Love is the Answer

Mark is the vision and anchor of our family.   He puts everything into perspective and provides the focus and balance that we need.

A little over a week  after Bella was born, we decided to get back into our regular routine including academic work.  After multiple bathroom breaks, spilled drinks, snack requests, and other interruptions,  I was sitting in the rocking chair nursing our week and a half old baby and reading aloud to the older kids, while trying to supervise art for the younger children when noises of a squabble (who am I kidding) knock down, drag out fight drifted in from the little boy’s bedroom.  It was at that point that I decided we weren’t quite ready.

As I thought about our failed attempt to get back into the swing of things, I wondered and then doubted that I would ever be able to do it all.

This school year is our busiest so far because for the first time I clearly have two groups of homeschool children (grade 8, 7, 6, and 5 and grade 2/3,  1 and K) in addition to a preschooler, toddler and newborn.   How can I manage all of that, keep the house tidy, wash the laundry and  cook, let alone be hospitable and serve in our church family and community as God has called us?

That evening, I spoke with Mark about my discouragement with the children’s education and he asked me, “Are you teaching the kids to love God?”  Then I realized that my focus was wrong.  It’s not our list of academic subjects or our to-do list that is important,  it’s teaching the children in every circumstance and at every opportunity what it is to love God.

If I’m doing that everything else will fall into place.

Am I loving God and teaching my children to do the same? If I’m not, then nothing else matters.  If I am, then nothing else matters.

As we easily slipped back into our regular routine last week, we continue to ask, “Are we loving God?”  If we lose that perspective, if we lose that focus, then nothing else matters.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never fails

Are you teaching your children to love God?  How?

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22 Responses to Love is the Answer
  1. chantelle
    September 7, 2010 | 7:58 am

    Thank you so much for the reminder. 🙂

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  2. Emily
    September 7, 2010 | 8:37 am

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder. Recently I was feeling much like you were in this post. The circumstances were differently, but I was overwhelmed, stressed, and confused about some issues we were having and home educating our children. Then the same thing hit me. Teaching my children to love the Lord is they “why” behind all of this, not just homeschooling, but in everything I do with them. With this eternal perspective in mind, the confusion has disappeared, and the feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed are much less. Thank you for the timely post!

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  3. Heather
    September 7, 2010 | 8:43 am

    A good reminder to me as we start our first day of school today, thank you!

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  4. Robin
    September 7, 2010 | 9:23 am

    Awesome post! Thank you so much. Following from the Hop!

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  5. Nicki
    September 7, 2010 | 9:24 am

    Thank you for that reminder!

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  6. Courtney
    September 7, 2010 | 10:55 am

    What a great post on perspective. As I was reading through The Well Trained Mind last night I started feeling overwhelmed, how am I going to teach these children rigorous academics when they are so close in age… yet you have just answered my question perfectly. Academics isn’t everything, but teaching our children to love and serve God is.

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  7. Jamie
    September 7, 2010 | 11:07 am

    And that’s what homeschooling is all about! Thanks for the reminder.

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  8. Marla
    September 7, 2010 | 12:21 pm

    Thank you for that.Need some reminding sometimes.I really believe this.I have baby number six due in December.Keep asking myself,how I will do it all.My two youngest ,will be the closest I have had.Two years has been my closest!Now it will be 1 year nine months.Thank you again!God bless you,and your family.Blessings,Marla Grace

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  9. Celee
    September 7, 2010 | 12:26 pm

    Trying to. I think we model a love for God more than we can teach it- that gets back to your emphasis on discipleship. We try to love God through our Scripture memory and devotions- loving and honoring His Word, through our family worship during by singing and praying His praises. I try to “teach” my children to love God by pointing out to them how God is behind my son’s science lesson and that History is His work for His glory.

    We pray together each morning before we start our day that we’ll love God more and that that will spill over into our loving one another and our church more. I do struggle with discouragement though, especially when my kids start bickering with one another over something petty right after we read the Bible and pray. I just have to keep reminding myself that I don’t want little Stepford children (but oh, how nice that would be!), but that I want the Lord to change their hearts. It makes me feel much better that you have those days, too. Praying for you.

    Celee

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  10. Sara L.
    September 7, 2010 | 12:38 pm

    This is a wonderful post! Even though I don’t have any kids and am not even married, I can apply this in my daily life too! It’s easy to remember, and tells all. Thank you for your (or your husband’s) insight 🙂

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  11. Annie @ Beauty In The Surrender
    September 7, 2010 | 1:35 pm

    We show God’s love through the service of others. My children see me serve their father. I serve them through teaching them and they serve me through obedience and learning. I have been having a dickens of a time trying to get my children to serve eachother. That’s the toughy. And thank you for the post. I felt convicted and need to think/pray on some things.

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  12. Cherie
    September 7, 2010 | 2:28 pm

    Yes, this is right. Academics are secondary to serving the Lord. The kids naturally learn academics along the journey to adulthood, but Godly character, learning to serve others, and being full of love….now those are taught!

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  13. Ruth Adams
    September 7, 2010 | 3:09 pm

    So very true! Thank you for the encouragement. I have been learning this too. We are getting ready to start school next week with ages 9, 7, 3, almost 4, almost 2, and newborn. It feels like I’m trying to run a school and a nursery at the same time. Not an easy task. I’ve been so discouraged about even trying school, but we have to work back into it. Thank you for your reminder of putting the most important things first.

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  14. Jodi
    September 7, 2010 | 3:32 pm

    Thank you so much for your timely, encouraging post!

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  15. mary beth
    September 7, 2010 | 3:51 pm

    Could not have been said better. Sometimes we lose focus on what is ,that one all important thing. The Heavenly Father. With him all things are possible and without, life in my opinion ceases to exsist. Bless you and your family. Hugs♥

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  16. Suzanne
    September 7, 2010 | 4:16 pm

    Thank you for this post!
    We were convicted of the same thing when I was starting to try to teach my oldest preschool lessons (now 9 years old) but she did not yet have her heart turned to obey us. I felt God wanting me to fore go numbers, letters, colors and shape and instead make sure to train her heart to love us and God through cheerful obedience. It took an entire year I now have 4 other children and we have always STARTED with obedience with them.

    It is a challenge to remember that all of those academic things make them look great and lead to possible success in the future, but
    What does a really smart ungodly person become?
    A really great criminal!

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  17. Linda
    September 7, 2010 | 5:47 pm

    Amen!

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  18. Kristin
    September 7, 2010 | 9:14 pm

    Having just had my fifth baby five days ago, I am wondering when I can handle getting back to our “normal” homeschool routine. The very thought has me trembling! But your words of wisdom were a balm to my spirit. If I remember the true goal of our lives, the rest will fall into place.

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  19. crystal
    September 11, 2010 | 10:37 pm

    I enjoyed this post so much that I blogged it. Thank you for spreading the encouragment.

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  20. Renata
    September 14, 2010 | 11:57 pm

    So true. I often loose site of what’s truely important – thanks for the reminder!
    Renata:)

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  21. […] for his input, advice and help, if needed.  (I frequently need Mark to help me with  balance and the focus of our kid’s […]

  22. Elizabeth
    October 7, 2010 | 8:59 am

    Great post! This is one I will be blogging about soon. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

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