[Message Archive]

Message Archive
Literature Study
Building Writers

Our Testimony
Contact Us
Place An Order!

Site Map
What's New?
Web Links

To the Parents of Children Who Are Challenges . . .
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web

"This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed."(Isaiah 56:1)

Homeschooling opens many doors for willing students, but homeschooling will not magically unlock a child's heart or mind who is determined to do according to his or her own will. Even a wee child may have a tiny heart with an enormous will of iron, binding it shut even to the most loving parent's overtures. The challenges they present are tangible. Is there a real remedy?

Yes, the remedy is real and it is close by us, every morning of our homeschool. Yet, it is the one tool we are apt to overlook in our rush to get started. Paul told the Roman church: "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." (Romans 10:8-11) What unlocks doors that are bolted tightly shut? A key. What unlocks bound up hearts? The KEY. In the Bible, the key is also spoken of symbolically as a sign of authority. Christ is the key. He unlocks hard hearts, opens minds and unleashes energy to persevere.

"Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Do you believe the Lord Jesus has the power to overrule your rebels? Consider some suggestions for using The Key.

The word is in your mouth and in your heart; speak to Him! He never skipped over talking to His Father. If He is your Lord, He has given you the right to talk to Him. He taught you how to pray, so pray! His prayer life was persistent and focused on the will of His Father. NOTHING kept Christ from prayer. Neither fatigue, fear nor feeding 5,000 hungry people sidetracked Christ.

Home schooling parents may unwittingly sacrifice prayer time to play catch up with academics, especially if battles around the home have plundered the schooling hours. Christ never rushed about His work, nor did He shackle Himself to man's agenda. Christ shows us the power of prayer to redeem that which seems hopelessly lost. It is only Jesus who can release from the fetters we ourselves have helped forge. Therefore, I can pray for the child who flagrantly crosses my authority, and for the one who quietly but equally defiantly pursues his or her agenda. For, the Lord promises to answer with great and unsearchable wisdom that I know not! (Jeremiah 33:3).

Edith Schaeffer, wife of Francis Schaeffer and co-laborer with the L'ABRI Fellowship, changed her prayer life during a spiritual crisis. She resolved to believe and behave "as if it mattered, as if it would make a difference in history, if I acted upon the admonition to pray . . . ‘on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.'" She also resolved that she would not read a newspaper or magazine in the morning until she had spent time reading her Bible, praying, and writing her personal note to the Lord. (Husbands and Wives by William J. Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, 1989, page 269.)

Following my Savior's lead I pray believing God doesn't burden me to pray unless He intends to be at work. Prayer burdens show my need of Christ, for they involve issues that show how inadequate I am in my own strength. The pastor said, "Christians don't have ‘problems.'" Rather we have opportunities to see God's loving plans. Some "opportunities" seem to overwhelm us, though, don't they?

Needing the Savior means somebody is in trouble - and while trouble is hard to manage, it is not too hard for Jesus. If our kids were perfectly obedient, unfailingly polite, generous, thoughtful, diligent and honest they wouldn't need Christ, and we would be careless in our prayer life! Indeed, would Christ even call unblemished children? (Matthew 9:12)

Temper doesn't unnerve Him. Remember that He called James and John, the "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17) to walk with Him. Selfishness and dishonesty don't surprise Him. He called Levi, the tax gatherer to follow Him, and invited the greedy Zacchaeus to climb down from the tree and get ready for a visit! Fear and timidity don't frustrate Him. He dealt with a boat full of cowards on more than on occasion! Rejection doesn't dissuade Him. Remember Peter? Pride doesn't keep Him from choosing whom He will. Remember Paul?

Remember, when disappointment and defeat loom large, no child is beyond Christ's saving arm; no sin of which my children or I am capable overwhelms Jesus. Who is better able to care for the child who is prickly with selfishness; who is unpredictable and volatile; or, who is petulant or defiant? Who better than our Lord to change our children and equip them for service - and enable us to do our part?

Jesus Christ began His mission on one day, and daily kept to his God-given tasks in the face of INTENSE opposition. Moreover, He was willing to comfort, teach and disciple those who followed - none of whom were "worthy." Jesus Christ worked hard to do what God required. He weathered greater resistance than the sullen faces or disrespectful answers that impede our home schooling! Did He go through all that, so we could search for an easier, softer way? His example IS our key. Therefore studying how Christ worked is essential for parents whose children are challenges.

Loving and nurturing and teaching any child is a great work. It is also hard work. Teaching any child at home is also a great but hard work. From time to time, a child confounds his teacher and breaks the parent's heart. Teaching the challenging child is a monumental tasks that exhausts us and may thwart any other instruction in the home. The Lord God says we establish great works "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit." (Zechariah 4:6) And every outstanding accomplishment, whether it is the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, or the molding of young mind, begins by one person, doing one thing. Agreeing with God to home school our child is the small beginning that can be an outstanding accomplishment. Therefore, do not despise the day of small beginnings!

Taken from:
Growing Up Homeschooling,
(or learning what we wanted the kids to take to heart)

Due Summer, 1998
Pre-publication order from:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012
$8.95 plus 3.00 postage (Maryland residents add 5% MD sales tax)

© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Please contact Barbara Smith at workbook@toad.net before reprinting any of Barbara's messages. These messages are taken straight from the chfweb.com Message Board and Barbara may want to check them over for publication. Please include, in the body of your message, which message you are interested in reprinting.

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.)


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

Post Office Box 827  •  Arnold, MD 21012  •  (410) 974-1111
E-mail: workbook@toad.net  •  URL: http://www.chfweb.com/smith/
© Third Floor Publishing 1998-2000 all rights reserved