*As I sat down today to begin planning out the school year ahead, the Lord brought to mind a post I had written last year around this time. I'm thankful for this gentle reminder, because what He was showing me and teaching me last year ministered to my heart again and inspired my lesson planning...again. And so, I share it with you...again.*
As I sit here listening to the cool breeze move peacefully through the trees in my yard. With many school books laid out before me, I am thinking through what this upcoming year will bring as I strive to teach my daughters about the world around them. I think of many things I hope to accomplish from my joyful and intentional efforts and labor on their behalf. I hope (and pray) that they may grow up into women who contribute something beautiful to this world. That they may be well-equipped to choose wisely how they desire to use her gifts and knowledge for purposes beyond themselves. That they would choose to seek grace and mercy over greed and fame. That they would desire wisdom and seek after it, rather than follow the way of fools.
As I look through these books which contain an immense amount of interesting and exciting information within them, I am reminded of the study that I'm currently going through in Proverbs. I am sweetly reminded that there is one thing that precedes all of this useful and important information; the one thing we ought to teach our children that is above all else (as it is the foundation for all else) is: the fear of the Lord.
My daughter is a very bright girl. She is advanced in learning. She is only five years old and is entering 2nd grade level reading. She is eager to learn, and she absorbs information like a dry and thirsty sponge. I'm thankful for this - it is indeed a gift from God.
With knowledge my daughter can do much good for this world. With it she has the potential for great and wonderful things. She has a beautiful wide-open future laid out before her - what she will do with it is yet to be discovered! She has only to open her eyes and attend her ears to learning - endless opportunities await such a young life! And I get giddy thinking of all the possibilities, and I look forward to watching her grow and develop into the woman God has created her to be!
But knowledge is a tricky thing. Mere knowledge alone has the potential for harm.With only knowledge, my daughter also has the potential for great and terrible things. Knowledge without wisdom can be dangerous ground - it can cause lots of problems. It is often times careless and full of pride. It seems that knowledge is at its best and most beneficial when it is accompanied by wisdom, prudence and discretion. Wisdom gives guidance and direction to the intellect, it gives ability to think through things rather than simply knowing the facts. Wisdom is discerning. Wisdom is honorable. So above, as well as, alongside obtaining knowledge, I want to teach and train my children to seek wisdom; to know how to accurately handle and utilize knowledge. And to do so in a way, that it is a gift and blessing to those they meet (not as a demeaning or arrogant slap in the face). I desire to teach them that there is a purpose for obtaining knowledge; that its not simply to become smart (or the smartest!)...there is a specific reason for it (as there is one reason and purpose for all things) - the glory of God.
We are encouraged over and over again in God's Word to pursue knowledge (the book of Proverbs is jam packed with exhortations to flee folly and seek wisdom and knowledge), and so I am joyfully embarking on the journey to teach my daughters all that I can about this world - the world that our God has created. Science, Math, Languages, History, Geography, Astronomy, Chemistry...they all point to HIM - the One who made and rules over it all. There is not a thing on this earth that doesn't point back to His glorious Presence. Each tree, each creature, each drop of rain, each piece of technology built by the minds that He created - all of it declares His glory!
That is my lesson plan for this year and the years ahead. Whether I am still homeschooling my children, or if they are attending public school - that is my job - to teach them and point them to their Creator! To point them to the One who made them and loves them. That He is far greater than we could ever have even imagined and that He is amazing (just look at the stars, the vast oceans, the different species of animals and plants!). I'm excited to see my daughter's eyes sparkle at the name of Jesus (because He is that wonderful!). I'm excited to pour my life into their's so that they may recognize that every moment breathes out His beauty. I'm excited (and greatly humbled) that I've been entrusted by God to carry such an enormous, yet simple, responsibility - and I won't take it lightly.
As I teach them these blessed and wonderful truths, I want to be displaying for them and training them how to respond to such a powerful and loving God. To revere Him, to fall before Him with adoration and a humble heart, to serve Him joyfully and willingly - to fear Him. And from there, from the posture of humility and joyful submission, that is where true wisdom will come. That is when their knowledge (and mine) will flourish and be used best. That is when knowledge becomes a useful tool rather than an opportunity for boasting. That is when our labor for learning will overflow into blessings on others, and all this for the glory of God.
Where it begins:
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10.
Where it ends:
"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." Ecclesiastes 12:13
What kind of woman is to be praised:
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:31