Have you ever felt that heavy certainty of heart? The guilty pronouncement that declares: “You’re not perfect enough“??
Sadly, it seems to be more prominent in certain places. And from personal experience I can say– it often accompanies the choices we make as mothers, particularly as homeschooling mothers.
In truth, it shows up in other places too.
The SJWs at Evergreen State, and intersectional feminists, and vegan PETA people face the same tendency. I bet it’s the same attitude found in old southern country clubs, or among lawyers in premier law firms, or pervading chatty hair salons in small towns.
So we homeschool moms are not alone in it, but still, let’s dig a bit.
The basic message is:
Yeah, that decision you’ve weighed carefully is a fine one. But what about this other thing you’re not doing? Surely you’re not satisfied because you’re not doing this Same Super Important Thing that I am!
You simply aren’t doing good enough.
- So you start using cloth diapers, but quickly realize you should also be making your own laundry detergent like she does.
- Maybe you enroll your kids in a great homeschool co-op but then you discover that you “need” to add in Latin or else they’ll be behind.
- Your husband is a kind and godly man, and you’ve both grown over the years. But you’re not doing family worship.
- Or you step out in faith to have a 4th child, but some people look down on you as not having enough faith, because you still sometimes use some measures to prevent pregnancy.
- You save up money to attend the weekend retreat with some authors you’ve appreciated, but while there you learn that the way you’re eating is all wrong and you really ought to follow their system.
- That woman never speaks up in Sunday School, and only wears dresses. Maybe she’s godlier than the rest of us, you begin to wonder, amazed at her quietness.
- Perhaps you have a daughter who likes graphic design, wants to study counseling, or thinks she might like to be a nurse. You’ve homeschooled her; she’s a lovely young lady- not perfect, of course, but she knows God and increasingly desires to please Him… but at the homeschool conference, you start to get the message: the choices we’ve made are not enough. She needs to be like THOSE daughters over there… the ones with the book table. Whether a young man pursues her or not, and whether or not she even desires to be married, she needs to stay home and commit not to attend college. Or else she might turn out worldly.
Sister, can I just encourage you of a few basic things that I know about you if you are a follower of Jesus:
- You have the Holy Spirit inside of you. Like the Scriptures say, He will guide you into all truth.
- You have God’s Word and, as you seek the Lord, He will make your way straight.
- The CREATOR of the universe- who made bonsai trees and porpoises and limestone rocks and armadillos– He made you and placed you in the exact time and place where you live– and He is at work IN you.
- He helps you to DO the good works He planned for you before the foundations of the world.
- He is sanctifying you, piece by piece, and decision by decision, to be more like Jesus.
- You will never be perfect.
- You will never make all the “right” decisions.
And what’s more:
Even if you do everything the way that lady over there says is the “right” way,
- you can still get cancer
- your kids can still rebel and not want to be around you
- your child, or your child’s spouse, may not truly desire to follow and please Jesus
- your body can be riddled with diagnoses and pain
- your family could be riddled with disagreements and hurting marriages
The terribly frightening news,
which is also terribly freeing news…
is that you are a mess. And I am a mess. And there are no guarantees about how your life, or your family’s life, will go.
But in Christ, we are accepted in the Beloved, righteous, chosen, without blemish, a delight to His eyes, able to boldly come before the holy God.
And this is the good news that WILL NOT CHANGE.
Let’s not be women that bank on anything less. All the other stuff can be taken from us.
- Husbands sometimes leave godly wives.
- Children (even homeschooled children) sometimes rise up and call their mother terrible names.
- Many, many, many Christians I’ve known have gone back on various personal convictions they once held dear.
- Cancer can strike and claim the life of the person who does all the most natural, oiliest, juiciest, whole-foods, rightest things.
We get a peek into our own hearts when things DON’T go the way we want. In those moments, our reactions can give us a clue what we were treasuring. (Here’s some further reading about discerning heart idols.)
Let’s scour our hearts and discern what we are hoping in, and let’s not set our affection or joy on anything that we can lose. Let’s not set our hope on ourselves, our “right” choices, our kids’ behavior, our flesh-and-blood husbands, our schooling decisions, or any other shifty foundation.
We will never be perfect enough. The only hope we have for perfection is in Christ.
Let’s be women who hope in God, and in God alone.