When we first start homeschooling, many of us envision our child going to college at age fourteen or winning the National Spelling Bee or some other great accomplishment. We see potential and our imaginations take flight with all the possibilities. But sometimes, we are disappointed with homeschooling. The musical prodigal we encouraged for years never does anything with his talent. The child we taught Scripture to, the child we modeled Christian living for, ends up living with her atheist boyfriend. We had hoped that our careful obedience to God would ensure that our children didn’t succumb to the world. Sometimes we wonder if it was all for naught.
What Does Scripture Say?
- You will be held accountable for your own actions and decisions, not those of your children, and vice versa. If you have been obedient to God and you have presented the Gospel, but your child rejects God, that is not your fault.
So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Cor. 5:9-10 NIV
- You have planted the seeds, but it is God who makes them grow. You have no power to save anyone.
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace . . . Isaiah 55:11-12a NIV
- Your plans are not God’s plans. Sometimes our hopes for our children stem from an unhealthy place in our own hearts. We want our children to escape the pain that we endured. Perhaps we are still dealing with unforgiveness toward ourselves or resentments about the course of our lives. Many of us struggle with pride and impressing others.
All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 16: 2, 9; Proverbs 19:21 NIV
The prodigal son
God works everything for good, even when all we see is a downward spiral. In the parable of the lost son, we read:
There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So, he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So, he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. Luke 15:11-16 NIV
The next verse starts with “When he came to his senses.” After the young man gets his fill of the world and finds that it’s not all that he thought, he is reduced to the level of a groveling pig. Then, he comes to his senses. God allows us to grovel with pigs in order for us to finally see our great need for him. That may be what he is doing in your child. Trust him and pray unceasingly.
You obeyed and planted seeds. Let God do the rest and true passion and faith in Jesus will come forth. If you are not sure if you have obeyed God in this area, you can read about what you need instead of a Bible curriculum here. You can read about some of the reasons youth leave the church here.
Please comment below with what has helped you deal with the heartbreak of disappointment in homeschooling.