Is the goal of homeschooling to produce graduates who are self-sufficient and able to independently stand on their own two feet? I must confess that there was a time that I held that position and worked toward that end as a homeschooling parent/teacher. However, I have come to the conclusion that this sort of thinking is unbiblical and very humanistic.
The problem that Adam and Eve had in the garden was their delusional assumption that they COULD be self-sufficient and act independently from God. Not only were they disabused of this wrong notion when they were escorted out of Eden, but they conveyed this aberration to their posterity in the form of original sin. All successive generations have been born laboring under the delusion that they can be as God, determining for themselves what is right and what is wrong.
Our humanistic culture exalts the self-made man, the independent thinker, the I can do it all by myself attitude. Our fictional heroes are those who excel by lifting themselves out of the mire of common life, taking on the world single-handedly against all odds, thereby becoming heroes to those around them.
Jesus told his disciples that they needed to receive the Kingdom as a child. As any parent knows, children come out of the shoot very dependent individuals who need constant care and direction. As we apply outside discipline to their lives, we should be training them to be self-disciplined -- not self-sufficient. As they mature under our care and upbringing, they should transfer the obedience to our instruction to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law-word. It is when we've conveyed this important truth and seen the evidence that they have embraced it that our full-time parenting responsibilities are complete and a mature Christian man or woman is ready to face adulthood with complete reliance on Christ.
The goal of the Christian life is one of dominion under and through the Lord Jesus Christ in concert with the community of fellow-believers, not as "Lone Rangers."
- 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].