real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

admonishing and exhorting one another

“And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”  Romans 15:14

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  Hebrews 3:13

The past week has been a busy one.  My daughter, who lives in South Carolina, has been visiting with her two little boys who are 5 and 3.  I love the ages these boys are right now….they are so full of energy and questions and their comments are hilarious.  Henry is learning to read and I love hearing a little boy’s voice sounding out new words.  It blesses me and also reminds me of how much there is to learn when you are only 5.  It also reminds me of how much I have learned from my own children and grandchildren.

When my oldest son was a young teen, he taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have learned as a mom.  He taught me that sometimes we need to listen to the admonishment of our children, that being corrected by one of our youngest brothers or sisters in Christ can be a powerful learning experience.

I cannot for the life of me remember what the issue was, but I was jumping to conclusions about something. I was insisting that something was a certain way and I was not allowing my son to present his side of the situation.  Finally, my son, who is now an attorney and gets paid to challenge injustice, challenged me by quoting “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”  (Proverbs 18:13.)  He wasn’t disrespectful, but he was firm and admonished me with the absolute authority of the Word of God.  I will never forget that moment because he was absolutely correct and I needed to hear what he had to say.

I know there are child care experts today who believe that a child should never dispute what a parent says because they believe that any questioning of or correcting a parent is tantamount to rebellion and disobedience, but I disagree.  If we really believe that we are all on equal footing before the Lord, and if we believe that the Scripture which commands us to “admonish one another” means what it says, then there are appropriate times for a child to challenge what a parent is doing or saying.

If we look at these two passages and at these one another commands in context, we see that there are some assumptions that are surrounding them.  The first is that being able to admonish requires being filled with goodness and knowledge.  As homeschool moms, we spend much of our lives teaching our children the Word of God.  We include memorizing Scripture in our lesson plans.  We take them to Awana, we quote Scripture to them regularly and we seek to make application as often as possible.  We purpose to build up their knowledge of God’s Word as a key part of what we do as Christian homeschoolers.

On top of that, we design projects that will build character in their lives, including the very important quality of graciousness, which is mandatory in order to admonish someone properly.  (If you haven’t already, listen to the March 23, 2007 podcast on the importance of instructing children in graciousness.)  We know that having the quality of goodness is what sums up dozens of other virtues and we want to make sure our children possess as many of them as possible.  In other words, as homeschoolers we are doing all we can to prepare our children to be Biblically equipped to admonish!

We also are in the business of preparing our children to exhort others.  There is often a fine line between  admonishment and exhortation.  Usually they go hand in hand as those in need of encouragement also need to be reminded of what God thinks of their own situation rather than what they think about it.  As we prepare our children to employ these two one anothers, we need to remember that we will be the first sisters in Christ who have the privilege of seeing and hearing them practice what they have been taught. And we must make this a priority, as the passage tells us it is required daily to help us avoid being deceived by sin.

Herein is the most crucial aspect of this truth…if  we are to admonish and exhort our children, we must realize that these passages of God’s Word tell us that we, too, are required to have goodness and knowledge in order that we do so properly.  If our children are to take us seriously when we correct them, they need to see that we, too, possess a teachable and gracious spirit in the face of admonishment and exhortation. I have long believed that homeschooled moms are called to homeschooling because of what God wants to do in their lives, not only what He intends to do in the lives of their children!

Next, Lordwilling, I will begin a series of articles on the importance of recognizing a “good church,” as I continue examining the concept of being a spiritually healthy family.

Copyright 2007


1 Comment»

  character training for homeschooling moms « thatmom wrote @

[…] Persuasiveness, or the act of presenting vital, Biblical truth, even if it might be resisted, is one of the most essential tools in the homeschooling mom’s toolbox.  It is tenacious, but does not nag.  Like Winston Churchill, is never, never, never gives up, but it is sometimes weary.  The persuasive homeschooling mom knows her own children well enough that she can anticipate the objections or arguments they may make and addresses them in her original presentation!  Combined with wisdom, it is a powerful commodity. Moms, we are called to be wise women, women with a message that is based on God’s unchanging Word.  And we are called to be persuasive, as we lead our children to the same wisdom we have been given, remembering that both knowledge and goodness precede the right to admonish. […]

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