Teaching is a risky business. What if your students do not really learn the truths you wish to convey? Worse yet, what if they come up with the “wrong” conclusions about what you have instructed – perspectives quite different from your own?
If you are a teacher in a day school setting, you might file this under the category of the cost of doing business. But if you are a home educator, your graduates don’t migrate away only to return for periodic reunions. As a parent/teacher you get to see them and interact with them on a regular basis for the rest of your life. You may even be playing with their children someday!
It is precisely for this reason that the homeschool needs to be the place where all things are taught from and related to the Word of God. As in the parable of the sower, the home schooling parent is responsible for sowing good seed and must be more concerned with sowing than on the ground the seed lands. Nowhere in that parable does Jesus hold the sower responsible for the ground on which the seeds end up. If your children don’t see eye-to-eye on all matters and concerns, it isn’t a failure on the part of the parent/teacher. By the same token, if children see everything in alignment with their parents without any deviation or disparity, it could mean that both parent and child are mistaken. My point is what they end up thinking does not validate or invalidate the teaching you provided. What we are called to be is faithful; the regenerating and sanctifying work in their lives is under the control and jurisdiction of the Holy Spirit.
I have very definite views on current events that my adult children don’t always agree with. Rather than avoid discussion about these topics, we often have lively debates that result in potent food for thought. Rarely do we alter our positions entirely, but I am continually amazed at how well-reasoned their arguments are. Just recently, after one such dialogue with my son via email, I inquired, “How did you get to be so smart?” His reply, “My teacher made me think too much!!”
R. J. Rushdoony (my mentor) exemplified teaching the Word of God rather than merely transmitting his own conclusions. His writings and lectures did not have persuasion as a focus. No, his work and mission were much more vital than that. He was convinced that if he presented the Word of God faithfully, the Holy Spirit would lead his listeners into all Truth. We homeschooling parents can learn a lot from him, not only from his message (the Bible speaks to all areas of life and thought), but also from his method (unabashedly premising all perspectives from an orthodox, Biblical perspective). In the end, that’s the kind of legacy that is worth recording on one’s lifetime resume – we were found faithful in raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.