As private Christian homeschoolers, you have chosen the road less traveled. You have chosen to go counter culture. That is not an easy thing to do and requires a lot of boldness. You may have in-laws who think you are going to ruin their grandkids. You may have siblings who will question you all year long for the choice you have made. And you may well have children who will give you a hard time at some point during the year about your choice to homeschool them.
You have a choice as to how you will respond.
Even if you won’t encounter some opposition, you may hit other challenges this year. You may have a child who just isn’t progressing the way you had hoped or you may be gripped by anxiety and doubts or you may get filled with resentment of the loss of “me time” you long to have.
When you hit those moments of opposition or difficulty, I want to encourage you to stop and ask yourself a question.
“What am I yoked to?”
You may wonder what a yoke on a pair of oxen has to do with homeschooling. Hang on with me! I think we can make a connection. We know that Jesus shared the scripture on the screen behind me to help explain the truth of the gospel message.
Here is the verse in full context.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus was explaining that salvation in Him is easy and light compared to being yoked to the heavy requirements of trying to satisfy the Jewish law.
A yoke holds two oxen together as they plow the fields. The stronger ox leads the weaker ox. The Jews had been yoked to the Law and they were exhausted. Jesus said we will find rest for our souls if we take on His yoke.
In addition to this message being about the truth of salvation, I think this applies to our Christian life and therefore our lives as homeschool parents. Whatever we are yoked to will lead us.
If we are yoked to worldly priorities, then they will cause us to make certain decisions and spend our time certain ways. But if we stay yoked to the Lord, we will go down a very different path.
There are a lot of things we can yoke ourselves to which will make our homeschool experience a struggle.
But if we yoke ourselves to the Lord, we will keep the perspective that our homeschooling is all about discipling our children to grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This will cause us to be more loving and patient, to accept the fact that our child may not be a math wiz but instead loves to write song lyrics, it will help us deal with the fact that our living room isn’t going to look like Martha Stewart designed it. It will help us to pause and be more creative in coming up with a new idea about how to explain long division. It will help us to take joy in our child when they turn in a thoughtful and carefully written book report and even though it is 2 days late because you know they’ve been helping their elderly neighbor with their yard work.
When we yoke ourselves to the Lord and yield to him, he will set the priorities for our homeschool. Pursuing academic excellence is great if it is a means to bring glory to God and to learn how to read His Word and learn about His world. But, It will cause you much anxiety if it is just to impress the neighbor with our child’s progress.
The yoke will be much easier and lighter if we let Him lead. Most of our struggles come from putting ourselves in charge and trying to carry the heavy load uphill all alone. Instead if we adopt a posture of surrender by being yoked to the Lord, we will be filled with a spirit of trust and humility and as Jesus told us “we will find rest.”
A pair of oxen who are well matched can do a great work clearing a field and I know that if you take on the yoke of Christ and walk closely with him leading, you are going to have a great year! You have a great tool to find rest for your soul! I can’t wait to hear the success stories in June. Just remember when hit those road bumps this year to stop and ask yourself “what am I yoked to?”
This is a collection of the reflections our principal, Susan Truman submits to our monthly newsletters. She is married to her college sweetheart and is a mother of three. She graduated two of her children from Coastal with her third child attending a special needs school.