Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” What an encouraging verse for home schooling parents! As I meditate on this verse, I see a great promise from God in these words. However, like many of God’s promises, this verse contains an “if/then” condition.
“And let us not grow weary . . .” This can be a daily struggle for home schooling parents, who must face challenges on many fronts. Our children resist schoolwork, and some have learning difficulties that make the work more challenging. Our extended family does not understand our desire to educate our children at home. We face the financial strain that comes as a result of making one parent the primary teacher, while the other parent is responsible for providing for the family. We are out of money, out of time, and out of patience. We grow weary.
“. . . while doing good . . .” Home schooling is an amazing opportunity to disciple our children on a daily basis. The one-on-one, tutorial method allows us to help our children achieve their full potential academically, and that is a wonderful thing. Yet, let us never lose sight of the most important aspect of this lifestyle, the ability to guide our children spiritually. Proverbs 22:6, a beloved passage of home schoolers, tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The following excerpt from Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible examines Proverbs 22:6 and is a beautiful illustration of “doing good” spoken of in the Galatians verse:
The Hebrew of this clause is curious: “Initiate the child at the opening (the mouth) of his path.” When he comes to the opening of the way of life, being able to walk alone, and to choose; stop at this entrance, and begin a series of instructions, how he is to conduct himself in every step he takes. Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him. Fix these on his mind by daily inculcation, till their impression is become indelible; then lead him to practice by slow and almost imperceptible degrees, till each indelible impression becomes a strongly radicated habit. Beg incessantly the blessing of God on all this teaching and discipline; and then you have obeyed the injunction of the wisest of men. Nor is there any likelihood that such impressions shall ever be effaced, or that such habits shall ever be destroyed.
It is so easy to grow weary as we face the many chores and responsibilities that come with home schooling. We need to remember that the daily mentoring expressed in Clarke’s Commentary is the most important responsibility we have. This is the “doing good” of which we should not grow weary.
“. . . for in due season we shall reap . . .” What a precious promise! God tells us that if we will continue doing good, continue mentoring, continue pouring into our children, we will reap a harvest. Do not miss these important words: in due season. For the mother who thinks she will have to discipline a strong-willed child until he is 37, for the father whose heart is broken because he cannot break through his teenager’s wall, for the parents who wonder if all their efforts are in vain . . . there is a season of harvest. Yet harvest has its own season, and it cannot be rushed. What farmer harvests his crops a month before they are ready? Perhaps the thing that most causes us to “grow weary while doing good” is the fact that we feel the need to reap a daily harvest. Instead, the strong-willed child shows his defiant nature yet again. The teenager pushes away our advances and tests our authority. In our weariness, we are tempted to give up.
“. . . if we do not lose heart.” In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul encourages the church in Corinth to stand true to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though they are hard pressed on every side, persecuted, and struck down. Is not that the way we sometimes feel in our home school journey? May we take Paul’s encouragement for ourselves:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
We will continue to face difficulties as we teach our children at home. Children will continue to resist schoolwork, learning difficulties will continue to present challenges, and our finances will continue to be strained. But these are temporary afflictions. Let us not forget that the seeds of goodness we are planting in our children will reap an eternal harvest—in due season.