So, my friend Shauna just commented in my recent post about teaching using the Hebraic method.
The Hebraic method is very daunting to me because I don’t want my children to be like me. I’d rather they have Christ as the teacher.
And I wanted to share my thoughts about this–because I think we all feel that way, whether we homeschool or not–we want Christ to be the teacher to our children.
I know I do.
I, like Shauna, am not too thrilled about the prospect of raising a bunch of children who I can call “mini-me”. I am far too aware of my flaws to be comfortable with that, so yes, it is daunting to focus on having the student become more like the teacher.
But, I suppose my thoughts were incomplete.
So, I will extemporize. Because I am good at that. Extemporizing is my one weakness.
The family really is a miraculous thing. It is the basic building block of mankind, and I can’t think about it too deeply without my heart skipping a beat. It’s a miracle in so many ways, but one of the most unbelievable aspects of “family” is that it can actually, well–work.
How God can take two ordinary, sometimes obnoxious, immature, selfish individuals and forge them into something extraordinarily magnificent is beyond my ability to comprehend. I guess it’s one of the “mysteries.” When two people really do commit to “no matter what”–it is an adventure without parallel.
One of the most harrowing parts of the adventure is teaching our children.
Because we all know deep down (and some of us maybe not so deep down), that we are flawed. And we don’t want to pass that along to our children. We want them to have every chance to be flawless.
And, that’s the part that is daunting. Humbling. Scary.
But, there is a way.
After all, we are created in His likeness and image. We are actually made to be our children’s “north star.” We are made to point to Christ. We have the capacity to be a type of Him to our children. In fact, we need to be, because He is not here–He is risen and we are commanded to take His place and do as He would do if He were here.
And, I want to be. The problem is that I spend far too much time becoming discouraged and distracted.
How can my children possibly see Christ through me? Let’s face it, I am not always smiley and lovely and of good report. Sometimes I am in such a state as to be not only of bad report, but completely unreportable.
Even facing the great odds against me actually living the way I want to be, I still want to try.
But, even when I am at my very best, trying to have a perfect day, I feel like this is what I end up with:
when I am going for this:
And, sometimes when I get frustrated because no matter how hard I try, I seem to be unable to convey that beauty to my children, I actually end up with this:
Which, to me, doesn’t look anything like what I wanted it to look like.
But, when I am doing my best–and here is a huge miracle-–
my children can still see Christ in it.
Even in those likenesses, they can still feel Him.
They can still learn of Him.
Because that’s what a family was made to do–to bring people closer to Christ. And parents were made to typify Him and be the example of Him.
And, God knows that He is asking the monumental. He is asking us to do our best to paint the Monet, but if our best efforts are colorful scribbles, through His grace, it is enough.
And eventually, we will surpass the Monet. Because He promised He would not give us commandments that were impossible to fulfill. And if He commanded us to be like Him, He will make a way. It is possible.
Every parent can teach the Savior’s way. Because, no matter what it looks like to us, all that matters is that we have opened our hearts to enough love and kindness that the Spirit of God flows through us.
In those moments, we are as He is.
For me, these times are definitely measured in moments.
And, oddly enough, I can’t see it in me, but my children can.
It is the supreme act of faith for me to trust that however paltry my offering, through the grace and merits and mercy of the Messiah…it is enough.
My children often tell me I am beautiful.
They always remember the times I am an instrument of the Spirit. And they assure me that I am testifying of Christ, and pointing toward Him, and showing them the way to be like Him.
I think, too often, I am like my five year old daughter, comparing my scribbles to a masterwork of art and getting frustrated and only seeing ugliness and crumpling it up and pitching a fit.
And it’s really a little foolish, because, everyone else sees the beauty in the scribbles. How much better it would be if I could just appreciate that I am attempting something extraordinary and focus on the splashes of color and the fact that I even tried?
I realize now that it is not arrogant of me to think I can be like Him. I know I can because He told me I could. He told me that’s what He wanted for me. And He told me that the way my children could become like Him most effortlessly would be through me.
If I could just open my heart and let His Spirit flow in and around and through me more often…then I would more often be as He is.
I know we can all do that. I think, too often, I cannot see the godly that my children see in me because I am focused on one mistake, one color that went outside the lines, or I become frustrated that I cannot be all the way accomplished right this minute.
I only we could see ourselves how He sees us–full of infinite potential and possibilities. If only we could see ourselves the way our wee ones see us–as angelic and Christlike more often than we are wont to realize–if only we could see the seeds of greatness in our scribblings–we would not be so tempted to give up and crumple our artwork–but would see that we are on our way to becoming like the Master Teacher. Moment by moment, hour by hour…we are on our way. We are doing it, right now.
So, pick up that paper and straighten it out and hang it on the fridge! You are more like Him than you realize. And you are beautiful. And you are doing it. And you can keep doing it.
In a way, you might say it is your destiny.