We’re All Just a Bunch of Hypocrites

We’re All Just a Bunch of Hypocrites

I’ve been blessed and hon­ored to have women occa­sion­ally come to me for coun­sel about lov­ing their hus­bands and chil­dren. I told my hus­band that some­times I feel like such a hyp­ocrite when answer­ing them because, while I am aware what Scrip­ture teaches about these things, I don’t always live it very well.

He smiles at me. Reas­sures me that the Lord is work­ing in my life, and that nobody has things as per­fectly worked out as they ought. True.

But, when some­one asks me about hon­or­ing her hus­band, and I tell her that God requires that we honor them, even when we disagree…and then five min­utes later I snap at my hus­band or prover­bially roll my eyes…I won­der what on earth am I doing? How can I know what I’m sup­posed to do and totally dis­re­gard it because I thought he was rude. Or I am tired and have no patience. Or I’m afraid of what he is ask­ing me to do.

What’s with that? What place do I have in teach­ing any­one any­thing when my life can be a total mess at times due to my sin?

For I do not under­stand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Romans 7:15

It’s frus­trat­ing.

So, do we stop exhort­ing each other to god­li­ness? As Paul might have said, “May it never be!”

How do we rec­on­cile these two great dif­fer­ences between know­ing what we ought to do and doing the com­plete oppo­site? I guess it comes down to repen­tance and mov­ing for­ward. To not stay­ing there in that place of eye rolling and frus­tra­tion. Maybe tomor­row will reflect a lit­tle more the work of Christ in our lives.

It’s impor­tant that we don’t remain par­a­lyzed by our sin, fear­ful of talk­ing in love with each other because we know we are hyp­o­crit­i­cal.  It’s the godly men and women in our lives who speak truth to us about liv­ing in a sanc­ti­fied way that bring about the change that we can see daily {yearly?}. It’s when we all clam up because we don’t want to have oth­ers point their knobby lit­tle fin­gers at us and accuse us of being pride­ful and judg­men­tal that we start to lose the battle.

Oh, and we really need to stop being pride­ful and judgmental.

Because some­one points us to Scrip­ture in the midst of bad deci­sions and a cling­ing to wrong think­ing doesn’t mean they are judg­ing us in that all too famil­iar, overused way. Our feel­ings might get hurt, sure. But isn’t that pride?

And we need to start being will­ing to have other women dis­ci­ple us in god­li­ness. Titus 2 exhorts the older women to teach the younger women…

 to be sober, to love their hus­bands, to love their chil­dren, To be dis­creet, chaste, keep­ers at home, good, obe­di­ent to their own hus­bands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

One of the things I try to remem­ber when some­one brings a word of crit­i­cism or cor­rec­tion to me, when I’m in the mid­dle of get­ting my hack­les up, is that there actu­ally might be a shred of truth in what they are say­ing.  Even if they aren’t quite spot on, usu­ally I can find some value in their words. As hard as it might be to admit. I have to con­fess that when the deliv­ery is less than gen­tle, I have a really hard time receiv­ing it. At least at first. When I am alone, con­sid­er­ing the words, lick­ing my wounds, I often can ana­lyze things bet­ter and see their point.

And my heart breaks. Doesn’t yours?

My prayer is that godly women will con­tinue to min­is­ter to one another, teach­ing things that are good. I fear that we have become a face­less soci­ety, throw­ing darts in a cryp­tic way on Face­book. Maybe it hap­pens on Twit­ter, too. I don’t know. I’m never really on there. Oth­ers might not know what you mean. But you do. And the intended audi­ence most likely does. But it isn’t done in love, with a heart to restore rela­tion­ships. It’s just too much work to do that. And it’s scary.

So we hide behind our key­boards and throw darts. We might get 100 likes for a “godly” quote we share. But is our moti­va­tion to zing some­one who obvi­ously isn’t liv­ing it?

