One of my first thoughts, in this process of creating my homeschooling convictions, is that home schooling is one way that God wants to teach me humility.
Andrew Murray, in his book Humility, talks about the humility, not of our sinfulness, but the humility that is simply our God-like created state. If we had never sinned, we would live in the state of perfect humility– of complete dependence upon God.
Humility was the greatest quality of Christ, Murray writes, and the one quality we must strive after. And it’s possible to be a “wonderful” Christian, but not be humble.
How much there may be of earnest and active, religion while humility is still sadly wanting.– See it in the disciples. There was in them fervent attachment to Jesus. They had forsaken all for Him. The Father had revealed to them that He was the Christ of God. They believed in Him, they loved Him, they obeyed His commandments. They had forsaken all to follow Him. When others went back, they clave to Him. They were ready to die with Him. But deeper down than all this there was a dark power, of the existence and the hideousness of which they were hardly conscious, which had to be slain and cast out, ere they could be the witnesses of the power of Jesus to save. It is even so still. We may find professors and ministers, evangelists and workers, missionaries and teachers, in whom the gifts of the Spirit are many and manifest, and who are the channels of blessing to multitudes, but of whom, when the testing time comes, or closer intercourse gives fuller knowledge, it is only too painfully manifest that the grace of humility, as an abiding characteristic, is scarce to be seen. All tends to confirm the lesson that humility is one of the chief and the highest graces; one of the most difficult of attainment; one to which our first and chiefest efforts ought to be directed; one that only comes in power, when the fullness of the Spirit makes us partakers of the indwelling Christ, and He lives within us.
So I want to start this process by orienting myself toward God-dependence. Because I could go through all this process and become proud in my personal convictions, and this needs to be guarded against.
How little this is preached. How little it is practised. How little the lack of it is felt or confessed. I do not say, how few attain to it, some recognizable measure of likeness to Jesus in His humility. But how few ever think, of making it a distinct object of continual desire or prayer. How little the world has seen it. How little has it been seen even in the inner circle of the Church.
God help me, because, as Murray says, we can’t gain humility of ourselves–it’s a work of God.
My second lesson of humility is that home schooling is a means by which I can serve God by serving my children.
We all know what the character of a faithful servant or slave implies. Devotion to the master’s interests, thoughtful study and care to please him, delight in his prosperity and honor and happiness.
There are servants on earth in whom these dispositions have been seen, and to whom the name of servant has never been anything but a glory. To how many of us has it not been a new joy in the Christian life to know that we may yield ourselves as servants, as slaves to God, and to find that His service is our highest liberty,-the liberty from sin and self? We need now to learn another lesson,-that Jesus calls us to be servants of one another, and that, as we accept it heartily, this service too will be a most blessed one, a new and fuller liberty too from sin and self. At first it may appear hard; this is only because of the pride which still counts itself something.
If once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we shall welcome with our whole heart the discipline we may have in serving even those who try to vex us…..
God is faithful. Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds the creature abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless. He that humbleth himself-that must be our one careshall be exalted; that is God’s care; by His mighty power and in His great love He will do it.
So I want to sit around on these thoughts for a while, and not hurry forward.