Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Guest Post: Jessica Johnson

My friend Jessica Johnson wrote this amazing blog post the other day and I asked her if I could share it here.  As I get older I find myself being less and less judgmental.  I guess it is part of maturing and realizing that you don't, in fact, know everything, and that indeed everyone is fighting a hard battle so you should just be kind as often as possible.

I have also come to realize that we win people over through love not judgment.

So as I read Jessica's post I just kept saying, yes! yes! yes!  I hope you will too.  You can read more of Jess' writing over on her blog at A Million Things.



Sometimes on Sunday mornings Dave turns his back to the congregation and faces the stage, mid-sermon.

He preaches to himself.

He even says that.

"I'm preaching to myself here, guys."

And I type with that sentiment.

I'm mostly blogging to myself here.

But I'm only half the equation.

So I realize it kind of falls short.

I guess I just want you to feel like we're in this together.



Because we are.

And anything otherwise would contradict the heart behind my words.

But I think we need a reminder, Christian moms.







Enough is enough with the judgment over schooling choices.

The conversations we have with like-minded friends under the guise of "encouragement" or "fellowship" that quickly turn south.



And we start them knowing they will turn south.

The screen shots and snarky texts we send.

The comments we make under our breath and the thoughts in our heads.



The finger pointing and misguided passion.



The delighting in weaknesses and short-comings to prove our stance is correct.




The public school mom who scoffs at the homeschool family learning in their PJs.

Or having a math lesson at a convenience store.


The homeschool mom who, although she may not say it, carries herself with arrogance and believes in her heart she loves her children more.




The public school mom who ignorantly assumes homeschool moms are overprotective, overwhelmed and raising children ill-equipped for real life.



The homeschool mom who shares news articles about our failing public school system every chance she gets.



Even though she's never stepped foot on a public school campus.



The public school mom who arrogantly comments on posted news articles, proudly proving she's not sending her children off to the wolves.



Even though she doesn't know for sure.



The homeschool mom who judges the public school mom for having her head in the sand and being lazy.

Or even worse?

The implication that she can't possibly love her children if she is willing to expose them to the "evils" of the public school system.




The public school mom jealous of the greater influence a homeschool mom may have on her children.


The homeschool mom jealous of a public school mom's late morning pedicure.


The public school mom who doesn't "like" a picture on Instagram because it has a home education hashtag.


The homeschool mom who doesn't post a comment on a picture on Facebook because it has a public school location geotag.

None of this is good, you guys.

Or healthy.

Or edifying.

Let's stop.






Because here's the deal.

Homeschool mom is doing her best.

She loves her children.

She takes seriously her role as parent.

She messes up.

She is tired and weary and scared.



Public school mom is doing her best.

She loves her children.

She takes seriously her role as parent.

She messes up.

She is tired and weary and scared.



We need to trust that we're each doing what's right and best for our family.

We need to love each other.

And support each other.

And not let feelings of inadequacy, insecurity or envy cloud our emotions.

Or worse?

Fracture our friendships. 

Because there is a wedge.



And as the American Christian homeschool movement gains momentum, it's getting worse.

I see it.

Online.

In churches.

I see friend circles based on schooling choices.

I even see divide within the homeschool community over curriculum.

I see popular Christian preachers calling for a mass exodus out of the public school system.



I hear it in our tone when we talk about it.

It's getting kind of crazy, you guys.

It makes me sad.

And honestly.

I think Paul would be angry.



He might even swear.



Because it's rubbish.




It's imperative that we abandon the mindset that there is only one way to educate our children.

That homeschooling produces anti-social, uneducated and narrow-minded individuals.


Or that homeschooling is biblically mandated.

And that Satan himself is running the American pubic school system.


And he isn't.





Here's the reality.

The public school system has deep flaws.

It also has great triumphs.


The home education system has deep flaws.

It also has great triumphs.


Through all of it, God is still in control.

And without relinquishing our own control and relying on Him,

we don't stand a chance.


If I, public school mom, want zero judgment.

I need to judge zero myself.


If you, homeschool mom, want me to respect you and your choices.

You need to respect and trust mine.




We all want our kids to be decent humans and know and follow Jesus.

But that happens through prayer.

And study of Scripture.

And implementing the things of God into your family time.

At 10:30 am.

Or 3:30 pm.


Ultimately, it happens through God's sovereign work in our children's hearts.

It's not contingent on any specific learning environment or curriculum.

Likewise, it can't be thwarted by any specific learning environment or curriculum.


Press on in confidence, mamas.

Be praying.

Be learning.

Be loving and unified.

We miss out when we're not.

We're all doing our best.

Be quicker to give each other the benefit of the doubt than to say I told you so.





Public school moms, let's be praying for our friends that homeschool.



For patience and wisdom and endurance.



Homeschool moms, let's be praying for our friends that choose public school.



For encouragement and assurance and that their families would make a difference on campus.



Our children learn the most from watching us.



All day long in a homeschool setting.



Or after they are done with a full day of public school.



Our influence is the same.



And we want them to see Jesus.

So let's be sure we're showing them what He looks like.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great post. I don't have children of my own, but I have friends who school publicly and home school. I've heard all of the sentiments from both of them. Thank you, Jessica, for being brave and outspoken with the truth, and to you, Emmy for sharing this post.

    I'll be sharing with my mom friends.

    Lesli

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