Or on the flip side, Do we look for zings that just aren’t there? Are we ultra sen­si­tive to what oth­ers say, that even though they didn’t have us in mind at all, we find them guilty of think­ing ill of us? Of judg­ing us, when we were the fur­thest thing from their minds? Just maybe that is con­vic­tion from the Lord zing­ing us, prick­ing our con­science. Maybe. Can we con­sider that per­haps our friend didn’t grow horns and set out to offend us? And maybe con­sider those painful words as hav­ing a shred of truth in our lives also?

In Eccle­si­astes 7:10, we are told

 Do not say, “Why were the for­mer days bet­ter than these?” For you do not inquire wisely con­cern­ing this.

But, boy, some­times I think we had less occa­sion to offend when our many words to each other were lim­ited to real live con­ver­sa­tions. Please don’t let social media have such a place in your life as to destroy the gift of fel­low­ship with one another. It hap­pens all too often, it seems.

And, if you think I’m refer­ring to you: I’m not. I don’t have any­one in par­tic­u­lar in mind as I write this. I’ve not been offended. I am not har­bor­ing anger or frus­tra­tion towards anyone.

As Faith often tells peo­ple: God loves you. Go in peace. {She really does!}

I’ve linked up over at Sim­ply Help­ing Him and Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions.

It’s not about me. Or you.

It’s not about me. Or you.

Faith said some­thing to me the other day in pass­ing. It delighted my heart and gave me much to ponder.

She said, “Mommy, I can’t imag­ine you scream­ing. You’re usu­ally so calm.”

Ah. Well, while the Lord has cer­tainly done a huge work in my life, it hasn’t always been this way in our home.

You see, the Lord gave me three boys first. I remem­ber very clearly hav­ing three boys aged 4 and under. And hav­ing just moved across the coun­try. And being extremely frustrated.

Why wouldn’t they obey me per­fectly? Why did they have to make messes con­stantly. And dirty so many clothes each week? And DEMAND my time and emo­tions and work all.day.and.night.long? I had the baby, who stayed up until 3am most nights, want­ing to nurse and never sleep­ing in his crib. He would finally fall asleep and stay that way if I put him in a lit­tle seat. And then there was the strong willed two year old. He wrote the book on being strong willed. Don’t worry, I burned it. The book, that is. And then, the four year old was push­ing bound­aries, grow­ing way too fast for me.

I was exhausted. And ready for preschool to start so that I would get some of my old life back. I was so selfish.

I had a dear friend pop by one day. The boys were being lit­tle boys. I obvi­ously had not fig­ured out this par­ent­ing thing. In a moment of des­per­a­tion, I started count­ing to three to get my son to obey.

Seri­ously. And it embar­rasses me to think about how ridicu­lous I must have sounded.

My friend, oh how I love her and thank her daily for this — in my head, she has no idea how strongly she impacted our lives that day, said to me, “What hap­pens when you get to three?”

Blank stare.

I had never got­ten to three before. The obe­di­ence usu­ally hap­pened around 2 ½.

She sug­gested that I should require obe­di­ence just because I gave instruc­tion. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, stand on my head, or go through the rou­tine of counting.

Blank stare.

I never counted again for obe­di­ence. Now, I cringe when I hear moth­ers doing that. I won­der who is being trained. The mom or the children?

Slowly, I began to learn how to par­ent my chil­dren. How to teach them obe­di­ence, how to love them more. And patience grew.

And I real­ized that it wasn’t all about me. My chil­dren sin because they are sin­ners. They don’t do it to get me mad. They fell with Adam, just like I did. And so they will strug­gle with obe­di­ence and lov­ing and self­ish­ness. Just like me.

The Lord worked in my heart to give me com­pas­sion toward my chil­dren in this strug­gle. He man­aged to give me a joy in the midst of the strug­gles. It’s noth­ing short of a miracle.

And so, by God’s grace, my lit­tle daugh­ter thinks that it would be unusual to hear me scream. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for show­ing me a bet­ter way to be a mother, to love, to show them Your grace when they struggle.

