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"Homeschooling in 1998 with
Paul's Ephesian Prescription"

Ephesians 4:1-32
by Barbara Smith

1 - Oh Lord God, I am YOUR prisoner and not the hostage to my personal ambitions for our children, nor the vassal of what is academically fashionable, even in homeschool circles. Therefore, I will LIVE today, because I believe you have given me the calling of homeschooling mom.

2 - Today I will not lift up my head in pride, trusting my curriculum, ability, or boasting in my kids' talents. Please lead me, Lord, where YOU would have me go in the lesson plans. Enable me to be gentle and patient as I introduce new stuff subject areas that may be new to me, too. God, don't let me give into exasperation that they SHOULD know something. I SHOULD know a bunch of stuff, too, that YOU wish I would master! Help me to bear patiently with the kids as they learn, because the lesson of patient forbearance is the seed that will produce eternal fruit in all our lives!

3-6 - Father, by YOUR grace, I will guard against the vain ambitions that derail our homeschool. I will keep short accounts with YOU -- and be a peacemaker rather than police man in the classroom. I will remember that these children are gifts from YOU so that my husband and I might draw close to you. They are not the enemy!

7-12 - Father, You are fitting these children -- and my husband and me -- for heaven by building skills to use now and in eternity. May that knowledge that it is all Your work, restrain my frustration and sense of failure when we move slowly than I wish. Our times are in YOUR hands. At some point, precious LORD, YOU tasted the cup of every frustration that chokes me as YOU appointed YOUR apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Yet YOU prepared YOUR people, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

13 - Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, please God have mercy!

14-15 - One day, Father, neither the children nor I will be "infants." God, I long for the day when YOUR Spirit is so mighty in each of us that we are no longer tossed back and forth by the waves; when I no longer anxiously search for a method instead of the MASTER; when I am blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by others' successes, not to mention by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
O, God, I confess I trip up when I take my eyes off YOU. Please put blinders on me to see only YOUR will and God, keep the kids from distractions that drain their passion for YOU! I want to grow up to be like Jesus and I want those I love to grow up and please YOU.

16-17 - Father, YOU planned our family and YOU will make us work together to be an outpost of heaven in a crooked generation. Take away our love of sinning, of the futility of thinking that robs us of our JOY!

18-19 - God, please give us understanding -- bright, illuminating, life-giving, understanding of YOU so that we may do YOUR will and be useful to our generation and YOUR Kingdom. Keep our hearts -- mine, especially, soft and pure. Please give each member of our family a clear conscience before YOU Father. Give us no rest until we submit our hearts to YOUR gentle, cleansing examination.

20-23 - God, help me to recount clearly how YOU saved me -- how YOU saved others, so the kids will know there is a CHOICE to be made. Enable me in all their lessons, to point them to YOU. Whether it is during Bible study or math, physics or phonics, give me the ability to change their attitudes -- to KNOW that they can do all things through saving faith in JESUS CHRIST.

21-24 - God, don't let me skip over BIBLE study for want of time. Give me the same passion for teaching YOUR truth as for teaching history, art or math. Give me the same zeal to impress facts of YOUR eternal truth as I try to get the kids ready for the PSAT or GED!
God, through our homeschooling adventure make us WANT to change clothes, getting out of our dirty, deceitful rags and into YOUR robes of righteousness, power and strength and purpose!

25 - Enable us to speak the truth in love, and eschew all lies and excuses.

26-27 - God, when our tempers flare, remind us: "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."
Again, Father, make us all see we are not each other's enemies!

28 - Make us all *workers* Creative, competent, consistent and compassionate.

29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

30 - If Lord, YOU rule our hearts mine especially we will not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom we are sealed for the day of redemption.

31 - Whatever achievements or frustrations I face this year, I *will* "get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." For my attitude and actions will cripple my homeschool faster than any inability to teach tough subjects.

32 - Whatever victories or disappointments my husband hand me this academic year however badly I stumble, I *will* "be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
This idea came from a Sunday school class on how to improve your marriage, taught by Flo and David Wolfe at SPEP church I am happy if it ministers to your heart and if you want to share it, do! But please don't change it unless you catch an error ;0) And if you reprint it, would you be good enough to send me a copy!
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

Please send a copy of the publication to:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012

We hope our thoughts encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ who has enabled us to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined -- please let us know what YOU think. E-mail us at workbook@toad.net. (Please don't forget to include your e-mail address with in the body of the message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient e-mail addresses.)


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Barbara & Douglas Smith
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul ..."
Hebrews 6:19

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