I have been homeschooling now for
twenty years. This fact amazes me when I recall the statement I enjoyed
making adamantly when I was in high school and college: “There are two
things I will never do—have kids or teach.” So I have spent most of my
adult life teaching my own children at home!
Homeschooling has been one of the
greatest blessings of my life, and I hope of my children’s lives. (All
three are wonderfully capable young adults with a vibrant love for
Christ.) I love homeschooling. I write about it; I speak about it; I
lobby for it; I emphatically believe in it. This does not mean that
homeschooling has been easy. I have had days that I have wanted to quit.
I have had days that I have felt personally limited. I have
felt boxed in at times. I am an extreme extrovert—and there have been
days, especially in the early years, that I was just plain lonely.
It was during one of those days that I
“happened” to be listening to Joni Earickson Tada on the radio. She was
discussing Philippians 1:12-14 (HCSB):
Now I want you to know, brothers,
that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the
advancement of the gospel, so that it has become known throughout
the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment
is for Christ. Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained
confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the
I will never forget Joni’s message that
day. She pointed out what the passage said: Paul’s chains, his
imprisonment, resulted in the furtherance, the advancement, of the
gospel. Then she said that she viewed her wheel chair the same way—as a
type of prison. And, yet, she prayed with Paul that her limitations
would result in the furtherance of the gospel.
I have never viewed limitations in the
same way since that day. Since then, I have prayed hundreds of times
that God would take my limitations (my shortcomings and my
circumstances) and use them to somehow further His kingdom.
Being financially limited can cause
some great things to happen in our lives and in our families’ lives.
1. Financial constraints force us to
choose wisely—whether we are buying curriculum or Christmas presents,
planning vacations, or choosing extra-curricular activities for the
2. Financial limitations cause families
to work together as teams. We live in an extremely individualistic
society where everyone tends to go his own way and do his own thing.
Unlimited finances can fund this type of lifestyle. Fathers and mothers
can afford to pursue their own interests and hobbies—and often these
interests are not mutual and don’t include the children. On the other
hand, limited finances force a family to work together and often the
resulting choices enhance a spirit of teamwork and togetherness.
3. Limited finances keep our children
from being spoiled. Also, by example, we teach them the importance of
making wise choices.
4. Financial limitations can keep us
focused spiritually. “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is
unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”
(II Corinthians 4: 18).
5. When we choose to homeschool and to
live on one income, we freely choose to limit ourselves financially. We
demonstrate powerfully to our children, on a daily basis, that we value
them more than we value things.