And no, I don’t do this per­fectly. Not even close. But, my heart soars with joy and delight to think that my lit­tle Faith thinks it would be unimag­in­able to hear me scream.

Of course, her big brother said he could bring a snake by to show her what it would be like.

And that would do it.  I think I’ll pass.

I have more thoughts about this topic, but I think I will save them for another post. May the Lord bless you as you strug­gle through the days of rais­ing chil­dren. It’s no easy task, that’s for sure! I pray that they will be blessed as you seek the Lord for wis­dom to get through your days.

Remem­ber, it’s not about you. It isn’t about your com­fort, your ease of liv­ing, your per­sonal agenda.

But it is about your growth, your walk with the Lord, your cling­ing to the cross of Christ daily.

Walk in peace, in joy, in patience. You are rais­ing a gen­er­a­tion that will par­ent your grand­chil­dren. Let that sink in.

It’s not about me. Or you. It’s about Christ. And His children.


She teaches me so much

She teaches me so much

On Fri­day, I took the chil­dren to the CHEC (Chris­t­ian Home Edu­ca­tors of Col­orado) office to fin­ish up a lit­tle bit of work in prepa­ra­tion for our state con­fer­ence. The kids love going there since Dad works there. And they have candy and soda.

And Dad always says yes…

Or so they tell me. As they are walk­ing past me on the way to ask Dad some­thing. With a skip in their step.


So, while I was work­ing and they were keep­ing busy with var­i­ous tasks like fold­ing fly­ers and such, Faith got her hands on a lit­tle home­school comic book. She spent some time read­ing the comics.

Fast for­ward to Sat­ur­day morning.

I was on the ellip­ti­cal try­ing to get my blood pump­ing a bit before I started the marathon of a day. {Not a lit­eral marathon in case you mis­read that sen­tence. That would be seri­ously funny for those who know me in per­son. I am NOT a runner.}

Faith approached me and started talk­ing. She obvi­ously had been mulling over something.

Mom? I was read­ing a Chris­t­ian comic book yesterday.”

Me, pant­ing, won­der­ing why this con­ver­sa­tion has to take place at this par­tic­u­lar moment, but real­iz­ing that it is weigh­ing heavy on her heart.

Yes, Faith?”

Well, Mom, it seems like all they do is mock non-Christians.”

I asked her for a clar­i­fi­ca­tion, and she gave me some exam­ples. Things that prob­a­bly would have flown right under my radar of mock­ing, but she was dead on. I asked her if some­one had talked to her about this, and she said that nobody had.  So, she fig­ured this out all on her own.

And she was right. I stopped my exer­cis­ing for the moment. Seri­ously stunned by her per­cep­tion. She’s a brand new 7. I’m slightly older than that. And she gets what I so often over­look. In our humor, do we mock what oth­ers just don’t have eyes to see? Are we insen­si­tive to the fact that God maybe hasn’t opened their eyes to see Truth? Do we take it for granted as though we some­how fig­ured it out all on our own?

I told Faith that she is right, that we shouldn’t mock oth­ers, even those who don’t know Christ. We need to love them and show them Christ, that we need to be care­ful with our speech. I’m sure all of the comics weren’t of a mock­ing nature. I’m pretty sure some of them were funny in their own right, not at the expense of a non-Christian. But I got the point.

And then I went upstairs to share this with my hus­band who was equally stunned by her per­cep­tion. God has been so mer­ci­ful to us. Let us show that mercy to oth­ers. And stop the mock­ing. Even if we think we’re just being funny. It’s really no joke.



It’s that time of year again! Home­school con­fer­ence sea­son is upon us. Are you going to one this year? What do you like best about the con­fer­ence you attend? Do you like to get inspired by the var­i­ous work­shops and speak­ers? Do you love to thumb through all the cur­ricu­lum (cur­ric­ula?)? Or do you sim­ply enjoy the oppor­tu­nity to visit with friends that you know or meet there?

