Yesterday my 86-year-old uncle passed into eternity. I received the call from my sister and went to share the news with my daughter. She was supposed to be finishing a research paper. Not in her usual locations, I found her asleep in her room. She heard me walk in, jumped up, and apologized for going to sleep. She had a panicked look on her face as though some grave verdict was awaiting her. I told her she could go back to sleep and when she was done with her nap I had something to tell her. Any inclination to scold her for failing to complete her assignment was overcome by the sense that someone we knew and loved was no longer alive.
All too often in the homeschool setting, we get concerned that our children are not meeting their deadlines or applying themselves diligently to their work. As important as these things are, they pale in comparison to eternity. In the grand scheme of things, the moments and days we share stewarding our children's lives before releasing them into the formation of new families are few. How foolish to succumb to the nearsighted goals of "the best schools" and "the best paying jobs" and fail to appreciate the blessings of God in time and eternity in the context of family life.
The biblical family is as much a gift from God as it is a responsibility. Parents and children should not take this endowment lightly but should redeem their time edifying each other and encouraging each other to unrestrained service in the Kingdom of God. For as Scripture says: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].