what about my own influence? What if the greatest influences on my children’s minds and hearts come not from outside our home, but from within me?
If my heart is the classroom for my children, what are they learning there?
There are days when my kids wander around the school room when they should be seated and doing their work. I repeatedly tell them to sit down. The youngest distracts the oldest. I hear, “I’m bored. When can I be done?” Before I know it, I’m frustrated, irritated and impatient. I say things I shouldn’t. I respond in ways I shouldn’t.
My heart is often like my bedroom closet. Do you ever clean in your closets? Mine is frequently full of piles of clothes, boxes, and bags. Whenever I don’t know where to put something, I shove it to the back of my closet. Dust sits on all the high heels that I never get to wear. Bags of donations sit in the corner, just waiting to be dropped off at the thrift store.
My heart, like my closet, is cluttered. Like my closet, my heart has piles of sins, feelings, and attitudes that have taken up residence. Just like I need to get to work on cleaning out my closet, my heart needs cleaning as well.
It’s those sins, feelings, and attitudes which have a great impact on my children. As a homeschooling family, my children are around me all day long. The influence I have on them is great. Not only am I teaching them academic skills, I am also teaching them how to handle frustration and anger. I am modeling for them how to manage time and resources. I am showing them how to communicate feelings and respond to the unexpected. I am teaching them about how to handle life from the way I handle my own.
When my heart is a mess, they are not learning from me what I most desire for them to learn. So what do I do with a mess in my heart? The only place I know to go to for help with a heart mess is Jesus. I need to go to Him and ask for the cleansing only He can give. He knows my heart and all its clutter. Through His Word, the truths of the gospel, prayer, and the power of His Spirit, my heart can be cleansed. Not only will He help me clean up the messes in my heart, but He will also fill me with what’s holy, righteous, and good.
Because only Jesus can prepare my heart to be a classroom fitting for my children to grow and learn.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
Christina Fox is a homeschooling mom to two boys, four and seven. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, writer, and avid blogger. When she has spare time, she can be found reading a book with a cup of black coffee by her side. You can find her sharing her journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com.