Developing Goals for Your Children

When traditionally structured academics begin to choke out the freedom of pursuing the unique needs and interests of their children, parents need to reassess the daily workload in the light of the eternal and create goals that cooperate with God’s own plans for His kingdom.

The issue at stake in our pursuit of academic goals at home is prioritization. How does one prioritize the completing of the scheduled academic work and pursue spiritual goals at the same time?

Eternal goals force the prioritization of temporal goals

The battle we wage is based on how we view reality. “So we fix our eyes not on what is see, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18, NIV)

Without thinking, we see reality with natural eyes and accept as priorities only that which contributes to the natural world. Such a view will miss the eternal. Whenever we fix our eyes on the temporal, we introduce futility and foolishness (Rom. 1:21-22). The result of that futility is frustration and conflict between the expectations of the natural and the eternal. Thus, a parent that teaches academic material and divorces that instruction from the eternal world view will find himself caught between these competing perspectives.

In other words, the motives of earthly pursuits originates from one’s view of what is really important—the seen or the unseen. Since the unseen is eternal, we must submit our pursuit of that which is seen to it. As Christ reminded Martha, “…only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42, MV). We must seek first the kingdom of heaven in order to achieve balance—the Lord will add the temporal things if we pursue the eternal.

Achieving balance by the Spirit

How do you keep a balance between completing the scheduled academics for the day and meeting spiritual goals? First, keep in mind the real goal itself. Second, be alive in the Holy Spirit. That allows us to keep God’s goals ever present in our lives. The prompting of the Holy Spirit will move you to the goal of God, but we have to understand a very important principle here. We have to be in tune spiritually because goals that men have are naturally perceived, but goals that God has are spiritually perceived. Man cannot imagine the things that God sees in getting His goals accomplished. (I Cor. 2:6-16)

James wrote, “Brothers, don’t say, ‘We’re going to go to such and such a city and by and sell and we’re going to make a profit and then come back.’ Don’t have that kind of plan. No! Say, ‘if the Lord wills, we are expecting this and will do that.’” That is how we turn it to the Lord and learn to respond to His own direction. It is a spiritual process. If you want to put a value on it, it is probably the most important spiritual process that you and your children can learn. And it is probably the least used spiritual apparatus. Christians seldom walk in or after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11).

When you look at your day’s goals, how much importance you put them depends on Who you are really responding to and why. It may be that your goals need to be set aside.

Being a home schooling parent does not necessitate accepting the sole responsibility to be the only influence in my child’s life. Instead, it is taking the lead role, going before the Lord and entrusting to Him, all the details. We need to establish the value of certain things. How we get information is not as important as whether it is important to learn those kinds of things at all. If it is, then why is it important? Is our motivation based on its real importance?

God’s goals are discerned in our frustrations

God is busy conforming you to the image of Christ. God has a goal for you. He wants you to be like Jesus, He wants you to share His glory. On the other hand, you are busy completing every day routines. You want Math or English done, and you want it done now! This is your glory.

Now we have frustration! God and you are working on different goals.

The areas being conformed to Jesus are brought to focus through these frustrations. These are the places where you’re not like Christ that yet need to be conformed. Do you see how He points those out to you? Romans 8:20 says that He has subjected the creation to frustration, not by reason of the one who is frustrated, but by reason of Him who wants to transform us to His glory! God has one plan for your goals and that is, that at every turn, when you are off the mark of being conformed to the image of His Son, He is going to allow the product of your work to be frustrated. Even if you get the goal accomplished, even if you get your math done, you’re going to be frustrated when you are finished.