For so many peo­ple, their home­school con­fer­ence means cur­ricu­lum. They love to touch it, put eyes on it, pour over the var­i­ous options. I, too, love to see it in per­son before I make a final deci­sion. It’s great!

In the vendor hall with Peyton

In the ven­dor hall with Peyton

I often have peo­ple ask me what cur­ricu­lum we choose. To be hon­est, when we finally landed on our cho­sen cur­ricu­lum, I was so excited about what we had found that I wanted every­one who was home­school­ing or con­sid­er­ing home­school­ing to know what we were using. I thought it was the PERFECT choice! It had every­thing that I thought we’d need to home­school suc­cess­fully. {I shud­der at how obnox­ious I likely was!} And, mostly, I have been very happy with my choice. I haven’t felt a need to change much of what we have been doing for these last 15 years or so. But my per­spec­tive has changed sub­stan­tially over the years. I’m not quite as quick to share what we use. I actu­ally hes­i­tate to tell any­one what we use. I have learned that it isn’t the be all and end all for me or any­one else. Cur­ricu­lum never is, no mat­ter what the shiny brochures tell you.

I have learned that cur­ricu­lum is just a tool. It makes no guar­an­tees. Well, if it does, I’d be seri­ously con­cerned. A par­tic­u­lar cur­ricu­lum can­not promise that your child will be a doc­tor, a lawyer, or a can­dle­stick maker.  What I have dis­cov­ered, and maybe I am way slower than every­one else out there, is that what really mat­ters is that we spend those impor­tant years teach­ing our chil­dren about Jesus, about doc­trine, about for­give­ness, and about lov­ing our neigh­bors. With­out this very basic empha­sis, we are wast­ing our time.

I have also learned that char­ac­ter far out­weighs find­ing the solu­tion to a math prob­lem. Some­times that char­ac­ter is found in the pain of find­ing the answer to that math prob­lem, to be sure. But the true prize is the char­ac­ter, not the value of x. All the books and courses in the world won’t be worth much of any­thing if your chil­dren lack char­ac­ter. You can put the best math books in front of your son, but if is too lazy to work the prob­lems, he will never learn it, much less apply it! We tend to spend so much time and effort find­ing the per­fect cur­ricu­lum, but for­get to think about how impor­tant it is to develop char­ac­ter. We don’t need char­ac­ter train­ing books for this. We need the Bible. And we just need to live with our chil­dren and pay a lit­tle bit of atten­tion to them. We also need to look in the mir­ror and teach them about humil­ity and repen­tance by being an exam­ple to them by our actions and words when we are wrong and sin against the peo­ple in our home. I find that this can be a daunt­ing task, but it is a must for every Chris­t­ian home.

Also, the cur­ricu­lum needs to be thor­oughly Chris­t­ian. World­view really does mat­ter. If your child is tak­ing in the philos­phy of the pagans all day, at the expressed or non-expressed approval of the experts (you and your hus­band), he or she is going to believe what it teaches. If it teaches that Cre­ation is a myth or just one of sev­eral optional beliefs, then they are likely going to pick up on that and believe it. If you put books in front of your chil­dren that teach that his­tory is ran­dom, with chance being the only con­stant, then they likely won’t see God’s hand through­out all of his­tory. Alter­na­tively, if you emerse your chil­dren in God-honoring and God-fearing cur­ricu­lum, they will learn that see­ing the world from God’s per­spec­tive is the obvi­ous way to look at things. While it can be very time con­sum­ming, and we won’t get it right all the time, we must make every effort to place before our chil­dren books and infor­ma­tion that will build a strong foun­da­tion before we try to place the antithe­sis before them to ana­lyze. Some chil­dren can han­dle the antithe­sis more read­ily and eas­ily than other chil­dren. So, what we choose to expose them to and when to do so will be some­thing we need to care­fully weigh for each child. Unlike a pub­lic or pri­vate school set­ting, home­school­ers get to man­age the infor­ma­tion that goes into the stu­dents based on each indi­vid­ual stu­dent. What a great priv­i­lege we have!

How­ever, my favorite part of the con­fer­ence is hear­ing the var­i­ous speak­ers share their wis­dom and heart to those in atten­dance. We have learned so much from many con­fer­ence speak­ers. One such speaker, 13 years ago in Cal­i­for­nia, opened our eyes to a vision for our fam­ily that we never imag­ined or even con­sid­ered pos­si­ble. He asked the men in the room, “Men, do you have a vision for your fam­ily?” My hus­band relates that he felt like he had been hit by a 2x4. Vision? A man can have one of those for his FAMILY? I mean, my hard work­ing, devoted hus­band had great vision for his job. He had huge plans. And he was liv­ing them. But, for his fam­ily? He has a say in that? And it mat­ters? Appar­ently so. And our fam­ily has never been the same since. Sure, we still strug­gle. We have issues. We are human, and we are sin­ners. But, we have a plan, more or less. My husband’s focus changed from one of self-serving, career build­ing, man pleas­ing pur­suits to look­ing at his fam­ily, serv­ing us, lead­ing us, teach­ing us, invest­ing in me and our chil­dren. And God has led my hus­band in a beau­ti­ful way as he relies on Him. My hus­band was once a reluc­tant home­school­ing dad. He allowed me to home­school as long as I did every­thing right. Send­ing the kids back to pub­lic school was a threat that always hung over my head. As long as I didn’t mess up (what­ever that meant), and my hus­band was “allowed” to con­tinue to pur­sue his career, all was well. But now, thanks to God open­ing his eyes at that con­fer­ence all those years ago, he is a strong advo­cate of parent-led edu­ca­tion, of fathers lead­ing their fam­i­lies in right­eous­ness to the cross daily for their encour­age­ment and growth and for­give­ness. He’s a dif­fer­ent man. I didn’t shove it down his throat. I didn’t lead him to this. I didn’t “force” him to lead his fam­ily. {I find that con­cept odd.} God, in His per­fect tim­ing, showed my hus­band a bet­ter way to lead his fam­ily than what he was doing.

All from a talk at a home­school conference.

I want to encour­age you not to get bogged down by all the choices and flash of cur­ricu­lum. I find that it can make me feel so inad­e­quate about our lit­tle school. Are we doing art? What about sci­ence projects? Sports? For­eign lan­guages? Music? What are we miss­ing? Oh, what’s down this aisle? Geog­ra­phy, geol­ogy, geometry…Oh, my! Spend some time before your con­fer­ence, fig­ure out what your goals are for this next year. Dis­cuss them with your hus­band and chil­dren, and don’t be afraid to tweak some things. Make a list of what you need. If you can get ahold of the list of ven­dor hall booths before you go, take a look and see where you can shop for what you need. Get what you came for, put them in your car, and then go soak up some encour­age­ment from the speak­ers. You can look at cur­ricu­lum all year long online. But, that won­der­ful oppor­tu­nity to be fed some encour­age­ment by moth­ers and fathers who have been doing this for years is price­less. Please, don’t defeat your­self before you even start the new year. You can­not do it all. I know you know it. But, it is so easy to lose that focus. And it is so easy to get frus­trated. Soak up the godly coun­sel, the hope­ful words spo­ken. And the hard words. We all need some hard words, too. But they are for our good, and the good of our chil­dren, to help wake us up from our slumber.

So, what cur­ricu­lum do I use? Who cares? It’s just a tool. It’s so much more impor­tant that I love God, honor my hus­band, love my chil­dren, and teach them to love the Lord with all their strength, heart, mind, and soul. The rest will fall in place as the Lord ordains.


Photo credit: jim­miehome­school­mom / Foter.com / CC BY

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...